Controversy trails Kwara legislators’ alleged N240m trip to Rwanda

*We broke no law – House spokesman Some described the tour as "Naira Rain" for the Kwara lawmakers. But their apologists argued they broke no law

The reality, however, is that thirty members of the Kwara State House of Assembly flew out of the state penultimate week to Kigali, the Rwanda capital in the Eastern part of the African continent on a working trip.
The development, it was gathered, gulped over N240m as each of the lawmakers reportedly got N10m each.
Six other administrative staff of the House also embarked on the trip said to be led by the Clerk, Hajia Jummai Kperogi.
According to multiple sources at the legislature and government, the 24 elected members of the Kwara legislature including the Speaker, Engr Salihu Yakubu-Danladi, his Deputy, Hon Raphael Adetiba, Clerk, Hajia Halimah Jummai Kperogi, Hon Saheed Poloola and lone opposition member were part of the Kigali trip.
One of the sources who preferred not to be named said the journey was initially shrouded in secrecy.
“Even some of the parliamentarian staff were said to be kept in the dark as there was no official correspondence regarding it”, another source added.
National Pilot gathered that during the visit, the team visited the Legislative House of the Eastern African country and other “historic and memorable places”.
They returned to Ilorin late Friday evening by road after they arrived Lagos earlier in the day”, it was further learnt.
But several lawmakers who were part of the trip, however refused to disclose the actual amount received by each of the traveling members.
They also did not disclose their BTA for the journey.
According to one of them, “Nobody got any N10m to go Kigali. Traveling of this nature requires a lot of preparation. It was not a jamboree but one trip that will no doubt enrich our legislative process in Kwara”, he added.
On what informed the choice of Kigali, it was learnt that the lawmakers settled for the country because of it’s status as the emerging power house in the continent despite past troubles.
“Rwanda is presently the fastest growing economy and democracy in Africa.
“Despite what the country had gone through, especially the genocidal war which claimed over a million people, the country has gone ahead to rebuild itself and has now become a global reference point.
“So we believe this official trip will give the team the benefit to understudy first hand the wonders that is being reported about the country and how we can replicate and domesticate it in Kwara”, one of the officials said.
When contacted, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon Ayokunle Awolola told National Pilot through text messages, saying that trip to overseas is constitutionally right and not secret.
“I want you to know that, trip to overseas is a constitutional right.
At least a trip in a year.”
Hon Ayokunle further that, “this is going to three years of the 9th Assembly in Kwara State, we have not travelled to another country. This is our first trip.”
Given the motive behind the trip, he said that the traveling was as a result of the problem Nigeria is facing.
“we find out that so many countries have passed through what we are facing in Nigeria and they came out victoriously. With what we are facing now in Nigeria, we want to know which country had face something similar to what we are facing now.
“Travelling too long, we saw the rebirth of Rwanda and we chose to know the secret of the peace and good governance.
“Thus, the House of Assembly in Kwara is equipped with the way out if only everyone can speak in one voice to make Nigeria to be great again.
“This type of official trip is not what an individual will just be giving money to put in the wallet. Every Kobo is going to be accounted for. I don’t know how you arrived at 10 million naira. On how much the flight is, anybody can google that and know the flight ticket. “

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