The present circumstance is so disturbing considering the rot prevalent in the state amusingly referred to as the ‘state of harmony’ that some have had to jokingly tag it ‘state of disharmony.’
A reliable source who craved anonymity informed First Weekly Magazine that, four years after Dr. Bukola Saraki left office after eight years at the helm of affairs, he is still holding the state by the jugular to the detriment of the socio-economic development of the state.
According to this source, Dr. Saraki cannot afford to let go of his stranglehold because of the need to cover alleged infractions during his tenure.
For instance, the issue of government land in choice areas of the state capital that was sold under his watch, which were done in dubious and controversial circumstances, was given as an example. That exercise is still a subject of litigation till date.
The result today is a state governed by proxy. The present Governor, AbdulFatah Ahmed, said to be a brilliant person, has been reduced to a stooge by Dr. Saraki and the present First Lady, Omolewa Ahmed is not spared the overbearing influence of the Sarakis because she is being treated with scorn and disdain by Dr. Saraki’s wife, Toyin, who our source claimed takes delight in insulting and trivializing her and her office.
For instance, Mrs. Toyin Saraki is allegedly still the de facto First Lady irrespective of the fact that the husband left office over four years ago.
A top government official, who pleaded not to be mentioned, told us that except divine help comes, Kwara State is gradually being re-colonized. The agency purportedly created and has continued to be used to achieve this ignoble aim is Harmony Holdings Limited, an investment holding company fully owned by the Kwara State Government.
The effect of this fraudulent arrangement is telling not only on the state in general terms but, particularly on the staff, whose condition and circumstance of service is akin to slave labour. Another establishment cited as a reflection of this anomaly in the way governance is being conducted in Kwara State is the sordid state of Kwara Hotels right now.
Investigations revealed that the entire fifth floor in the new wing of the hotel is allegedly in a complete state of disrepair as a result of the use to which it was put by Senator Saraki and his cronies. The Governor, according to an inside source, was tactically prevented from accessing that floor recently, when he embarked on a visit to the hotel. “That floor stinks to high heavens,” a source revealed.
Another source shed more light on happenstances in the state, echoing the thoughts of other Kwarans and wonder why Senator Saraki’s pursuant to the obnoxious, immoral and insensitive pension law he enacted for himself, while in office is allegedly draining the lean treasury of the state to the tune of N100 million monthly apart from the multi-million Naira mansion at No. 1A, Museum Street, GRA, Ilorin which the present government has been building since inception. Our source asked rhetorically, why would Senator Saraki further draw any pension at all, when he now enjoys far more perks as Senate President. The issue of the alleged difference in federal allocation to the state as declared by the government in contrast to the actual amount received aside other in-flows to the state has also been attributed to the negative influence of the Senate President, who regards the state as part of his estate with the present governor just a caretaker.
Our source revealed also that Saraki’s legendary arrogance as often exhibited in his dealings with cronies, friends and associates even those that are his late father’s contemporaries underlines the urgent need to save Kwara State and Kwarans from this modern day Pharaoh. He was once reputed to have called Chief Albert Ogunsola, his late father’s contemporary and most reliable confidant, by his first name and this is a man, who has children that are older than Senator Saraki during a political meeting.
On another occasion, Alhaji Umaru Saro, a leading industrialist in Nigeria, had to rebuke him publicly at the airport, when he greeted him lackadaisically; reminding him that even Oloye dared not try such with him. To buttress his arrogance, our source further claimed that even when he is having his political meetings a large number of people, visitors are made to sit on the floor, while this ‘Imperial” senator sits all alone on a chair.’that was not how his father won the hearts of the people in his life time’,said our source.
The source opined that there must be a limit to the comfort that a person, who has served in the office of a Governor should be entitled to, when he leaves office. Our source further gave an insight into the opulence of Dr. Saraki’s lifestyle at the expense of Kwarans with the under-stated as the benefits he has continued to enjoy even after leaving office and will continue to enjoy for as long as he lives.
Saraki is said to be entitled to two ‘befitting’ houses; one in Abuja and another in any location of his choice, he is still retaining his salary level as a governor and this is for life, he has eight-car convoy to be manned by eleven security guards and generous furniture allowance.
Apart from these, Saraki enjoys all-expenses paid annual vacation for him and members of his family to any destination in the world and all expense paid annual medical trip to any hospital of his choice abroad for him and his family.
This is happening in a state, which average citizen survives on less than two dollars a day.
Politically, Senator Bukola Saraki is said to be the lord of the manor, who brooks no opposition and dissent. The recent suspension of some APC chieftains in the state is allegedly attributed to the flexing of muscles by Senator Saraki.
A recent instance is the suspension of a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Alhaji Gold for being disrespectful to Senator Saraki. Before now, elected local council members in Kwara State in 2013 accused Senator Saraki of unjustly, illegally and unconstitutionally forcing them to resign from their respective positions.
The state house of assembly is said to be peopled by individuals that can’t do their own bidding, but take directives from Senator Saraki on any issue.
As of today in Kwara State, most if not all political office holders are alleged to owe their allegiance to Dr. Bukola Saraki and no one else.
With this complete take-over of the socio-economic life of Kwarans to their detriment, our source insinuated that the situation is beyond the ordinary, pointing out that while Nigerians are castigating the former Interior Minister for the deaths of job seekers during the Immigration Service Recruitment Exercise, more deaths have been recorded in Kwara State in stampedes involving people at Senator Saraki’s residence in Ilorin, who throng there for food and cash. It is being alleged that those deaths have never been investigated because nothing would ever come out of the exercise.
The present scenario in Kwara State has indeed confirmed Author P.D. Melita’s words who wrote that; “a vast amount of suffering is due to our own lust, to our feverish pleasure-seeking and self-indulgence, to our greed and our ambition,’ our source concluded.
HOW SARAKI MET AND FELL IN LOVE WITH LOLA ALAO
Much has been said and written on the activities of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, but one story that has consistently escaped from the public glare is the alleged romance between the new lord of Kwara politics and the controversial Kogi-born actress, Lola Alao.
According to a reliable source, the romance between the duo, which started about four years ago, was so hurt that Lola didn’t hesitate to ask the young man based abroad, who she just got married to then, to take a walk.
The source disclosed that Lola Alao got introduced to Bukola Saraki by one Lekan Olaosebikan, a young merry-go-lucky guy from Oro-Ago, Kwara State.
“What was supposed to be a one night affair suddenly developed to a full-blown romance, Bukola got stricken by the Cupid arrow of love that he started sending return tickets to Lola to visit him in Abuja and Ilorin, Kwara State. He also lodged Lola in one of the best hotels in Abuja and spent quality time attending to her needs not minding the fact that Lola was married then,” said the source.
Another source in the know of the romance told First Weekly Magazine exclusively that the lover-boy, Senator Bukola Saraki spared no cost to make Lola happy.
“They both traveled abroad together in the VIP class on international trips and I can tell you that it was the Senator that bought a house for her in the highbrow area of Magodo and also got a first rate interior designer to put the duplex in the type of shape that is “royally befitting,” that was the order given to the decorator,” said our source.
Saraki also bought the actress a brand new jeep to cap it all, with all these shower of love and affection, Lola’s head got turned away and she told her husband of just one year, Olawale Ajibola, who is based in the United States of America, that she wanted to opt out of the marriage.
It will be recalled that Lola Alao was once married to one Dare Ogunlade. Lola later met and married America-based Olawale Ajibola, this marriage did not last long as Olawale complained that Lola did not show enough commitment to the relationship and those in the know revealed that he actually got wind of his wife’s romance with Saraki and confronted her, but that instead of denying, she told him to get lost and Wale decided to pay her back by going after a close friend of her known as Becky and in no time, they got involved and moved on to Canada.
While the two marriages Lola had contracted left her with virtually nothing apart from her 11-year-old daughter, Omowunmi, the romance with Bukola Saraki is said to have brought her tremendous wealth.
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