Supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari engaged loyalists of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Sunday in a shouting match at the Ilorin International Airport.
Buhari supporters had gone to welcome a Kwara State governorship aspirant, Mr Moddibo Kawu, and a Labour Party governorship aspirant in the state, Mr Issa Aremu while the Peoples Democratic Party supporters were also there to welcome Saraki.
The environment was calm until female supporters of Saraki started singing the praises of the Senate President. While they sang and danced, Buhari supporters who were mainly youths, with their brooms suddenly erupted into a shout of Sai Baba. They sang loudly, raising their brooms as they eulogised Buhari while the Saraki supporters, especially women, tried to out-do them. The atmosphere became charged prompting security officials to maintain orderliness. Also some elders from both camps tried to pacify the apparently overzealous supporters and praise singers.
Kawu and Aremu, whose aircraft had landed waited for some time at the arrival hall for the atmosphere to normalise. After some time, Kawu made his way as the crowd of supporters surged towards him until he was led by security operatives into his vehicle.
Aremu later addressed his supporters.
Aremu and a former Kwara State governorship aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Hakeem Lawal, who defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress called on the National Assembly to reconvene.
Lawal, who is a son of a late former Kwara State governor, Mohammed, hopes to actualise his political ambition under the APC.
Speaking to journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the sidelines of a rousing welcome accorded to him by a crowd, he expressed his support for Buhari.
He also called on the National Assembly to reconvene to address urgent national matters, including the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said, “If truly the members of the National Assembly really think about our nation first, then, they need to reconvene and take care of urgent national matters. This is what the people elected them to do. Let us look at the people and the nation first and stop looking at individual and self aggrandising issues. Not reconvening is not in the interest of the nation. We know that elections are coming and things need to be done; the nation needs to move forward. A nation should not stand still. They should sacrifice for the nation and reconvene.”
Aremu called for the renewal of Kwara State.
Aremu said, “Let us be hard on our problems and not on ourselves. Do not allow for any provocation over any issue.
“This is one of the oldest states in Nigeria. Kwara was established in 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon (retd) who created that time 12 states.
“But what is the reality today? There are four of these states that are still in existence: Lagos, Kano, Rivers and Kwara are the states that still retain their names. Last year, these four states marked their golden jubilee anniversary. So Kwara is 51.”
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