Question Gbemi Saraki must answer

BY ABDUL-RASHID BONJILO

Gbemisola Saraki needs no detailed introduction to those familiar with

Kwara politics. For those not familiar with Kwara politics, Gbemi Saraki, was a two-time Senator representing Kwara Central and now Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She is a daughter of late Abubakar Olusola Saraki and younger sister of the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Although both Gbemi and her brother Bokola share same parental background, however, according to some sections of the media, partisan politics divided them so sharply that they hardly see eye to eye. According to one account, even the death of their father did not bring them together under one roof. But as things stand today, the demolition, by the state government of their purported family house has exposed the fallacy about them (Gbemi and Bukola) concerning their so-called frosty relationship. We all can now see the lie behind the Sarakis in Kwara. They both made people to believe that the relationship between them was not at all cordial; this ‘not cordial’ relationship was designed with sole aim of diverting attention from their continued exploitation of the collective patrimony of the people of Kwara. On the surface you will see Bukola and Gbemi fighting each other but beneath it, they are in a good and cordial relationship.

This however, brings us to the issue of a letter which Gbemi) wrote and tagged, ‘For immediate release’ and titled: “Those who come to equity must come with clean hands, the demolition of IIe- Arugbo”. However, Gbemi’s letter did not come to the good people of Kwara state as a surprise as the they knew quite well that since Bukola had spoken, certainly Gbemi must follow suite since they both have one and same agenda which is continued domination of Kwara people.
In the said letter Gbemi alleged amongst other things that she always kept quite on the happenings in Kwara for a number of reasons topmost of which was because she is a loyal member of her party. She added “I don’t want to get into any squabble with the Governor despite so many provocations”. The question is, what sort of provocations by the governor is she talking about. What did the governor do to provoke her? Was it the exposure by the Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak led administration of the bazaar looting that went under the watchful eyes of her brother when he held sway as governor or was it the mindless looting carried out by her brother’s god-son, his successor, that constitute provocations to her? Since Abdul-razak assumed office in May last year as governor of Kwara state, it is to everybody’s knowledge that he has never carried out any programme or pursued any policy that was detrimental to the interest of the people of Kwara state. Or was pursuing good policies and programmes which core intentions are to uplift standard of living of ordinary Kwarans what she considers as provocative? If anything Gbemi Saraki owes it a duty to tell the good people of Kwara what Governor Abdulrazak did to her that was provocative.
Gbemi Saraki as serving Minister and loyal party member as she claimed indeed ought not to have uttered a word regarding the demolition of Ile- Arugbo. She knew quite well that their late father did not acquire such land legally; the land belongs to the good people of Kwara state and regardless of all the antics being employed by the Sarakis, what belongs to the people of Kwara must be returned to them.
After all, Gbemi Saraki has no moral right to talk about the demolition of IIe- Arugbo for the simple fact that what Governor Abdulrazak did was aimed at recovering what had been stolen from the people. Gbemi Saraki ought to have placed public interest over and above personal interest. By her action therefore, she has openly placed private interest over and above public interest which is a total and complete negation of the oath she took as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a civilized clime, this open abuse of office by Gbemi Saraki would have been instantly repudiated by discerning minds. Resignation as Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria is the only option left for Gbemi at the moment. Failing to do so, she should be fired out rightly. At a time when President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting corruption and abuse of office by public officers, we have here, a person who is a cabinet member in his government who not only demonstrated open disdain to transparency and accountability in governance but exhibited flagrant abuse of office through words and actions in her home state. President Muhammadu Buhari must do something urgently about this flagrant abuse of public trust by Gbemi to serve as a deterrent to all those who may wish to follow her path in his cabinet. Respect for rule of law, transparency and accountability are the core values of Buhari’s administration. For Gbemi to come out and challenge these principles in her state of Kwara amounts to total disrespect to the principles of President Buhari and what his government stands for.
Bonjilo wrote from Offa, Kwara state.

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