By Ibraheem Solaudeen.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has lamented the unlawful appropriation of over 90 state-owned properties by officials of the past administration.
According to the governor, the illegality was uncovered by the report of the Senator Sulaiman Ajadi-led Committee which the state government had set up to probe the handling of public assets since 1999.
He queried why government properties were daringly misappropriated without any restraint. A situation he added, hamstrung the capacity of the state to host dignitaries from other parts of the country.
“The (Senator Ajadi) committee did a very good job. They submitted two reports and we’re waiting for the final report. It is unfortunate that from my little reading of it so far, people just shared government property as if it was their fiefdom. They did not even think for one second that it was government property.
“For example, you give property to Harmony Holdings to invest on behalf of the state as trust and those in Harmony Holdings just shared the properties among themselves, even selling below the valuation prices. Even those in government did the same thing. There is a new layout called New GRA, none of them went there to build new houses because it was cheaper to pick government houses for next to nothing rather than build their own houses. We will look at the recommendations.
“In fact, some of them just live in those houses without paying anything while most of them only started paying after the election was won and lost to the extent that the state government does not have enough accommodation to accommodate dignitaries and traditional rulers from other states to host them rather than putting them in the hotel. That’s how they shared the property and we are looking at more than 90 properties which they carved out for themselves. We’ll go back to the report of the panel and make sure the proper thing is done”, the governor said in a breakfast meeting with journalists on Thursday.
Governor Abdulrazaq also set up a 15-man committee, to clean up the state and eradicate environmental disasters.
The committee, chaired by ex-Chief Judge, Justice Raliat Elelu is expected to look into environmental issues, such as unlawful dumping of waste and other violation that endanger public health.
“We have also set up a committee …headed by Justice Raliat Elelu to look at the issue top down on environment and once they submit their report things will start changing. If you drive through our major roads, you will see rubbish … But give us time all these will be a thing of the past”, Governor Abdulrazaq said.