Embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki, continued to witness a backlash against him, this time during an appearance at a mosque in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, last Friday.
After attending a wedding at the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, Mr. Saraki hurried away to attend Jumaat prayers at the Sharia Court Mosque, avoiding the nearby Ilorin Central Mosque where he had been heckled and stoned in the recent past.
But Mr. Saraki encountered mild embarrassment at the Sharia Court Jumaat Mosque located on Ahmadu Bello Way, a more controlled environment surrounded by administrative offices, including the office of the Secretary to the State Government and the Kwara State headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS).
The presiding Imam at the mosque, Justice Salihu Muhammed, who is also the Grand Khadi of Kwara State, startled the worshipers with an announcement that prayers would be slightly delayed because a VIP was being expected. When Mr. Saraki eventually entered the mosque, Justice Salihu Muhammed started to pray for the Senate President to overcome his difficulties, an allusion to his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja. Spontaneously, many of the worshipers started chanting, “Sahu!” The word meant that they wanted their Imam to enter the spiritual line of praying to Allah. The Imam, who seemed rattled, hurriedly concluded the prayer for Senator Saraki and started the Jumaat prayer.
A source, who was present at the mosque, told SaharaReporters that Mr. Saraki made a quick exit from the mosque once the Friday prayers were finished.
Hostility against the Senate President seems to have increased following revelations at the Code of Conduct Tribunal of the huge perks that Mr. Saraki arranged for himself during his two-term tenure as governor and even after leaving the Government House to take up a seat in the Senate.