Groups known as Reformist Progressives Forum (RPF) and Gamji Members Association of Nigeria (GMAN) have condemned the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) over its comments on the Kwara State Government’s revocation of an expanse of land allegedly acquired illegally by the late kingpin of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Saraki.
“We at Reformist Progressive Forum have studied the statement credited to one Yerima, President of AYCF, who was quoted to have accused the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, of using force to hijack the property of the said land located in Ilofa Road, GRA, Ilorin,” said a statement issued by RPF President Nasiru Suleiman.
Suleiman accused Shettima of lacking in knowledge about the history of the state, adding that “it shows that AYCF has been politicised and has lost focus as it praises and supports impunity, immorality and abuse of power.”
Suleiman asked: “Before bulging into an affair of the state of Kwara through your paymaster and as a law abiding Nigerian youth, did your paymaster provide to you the certificate of occupancy and proof of payment for such property that will serve as a proof that the said land was revoked illegally?”
He added that “the government claimed the said land has been proposed to be used for the building of secretariat by the civil service while your paymaster dubiously acquired it; did you make findings to ascertain this claim before coming to the media?
“All relevant stakeholders in Kwara State are on the same page with the state government because we have a state with people that distaste corruption, impunity and misuse of power.”
The Coordinator of GMAN, Dr Ghali Mohammed, hailed the state governor for recovering a public land unlawfully converted to private use without any payment made to the public coffers.
He added that discussions around the recovery of the land (known as Ile Arugbo) have been mostly sentimental with very few people commenting on the legality or morality of anybody appropriating public property without any lawful authorisation.
The statement reads: “We are appalled at the sentiment people have brought to a simple matter of logic and law, and we regret that such mentality is at the heart of our problem as a people. “Things have been so muddled up that the people are unable to pinpoint what the issues are.
“We want to make it clear that the only question Senator Bukola Saraki or his vuvuzelas are required to answer is whether the land in question was legally acquired.
“If the land was legally acquired and a government plans to seize it, then that is vendetta and it should be challenged to the logical conclusion.
“However, if there is no legal document backing such acquisition, the whole noise comes to naught and should be ignored.
“If there is no such document as the government has said, then we throw our weight behind the Governor. He should go ahead to recover the land in public interest, because not doing so can only strengthen impunity and anyhow, which has brought Kwara State to this sorry pass.
“The noisemakers should give peace a chance.”