A former Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu, has called on Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to have a rethink on the revocation of land acquired by the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki in the ’80s.
The land popularly known as Ile-Arugbo was revoked last Friday by the state governor after signing a constitutional instrument withdrawing the allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 acquired by Asa Investments Limited, one of the companies belonging to late Saraki.
In a statement made available to our correspondent yesterday, Aremu observed that the land revocation might constitute “unnecessary diversion” for the governor whom he said had “commendably hit the ground running in terms of executing programmes and projects that have direct positive impact on the lives of kwarans.”
Aremu, who is a member of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was quoted as speaking on the sidelines of the 30th year Anniversary of ‘Pakata Patriots’ held at the association’s Hall, Ita-Amo area of Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
He said the revocation of land belonging to the late Olusola Saraki was “an unnecessary and avoidable blunt on the good developmental news from the state”. He tasked the governor to remain focused and avoid distractions. He said: “I want to be properly understood. Any government has the responsibility to demand for accountability and probity.
I am indeed impressed that the government has been doing that compelling some past government officials to render accounts for their stewardship. However, you don’t compel accountability from the dead, in this case, the land belongs to the late Saraki, who is not even alive to defend himself.”
Aremu urged the governor to combine what he called “his acknowledged humility, simplicity and modesty with forgiveness and reconciliation in governance.”
He said: “As the saying goes: Devil is in the details: reportedly the land was originally meant for Government Secretariat and parking space of the Civil Service Clinic, but illegally allocated to a private firm Asa Investments Limited without certificate of occupancy or any record of payment to the state government.
But if you ask me Godliness is in forgiveness more so for the dead in this case the late Dr Olusola Saraki.” He said it was an “unprecedented bipartisan popular mobilization” that terminated 16 years of PDP rule in Kwara state during the 2019 election, stressing that the government should avoid the temptation of “governance by conflict of personalities and old scores”.
Aremu said: “We are proud to be part of the peaceful revolution through voting and vote counts during 2019 elections, which put an end to PDP dictatorship and bad governance in the state. We need the same bipartisan partnership across the state to urgently overcome incidence of poverty which is still unacceptably high in Kwara.
“We don’t need anything that will divert us in the state, nor inadvertently exhume the moribund PDP through a belated land revocation and attendant sentiments that trail it”.