I was back in Ilorin last week, and I gathered that Bukola Saraki’s government in Kwara has finally sold the houses in the Kwara State House of Assembly residential complex, in Ilorin. I have an emotional connection to that complex.
It was an estate built by the construction company, Dumez, when constructing township roads in Ilorin in the 1970s. We used to attend parties there. But it was abandoned thereafter to the African bush. When I was appointed GM of KWTV in 1997, I got our reporters to do a comprehensive report on the complex, thus bringing it to the notice of officialdom.
Then Military Administrator, Col. PAM Ogar, visited the complex, and a decision was made to reclaim and renovate it. The governor commended KWTV for our report. In 1999, it eventually became a residence for Members of the House of Assembly. With its sale, Bukola Saraki has finally sold ALL government houses in Ilorin. First to go were all the government residences in the GRA as well as the land in the Ministry of Agriculture, which spread over a huge swathe of the city.
They had allegedly perfected a plan to sell the Ilorin Eid praying ground and had also parceled out plots within the old Ilorin Teachers’ College. It was the collective resistance of the Ilorin community, under the aegis of the IEDPU that stopped them in their track.
The Emir of Ilorin’s Palace and Central Mosque are all that remains to sell. Allah protects His place of worship; but no one can take sale of the palace beyond Bukola Saraki and his henchmen in government, if we are not alert. This is an appeal to Ilorin’s people to “shine our eyes”! If we lose focus, even the Emir’s Palace can end up being sold!