The ownership of the GRA Ilorin office of The Herald, Kwara State Government-owned newspaper, has changed hand after the government secretly sold it to Shoprite, raising suspicion that the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the incumbent governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, have a stake in the deal.
Herald newspaper, apart from the old Daily Times was the training ground of most past celebrated Nigerian journalists including Aremo Olusegun Osoba ex- governor of Ogun State, late Peter Ajayi, Alhaji Yakub Azeez, late Obaro of Kabba, Chief Micheal Asaju, Mr. Doyin Mahmud, Dan Ikunaiye, among others.
The present office the newspaper’s staff and management presently occupied was its first at inception. Located at Offa Road in Ilorin GRA, ex-Kwara State governor Late Muhammed Lawal had built and relocated the corporate head office of the age-long newspaper to New Yidi Road during his tenure.
But his successor, Senator Saraki reversed the decision and returned the newspaper back to its office since inception in 1973 where it has been until the latest development. The New Yidi Road office of The Herald was demolished to build the state Advanced Diagnostic Centre during the eight years administration of Senator Bukola Saraki.
Impeccable sources told OrijoReporter that management and staff of the Herald Newspaper had been directed to relocate to a chalet within Ilorin G.R.A that will serve as their new office in preparation for the final takeover of the premises by Shoprite.
Findings revealed that in the hush-hush deal the choice property was sold at less than N100m by the state government to the buyer whose identity was unknown as at the time of this publication to build a mall that would be promoted with Shoprite’s name.
It was further gathered that the buyer is remotely connected to both Gov. Ahmed and his predecessor.
Meanwhile all the state owned media outfits have been in a state of comatose as the state radio station, ‘Radio Kwara’ could hardly be heard when it rains, the state television service, Kwara TV’s signal cannot be received in the northern senatorial district while The Herald remains the mouthpiece of the state government with just 300 copies.
The Herald is published four times in a week, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday editions.
Recently, Gov. Ahmed appointed one of his aides as sole administrator to manage all the four media outfits owned by the state to profitability.
Nevertheless staff of the organisations are currently owed between four to five months salaries.