Some prominent personalities from Saki, the hometown of Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, have accused him of planning to demolition a N20m Fire Serve Station.
Those who spoke at a press conference held in Ibadan, the State capital, said it was sad that the Station aimed to serve the needs of people of Saki, Iseyin, Tede, Igboho, Okeho and other towns within Oke-Ogun zone during emergencies has been marked for demolition.
They include Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Saki West Local Government, Alhaji Kareem Adegoke and his counterpart from Wewe Local Council Development Area.
Others include, National President of Saki Parapo, Alhaji Sule Lawal and the Akeweje of Saki, Chief Raimi Akande.
Also at the press conference were retired police officers, leaders of though and community leaders from Saki.
Adegoke, while speaking said the same land which the Minister intends to build a Computer Based Test (CBT) Centre had been allocated to Fire Service for the construction of a station, noting that the land belongs to Saki West Local Government and not the Minister.
He said the Minister should stop fighting a war of blame because it will be suicidal for him to allow his personal interest to override the interest of the public, the people of Saki, his hometown and other towns and villages in the Oke-Ogun area.
Adegoke said “Oke Dio, Ajumose Estate, those are the government landed property in Saki West LG. In year 2000 when private schools begin to spread, certain individuals came to the LG to request for land and by then the LG have a place headed by Chairman.
“NTA, Al-Sunna, Redeem requested for land some years back, Bayo Shittu requested for land; all these private individuals brought a reminder letter. The Committee sat, invited them and allocation were made.
“Alhaji Adebayo Shittu was given a piece of land and he was asked to pay N80,000 and he was to pay N3,240 per annum. He has since paid that N80,000 but between then 2000 to 2018, 18 years, the Minister had not paid one kobo.
“Now after all these lands were allocated, there was a small piece left, Bayo Shittu wanted to annex it with his school, the council management went against it because that land has been allotted to DSS. But DSS said that land was small.
“The Fire Service approached Parapo. Let me remind you that in year 2005, Oyo State House of Assembly legislated that we should have a befitting ultra modern fire station. The approval was given by the then Commissioner for Water, which means fire service had already gotten an approval to construct fire station.
“All that land in Oke-Dio belongs to the government. Two plots were allocated to Parapo for onward transmission to Fire Service. Now fire service took the letter given to it by the Ministry of Land to the Ministry of Works to do the Survey. They surveyed that land and got titled document. Parapo has no document.
“In this dispensation, Alhaji Bayo Shittu was nominated a Minister and became a minister. He came home and Parapo approached him; they requested for communal assistance. He asked if they could get a piece of land to build an ICT Centre but they gave him the same land that was to be given to Fire Service.
“Bayo has no titled document, no C of O, no letter of consent from the fire service. Fire Service came to Ibadan and reported that the land given to them has been given to Bayo Shittu to build ICT centre; that is how the trouble started.
“I, as the Chairman of the Local Government, invited eminent persons, noble persons, we deliberated on this issue. It was agreed that the fire service is more important. It is not meaningful to site a fire station outside the town, fire station should be centrally located. That was the argument.
“We said we should look for another piece of land and give to Bayo Shittu and allow fire station to construct their station. That was the agreement. Two days after, Bayo went to court asking them to set aside the construction. The fire service is not joined in the suit, they are constructing their station.
“That land, Bayo Shittu has no development on it, no survey, no deed, nothing. So the fire service just went there to construct. He swore an oath of allegiance as a public servant but is he now using his personal interest to override public interest?
Chief Akande, an ex-Permanent Secretary in the state, said: “We are not here to destroy anybody, we are not here to blackmail anybody. Bayo Shittu is my brother, I contributed to his education.
“As a retired permanent secretary, you know my take home monthly; I am not contesting for any post or looking for commissioner at my age. But we assure you that our coming here is not to blackmail anybody.
“We are not here to disown him. Yes he was given an award by Parapo to recognise him but he was not the only one. The fire service station is not for Saki alone, it is for Oke-Ogun area.
“Our stand is that we are looking for amicable settlement. You know, when two elephants are fighting, it is the grasses that suffer. We want ICT and the Fire Service Station, that is why we have to cry to you people.
“Two, we expect our son to say that I give this land to you and I will look for another one.
“Three, we have told the Chairman to allocate another land for him which he has done.”