How Ilorin Rose Against Saraki With Stones And Chants Of Thief! Thief!!, By Jogbojogbo Abdulrahman
Today, the Muslim Ummah celebrated.
Today, in Ilorin, the Eid organisers disappointed and displayed colossal incompetence.
Today, Mr. Saraki was humiliated.
All around the world, Muslims celebrated and gathered at several Eid grounds to worship. It was no different in Ilorin, home to great Islamic scholars. What was different however, was that for the first time in recent history, the organisation was so bad that many people left without praying. People far off from the Imam could not link up to him as a result of bad/insufficient speakers.
The disappointment I felt is the same the man beside me must have felt when shortly before the prayers he was lamenting: “First, they said, we were uneducated, so we went to school. Now that we’ve gone to school, there are no jobs for us. The few that have jobs have not been paid for months”.
Shortly after the prayers, I noticed commotion. There were water sachets and stones flying in the air – all directed at the direction where Mr. Saraki, the Imam and other VIPs were seated.
Shouts of “thief, thief” rented the air. The people weren’t happy, pent up discontent and anger was being let loose. Soon, men in military uniforms were dispatched. They were throwing sticks indiscriminately into the crowd and chasing people. Soon, the crowd was gassed (tear gas) so that the VIPs could leave without getting harmed.
In Ilorin, the Eid ground is not just a praying field, it is a common denominator, a place where the high and low must visit at least twice a year so far as they’re Muslims. The behaviour of the people at eids over the years have been a crude measure of political and social stability. Today, the needle went off radar, today Ilorin showed that she was angry.
It is said that politicians know no shame, I doubt if behind the black windows and heavy military barricades he hid, Mr. Saraki wouldn’t feel shame and worry.
Whether or not Ilorin was right to direct their anger at Mr Saraki is another issue.
One thing that isn’t debatable is that today Ilorin was roused, angry, and mad at authority.