By Mumini AbdulKareem
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has been accused of plans to recruit some willing leaders in Kwara North senatorial district to blackmail former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki over the Shonga farms project.
Towards this end, the governor, the group claimed, has concluded plans to enlist some community leaders in the region to file a suit against the state government over the ownership and control of the land on which the Shonga Integrated Farms being operated by Zimbabwean farmers for commercial agriculture was located.
The cost of the litigation to which a Lagos based Senior Advocate (name withheld) has been contracted to represent the community leaders is to be underwritten by the governor, the group noted.
In a press statement signed by the chairman of Kwara Stability and Integrity Forum (KSIF), a think- tank, Bar Mamud Kunle Usman, the governor is desperate “in winning back the heart of the Kwara North people he deliberately shortchanged and hurt badly with the VC position of KWASU that he took away from them.
“We understood he (Governor) need something to warm is way into the heart of the Kwara North people, but this is not the way to go, it’s a road that will lead to economy perdition of Shonga and Kwara North district in general”.
The part of the statement read:
“In a very devious game aimed at hitting at past governments in the state, particularly the ones headed by former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, Abdulrahman had heavily induced the community leaders who are to be represented in court by a Lagos-based Senior Advocate.
“Also, the forum gathered from reliable sources that the Governor will also underwrite the cost of litigation on behalf of the Shonga community leaders and the community leaders who have equally being intimidated and coerced by the Governor are now being prepped in readiness for the commencement of the suit.
“With the plan, Abdulrazaq hopes to not only halt the progress already recorded by the farmers in the last 15 years that the Shonga Farms project was initiated by the Saraki administration but to also ridicule the former Senate President and one of the major achievements of his administration.
“The forum learnt that Abdulrazaq resorted to the ‘round-trip litigation method’ following his discovery that contrary to his claims during the electioneering period that the project was a fraud and that it had been appropriated by Saraki and his family, the initiative was a solid one which had turned Shonga around with employment opportunities, integrated farming and revenue yields for both the investors and the government.
“The KSIF hereby advised Governor Abdulrazaq to desist from this game of blackmail and stop the move that may destroy a project that has brought so much development and employment to Kwara State.
“We advise Governor Abdulrazaq to stop this circus show. In a few weeks, it will be one year anniversary of his government. He should start thinking about his own legacy projects, instead of seeking to blackmail and make his predecessors and past governments look bad.
“It is clear that Shonga Farms is a good project and is not owned by the Sarakis. The present government should seek to maximize the benefit that Kwara State and its people can derive from it”, the group stated.
By Mumini AbdulKareem