By Adetunji Ayobrown
What have we done to deserve this? Crying and yelling, old women and men as they struggled with life while the noisy and jerky machines with assistance of policemen teargas roll into action destroying the prayer home of the less privileged, abode of old citizen this terrible midnight. While some of them are praying, the drums of war and violent destruction of security agents woke even neighbours who are in deep sleep. As anything sight must be destroyed was song that rented the air, such on defenceless and innocent Nigerians. Kai! Truly, we may be evolved but deep down, some are still brute animals. Old women too numerous to count deserves new year gifts, midnight weeping and sorrowful tears as teargas from the security agents dealt with them common criminals. Unbelievable, many are still in shock and wounds.
Whatever the motive, many described the action by the Kwara state government as a wrong turn. Imagine, like a battalion ready to conquer a nation, policemen numbering over fifty came in their vehicles to enforce the action. Political vendetta and nothing else, it is too obvious people are serious in condemnations. Imagine! In the dead of the night, at about 3:00am policemen, heavily armed to their teeth came and guarded those that pulled down the only and renowned Ile Arugbo, Ilorin poor peoples’ home structure.
As early as they could, many were seen gathered around discussing and raising unprintable words on the state government as soon as the incident was heard the Thursday morning. The terrible news that the government actualised the demolition came as a surprise and broke with heaviness that such could happen in Ilorin. Why would he do it? Many Kwarans and residents were heard asking governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasak whom all believed and accused of vendetta tendencies since the beginning of his administration.
Talo wo Ile Arugbo? Who demolished Ilorin old peoples’ home, and why? These and many are the some questions on many lips till this moment. Even in cab, taxis, at newspaper stands and drinking joints, anywhere you see people gathered, it is the latest and horrific news, even at motor parks.
The Kwara state government has demolished the Saraki’s political home better known as ‘Ile Arúgbó’ in Ilorin, the building was demolished early Thursday morning after security operatives dispersed protesters, including aged women within the complex, allegedly with intent of brutality and force.
Oh! Ile Arugbo, Ilorin abode that catered for the old and quite a number of the Kwara politicians for many decades, the poor peoples’ refuge, prayer point, home where the denied and unacceptable in the society became acceptable! Truly, the deed had indeed been done, and this attracted many people who were seen gathered in disbelief and disdain.
This is nothing but playing politics with bitterness. Feelers from across the nation, including those of different political ideologies implied that the state government has shown that the man at the helms of affairs was out to settle family personal scores with the Sarakis. Without any iota of doubt, not a few saw it in bad light. Those who reacted pointed out that nothing short of this would have been expected from an unmatured person. Don’t you think too?
Though elders in the state had made several frantic efforts to dissuade him, yet the governor carried out his threat. Not a few residents and indigenes of the State felt that Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq actually crossed the line of decency after interventions by Kwara political and religious fathers, leaders and groups. Kwara government trying to erase my father’s legacy, the former senate president, Bukola Saraki’s had called out to all on what such action could potent as same was reactions from many residents of the state even before ‘Ile Arugbo’ was demolished’.
Prominent sons and daughters of Ilorin emirate also criticised the move, warning that the resultant effect of such political rascality on the global image of the home of Islam, Ilorin Emirate, which was for centuries known for peace would not be palatable. Governor AbdulRazaq in December, 2019 announced his decision to revoke the late Olusola Saraki’s property owing to alleged illegality in its acquisition, stating that the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic. True or false, the ideal thing was the house and government to do a thorough job of proving the allegation. And why hurriedly carried out such action, since when parking lot became Kwara state number one priority.
Your actions are like artworks, but just like one mortal among others, the law ‘avoid the temptation of showing how clever you are, it is far more clever to conceal the mechanism of cleverness…actions that may turn bitter lessons had been taken without human face.
How will these old women and men alike fare? The helpless and poor people dependants of the kind-heartedness gestures, destroying their meeting point impunity is democratic. Nothing but political immaturity and gangsterism, many described such behaviour till moment
But when a performer put too much drama in his act, seemingly trying to break illusion, it makes his audiences uncomfortable and this is what happened on the demolition of Ile Arugbo. This marks the beginning of such callousness, alien to Ilorin rich cultural heritage and traditions all in the name of politics.
Even without any alternative, removing such structure deserves courtesy and political considerations, as this requires no specialisation to understand or question the developed democracy. What happened could be term as destruction of poor people’s property in Kwara and not Saraki’s buildings, even Abdulrazak’s kinsmen disagreed with his unpopular actions. They cautioned against what such could cause in this present day democratic dispensation where innovations and better ideals thrive.
Whatever it’s worth, to labour at what you are doing and make issues over it shows an extreme lack of grace and decorum, though brutality may have won today, because the Saraki dynasty is your sworn enemy, Kwarans want to assure you that many other political ideologists had tried but cannot rout out the peoples’ love, especially by people of Ilorin Emirates’. Admiration for his philosophy is something that spread easily and effortlessly, Saraki’s dynasty is a prototype for many and this is an opened secret. Ilorin is known to speak in one voice concerning many important situations, politics aside, most people that matter never saw Kwara state government’s action as sane, Talo wo ‘Ile Arugbo? Kwarans want to know.
Is Kwara, the state of Harmony on its way to disintegration? Perhaps you can’t see it too. Instead of development what we have is politics of bitterness, even if the Sarakis are your enemies, what about those thousands of helpless masses, young and old Nigerians, and Kwarans alike eating, feeding and solely depending on this home even among your own family and relations. Ilorin Emirate citizen took to whoever involved to condemnations Golgotha and still counting in millions.
Kwara governor can at least ask for the sales payment for such land. Because it a known fact, the beneficiary, late Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki had done more for Kwarans, even little children known this. Destroying Baba Saraki’s legacy is undemocratic even not Islamic. President Mohammadu Buhari, Northern Elders Union, and all Nigerians elders should caution governor Abdulrasaq on what such campaign of calumny, politics with bitterness can cause our progress.
‘Ile Arugbo, Oh poor peoples’ home? Unbelievable some said while many are still trooping in to confirm, cursing with unprintable words. Ilorin is known for peace, caution is the watch word.
No shame in saying you lost a step, but the only shame is not admitting it before it is too late. Demolision of Ile Arugbo affects not just Saraki or his political ideology but the same Kwarans you sworn to protect and governed, don’t you think sir?
Adetunji Ayobrown is a Public Affairs Analyst.