BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – As controversy over the land reclaimed from the Saraki family continues, Kwara Government has dismissed as untrue allegations that contentious land is an ancestral home of the late strongman of Kwara politics.
“The property being reclaimed by the state government is not Saraki’s ancestral home as being portrayed in some section of the media.
“The Saraki’s ancestral home is in Agbaji, while the property we are talking about is in the heart of Government Reserved Area (GRA), Ilorin”, the State government said.
A statement by Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq said in Ilorin on Thursday that; “The government position is that the land was (and still is) a public property originally meant for the construction of a secretariat, a civil service clinic and parking lots.
“However, ownership of the property was spuriously transferred to a private firm and for commercial purpose without the firm paying a kobo to government or obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy,” the statement said.
According to Ajakaye, the government only reclaimed the land in the spirit of what it was originally meant for.
Also speaking on the issue, the Kwara State Commissioner for Communications, Alhaji Murtala Olanrewaju said government has already commenced physical reclamation of the land. which commenced in the early hours of Thursday to avoid needless confrontation.
Olanrewaju said in a statement that; “Attempts by some persons to provoke government’s agents on lawful duty were resisted by the security agents who exercised highest level of restraint and professionalism.”
Dismissing claims in some quarters that the State government was served court papers on the matter. the Commissioner said; “We state that no court paper has been served as at the time the government took steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people.”
He said it was important for the people of the state to remain calm, peaceful and be guided only by facts of the matter, adding that the people must not be drawn into emotional outbursts targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake.
Olanrewaju said; “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.”