Aged women in Kwara State on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, who openly display their grey hair, stormed the city of Ilorin to protest the revocation of Baba Saraki’s “Ile-Arugbo” after the failed attempt by Kwara Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to demolish the building at midnight.
The number of women who gathered on the seized land for monthly feeding by the Sarakis, have protested the government’s action.
The aged women said “Ramoni o le gba Ile Oga wa, o le gba ile Arugbo, o le gba ile oga wa”
“Governor Rahman be warned , you cannot revoke our benefactor’s property we will not allow you to take over Ile Arugbo.”
“We are begging you Governor Abdulrahman, It is good to be friendly with the aged ones, the social welfare house (Ile Arugbo) is the last hope of our survival, as you can see; we are too old to be a trader or work anywhere. Late Oloye built this house for us, Leave it for us.”
“The social welfare house (Ile Arugbo) has never been forgotten anytime from when Late Oloye was alive and till his death he kept reminding his son (Bukola) never to forget we the aged women, it is historic, Saraki gives us all we wanted and should not be revoked by Gov Rahman.
However, the Kwara State’s Bureau of Lands has spoken on the Civil Service Clinic land and its adjourning plots in Ilorin, which the state government reclaimed from the Saraki family.
In his reaction, Bukola Saraki, a former Governor of the state and ex-President of the Senate, had accused Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of personal vendetta.
Director General of the Bureau of Land Ibrahim Salman, in a statement on Wednesday, 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”, he explained.
“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.
“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as ‘Ile Arugbo’ on part of the land that was designed as parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.
“Following a resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly mandating him to revoke/withdraw the spurious allocation, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq recently signed an instrument to reclaim the land on the ground that same was unlawfully allocated to a private Company contrary to the public purpose of its acquisition and occupied in breach of the terms of allocation.
“This (press) release is intended to state the facts on the land recently revoked/withdrawn by the state government as contained in our records.”
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