Hoodlums who disguised as worshippers on Thursday disrupted the Eid el-kabir prayers in Ilorin and attacked Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, with stones and sachet water, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The situation also prevented the Chief Imam from delivering his annual sermon just as the emir also abandoned his Sallah message.
Some of the worshippers who spoke with NAN, said they were only able to offer one of the two mandatory prayer rakats.
NAN reports that security operatives who accompanied the Senate President to the praying ground, had to throw tear gas and fire several shots, which sent worshippers running helter-skelter for safety while one of emir’s horsemen was injured in the melee.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Police Command, Mr Ajayi Okasanmi, who spoke with newsmen immediately after the prayer, confirmed the attack on the Senate president.
He said the action was sparked by some miscreants who were looking for Sallah gift from the Senate President.
According to him, those behind the attack would be identified by Monday as arrests have been made in connection with the attack.
Okasanmi said the situation was promptly brought under control and the prayer resumed.
He said that a total of 2, 000 policemen and women were deployed across the state to keep law and order during the Eid prayers.
Meanwhile, Dr Muideen Akorede, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Media and Communication, however, said the attack was not targeted at the Senate President and Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Akorede, who corroborated the PPRO’s view, said the attack was carried out by miscreants who wanted to extort money from Saraki.
“Gov Ahmed was not even at the Eid praying ground; he was at his home in Share where he prayed; so the attack could not be targeted at him,” Akorede added.
Also, a source close to the Senate President, however, said the attack was not targeted at the Sen. Saraki.
According to the aide who pleaded anonymity, the worshippers were said to have been angry over unpaid salaries.