Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq has demolished Saraki Library In Kwara, claiming it is used as a criminal hideout.
It was gathered that the library was demolished on Tuesday by the Transition Implementation Committee of the local government who claimed that the facility is being used as hideout by criminals.
Although the committee promised to remodel the facility as an ICT centre and still retain the honorary name after the rehabilitation, the timing fuelled insinuations of a political vendetta.
Governor Abdulrazaq and Bukola Saraki, the former Senate President whose father the library was named after, have been at political loggerheads amidst tussle for the control of the state’s politics.
Saraki Condemns Demolition Of Father’s Legacy Library
Reacting to the demolition on his Facebook page, Saraki insinuated that the state government delibrately masterminded the exercise to destroy his father’s legacies.
“Wow! I just got the news that the major official assignment carried out by the governor of my state, Kwara, today, is the demolition of an old public library named after my late dad, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
“May Almighty Allah continue to retain a place for Oloye in Aljannah Firdaus,” the former senate president wrote.
Bukola’s sister, minister of state for transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki also kicked against the demolision.
“Yet again, today we find that the Governor of Kwara State’s focus is not on building up Kwara, but on demolishing buildings which were owned or named after my late father, the Waziri of Ilorin.
“No matter how many structures are demolished, Baba Saraki’s legacy can never be destroyed, because it lives in the hearts and minds of the great people of Kwara. May Allah continue to guide and protect us all”, she tweeted.
Reason For Demolition of Saraki Library In Kwara
The Ilorin West Local Government has issued a quick clarification to set the records straight about the demolition of the library.
In a statement, the chairman, Mukhtar AbdulGafar Omotosho said the library 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.
“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.
“The 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 up to rehabilitate the facility by making it an ICT Centre/e-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.
Omotosho said the new library will retain its old name when completed.
“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”, he said.
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KanyiDaily had also reported how Kwara state government demolished the Sarakis’ political home better known as ‘Ile Arúgbó’ in Ilorin.