By Kennedy Dimaku
Hon Iliasu Ibrahim is representing Ipaiye/Maleta/Oloru constituency in Kwara State House of Assembly. He was recently in Abuja for Kwara G3, a forum aimed to chat a way to move Kwara State forward. Kennedy Dimaku cornered him and he bore out his mind that the former governor, Senator Bukola Saraki has some secrets he is hiding from Kwara people. In this interview, he says more on his relationship with the house members and the slavery in the state. Excerpt:
What is Kwara G3 and what do you intend to achieve by this Stakeholders forum?
I deem it to be a very good assembly of all elites from Kwara State trying to put their heads together and find a way to move the state forward. It is a welcome development and effective to help us pursue a right course in order to move the state forward. We are all aware of the problem we have in Kwara State. Most of the problem is perpetual slavery of our people (citizens) which we know will not come to an end unless all the elites are able to come together and find lasting solution to the problem of the people.
You recollect that during the last Idi Kabir festival, towards the end of it, some people went to a particular house, that is the house of Senator Bukola |Sarakis’ all in search of what they would eat, and how much was given to each person, N500. Unfortunately, when they got there, something happened along the line, over 200 persons lost their lives. But the government of Kwara State was saying it was four persons. We know the families of the people that were affected which were the problem.
This gets to show that Kwara people are battle ready to make the desired change, change for the better. That is just the purpose and with the commitment of every member that has come on board, we will get to where we are going and it will be achieved.
This slavery you talked about has been there for decades, do you think that this stakeholders Forum has the capacity to dismantle and extricate the people from it.?
Yes, you see what we have been having in Kwara is a one-man show. That is an individual determining the fate of millions of people of the state. We feel the only way out is to have collective leadership, have collective responsibility so that the issue of one man show will be a thing of the past. And every hand must be on the deck to bring ideas on the ways of moving Kwara forward. The issue of poverty as far as Kwara State is concerned is on a very high level.
I have already told you that people want in search of what they would eat during the festival. Ordinarily, they were supposed to be in their houses and enjoy the festival with their families but because they did not have something to eat.
You were suspended from the house sometime ago, what really led to your suspension?
In my own case, sometimes last year, May 17th to be précised, I believe you have been following the trend of events in Kwara State. I challenged the speaker of the house of assembly of misappropriation of funds of the house. And the order was to ask me to go on suspension. The whole house ganged up against me and suspended me. I was placed on three months suspension. There after I was recalled. But Even as I am talking to you, my five months salary and allowance are been withheld.
What has been your position in the house?
My position in the house has been quite different from other member’s position. And as an individual, yes, I can make noise. I can say so many things but the majority will still have their way. So in most cases when there is debate on the floor of the house, at times I would raise up my hand to make some contributions. But the speaker would deliberately ignore me. And if I decided to get up and talk, it make me nuisance. I can not continue to be seen to be a nuisance as old as I am. So, in that case, I would keep quite and watch them. Though they have been seeing those things I have always told them.
In most cases, I went to the speaker and told him that his position on any situation was not right. Kwara State is the only state where a first timer in the house is made the speaker of the house. Ordinarily, somebody who has not got the experiences and has no knowledge of legislation would not come and head the house.
There is a reason for that. The governor of the state and the speaker of the house of Assembly were both commissioners of finance for the eight years period that Senator Bukola Saraki was the governor in Kwara State. They know much about the finance of the state. But in order to cover up certain things they do not want the public to know, that is why this people were put in these key positions so that they would keep the secret.