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Exclusive: Presidency sanctioned Gbemi’s attack against Abdulrazaq

By Mumini AbdulKareem

More details emerged last night on how the Presidency reportedly sanctioned the attack of the Minister of State for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki against Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq following the demolition of Ile-Arugbo.

The contentious property regarded as late Saraki’s political fortress located along Ilofa road, GRA Ilorin, was ordered to be pulled down by the Governor over allegation that its acquisition did not follow due process in line with the regulations of the government.

Following the demolition, the Governor had come under heavy attack and criticism from some Kwarans and the Sarakis including many from outside the state who accused him of vindictiveness and political vendetta.

There had been reports that the President was not happy about the “thoughtless” action of the Governor which further attracted attack from the Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

According to the Minster, in a press statement on the issue that was dripping with venom, Gbemi decried the role of the Police in the whole saga and accused the Governor of being vindictive, envious, jealous and lack integrity.

“As one of the APC leaders in the State, I have consulted broadly and have also sent messages appealing to party members not to be provoked by this unwarranted assault on my late father. I do this with all sense of responsibility so that party cohesion and unity is not undermined by arbitrariness to rush into an attempt to settle perceived old generational family political scores. Revenge cannot be a policy thrust of governance.

“We must stand up against vindictive politics, driven by envy, motivated by jealousy and practiced without integrity” the minister added.

But speaking on the issue with National Pilot, last night, a close source to the Minster said the Presidency was aware of the response of the minister over the issue and fully sanctioned it against the Governor.

According to the source last night during a telephone chat from Abuja, “Gbemisola is well received in Aso Rock within the presidency including the President. The demolition of Ile-Arugbo by the Governor really angered her and the president and other top officials in the villa were not happy either about the incident.

“The statement she released after the demolition was not done in isolation as the presidency not only had the full knowledge of it but also sanctioned it”, the source who doesn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue added.

Governor Abdulrazaq while addressing State House Correspondents about his close-door meeting with the President had said the purpose was to pay the president a New Year visit and also used the opportunity to seek for federal government assistance to develop the state.

On Saturday, in its latest update on the issue, The Nation newspapers reported that the presidency was displeased with the Kwara Governor over the demolition of Ile-Arugbo.

 “Feelers from Abuja also indicate that the demolition exercise might have created a strain in the relationship between the Presidency and Governor Abdulrazaq.

“It was gathered that the power brokers in Abuja were angry that the governor went beyond the bounds in his avowed mission to checkmate Saraki’s hold on Kwara State.

“When the news of the demolition exercise got to the Presidency, an influential source in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa was sighted saying: “Who does this boy listen to? This is really embarrassing.”

“Thereafter, the Presidency waste no time in calling the governor to order, asking him to be more “temperate” in his actions”, it report added.

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