Hard times: Ex-Kwara council chairmen sell houses, cars, other property to survive 


By Mumini AbdulKareem

For three years, they were the defacto bosses of their respective local government councils in Kwara State, calling the shot and dictating the pace of governance.
As elected chairmen, they were fully in charge of administrative and financial matters and even engaged in subtle employments.
But less than 12 months after their exit, the stories of some of them can only be described as pathetic to say the least.
Today, the table has turned and most of the ex-council bosses are now highly in need of the employment they once had in their kitty and also desirous of political patronage to remain relevant.
Was it nemesis which is often described as asasi in local parlance or an issue of not getting their priorities right during their glory days?
What is certain however is that this is definitely not the best of times for some ex-local government chairmen in Kwara State.
For those conversant with the pitiable development, the affected ex-council chairmen have not only started selling their cars and houses among other property few months after leaving office but some of them are owing their domestic staff backlog of salary.
National Pilot gathered that one of the chairmen (name withheld) recently disposed his car and subsequently put his house up for sale.
A source who spoke on the issue on condition of anonymity described the situation of the former council bosses as “shocking and troubling”, adding that the matter should serve as a great concern and lesson for others going into public offices.
“He(ex-council chairman) recently disposed his car and shortly after he put his house up for sale. The circumstance is very troubling and to think that he was one of those you would refer to as “high flyers” makes it very disturbing.
“The irony is that those ordinarily seen to be amassing wealth and property while their tenures lasted despite the difficult situation of the councils then are the worst hit today. For those that really worked for the people, they are not facing such challenge. It is really soul searching,” the source added.
Another source who also spoke on the issue last night, confided in this medium that a former chairman has locked up his office complex located in one of the highbrow areas in the metropolis as he could not meet up with running cost of the office.
He added that some of his domestic staff like drivers and others are currently owed up to nine months salaries.
“Most of the ex-chairman employees who could not wait for his numerous failed promises have left and he now drives himself around and do most of the chores himself.”
Meanwhile, another former council boss was said to have escaped the wrath of the “good boys” recently at a social function for failure to redeem some of his former promises, when he was accosted.
“When the ex-council boss arrived a social function, the boys accosted him demanding for the promises he made to them. He could not meet up and was almost beaten but for the quick intervention of pelicans and security men at the occasion.”

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