The Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council has described the trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as persecution. The monarchs advised the Federal Government to discontinue the trial.
In a statement by Saraki’s media office, the monarchs said they would continue to pray for Saraki to overcome the challenges.
Dr. Saraki is being tried for alleged false declaration of assets while he was governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.
The statement quoted the monarchs to have reminded the government that Nigerians voted for change and not for “political harassment of perceived opponents”.
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, who led a delegation of the monarchs on a solidarity visit to Saraki, urged Nigerians to be wary of bad elements bent on dividing the country on account of political vendetta.
Sulu-Gambari said: “We are here for good reasons and to bring the goodwill of the Council of Chiefs. We are ready to support our son. We are here to see him on the various constitutional challenges, we would not call them problems, and may God not make them problems for us.
“It doesn’t take long for a 10-year-old child to realise that our dear son, our precious son is being persecuted. The politics of persecution is not the right change for Nigeria.
“We want changes; we want it to be clean. He who seeks equity must come with clean hands. If you want equity, you must do equity.
“We know there are several stages of challenges before our leader, such that nobody in Nigeria can ever be clean enough. But do we want to upset the whole Nigeria because we want a beautiful change? Time and posterity will tell.
“But we want to appeal to men of goodwill that politics should not be with bitterness. Politics should be about the unity of this country.
“We, therefore, came here to declare our support and solidarity to our precious son. If you (Saraki) look back, you will see us in various forms, begging Almighty Allah to protect you. Nigeria should beware of destructive elements. Nobody is perfect. We are in this scheme to make Nigeria very strong in the comity of nations.”
Thanking the monarchs for their support, Saraki assured them he would overcome his travails.
His words: “I am honoured and at the same time humbled to receive this visit from our royal fathers. The last time I had this honour was when I was still the governor.
“There is nothing more to add because you have spoken. You have spoken from your years of experience as a father, and as someone who has headed a very great arm of government – the judiciary.
“Your words of wisdom and encouragement will continue to give me great confidence. As you rightly said, it is a challenging time, not only for us the politicians, but generally the country.
“Be assured that with your support and your prayers, we will overcome it because the people know that this is not prosecution, but persecution”.