By Iyanda Gafar
In another act of ignominy, a public library complex named after the political icon, sage and philanthropist Olusola Saraki, along Agbo-Oba Road has been demolished allegedly by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, based on the superfluous claim that the library complex has become dilapidated and had become a hideout for unscrupulous elements.
Such excuses do not fly in the face of reality. After public outpouring of strong outrage about this dastardly act, the Ilorin West Local TIC quickly claimed responsibility for the demolition saying that it was done in an effort to reconstruct the library complex. This is a damage control effort to placate discontent which is being aired from every quarters of the state.
Taking a cursory look at the claims of the local government TIC, it is an insult to collective intelligence of Kwarans who have continued to hold the late Dr Olusola Saraki in reverence and high esteem. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the building is dilapidated, why can’t the local government TIC renovate this building which would have cost less than total reconstruction? For an administration claiming to be in financial crunch, this would be a complete waste of scarce resources.
The second reason even sounds less convincing, if hoodlums have taken over the library complex, what would it cost the local government TIC to deploy security agents to the complex to dissuade such elements from seeking habitation in the library complex? Hypothetically speaking, if criminal elements inhabit other desolate public buildings across the local government area, does it mean the TIC would demolish all these buildings? This is laughable and incongruous, another macabre dance of shame by the hidden hand.
Kwarans are not fooled with all these frivolous excuses because they are students of history, but let those who believe in their narrow prism that demolishing buildings will erase the legacy of a titan, Dr Olusola Saraki, wake up from their slumber. Dr Olusola Saraki is a rare gem who positively touched the lives of those who came across him, both home and abroad and left an indelible mark on the face of the earth. The late Olusola Saraki was the leader of the Senate between 1979 to 1983, the father of former Senate President and National Leader of the PDP, Dr Bukola Saraki and a present serving Minister of the Federal Republic, Gbemisola Saraki.
It is an exercise in futility by those who assumed governance, armed only with personal vendetta, to attempt to eradicate the legacy of the late Waziri and the strongman of Kwara politics, through such tactless act like demolition of structures. The late ‘Oloyee’ is a school of thought, an ideology that lives in the heart of his followers. Let it be known that this exercise in sheer bitterness only has one guaranteed outcome; it will further increase the commitment of the lovers of this giant to his political cum philanthropic philosophy.
Kwarans are not deceived by an act that carried the emblem of personal vendetta which has reduced governance in Kwara State to a crude and archaic level. This is an obvious sign of panic mode, reminiscent of an administration which has driven itself in a logjam and estranged itself from the Kwarans through uninspiring performance.
If the “Ilorin West Local Government TIC” is bent on demolition of buildings to erase the historical legacies of Dr Olusola Abubakar Saraki, then it should be prepared to destroy a lot of structures not just in its local government area but across Nigeria.
The more they tried to blow out the light of Oloye, the more it shines brighter. The more building they demolish, the more they reveal their hidden agenda. Kwarans have now seen them for what they really are; they are agents of destruction who are deprived of developmental ideals or policies to offer Kwarans.