Offa robbery: Saraki lied about donating N10m to victims, says Lai Mohammed

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Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
says the claim by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, that he
donated N10 million to victims of the April 5 robbery in Offa “is
patently false.’’

In a statement issued on Monday in Lagos, the minister
admonished the Senate President “to stop dancing on the graves of
the innocent souls” who died in the bloody robbery attack in
Offa.

The statement signed Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to
the Minister was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in
Abuja.

“He did not! The N10 million he referred to was donated when the
Offa market got burnt and it was made in Ilorin, not Offa.

“When Dr Saraki visited Offa to commiserate with the community
in the aftermath of the robbery, he did not donate a dime! I
challenge him to prove me wrong,’’ he said.

The minister reiterated his earlier warning against playing
politics with the unfortunate incident.

He alleged that Saraki had said in a radio interview that he
donated the N10 million when he visited Offa to commiserate with
the people in the aftermath of the robbery.

Mohammed added that the Senate president in the interview also
said that the N10 million he donated was more than the N7 million
that was stolen from the robbed banks’ vaults.

“The overly aggressive and crude response by Dr Saraki to that
warning has shown that he is not ready to heed the admonition,
hence the need to re-state it, and to condemn any attempt to
denominate human lives in Naira and Kobo,” he said.

The minister said that in the wake of his warning, the
apparently embarrassing radio interview was hurriedly edited to
remove all references to the Offa robbery and then re-aired across
Kwara state.

Mohammed further said, “Instead of stopping at that, which in
itself constitutes acceptance of wrong-doing, Dr Saraki went ahead
to hurl insults at me even when I have been largely restrained in
issuing my earlier warning.

“Had I not been restrained, I would have gone ahead to divulge
what actually transpired. But with politics in the air, the truth
becomes the first casualty.

“Realising that he goofed, Dr Saraki apparently caused the radio
interview in question to be edited to remove the donation
reference, and then re-aired.

image

“Is it not an irony that the people who engaged in this
egregious act of dishonesty are the same ones calling others
names?”

He said he would continue to steer the debate on the political
developments in Kwara to issues rather than an exchange of personal
insults which he had always been averse to.

“The people of Kwara, who are bone-tired of the long years of
‘bolekaja’ governance in the state, are all saying in one voice, ‘O
to ge’ (enough is enough).

“They will soon have the opportunity to express their
frustration with their votes,” the minister said.

(NAN)

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