Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for demolishing Ile-Arugbo belonging to late Olusola Saraki, father of former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Officials of the state government on wee hours of yesterday pulled down the structure located on Ilofa Road in Ilorin shortly after armed security operatives deployed to the area had dispersed scores of sympathisers and supporters of the Saraki political family who had kept vigil at the site.
The party, in a statement issued by the its state Chairman, Hon. Kola Shittu, in Ilorin yesterday, said “the demolition of the building portrays Governor Abdulrazaq as a man who does not have regard for due process and respect for the rule of law in view of the fact that the subject matter is currently before the court.”
“The matter is currently in court and it is only the court that can give a final decision.
“The case with suit number KWS/463/2019 is between Asa Investments Ltd vs Governor of Kwara State, Kwara House of Assembly, Attorney General of Kwara State, Director General of the Bureau of Lands and the Inspector General of Police,” the statement said.
Shittu added: “With the matter in the court, one would expect that the governor would stay all actions on it and wait for the final adjudication on the matter, and not take any action that will pre-empt the court decision and render the judicial verdict useless.
“But the governor went ahead to exhibit his dictatorial tendencies by illegally directing the demolition of the building. This is evil, an act of tyranny and impunity taken too far. Why the haste in destroying the property when the matter is yet to be decided by the court?
“The hurry and surreptitious manner the demolition exercise was carried out shows that the governor’s action was not in the interest of the people but to satisfy his selfish ego, which is a gross violation of the oath of office he swore to. Contrary to the oath of office he took, Governor Abdulrazaq has allowed his personal interest to influence his official conduct and decision.
“It is now more glaring to Kwarans and the general public that the governor is in office to settle old political and family scores and not to deliver good governance and development that he was elected for. He is vindictive and will stop at nothing to take draconian actions to get at his perceived political opponents.
“The demolition of Ile-Arugbo is a dishonour to the memory of Baba Saraki. This is a man who dedicated his political career to serving the good people of Kwara. He was a selfless and very accommodating leader, who was always ready to help others.”
The statement noted that “only few politicians of his time could rival his uncommon compassion towards the masses, which endeared him to many within and outside the state.
According to him, “However, the governor and his family members including his father, AGF Abdulrazaq should know that with or without Ile-Arugbo, the late Olusola Saraki will continue to occupy a place of honour in the hearts of Kwarans, particularly those who witnessed or benefited from his numerous acts of philanthropy and humanity.
“As we did in our last statement, we once again call on traditional institutions, spiritual and community leaders and stakeholders in the state to caution the governor to put a stop to his acts of tyranny and politics of bitterness, which can lead to breakdown of law and order in the state.”
The party, therefore, said “we urge the supporters and sympathisers of the Saraki family to remain calm and not take law into their own hands though we understand how emotional and embittered they are at the moment. We must allow law to take its course.”