Kwara Demolishes Saraki’s House in Ilorin

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The Kwara State government has finally demolished the land belonging to the Second Republic Senate Leader, the late Dr Olusola Saraki, located along Ilofa road, GRA, Ilorin.

The demolition, according to THISDAY checks, was effected early Thursday morning by the officials of the state government.

It was further learnt that the demolition of the house by the government was to avoid any court injunction that might prevent the government from taking any action since the Saraki family had instituted a court action on the property.

The scion of the Saraki family and former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the kinsmen of Agbajj community where Saraki hails from in Ilorin and Kwara Agenda Network, among others, have been making allegations and counter allegations on the move by the state government to demolish the late Olusola Saraki’s campaign house in Ilorin.

The state government on its part on Wednesday released details of the hues and cries surrounding the revocation and planned demolition of the house.

The state government through the Director General, Bureau of Lands, Alhaji Ibrahim Salman, in a statement he personally signed in Ilorin, said: “The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for overriding public interest and same was initially designed to host the phase II of the State Secretariat.

“The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before same was abandoned.

“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the clinic and the state secretariat.

“The clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the clinic into a full-fledged hospital.

“The dream of the state government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.

“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the company.”

However, on Thursday, the state government effected the demolition after the police personnel deployed in the area dispersed the old women, who had been keeping virgil at the property, with tear gas and gunshots.

A visit by THISDAY to the area showed that all the structures on the land have been cleared by bulldozers.

Most of the sympathisers, who thronged the area, said: “The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, should have listened to the words of wisdom from the well meaning Nigerians on the need to ensure peace in Ilorin by staying away from demolishing the Saraki’s house at Ilofa road.”

They therefore called for peace and calm among the residents of Ilorin community so as to avoid any action capable of creating palpable tension in the state.