Saraki reacts to demolition of father’s ‘home’ by Kwara govt

Bukola Saraki, former governor of Kwara
Bukola Saraki

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said justice would prevail in reaction to the demolition of his father’s ‘home’ carried out by the Kwara State Government.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the demolition of the property commenced in the early hours of Thursday.

According to witnesses, the building, popularly called Ile Arugbo, was demolished at about 4 a.m.

This came after the security operatives dispersed protesters who kept vigil to prevent the demolition.

It was gathered that the government officials on Wednesday, around 2 a.m., tried to demolish the structure but were stopped by protesters.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the state governor, last month, announced the decision to revoke the late Olusola Saraki’s property owing to alleged illegality in its acquisition.

He said the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic, “but that it was unlawfully allocated to a private firm — Asa Investments Limited — without any record of payment to the state government.”

Mr Saraki had earlier countered the statement, saying his late father lawfully acquired the land from the state government.

He also accused the state governor of opposing the legacies of his father.

Also on Thursday, the Kwara State Government defended the demolition saying security officials thwarted the “attempts by some persons to provoke government’s agents on lawful duty” during the demolition.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Kwara Govt sets up implementation committee

In its statement explaining the demolition, the Kwara government also said it was not served with any court papers stopping the demolition.

It also said security officers exhibited the “highest level of restraint and professionalism” when dispersing the protesters.

Saraki reacts

Meanwhile, in a statement Mr Saraki posted on Facebook on Thursday evening, he expressed his appreciation to the protesters.

“Following the development this morning in Ile Arugbo, I want to commend the women and men, old and young, who displayed their affection, love and staunch support for my late father and the family. I appreciate the genuine support of the women and youths who stood firmly in the face of aggression and naked show of force.

“Your action throughout the night gave full expression to my belief that what Ile Arugbo represents to all of us is etched in our hearts. It goes beyond the physical structure. I am happy that you were not intimidated as you stood your ground. This day will go down as the day you reciprocated the love and affection my father and family have for you.

“You have displayed a gesture of goodwill and passionate love. We assure you that justice shall prevail in a not too distant future,” he said.

The Saraki family has largely controlled Kwara politics since 1999. The late Olusola Saraki and his son, for many years, determined who became governors, lawmakers, and who held other key positions.

However, Mr Saraki of the opposition PDP lost out politically in the 2019 elections in Kwara as the APC won the governorship and legislative seats in the state.


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