Tension Mounts over Heavy Presence of Policemen on Saraki’s Land in Ilorin


Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

Armed policemen have been deployed to keep vigil on the large expanse of land belonging to the late Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, located in Ilofa GRA, Ilorin, which was revoked by Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, last Friday.

The apprehensive residents of Ilofa, where the land is located, feared that yesterday’s deployment of policemen to the area was preparatory to a possible demolition of the structures erected on the land.

AbdulRazaq had announced plans to construct a new secretariat on the land which he claimed was obtained without any documentation, a claim the immediate past Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, denied.

Since the revocation order was issued last Friday, Abdulrazaq and Saraki had engaged in accusations and counter-accusations over the land, which the state government said belonged to the civil service clinic and which Saraki said belonged to his late father.

Also, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kwara Agenda Network and former governorship candidate of Labour Party during the last general election, Comrade Issa Aremu, have condemned the revocation of the property belonging to late Saraki.

A visit by THISDAY to the Ilofa GRA yesterday showed the heavy security presence at the place as early as 6.00 a.m.

It was further gathered that the presence of the armed policemen in the area might be to prevent the aged women who usually thronged the “charity home” at the end of every month to receive monetary gifts from the Saraki family from gaining entrance into the facility.

Reacting to the development, Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the deployment of the personnel to the area was for security purpose.

He said: “It is important to forestall breakdown of law and order in the state, following perceived media war trailing the issue and various reactions from politicians on the matter.”