These are really not the best of time for the family of Alhaji Abdul Kareem Lambe, Chairman of the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KWASUBEB).
The matriarch of the family, Alhaja Nike Lambe is currently enmshed in a N105 million embezzlement scandal which is reverberating through the length and breadth of the Kwara via the traders at the Oja Oba Market, Ilorin.
Thegazellenewsonline.com learnt that Alhaja Lambe collected the said amount of money from the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to empower market men and women in Ilorin.
Apart from being the wife of the KWASUBEB Chairman, Alhaja Lambe was also the Iyaloja of the Oja Oba Market. The money, Thegazellenewsonline.com learnt, was given to the Lambe matriarch few weeks to the last general election.
Market men and women at the Oja Oba Market are spoiling for a fight on the matter and they have vowed to ensure that Alhaja Lambe cough out the alleged embezzled money.
Speaking on behalf of the concerned market people, Alhaja Maryam Moshood Elefun, who was the erstwhile assistant Iyaloja General and current Iyaloja said the deposed Iyaloja General, Alhaja Nike Lambe was imposed on them by the outgoing government, with the influence of her husband who is a politician and former commissioner under the incumbent government, to exert influence and ensure political control of the market people.
She added that the sacked Iyaloja, Alhaja Nike Lambe was fired because of series of allegations spanning from gross misappropriation of N100 million and another N5 million released for empowerment of market women, intimidation and frustration of market women suspected to be an opposition to the incumbent government and leadership ineptitude among others.
She added that the traders were particularly angered by her reactionary moves against the visit of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to launch the Tradermoney programme which significant number of them were supposed to benefit from but Alhaja Nike Lambe under the instruction of Senate President Bukola Saraki went on a radio station in Ilorin to direct market people to boycott the Vice President programme, an assignment she was allegedly rewarded with a sum of N11 million for executing.
The market women also raised alarm over the desperate moves by the sacked Iyaloja General, Alhaja Nike Lambe to romance and penetrate the incoming government in a bid to be reinstated as the Iyaloja General, a position she hitherto does not merit. She said, “by norms, only market women from Oja Oba becomes Iyaloja and Lambe is not from here, she assume the position because of her husband’s influence”.
They therefore pleaded with the incoming government to halt any form of assigning a general coordinator for market women in Kwara state, but should instead respect the peculiarities of each market and allow each market appoint their own Coordinators.
She added that with a decentralized coordination, there will be little or no room for defrauding other members like they have witnessed under the last market leadership and government will have the opportunity to engage market people directly.
They further appealed to Governor-elect Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to facilitate soft loans with less stringent conditions and develop market infrastructure to ease their business activities.
All attempts to get the side of the embattled Iyaloja proved abortive as numerous calls to her phone number was unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.