Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday morning, January 2, has commenced the demolition of the late Olusola Saraki’s home in Ilorin.
According to eyewitness accounts, the building, popularly called Ile Arugbo, was demolished at about 4:00 a.m.
This came after the security operatives dispersed protesters who kept vigil to prevent the demolition.
It was gathered that the government on Wednesday around 2 a.m. tried to demolish the structure but was stopped by protesters.
In a reaction, the minister of state for transport, Gbemisola Saraki, has teamed up with her brother, Dr Bukola Saraki, to protect their father’s legacy.
The Kwara state government recently took over a piece of land being used by the family of Saraki in Ilorin.
This was disclosed in a press release by the chief press secretary to Kwara governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye on Friday, December 27, 2019.
The minister has reacted to the decision of the Kwara state government to revoke ownership of a property belonging to her late father, Dr Olusola Saraki.
In a veiled reference to the government’s acquisition of the property popularly known as ‘Ile Arugbo’ (Old People’s home) which was being used by the Saraki family to care for the aged and the needy; the minister said, “We have a history and we are proud of that history.”
In a statement issued on Tuesday, January 1, 2020 by her special assistant, Titilope Anifowoshe, the minister renamed her movement to ‘GRS-OLOYE’ in perceived solidarity with the Saraki family.
The minister’s statement read in part, “So many things have happened this year, in fact, right up to the very dying hours of the year, but we will continue to take brave and faithful steps.
“We will continue to walk in the alight even though we have no idea what will happen next, though we are comforted, encouraged and reassured with this: ‘But they plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners’ 8:30 “So GRS Family, we are going to be known NOW as GRS-OLOYE Movement.
“We have a history and we are proud of that history. May Allah forgive the sins of ALL our dearly departed and may He make us worthy representatives of all that they stood for.”
Political analysts in Kwara see the move by the minister as a warning to the governor not to tamper with their family’s property.
Bukola Saraki, the immediate past Senate President, has continued to service the old and vulnerable since the demise of his father, a tradition he continued even after he didn’t win re-election in the past 2019 election.
The piece of land is said to have been owned by the Sarakis for over 40 years.
In responding to the show of force by the Kwara government to revoke the land, Dr Saraki said Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has crossed the line with his action.
In a statement issued by the former Senate president in Lagos on Saturday, December 28, 2019, he said the latest development showed Abdulrazaq as a person who does not respect history and only out to get the Sarakis down instead of fighting the interest of the state.
“Contrary to the claim of the governor, the land was properly allocated and a Right of Occupancy title issued on it.
It should be noted that the excuse given by Abdulrazaq in his revocation order holds no water since it is clear that this is the height of his vengeance against my father, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki,” he said.