In my column last week, I pointed out the fact that scarcity of water has remained a major social problem in Ilorin. A succession of military and civilian administrations has fleeced the state of billions of naira, under the guise of providing solution to water problem in Ilorin. Muhammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, a senator today, was the first governor who misappropriated money meant for water supply in Kwara state. His conduct became the subject of a judicial inquiry headed by Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami. Sha’aba Lafiagi was indictedand told to return a significant sum of money to the state, even though he went to court and the courts disputed the right of the state to set up a tribunal.
Much later in his political career, Sha’aba Lafiagi had shown interest to become PDP chairman, after Obasanjo removed Chief Audu Ogbeh; not in the good books of Bukola Saraki at the time, it was the report which indicted Sha’aba Lafiagi, that Bukola Saraki presented to Obasanjo to scuttle Sha’aba’s ambition. Today, the two of them, Bukola Saraki and Sha’aba Lafiagi are in cahoots, and late last year, they had tried and failed in senate to stop Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem’s re-appointment as Chairman of the FCC.
Another significant point of water scams came under Khalil Bolaji who was commissioner for water resources, during one of the military administrations. Bolaji’s tenure saw a controversial disappearance of an alleged sum of $11Millions that was meant for water supply. They ensured that our people didn’t get water to drink! Incidentally, but not surprisingly, Khalil Bolaji has also become one of the sidekicks of Bukola Saraki and very much a part of the political machinery which has been singularly responsible for the underdevelopment of our state. It was under Bukola Saraki, that water supply contracts took a life of its own; it became an endless nightmare for the people of the state! Billions of Naira went down the drain, but the supply of water in Ilorin remains a nightmare and a mirage!