By Abdulwahab Oba
Is anyone surprised about the new law of our governor? Why should anyone be? That he once again denigrated our place of worship? Is this the first time he attacked the very fabrics of our heritage and our tradition? Is this his maiden voyage in the now seemingly orchestrated, but covert war against the emirate?
Has anyone forgotten the sudden cancellation of the 2021 Durbah without consultation with the Emir, the custodian of our heritage? And for that sacrilegious
and ignominious decision, our governor cited security concerns. Assuming without conceding that there was a security concern, did the “security concern” prevent consultation with the Emir?
Now, it is our central mosque. The mosque of the Maimartaba. The mosque where the Emir observes his weekly jumaat service, except he’s not at home, like this instant case. In the hierarchy of the Ilorin Emirate Traditional Council, Waziri Ngeri is next to the Emir. And like his late father, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, President of the 8th Senate is the current Waziri Ngeri of the Emirate.
But agents of the street-boys head boy would not allow the Waziri Ngeri to take his traditional seat in the mosque. They must act the script of their master. They must again desecrate our place of worship. They must challenge the authority of the Emir to appoint a Waziri Ngeri. The Waziri Ngeri must not stand in for the Emir. Another defilement! Another attack on the Emirate!
The head boy is confused. He’s nervous about pending electoral defeat. Anarchy has descended upon his estate. The ever-growing popularity and acceptability of the Waziri Ngeri are making him lose sleep, and so acting irrationally. He’s possibly now mentally unstable to act rightly.
His defilement is too numerous to catalogue. AbdulRahman’s multiple wars against our community are very obvious to be ignored. The world over, state capitals are the investors’ gazes to what obtains in the states. Thus, smart political leaders while in the office spend more on states’ capitals as marketing tools to drive investment, knowing full well its multiplier effects would rub off on the remaining parts of their states.
During the tenure of Dr Bukola Saraki as governor, he had this in mind and so spent considerable time investing in the infrastructure development of Ilorin, the state capital. One of his first major steps was to move state functions from the Ilorin stadium, pointing out that the stadium is meant for an entirely different business according to international sporting standards. He, therefore, built the Metropolitan Square and ensured all public ceremonies that would attract large crowds of people were held in the square.
Fast-forward to 2022. The Square is now a ghost of its old self. It has been taken over by weeds, and men smoking the other weed to commit atrocities in town. The once inviting Metropolitan Square is now an eyesore, and that is for want of a better word to describe the filth and abandonment the edifice has suffered. In nearly four years, AA has done nothing to help the square. No, let me take back that. In nearly four years, AA has done everything to kill that Square. And he has scored an AA in that effort. All because of hatred for another man. But my major concern is that in this development, it is the Ilorin Emirate that is the victim. AA is hurting the Ilorin people with his unbridled hatred for Saraki.
Another ugly scenario revolves around the Geri Alimi Flyover. I have posted a video showing how the stretch of road from the airport to the flyover and its environs looked when governor Abdulfatah Ahmed commissioned that flyover in 2019. By design, the successor government was meant to complete phase 2 of the project which would empty the stormy water. The flyover and its environment were a wonder to behold, especially at night. And the wonder would have continued had AA decided to continue with the second phase of the project. There is no justification for refusing to continue the second phase that would have meant the completion of the entire project.
Just as there was no justification for even abandoning the first phase. But, typical of him, AA not only refused to continue with the second phase, but our governor also abandoned the first phase. And, like Metropolitan Square, the flyover and its environment have become another issue of concern. Again, the Emirate is also the victim. One day the people of Ilorin will ask questions from AA why he decided to destroy every legacy project that was meant to add beauty to the state capital and assist her economic potential. That day is sooner here, come the next polls.
Like the Metropolitan Square, like the Flyover. And also like the Light Up Kwara Project which started in Ilorin. That too has also been condemned to the dustbin by AA and Ilorin is worse for it. This was a project meant to achieve many purposes; provide night illumination, and thereby encourage a night market system with positive multiplier effects on the local economy. It was also meant to beautify the state capital in the nighttime and of course, aid security. Well, what shall we even say here about this when it is no longer news that the entirety of our government house spends more time in darkness?
But it is Ilorin that is the victim again, of a man who used deception to win the hearts of the people by painting his kinsman in negative colours just because of the lust for power.
What of the Advanced Diagnostic Centre that was meant to drive medical tourism to Kwara? It is gone. Because a man decided not to ‘push’ what was done by someone else, out of envy, I dare say. But we, the innocent people of Ilorin, are the victims of this unkind cut from AA. We should have been allowed to continue to enjoy our metropolitan square and our diagnostic centre and our flyover and every other project that was designed to beautify our homeland and make our economy better.
What about the cargo wet station which would have attracted unprecedented business activities to the Emirate and created job opportunities for kwarans? Rather than establishing his garment industry elsewhere, AA decided to destroy another legacy project located in the Emirate.
But this war against the Emirate shall end very soon, by the grace of the Almighty Allah. The God that ended the reign of Pharaoh and his atrocities on the people of Egypt will soon bring the war on the Emirate to an end.