Tag Archives: kwara

COVID-19: Don’t brush your teeth with sanitizers – Former Sports Minister.

Former Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi on Sunday advised Kwarans against abusing the use of hand sanitizers as a preventative measure against coronavirus.

Mallam Abdullahi added that sanitizers should not be used to brush.

Mr Bolaji said this in Ilorin, the state capital while handing 3,000 free sanitizers to professional associations like the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Others that benefited from the free sanitizers gift include community associations within Ilorin West local government area.

Represented by the Chairman of Omoluabi Movement and retired permanent secretary Babatunde Sidiq, Abdullahi said:

“Communities such as Alanamu, Adewole, Ubandawaki, Oloje areas in the Ilorin West local government area of the state, including development associations in the area.

“Unfortunately, many of our people here have misconstrued the use of the sanitizers. It is expected of all of us to apply sanitizers on our hands after washing our hands as many times as possible. Sanitisers are not meant for consumption. Incidentally, many people have misconstrued the disease as not airborne but water borne. “They think they can use it to wash their mouth or use as body cream. This should not be the case. It’s essentially meant for our hands.

“We are targeting 3,000 people, including organized labour, trade unions, transport unions, as well as development associations in the area.

“We appeal to our people to adhere to the guidelines, and medical advice on prevention against COVID-19 pandemic by experts and governments. We should obey stay at home order to be .


COVID-19: Kwara, Nigeria ban markets, commercial transports.

Residents of Ilorin have started going to the markets in large numbers to make last-minute shopping as the Kwara Government closes non-food markets, commercial motor parks, mosques and churches in the state.

NobleReporters reports that many residents throng the Ipata market to make their purchases.

Some of the residents told N.Rs that they were out to shop for some commodities which included toiletries and foodstuff.

Mrs Amina Abdulganiyu said: “Not long ago we heard over the radio about the closure of markets, mosques and churches even taxi parks, it is a good step by the government.

“So in order to be able to comply, I came to buy some more necessities for my home, because we don’t know how long this is going to last,” she said.

Ms Folashade Ige said: “My mother just gave me a call to immediately come home because I was at my hairdresser’s place.

“On getting home, she asked me to rush down to the market to buy some things. And I am amazed at the crowd here even at this time of the day.

“I think there is panic in everyone, the way people have rushed out to buy things.

“The Coronavirus is very real, I urge people to obey and cooperate with the government at this time.”

A trader, Mrs Jumoke Alade, said there has been large patronage since morning, adding that it is like people had a premonition the markets would be closed.

“It is like people knew what was going to happen, they have been coming to the market in large numbers since morning.

“But this evening, it is different, you can see people standing, looking for what to buy.

“The most patronised commodities are non-edible things like soap, detergent, bleach, toilet cleaners and sanitisers.

“We hope to come back to our normal lives very soon, this Coronavirus is really affecting everyone and we pray God delivers us,” she said.

A taxi driver who simply identified himself as Rasheed said “passengers are out there, and at least we can make some more money before they close down tonight.

“Everyone wants to buy all the things they need today because they are afraid of the coming days. May God save us,” he said.

N.Rs learnt that the state government through the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, on Wednesday said that the government had banned commercial transportation, closed all mosques, churches and markets effective from March 26.


COVID-19: Kwara govt, Nigeria to shut down schools on Monday.

The Kwara government says it would be shutting down schools in the state as a measure towards curtailing the spread of the coronavirus.

Rafiu Ajakaye, spokesperson to the the state governor, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the closure would take effect from March 23.

Ajakaye urged the public not to panic, adding that further details as regards the shutdown would be issued by the government.

“I can confirm that Kwara State will be shutting down schools from Monday, March 23rd. It is part of the efforts to contain the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“We urge our people to maintain the highest level of hygiene, remain calm, and adhere to all safety measures announced by the state ministry of health and other national bodies.”

Governors in the northwest region of the country have also shut down schools for 30 days amid the outbreak of coronavirus.

Nigeria now has eight confirmed cases of the virus but none has been recorded in the north.

Over 27 countries in Africa have recorded cases of coronavirus with some nations enforcing travel restrictions to check the spread of the disease in their territories.

The number of recorded cases globally is now over 200,000.

Continue reading COVID-19: Kwara govt, Nigeria to shut down schools on Monday.

Kwara FRSC sends union advise to Drivers.

The Kwara Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it has embarked on enlightenment of members of various transport unions in the state on road safety strategies.

The public education included need to understand the process of obtaining or renewing their driving license.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Sector Commander, Mr Jonathan Owoade. NobleReporters gathered

It said the sector commander held a joint enlightenment meeting with the officials and members of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and National Association of Corporate Transporters (NACT).

According to the statement, Owoade said that the meeting was in line with the stakeholders’ engagement and collaboration agenda of the FRSC.

“The need for obtaining national driver’s license by taxi and commercial vehicle drivers.

“Speeding, wrongful overtaking and indiscriminate parking of commercial vehicles are of great concerns to us at the FRSC, hence the need for the joint meeting,” he said.

He also charged the participants on the need for positive attitudinal change on the road, and imbibing a good and better road culture to eradicate road traffic crashes.

Owoade cautioned against overloading and carrying two passengers in the front seat of a vehicle.

The sector commander further urged road users, both motorists and pedestrians, to obey traffic rules and regulations in order to stay alive, said the statement


Political terrorists have taken over APC – Kwara Chairman

Embattled Chairman of Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bashir Bolarinwa, yesterday opened up on the festering political crisis rocking the party in the state, saying the party had been hijacked by “Political parties marauders” in the state.

Bolarinwa called on “all genuine party members to join us in the tortuous task of saving our party from leeches and serial killer jobbers.”

The party chairman who was conspicuously absent at a briefing at the state party secretariat in GRA Ilorin, was represented by deputy Chairman, Kwara North, Chief Sunday Oyebiyi.

According to him: ”Ladies and gentlemen, the soul of our party is being threatened by political marauders. We call on all genuine party members to join us in the tortuous task of saving our party from leeches and serial jobbers. “At this juncture, we need to reiterate that, contrary to the norm, there is gapping disconnect between the governor and the party and between the governor and revered party elders.

“This scenario has been in place after the party primaries, during and indeed after the polls. We were also part of the success of the governor at the election petition tribunal and we went to Government House to congratulate him and even took pictures with him but these aggrieved party executive went back on the second day and told the governor that, they are for the governor and his support group called “AA” support group and since that time, they decided to exempt themselves from the main stream of the party executive in the state”

He pointed out further that, “Severally party elders had tried to wade into the matter by meeting with the state party chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the governor.

However, a follow up meeting with the governor to resolve the areas of differences has not been possible because the governor has refused to grant audience to the elders”.

He however assured that the party would continue to remain resolute and focused on the task of party building and straightening based on the principle of cohesiveness and oneness.

According to him,” Reference to a cabal within APC led by Alhaji Lai Mohammed is petty, childish and laughable. They are afraid of their own shadows, and in going down, they are willing to pull any strands with them. The APC will outlive many of them. If the memories of these aggrieved people are short, we cannot be accused of same. The struggle to win election was fierce and challenging. During this period of tribulation, it was only Alhaji Lai Muhammed that we saw, he sponsored sensitisation programme, provided logistics and other such supports requested from him. He stood by us and together we navigated the rough roads to victory. This is not news to our traducers; the only choose the part of mischief.”


Kwara plan to give uniforms to Okada riders

The Kwara State Government has revealed its plans to issue Identity Cards and uniforms to commercial motorcycle operators as security measures to curb crimes in the state.

The State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Suleiman Rotimi, made this known on Thursday in Ilorin during a meeting with Okada riders in the state.

Rotimi said that the measure was necessary due to the influx of Okada riders from other states into Ilorin, the state capital.

He said that part of the security measures adopted was the introduction of uniforms, ID cards with bar codes and stickers to enhance easy identification and planning.

Rotimi listed other security measures to include census and registration of commercial motorcycle operators to ascertain their population in the state.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Yusuf Manjo, commended the joint motorcycle union for accepting the proposal for the introduction of a single uniform, stickers, and ID cards.

Manjo said that the necessary mechanism would be set in motion to actualise the measures within the shortest time possible.

Responding, the President of Joint Motorcycle Riders Union, Mr Gabriel Ajewole, expressed the union’s readiness to abide by the security measures.


Kwara: NYSC coordinator place youth in charge to curb corruption

The NYSC Coordinator in Kwara, Mrs Esther Ikupolati, has urged Corps members and youths in general to shun any act of corruption in all their endeavours.

Ikupolati made the appeal on Friday in Ilorin while addressing corps members at an anti-corruption rally jointly organised by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The rally tagged: “Nigerian Youths walk against corruption”, was attended by Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Speaker, Kwara House of Assembly, Mr Salihu Danladi,

According to her, corruption is the root of all the problems bedevilling the country, adding that until corruption is totally uprooted from the social fabric of the nation, the youth will continue to suffer the consequence.

“Corruption is the root of all the problems we can talk about in this country, people not getting jobs, all this insecurity, all have its root in corruption.

“The security challenges the country is facing today and other vices have their roots in corruption. To rid the country of corruption, we have to start from the youths,” Ikupolati said.

AbdulRazaq, who stopped to address journalists in front of the Government House, commended EFCC and the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Isyaku Sharu, for the good work they are doing in fighting corruption and recovering looted funds for the state.

AbdulRazaq said the N8 billion that EFCC recovered from looters and handed to his government was used to kick-start the 2020 budget.

He said his administration has zero-tolerance for corruption and pledged his total support for EFCC to effectively fight corruption.

The governor appealed to the corps members to live a life devoid of any social vice and particularly shun corruption.

He promised to host the corps members passing out on March 5 to a dinner at the government house to thank them for being good ambassadors.

The governor, accompanied by the NYSC Coordinator, the EFCC zonal head, and the Speaker, took part in the walk against corruption from the beginning of the EFCC office and returned to terminate at the same office.

The walk took the people through Ahmadu Bello Way, to Challenge in Murtala Mohammed Road down to A Division of the Nigeria Police.

The train turned to Ilofa Road, turning left after Civil Service Clinic down to Offa road and up to Flower Garden back to EFCC office.

Speaking after the walk, the NYSC coordinator said over 2,000 corps members participated in the walk against corruption.

She described the rally as a huge success and commended the corps members for their orderliness throughout the exercise.

Ikupolati said NYSC collaborated with the EFCC to organise the rally because of the NYSC DG’s passion for anti-corruption.

She declared that the walk against corruption would achieve the objective as many of the corps members would go back to their places of primary assignment to continue the sensitisation.

“The rally is a huge success, and for the governor to stay to the end is enough motivation for everybody particularly the corps members,” Ikupolati said.


Offa Bank Robbery: Trial stalled with absence of prosecution witness ..

Absence of prosecution witness has stalled the continuation of hearing in the April 5, 2018 bloody Offa bank robbery trial in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Prosecution counsel, Bola Gold, on Tuesday, told the court that police officers, who are the prosecution witnesses in the matter, were on national assignment for last Saturday’s rerun elections in some parts of the country and had not returned to their base.

In view of this, he sought an adjournment, which the defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, did not oppose.
In granting the adjournment, the trial judge, Haleema Salman, warned both the defence and prosecuting counsel against unnecessary delay in the hearing of the matter, while expressing her dissatisfaction that no appreciable progress had been made in the hearing of the case since 2018 when it started due to requests for adjournments by the counsels.

The judge said that both counsels should be prepared to end the trial within trial in the next adjourned date so that hearing proper in the suit could commence same day. She subsequently adjourned the case to February 10.
Speaking with journalists after the court proceedings, counsel to both parties assured of their preparedness to ensure speedy disposal of the matter.
All the accused persons were present in court on Tuesday.


P.A to Actress toyosi adesanya, Juwon shot dead ..

A Nollywood actor, Simply identified as “Juwon” has been reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen along Ogbomoso/Ilorin Expressway.

The bandits were said to have attacked motorists, including some Nollywood actors going to shoot a film on Monday at Otte area of the expressway.

It was gathered that the suspected herders suddenly got into the middle of the road and started shooting sporadically.

Unfortunately, one of the gunshots killed “Juwon” among other Nollywood actors on the road at the time.

The deceased was said to be a personal assistant to a popular Yoruba actress, Toyosi Adesanya.

The distressed actress told journalists that she was on her way to Ilorin for a movie production, when the incident happened, calling on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to ensure security of lives and property.

Read Also; Again, gunmen kill 14 in Plateau
She said,”We can’t continue like to this. The poor boy’s life was just taken away like that.

“We can’t continue to be held to Ransome by some armed bandits. The FG should come to our aid”.

Confirming the incident, the Kwara state police public relations officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi said that it was along Ogbomoso/Ilorin expressway. He also said that the incident involved some actors and actresses going to shoot a film at a location, adding that investigation had commenced on the incident towards arresting the perpetrators.


Just in: Court adjourn Saraki’s suit

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed February 5 to take arguments on the objections raised by a former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to the permanent forfeiture of some of his houses in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

In a preliminary objection put before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, the two-term Kwara State Governor, through his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), filed a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

They also described the new suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as an abuse of court processes because it was filed at a time when a suit on the same subject matter was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja before Justice Taiwo Taiwo.

The EFCC had, in the suit filed before Justice Aikawa, claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

Justice Aikawa had on December 2, 2019, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government.

The judge then adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons why the houses should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In his preliminary objection filed before the court, Saraki described the suit as an abuse of court processes and a move to scandalise him.

He also said the suit is a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court “discharging the applicant from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this action,” asking Justice Aikawa to dismiss the suit.

The court will hear arguments for and against the suit on Feb 5.

The EFCC, in the suit, told the court that it received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011,” when Saraki was governor of the state.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq said, “Whilst investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”


Update: Saraki fights to retain his properties from Kwara government

Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in an application filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, is urging the court to dismiss a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seeking permanent forfeiture of his Ilorin houses that have been temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

In seeking the order of the court, Saraki contended that the suit was an abuse of court processes.

He described the suit as a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court “discharging him from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this suit.”

EFCC, in a suit filed before the court, claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

The presiding Judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa had on December 2, 2019 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government, thereafter adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons why the houses should not be permanently be forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, in a response filed by his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), through a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit, Ogunwumiju said the new suit by the EFCC was an abuse of court processes because it was filed at a time when a suit on the same subject matter was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He contended that in the Abuja suit, the presiding Judge, Taiwo Taiwo had on May 14, 2019 made an order for parties to stay action on the subject matter pending the determination of originating motion on notice pending before him.

“Despite the pendency of the above mentioned suit, service of the court processes and the subsistence of the aforementioned order of the court, the respondent surreptitiously commenced another suit: FHC/L/CS/1867/2019 between the EFCC v Dr Bukola Saraki on 14th October 2019 in this court where it seeks orders aimed at neutralising the order of the Abuja division of the same court,” he said.

The ex-Kwara Governor said the new EFCC’s suit was meant to “irritate, annoy and scandalise” him and urged Justice Aikawa to dismiss it.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned till February 5 to hear further arguments on Saraki’s objection.

The EFCC, in a suit filed before the court averred that it received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011,” when Saraki was the Governor of the state.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq in an affidavit sworn to and filed before the court averred that “Whilst investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100 million will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100 million same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government house.”


Ban of religious activities in Kwara public schools: CAN reacted

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kwara State chapter, insisted State Government has not banned religious activities in public schools.

The defence was issued on Saturday despite government order on such activities to stop. NobleReporters said

Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Fatimoh Ahmed, had on January 14, issued a statement that no religious organisation is permitted to go to public schools for preaching or engaging in any religious activities during the morning assembly.

The statement added that prayers should be said silently on the morning assembly across public schools in the state.

However, the Christian body in a statement signed by its Secretary, Rev. Reuben Ibitoye, reads; “The attention of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter, has been drawn to an online publication titled ‘KWARA GOVERNMENT BANS PREACHING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS’.

“In response to the purported press release by the government dated 14/1/2020, banning religious activities in public schools.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria, debunks the press release. We make bold to say that the press release was never authorised by the Kwara state government in the way it was reported.

“The government of Kwara state decided that the Status Quo should be maintained in all public schools, after the Secretary of the Ministry of Education, in Ilorin West Local Government issued directives to schools to start observing two separate morning assemblies and devotions one for Christian pupils and the other for Muslim pupils.

“The position of Kwara state government and stakeholders on issue of morning assembly and devotion was that: there shall not be two devotions on assembly in public schools.

“The devotion and assembly shall be led by the school Principal whether in Christian schools or Muslim schools in line with the faith of the Proprietor,” the statement read in part.


Kwara government flag off distribution of tools to MDAs

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Friday flagged off the distribution of computers and other office tools to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.

Speaking at the presentation of the items, AbdulRazaq said the administration purchased the computers – desktop and laptop, monitors, printers, UPS, and photocopiers – to equip the civil service with modern tools and make the workers more efficient.

The items included 100 HP desktop computers, 100 HP Monitors (18.5’), 100 HP printers, 100 UPS, 50 Sharp photocopiers (AR602); and 20 HP laptop computers.

According to him, the decision to procure the computers and other office items is as a result of his discovery that most of the offices either did not have them or the ones they had were not working.

“We are here to unveil these innovative tools to make work easier for you.

“Going through ministries, I saw that these equipment were lacking. I saw archaic equipment in offices, mostly not working, with civil servants going to business centres to type and print letters. This will be a thing of the past.

“I am not saying that these equipment will solve all your problems today, but just like a journey of a thousand miles which starts with a step, I believe this is the first step and we will continue to build on this,” he said.

He described the civil service as a good system with good people which also required adequate tools to deliver on its mandate, adding: “I hope this will help you in your productivity.”

The Head of Service, Dr Susan Modupe Oluwole, commended the governor for rewriting the story of the civil service in the state.

“I don’t know for long we have been working without tools. If we get paid and there are no tools to work with, it makes no difference.

“So, this is a new era and we are excited that we are now getting tools to work with,” she said.

Dr Garba Manjo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Housing, hailed AbdulRazaq for stabilising the civil service.

According to him, the governor’s decision not to hurriedly scatter workers around after he was sworn in is a testimony of his maturity and respect for institutions.

“Your Excellency, we thank you for the good work you have been doing for the service for the past seven months.

“We thank you for the completion of the state secretariat. We thank you for the prompt payment of salaries. We thank you for the timely release of operational grants to MDAs.

“We thank you for the stability you have brought into the service. In the past, we were used to changing all officers across all levels with the change in government.

“But you chose to stabilise the service and this surprised everybody. We also thank you for ending the era of no cash backing.

“We thank you for the distribution of these computer sets which will enhance our operational efficiency.

“You have restored the state to the era of ‘administocracy’ which we witnessed last in the 1970s and 1980s,” mango said.

The event was attended by top government functionaries and senior civil servants, especially representatives of the various MDAs who received the tools on behalf of their offices.


Kwara government mourn doctor’s death

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has announced the death of Dr AbdulKadir Oniyangi, a foremost Northern Nigeria medical doctor. Oniyangi died at the age of 85.
AbdulRazaq on Thursday in Ilorin described the death of Oniyangi as the end of an era.

He said this in a statement issued by Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor.

According to AbdulRazaq, the contributions of Oniyangi to the development of Kwara are well documented for history.

He stated that Oniyangi was a trailblazer in the public health sector in the entire northern Nigeria, adding that he was in fact one of the first medical doctors in the region.

“He was the former Head of Service and Secretary to the Military Government in Kwara between 1984 and 1985, and also a distinguished public administrator who served the state and Nigeria meritoriously,” AbdulRazaq said.

He noted that Oniyangi’s tenure as the President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) was very outstanding, while he also served as commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara

The governor commiserated with the entire Oniyangi family of Ilorin on the death of the elder statesman, while saying that “his death at this moment of our history is painful”.

“We pray the Almighty Allah to grant him Al-jannah and stand by his family now and always,” he said.


Demolition of Saraki’s Ile Arugbo: Court fixes hearing date

Chairman, Northern Elders Council, (NEC), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has condemned the demolition of the house of the father of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Ile Arugbo, in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, describing it as a political vengeance against Saraki.

Yakassai, an elder statesman, told newsmen in Kaduna that government should rather concentrate on providing employment and eradication of poverty rather than waste resources in carrying out demolition of houses for political reasons.

Kwara Government recently moved its heavy-duty equipment and demolished structures on a land belonging to the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki .

This followed the revocation of plots of land on Ilofa Road, GRA, Ilorin, said to be the property of the late Dr. Olusola Saraki.

Before the demolition, it was announced that the parcels of land were allegedly acquired by the late godfather of Kwara State politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki.

But for the former Senate President, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his kinsmen and loyalists, the decision of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was politically motivated.

However, AbdulRazaq said his decision to revoke the said property followed a resolution of the House of Assembly that the said land should be reclaimed.

Nevertheless, Yakassai maintained that, “I think this demolition exercise is a bad politics which is the beginning of tit-for-tat.

“I think this type of politics; politics of vengeance should not be seen in Kwara State and any other part of Nigeria.

“I hope that sanity will prevail because this is against political opponents. Government should concentrate on addressing issues of poverty, unemployment and other problems in the country rather than wasting time and resources to demolish houses”.

Chairman, Northern Elders Council, (NEC), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai

Meanwhile, the state High Court, Ilorin presided over by Justice A. A Adebara, has fixed January 15 for hearing on motion on notice in a suit filed by Asa Investments Limited on the disputed land on which Ile Arugbo (Old People’s Home) was built.

Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, House of Assembly, Attorney General, Director General, Kwara Bureau of Lands and the Inspector General of Police are defendants in the suit.


We are tired of not having HND programme – Mass com student, Kwara poly cried

Students of Kwara State Polytechnic’s (KP) Mass Communication department, have appealed to the Rector of the institution, Dr. Abdul-Jimoh Mohammed, to facilitate action on the takeoff of Higher National Diploma (HND) programme in the department, so as to have a seamless polytechnic education.

Hitherto, academic programmes for Mass Communication students in the school stop at Ordinary National Diploma (OND), and the students are made to seek admission in other schools for their HND programmes. NobleReporters knows

The Guardian gathered that the majority of the Mass Communication students, who graduated after OND, find it difficult to complete their polytechnic education because of the absence of HND in their department.

They alleged constant rejection of their application to other institutions with their OND results.

An alumnus, Mariam Ibrahim, who attested to this claim, said, “I graduated in 2016 and I have been applying with my OND to other institutions for HND, but I have not been admitted. It would have been easier for me to secure admission in my school, if only they had established HND programme in our department.”

A student of the school, Boluwatife Abdullah, on her part, revealed that she was ignorant of the fact that the polytechnic had not established HND for mass communication department before applying to the institution.

She said: “I only realised after I was offered the admission and was disheartened by it. Even my grandparents scolded me for not making thorough investigations before applying due to slim chances of securing admission elsewhere.”

The students, however, have called on the state government under the leadership of AbdulRahmon AbdulRazaq to come to their aid.


Customs North Border Drill Sector Coordinator To Visit Kwara Communities Near Border

The Customs Border Drill Sector Coordinator for North Central Nigeria, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, has promised to visit border communities in Kwara State.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba disclosed this when the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Salihu Yakubu Danladi, visited his office.

He made clear that the partial closing of Nigeria’s land borders is not intended to witch-hunt or obstruct any legal businesses nor any community, but to prevent the illegal export of petroleum products, to encourage local farmers and manufacturers, to control the inflow of arms and ammunition, to stop the traffick illicit drugs and other prohibited goods into the country, and to enable neighbouring countries to comply with ECOWAS protocols on cross-border trade.

Garba, who is posted from Seme Area Command to Sector Three 3, said the Nigerian Customs service is just an implementer of Federal Government policies and advised that state governments should channel their grievances through the appropriate quarters.

The Comptroller promised to use the opportunity of his visit to meet with individuals and bodies engaged in legitimate business, mentioning that border security seeks to solve the critical problems of irregular migration and trans-border crimes such as the smuggling of small arms and light weapons, illicit petroleum products, human trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorism, among other issues.

He added that these crimes must be tackled head-on and that was what had informed the Federal Government in closing the country’s land borders.

The Nigeria Customs Service on August 20, 2019, on the directive of the Federal Government, partially closed Nigeria’s land borders.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba

Earlier in the visit, Salihu Yakubu Danladi in the company of Chairman House Committee on Education and Human Capital Development, Hon. Mohammed Baba Salihu, expressed concern over the hardship of fuel scarcity presently being faced by the four districts of Baruten Local Government Area of the state (Ilesha Baruba-Okuta-Chikanda Axis).

The Speaker appealed to the Sector Coordinator to reconsider the decision of restricting fuel supply 20 km to border communities, as a litre of petrol is now selling for between N250 and N300.


Police says they know nothing about the destruction of ‘Ile Arugbo’

…as Saraki, Kwara govt feud deepens

The Kwara State Police Command has denied particpating in the demolition of late Olusola Saraki’s property in llorin, which has generated mixed reactions.

In a statement released by the State’s Police Spokesperson DSP Okansani Ajayi, the Kwara State Police Command dispelled reports of policemen shooting life ammunitions and firing teargas canisters at the scene of the demolition exercise.

Ajayi also revealed that the State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun ordered a full scale investigation into the demolition exercise to determine the veracity of the claims.

The statement read in parts;

“Our anti-crime deployment during this period has nothing to do with any demolition exercise in the state.

“It is therefore shocking to the commissioner of police to hear the news of policemen shooting life ammunitions and firing teargas canisters at the scene of a demolition exercise.

“For the purpose of emphasis, the command wishes to immediately dispel the insinuations that the men reported having been firing indiscriminately during the demolition exercise were deployed by the Kwara state police command.

“No policeman was deployed by the command for any demolition exercise anywhere in the state and no policeman deployed for anticrime duties during the Christmas and new year celebrations fired a single shot of ammunition or canister during this period.

“The command hereby for the umpteen time wishes to reiterate the irrevocable commitment of the commissioner of police to principles of fairness, justice and the rule of law while making police service available and accessible to the people of Kwara state.”


Saraki’s family pose more rage at Kwara government after demolition of ‘Ile Arugbo’

Kwara state government under the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq may have succeeded with its intention to demolish a house owned by the late Senator Olusola Saraki, father of former Senate President Bukola Saraki and current Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki, over what they called the illegal acquisition of the land upon which the house was built, by the late godfather of Kwara politics, but the last has obviously not been heard of the reactions that trailed the demolition within the ruling party. The house, popularly called Ile Arugbo (House for old persons), was demolished in the early hours of Thursday, after the state government revoked the title of the landed property.

The Kwara House of Assembly in August called for the revocation of the landed property, after adopting the report of a committee that investigated the ownership of the property. Findings by The Nation revealed that uneasy calm currently pervades the rank and file of the APC in the state following the demolition and subsequent altercations between the government and the Saraki family. According to party sources, the open expression of dissatisfaction to the decision of Governor AbdulRazaq by Gbemi Saraki may have encouraged her supporters within the party and other aggrieved members to take on the governors and his supporters within the party sooner than later.

A party chieftain from Asa, who craved anonymity while confirming the tension within the party, said many party members are sympathetic towards the Minister and decried the decision of the government to carry out the demolition without carrying her along. “There are two sides to the issue as we speak within the APC. There are those who feel the demolition is a good payback for Bukola Saraki and those who feel the demolition is a slap on the face of Gbemi Saraki. The later are even more disappointed because the Minister, a high ranking leader in the party, was allegedly kept in the dark on the matter till her father’s house was demolished by a government formed by her own party,” he said.

But an aide of the governor who confided in The Nation that AbdulRazaq has directed that none of his aides should speak on the matter except when authorized, condemned APC chieftains faulting the governor over the demolition, saying it is not true that the governor unilaterally took the decision. “We have a cabinet in the state and it is made up of party members. So, how come the fault is now that of the governor alone? The government took a decision based on facts available to it. There is no way everybody will be pleased with a decision but it is wrong to try to score cheap political points with an action that is based on facts and records,” he said.

Reports that Senator Gbemi Saraki had openly thrown her weight behind the decision of her family to fight the government in court, over the demolition, is also creating anxiety within the party. According to a family source, the Minister, while speaking with some family member after the demolition, had assured them of her support to any legal step instituted over the matter in spite of the political differences between her and her brother, Bukola Saraki. “She is a proud daughter of her father and that is exactly what we expected her to do,” our source added.

Speaking on the development, Alhaji Yussuf Olanrewaju, a kinsman to the Sarakis, described the demolition as “cruel”, adding that the demolition of the structure was a contempt of court since the matter was still before the state High court. Olanrewaju, who is the President of Agbaji Development Association in, Ilorin, said the demolition was improper and “a calculated action to chase away the Saraki family from the plot”. “It is not fair to try to rubbish the late Saraki’s contributions to the socio-economic development of the llorin emirate. The demolition of the structure is not right since the matter is before the court,” Olanrewaju said.

Former President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, while giving a hint on the family’s decision to approach the court, last Thursday, stated that justice will prevail over the demolition of his family property in Ilorin by AbdulRazaq led Kwara government. Announcing the decision of the family to seek legal redress on the matter, Alhaji Bibire Ajape, chairman of the Saraki Legacy Forum, urged supporters of the Saraki family not to take laws into their own hands over the matter. “Following the announcement by the Governor that he had revoked the title on the land which had been rightfully possessed by late Saraki for more than 20 years, they filed a case at the High Court, Ilorin, on December 31, 2019, challenging the action. The suit with Number KWS/463/2019 between Asa Investments Limited and 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 was filed on Tuesday.

“In an obviously desperate attempt to pre-empt the court case, the State Governor directed one of his aides to lead a demolition team to the property on Tuesday morning accompanied by some policemen. However, the policemen withdrew when they saw the crowd of old women and youths who gathered to protest the illegal demolition exercise. With the withdrawal of the policemen, the team from the state government were forced to quickly leave the place. Some hours later, exactly a few minutes to the New Year, about 11.45pm, the particular aide led another team, this time with a bulldozer and some policemen massed around the premises of Ile Arugbo but were again resisted by the crowd of women and youth who had then decided to mount a ceaseless vigil around the property.

“Early Thursday morning from 12.40am, while the old women and youth were having their New Year entertainment as they mount watch on the premises of Ile Arugbo, the aide again led a team of demolition squad comprising security agents from the Government House, Ilorin, workers of the Ministry of Works and some urchins to Ilofa Street. For hours, their attempt to commence the demolition exercise was rebuffed. At about 3.30am, the security agents began heavy shooting of gun and tear gas canisters to dislodge the people protesting against the demolition. It was after they were able to disperse the crowd that the bulldozer moved into the street and commenced the demolition exercise.

“It will be recalled that while the Governor on December 27 claimed that there was no existing document showing that the land was properly allocated to late Dr. Saraki, the same government through its agent on Monday circulated a letter of allocation to Asa Investments owned by Dr. Saraki in which the company was directed to pay the sum of N1, 047, 090 (One Million, Forty Seven Thousand and Ninety Naira only). The government then changed its story that the property was allocated to a company which had nothing to do with any politician, dead or alive and that they could not find any record of money paid. The Saraki family has maintained that a Right of Occupancy title was issued to Asa Investment, an indication that the allocation was lawfully concluded with all parties meeting their obligations.

“The pre-emptive move by the state government to demolish the property was made to undermine and frustrate the judicial process and it represents another act of disrespect for the judiciary and the rule of law which the current government of Kwara State is known for. On our part, we call on supporters of the Saraki family, particularly the women and youth who were brutalized during the attempts to carry out the illegal demolition exercise to maintain peace and not take laws into their hands. We assure them that this illegality will not stand as the family will pursue all legal means to claim the rights of their late patriarch,” he said.

But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye, while urging the people of the state to ignore the explanation of the embattled Saraki family, explained that the land was originally meant for secretariat and parking space of the Civil Service Clinic, but was unlawfully allocated to a private firm, Asa Investments Limited, without any record of payment to the state government. He said: “Hundreds of civil servants still operate from rented apartments at a huge cost to the government. The new secretariat, once completed in 2021, will definitely go a long way to end this unhealthy trend as well as provide a more conducive and decent working environment for government workers.”

Ajakaiye added that governor of the state, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, had signed an instrument withdrawing the allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 to the firm. He said that the said land was unlawfully appropriated contrary to the purpose for which it was meant. Ajakaiye added that the governor’s decision followed a resolution of the state’s House of Assembly urging him to reclaim the land because it was arbitrarily taken over in the 1990s without any evidence of payment by the company, even though the land was meant for public use.

Angry Minister

Party leaders are worried following indications that supporters of the governor and those of the Minister may engage in open disagreements over the matter soon. According to a serving member of the national assembly from the state, if the situation is not properly handled, the APC in the state may soon be thrown into fresh crisis. Recalling that the party is still struggling to manage a serious post-election crisis that has seen the leadership of the party and the government disagreeing over almost everything, he called for urgent interventions from relevant quarters.

“My take on this matter is that we need to put sentiments aside and address the complaints of all those concerned. I have heard from some people that the Honourable Minister was not carried along properly before her father’s house was demolished by the government. I have also heard from reliable sources that the Minister refused to see reasons with the government over its decision to demolish the house and acquire the land for government use. Whatever the truth is, we need to shun sentiments and address all complaints in the interest of the party,” the federal legislator said.

Already, some moves and statements credited to the Minister are being interpreted as part of her decision to take on Governor AbdulRazaq in the days to come. “And you and I can imagine what it will mean to the party should our governor and a Minister representing the state in the federal government engage in a political battle. This is what many of us are worried about. It is sad that there was no opportunity to discuss this issue before it got to this level. But as it is, all habds must be on deck to stop a crisis,” our source added.

In a statement by her special assistant, Titilope Anifowoshe, the minister, while expressing open solidarity with her embattled family, renamed her movement to ‘GRS-OLOYE.’ “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 now be known 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,” the statement read in part. Source within Ilorin also confirmed that hundreds of GRS-OLOYE members and supporters were among the crowd that attempted to stop the bulldozers from demolishing the buildings last Thursday. “They publicly joined other people to condemn the actions of Governor AbdulRazaq,” our source claimed.

Adamant governor

But in spite of the tension within the party and opposition to its action even among chieftains of the ruling party, the government insists the decision to demolish Ile Arugbo and acquire the land is in the interest of the state. In its reaction to criticism through the state commissioner for Communications, Malam Murtala Olanrewaju, after the demolition, the state government confirmed the reclamation of the land in the early hours of Thursday, explaining that the “action was carried out in the early hours to avoid any needless confrontation.”

“Attempts by some persons to provoke government agents on lawful duty were resisted by the security agents who exercised the highest level of restraint and professionalism,” the commissioner said in a statement in Ilorin. Contrary to the claim that the state government was served court papers on the matter, we state that no court papers has been served as at the time the government took the steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people,” he added, stating the readiness of the government to defend its decision at any time.

The government appealed to the people of the state to remain calm, peaceful and be guided only by facts of the matter and not to be drawn into what is targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake. “Finally, we urge the people of the state to remain calm, peaceful, and be guided only by facts of the matter and not be drawn into emotional outburst that is targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake. While the administration is focused on restoring sanity to the state after years of barefaced impunity, we will do so within the limit of the law,” Olanrewaju said.

Governor AbdulRazaq, had last month, while announcing his decision to revoke the ownership of the disputed land by the late Olusola Saraki, said it was illegally acquired. According to the governor who insisted it is wrong for anybody to attribute political vendetta to his action, the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic, but that it was unlawfully allocated to a private firm, Asa Investments Limited, without any record of payment to the state government.


Gbemisola Saraki accused Kwara govt over demolition of “Ile Arugbo”

Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, has accused Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, of carrying out a revenge mission against her family by demolishing a property built by her late father, Dr Olusola Saraki, in Illorin, the state capital, for old people known as ‘Ile Arugbo’.

In a statement on Friday, the minister told Governor Abdulrazaq that “revenge cannot be a policy thrust of governance”, adding that the demolition was unwarranted and “disrespectful” to her.

According to her, the act could jeopardise the chances of the All Progressives Congress in the state in future elections.

She said, “At 3:00am on January 2, 2020, the governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, gave orders to the police to open fire on aged women at the contested welfare home popularly known as ‘Ile Arugbo’ (home for the aged) owned by my father, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki.

“As a staunch and loyal member of APC, I have kept quiet to date on the happenings in my state. I had done this for a number of reasons, including trying to keep my head when all about me are losing theirs.

“However, given the turn of events and the violent nature of the governor’s position, it is only right for me to speak now.

“By some recent steps taken, especially with Thursday’s actions, Kwara State APC must be careful to not allow a few elements with their own agenda other than governance to turn their personal vendetta into the official position of APC in the state.

“They must not be allowed to hijack the narrative of what our party stands for.

“My silence should not be misconstrued as tacit approval or support for the actions taken by the governor.

“However, I am comforted by the knowledge that my father’s good work and his respect, support and love for the aged, which was sadly lacking in the governor’s activities of Thursday, simply cannot be erased by demolishing a bungalow.

“When it comes down to it, Ile Arugbo is a piece of bare land that holds symbolic value of what my father stood for – humanitarianism, and that doesn’t start nor end with a building.

“But after the events of Thursday when the aged women were tear gassed and shot at in the wee hours of the morning (3:00 am), I do not want my silence to be misconstrued, as mischief makers have used that silence to attribute false statements allegedly made by me.

“The level of force and violence that the governor chose to adopt was totally unwarranted.

“It is especially disrespectful to me personally as a member of the APC since 2015, who welcomed and supported those who only joined us a couple of months to the elections, which includes the governor himself, that my position as a member of the party was not given any consideration and/or regard when approaching this issue.”


Kwara state govt vs Bukola Saraki continues hot

Anger and condemnation have trailed the demolition of the structures on Plots 1, 3 and 5, otherwise known as Ile Arugbo (Old People’s Home) owned by the late Abubakar Olusola Saraki on the order of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

The demolition was reportedly supervised by one of his aides in the early hours of the morning after heavy firing of gunshots and tear gas canisters to scare away women and youths who had been keeping vigil on the land since New Year eve.

The house, popularly called Ile Arugo is located along the Ilofa Road in the Government Reserved Area, Ilorin.

Commissioner of Communications, Murtala Olanrewaju, in a statement, yesterday, defended the demolition and reclamation, saying the government acted within the limits of the law. He also urged the public to remain calm and law-abiding.

“Contrary to the claim that the state government was served court papers on the matter, we state that no court paper had been served as at the time the government took steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people. We urge people of the state to remain calm, peaceful, and be guided only by facts of the matter and not drawn into emotional outburst targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake. While the administration is focused on restoring sanity to the state after years of barefaced impunity, we will do so within the limit of the law.”

Olanrewaju said security officials thwarted “attempts by some persons to provoke government’s agents on lawful duty” during the demolition.

A resident, who preferred anonymity, said he woke up to meet bulldozers carrying out the demolition.

The land on which the house was built became a subject of controversy in the last few days. The building was used by the late Saraki to distribute foods, money and clothes to old women.

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on December 27 announced the revocation of the tittle to land over alleged illegal acquisition by Saraki.

The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaiye, said the property was not the ancestral home of the Saraki’s as portrayed to the public.

“Saraki’s ancestral home is in Agbaji, Ilorin. The property at issue,used for political meetings, is in the heart of the GRA, Ilorin. The government’s position is that the land was (and still is) a public property originally meant for the construction of government secretariat, a civil service clinic, and a parking lot for the two. However, ownership of the property was spuriously transferred to a private firm, and for commercial purpose, without the firm paying a kobo to the government or obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy. What the government has done is to reclaim the land in the spirit of what it was originally meant for,” Abdulrazaq said.

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Scion of the late Kwara political leader, Bukola Saraki, a former senate president and governor of the state, has accused the Governor Abdulrazaq of waging a war against him and his father.

According to Bukola, the property was rightfully allocated to his late father in the name of one of his companies, Asa Investment Limited, since the 1980s. He also said that contrary to the claim of the governor, the land was properly allocated with a right of occupancy title issued on it.