Revocation of Ile Arugbo: The Questions Saraki Must Answer


By Abdullahi Babamale

The entire debacle between the present Kwara state government and Bukola Saraki has become a giant farce.

What many considered a mere correction of public affairs defect has been used to stir political sentiments. As I read the heartrending press release of Dr Bukola Saraki, I figured it is unhealthy for our public life to let the matter pass without some profound enlightenment of the citizens.

At first, my intent was to ignore the whole issue until his press release came and distracted us on our tracks.

I therefore decided to issue this piece which I consider a mere nudge in the right direction or, at least, an effort to jog our memories.

The immediate past Senate President of Nigeria and erstwhile Governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, has lashed out at the Kwara State government’s recent action of revoking his father’s land.

He described the government’s latest action as “vengeance,” accused AbdulRazaq of “attempting to erase his father’s legacy,” and suggested that these steps cannot make up for AbulRazaq’s lack of preparedness and direction to rewrite the history of the state.

He also says the governor’s actions are delusional, while, by the same token, hinting that this is not the end of his political journey in the state.

As dutiful a citizen, I will not condescend to whip up public sentiments against him as he just attempted to do with the government, but I will respond to his allegations on sound and profound premises.

The premise upon which Bukola Saraki has based his response, to begin with, is shallow, blithe and fluid. No man in his right mind will take such statement serious when we are discussing a matter that affects virtually all Kwarans.

What I am trying to say is that, Dr. Bukola Saraki’s emotional innuendos as well as his smearing rhetorics cannot make up for a case that is bordered on betrayal of public trust. What Kwarans want, and all concerned Nigeria, is simply a straightforward fundamental answer from him as regards the matter on ground.

Hence, I have the following questions for Dr. Bukola Saraki and he will be greatly remiss if he fails to answer our question with facts and evidence.

While perusing the letter of the former Senate President, I found out that the man made mention of “vengeance” and phrases relating to it on several occasions. I will like to hear from the Senate President, what is his history with the present day’s governor family that might have spurred the governor to embark on a journey of vendetta?

Surprisingly, — and even bothersome — Saraki in all of his more than 1,000-word press release did not present us with single evidence of payment for the revoked land. I will like to ask the former leader to furnish the general public with the evidence of the payment of the said land to justify his position.

The present day government has accused the old Saraki of getting the land through illegitimate means. Does this accusation hold any water? If it doesn’t, Mr Saraki should present us with evidence that proves otherwise.

Going by the claim of the Kwara state’s government, this land was meant to build a secretariat for civil servants but was dubiously acquired and used for personal gains. Is this a mere Progressive accusation or there is truth in it?

I do not understand what Bukola Saraki refers to as lack of preparedness of the present day government in his letter. But for the betterment of our state, I will like to hear from the former governor what is our present governor not doing that he is suppose to do as an administrator?

And finally, I will like to hear from Bukola Saraki who exactly he is up against as this has become unclear going by the content of his letter. The former SP seem to be mixing the person, or even a whole family, of our incumbent governor with the government. From what we learn, the land was revoked by the state government and not by AbdulRazaq. Is it appropriate then to lure a person and even a whole family into a state’s matter?

Having read the letter of Dr Bukola Saraki from a non-partisan angle, I regret to say that, the former SP has lost credibility with us and with every other Nigerian citizen with a critical mind.

A huge accusation was slanted against him by the Kwara state government. And given that the case is based on a matter of corruption, what a decent man would do is present evidence which vindicates him of such claims, and helps him reclaim is beloved property.

Such is not the case, however. But I am giving the former SP the benefit of the doubt and hoping he would respond to my questions accordingly.

*Abdullahi Babamale writes from Ilorin South.