Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has on Friday May 28, 2021, dismissed claims by a panel set up by the current governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazak, on sales of public assets as lacking in governance and investment understanding while also decrying the quality of lexis and grammar of the entire statement.
The former governor made this response barely 24 hours after the Hussein Buhari-led panel probing the sales of public assets by administrations from 1999 to 2019 made a public statement recommending arrest and prosecution of both Saraki and his immediate successor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Sanator Saraki, through Abdulqadir Abdulganiy, the press officer on local matters who is also the Bukola Saraki media aide, said, “that the entire exercise embarked on by the probe panel on asset sales in Kwara was outright shenanigan, purely diversionary and shouldn’t be taken seriously”.
He added, “First, neither Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki who left the Office of Governor of Kwara State ten years ago nor Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed, the immediate last Governor got an invitation to appear before any investigative and fact-finding panel set up by the Abdulrazaq administration.
“Thus, it is clear that the so-called investigation being conducted is not about finding facts. It is about throwing mud and staining the predecessors of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in Office,”.
Going further to draw attention to lapses in the claims made by the panel whose statement was diseminated via the state governor’s media outlet, he pointed out the claims made by the panel as quite contradictory with the actions of the governor.
“Kwara Mall is a project on the decision taken by the Saraki administration. It stands today as the epicentre of economic activity in Ilorin, the state capital.
“In fact, its importance is further underscored by the decision of the government to give the owners of businesses inside the mall a grant totaling about N1 billion to cushion the harsh effect of the ‘End SARS’ protest on their property, Saraki further explained.
According to the former governor, it is obvious that the mall provides direct and indirect employment to hundreds of Kwarans.
“Dr. Saraki is proud that his administration initiated the idea where Ilorin became the first town outside Lagos to host a Shoprite in its mall.
On the Shonga Farms, the former Senate President alleged that it one of the projects on which the state government seeks to make the Saraki administration look bad.
“This Shonga Farms more than anything demonstrates the cluelessness of the current governor of Kwara State and his advisers.
“That is why on some occasions, key officials of the administration will hold the Shonga Farms as a glory of Kwara State and on some other occasions, like the case of the press statement under reference, it will seek to paint it in bad light.
“We are surprised that other companies that this government facilitated their investment into Kwara State like Dangote Flour Mills were not being cited as examples of how the previous administrations ‘misapplied’ the resources of the state.
“This same Shonga Farms is not only a model how we need commercial farming to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria but it is the second commercialism farm in the country. The farm today has an investment worth over $100 million and has in its service over 1000 Kwarans in the state. It is a project that went through the scrutiny of President Olusegun Obasanjo and the CBN”, he stated.
Saraki also accused Abdulrazaq’s administration of woeful failure to attract any investment in its two-years in office and has rather resorted to making false claims about how BUA Investments came to Lafiagi.
Instead, said Saraki, the BUA Investment in Kwara is a brain child of his and that of his immediate predicesssor.
“It is clear that the press statement under reference is another one of the tactics of Abdulrazaq to divert the attention of the people from his non-performance and lack of tangible projects that can be showcased during the second anniversary of his administration, which is about 48 hours away,” Saraki added.
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