Members of the Youth Agitator Nationalist Forum on Monday protested against the invitation of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, by the police in connection with the Offa robberies.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Moshood Jimoh, had in a statement on Sunday alleged that five principal suspects of the April 5 robberies made some allegations which indicted Saraki.
He was asked to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office to answer to the allegations levelled against him by the suspects.
But the protesting youths, who marched to the palace of the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, in the Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, asked the police not to politicise their investigation into the robberies.
They sang songs and displayed placards to express their agitation. Some of the writings on the placards read, ‘We can see the truth,’ ‘Saraki is the leader that reigns in Kwara State,’ ‘Offa robbery cannot be used to settle political scores,’ ‘Politics and robbery are not equal,’ ‘Offa people are not fools,’ and ‘There are lies in police action.’
The President of the Youth Agitator Nationalist Forum, Peter Kayode, said the group would mobilse no fewer than 5,000 youths to trek from Kwara State to Abuja to show their solidarity with Saraki.
He said, “We do not want the Nigeria Police Force to use the Offa incident against our leader (Saraki). We are using this protest to sound a note of warning that the police should correct their action. They must make sure that this issue is not politicised. They should leave our leader alone.
“We are youths and we have the capacity to trek to Abuja; it is not just a verbal utterance. If this issue is not addressed, the youths of Kwara State will walk from Kwara to Abuja.
“We don’t want any revolution, but when we start our movement, there will be no going back.
“We are more than 5,000; we have as members secondary school pupils and students in tertiary institutions that are Kwara State indigenes. We will walk to Abuja.”
A woman leader in Offa, Chief Atinuke Mycarthy, urged the police to do a thorough investigation into the robberies.
“There should be thorough in their investigation. We are not here to disturb or distract the work of the police. We are imploring them to be fair and ensure justice so that the truth will be revealed,” she said.
The Ojomu of Offa, High Chief Joseph Akinnola, said the palace was surprised to learn that Saraki was being linked to the suspects, adding that the community was taken aback by the allegation against him.
“He, however, said the police should do their work thoroughly, adding that those culpable should be dealt with.
He said, “The Senate President was one of the early callers to commiserate with us.
“He promised to help us to get more armoured personnel carriers and policemen. The state government promised a new police station.
“We want to implore the police to be God fearing and ensure that the innocent will not be punished.”