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Kwara govt clears air on purported demolition of Library named after late Saraki


Kwara govt clears air on purported demolition of Library named after late Saraki

Following the purported demolition of library named after the late Olusola Saraki this week, the Kwara state government, through the chairman of Transition Inauguration Committee,TIC, Ilorin west local government, Mukhtar AbdulGafar Omotosho has cleared the air over the misleading information saying that, what looks like demolition to some people is a renovation exercise which is aimed to give a face lift to the government’s property.

Omotosho made the clarification in the state capital, Ilorin on Friday following reactions that greeted the exercise by members of the public including the former senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and his sister, Gbemisola Saraki.

Omotosho made it clear that the library belonged to government and was only named after Saraki. He also said that the library was being renovated and that after the exercise,would retain Saraki’ s name. Said he: “Our attention has been drawn to what seems like a deliberate misinformation by some idle hands on the planned renovation of one of our properties at Ilorin West Local Government named after the late Olusola Saraki.

He said dilapidated and vandalized property belongs to the people of Ilorin West. In other words, it is a public library constructed with public funds, but named after the late politician. Community representatives led by Mallam Abdulganiyu Salihu Onifila cried out to the council to come to their aids by making use of the place for betterment of the community and local government at large.

“ This property, long in disuse, had been in a state of horrible disrepair over the years and was serving as a haven for criminal elements, thereby posing threats to public safety.

“Since our coming on board, we have received several public appeals to do something about the dilapidated structure to give it a face-lift and put it to good public use.

“ It is against this background that we have saved to rehabilitate the facility by making it an ICT Centre-Library for public use, especially in this age of information communication technology.

“ To begin this work, the old structure needed to give way, hence the demolition and packing of same that began last week.

“ We wish to emphasise that this is a public facility owned by the Ilorin West Local Government. Naming it after the late politician was simply honorary.

“ The local government recognises the need to give honour to whom it is due. The facility will retain the honorary name after the rehabilitation, just like we have other public facilities named after eminent Kwarans, late or alive. We do not see any need for anyone to play cheap politics with the action of the local government over its own property.”

Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for enterprise, Hajia Arinola Lawal also spoke on the government move, according to her; “the rebuilding and expansion of the derelict library owned by the local government is very laudable. Especially commendable and exemplary is the large-heartedness of the APC administration to retain the name of Saraki on the edifice. This is more so when Senator Bukola Saraki and his late father did not extend such humanity and courtesy to my late father when they took over in 2003,” Hajia Arinola, who is a daughter of the late former governor, said in a statement.

“One recalls that Saraki removed everything Lawal from all government’s properties when they took over the rein of government in 2003. It is an irony of fate to hear the same person who embodies vindictiveness to want to bring down the roof just because the local government wanted to renovate a facility that belongs to the public but was just named after his father. But one is glad to be alive to witness history and even more significant to the course of history is the magnanimity of the APC administration not to toe that horrible path.”

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