YUSUF MUBARAQ AUTHORITY
Despite the seemingly campaign of calumnies and conspiracy theories that greeted his Excellency many efforts, which the tractorisation scheme is one of them with negative comments from some quarter just to discredit the government and incites public sentiments against the people’s oriented governor.
While all this were rife, the farmers association in Kwara in thier thousands applauded the initiative and thank the visionary governor for coming to thier aids and to cushion the effects which exorbitant amounts of money would have mounted on them had the government not been proactive and responsive with such initiative.
The Kwara state government had earlier provided tractors and farm inputs to the local farmers at a subsidized rates in partnert with OCP Africa under the presidential fertilizer initiative.
The move which is well thought out and will in no small measure reduce unemployment, improve food security and bumper harvest and alleviate the glaring poverty in our localities.
The Farmers association reiterated their unalloyed supports to his Excellency drive towards ensuring an improved methods of mechanized farming which will hitherto leads to bumper harvest and food security.
A Governor and his love for probity
By Rafiu Ajakaye
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is an emerging phenomenon in the Nigerian political space, thanks to his style, his drive to make things easy for the poor within resources available to him, and the pace at which he is demystifying governance. He lives in his own house. He drives his own car. He carries his own files. He goes about town on official duties without the air that comes with governance in the country. And he recently made himself a subject of school quiz when he officially wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the anti-graft body, to probe his own administration on claims that N300m of Local government funds was being diverted monthly. Who does that?
He went a step higher a few months ago when he became the country’s first chief executive to introduce social audits of public projects. While several Kwarans considered the step as the next phase of his efforts to sanitise governance in the state, particularly given his record of involving neutral parties in monitoring government programmes, a few others said he was only trying to kill the Freedom of Information Bill. They warned the civic group (ENETSUD) tapped to partner with the government that the social audit was a kiss of death for proponents of the FOI. But the Governor said he meant every word about the social audit and that it was not intended to kill the FOI. For him, the social audit is meant to strengthen transparency, ensure good governance, and strengthen public confidence in government for better service delivery. It is meant to break the ice. But his critics would have none of that. They said it was all talk!
Today, social auditing has become a reality with at least six projects now being examined by the civic group to know whether works done by contractors are commensurate with public funds released for the projects. In the first phase, the College of Education Road (Ilorin); Government High School renovation Adeta Ilorin; Patigi Secondary School Patigi; Diamond Underpass Geri-Alimi; Ilesha Baruba-Gwanara Road; and Cargo Terminal Airport Road are to be audited.
The exercise is the first of its kind in Nigeria. What the Governor has done is to volunteer all relevant technical documents to the civic group to conduct independent critique of the projects to determine whether there is value for public funds sunk into them. It is fair to note that the social audit partly followed an outcry in some quarters about the quality of jobs done on some projects.
This is beyond doubt a rare show of transparency, accountability, and oft-absent political will to make things work for the people. In doing this, the Governor is not expecting everything to be perfect. He instead intended the social audit to build confidence and open a new page in public accountability on the part of everybody involved in project conception, management, and execution. As he mentioned in the interface with ENETSUD and elsewhere, outcome of the social audit could lead to government directing contractors to return to site to correct observations made. And it may well lead to some contractors getting a pat on the back for job well done. Or a red card for erring ones. Similarly, it is a sign to government’s project monitors to always do the right thing as their own judgment may not always guarantee a pass mark for any contractors. Ultimately, no one would get away with poor job in Kwara. Not anymore.
Some persons have suggested that any revelations of poor jobs would rub off badly on the Governor. That shows they do not know him. He seeks the best for his people. His focus is to gently and steadily move everyone to do their own bit as he is doing his. He appreciates the institutional gap that had long existed in project conception and execution and he wants to leave a legacy of being that leader who insisted that the public must get value for their money. Accepting to do social audit is an evidence that he is not one who gives contract and asks for some unlawful returns. All he desires is the best for the state.
And there is no let up in this regard. For the first time in Kwara, the Governor has officially activated the Public Procurement Agency with the recent appointment of Mallam Raheem AbdulBaki as its pioneer General Manager. You know what? That law had long existed in Kwara but no one had the balls to implement it for reasons readers may guess. It is not every time a state is blessed with leaders who walk their talk. Kwara is currently having one in the Governor who tells anyone who cares to listen that he has nothing to hide. And every step he takes speaks just to that.
Ajakaye is CPS to the Governor
EDO 2020: Between SIMPLE Agenda and Moving Forward By Babatunde Qodri
By Babatunde qodri
With some days to the September 19 Edo governorship election, there has been noise in the downtown of Benin city. The atmospheric condition is not friendly as everywhere is throbbing with campaigns, posters and many more. Markets are busy. Roads even in Edo state assembly have become National Theatre! Desperate moves are in motion, too.
Of the 35 registered political parties as confirmed by the INEC in the state, the dominant ones are APC and PDP. As a matter of fact, the deafening electoral noise in the state reflects the struggles between these two players.
However, the incumbent governor Obaseki is doing all his best to be re-elected as the governor of the state while his counterpart Osagie Ize–Iyamu remains his greatest rival with his embattled godfather Adam Oshiomole. Each of the political actors are into several political tactics on who to control the government House for the next four years. Interesting.
Amid these moves for power, politicians are decamping to different political parties, enemies become friends, trust is betrayed and those who are holding the levers of power are not ready to take it easy. Obaseki who was once a godson to Oshiomole is now seen to have betrayed his godfather. He’s been alleged of misappropriation of fund, misgovernace and sheer failure to swear in 14 elected lawmakers in the state. His sin not limited to this, he appears to betray and bite the fingers that feed him. The 14 lawmakers that Obaseki refuses to inaugurate are now the ones fighting him.
Few weeks back, the State Assembly was shut down by the opposition party where the supporters of both APCand PDP are fighting over speakership seat. The roof of the secretariat was scattered and everywhere seemed controlled by tensions. For many, the coming election may likely to come with troubles in the state the state. INEC warns!
In the face of the fierce atmosphere that grips the state currently, both candidates Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki are campaigning throughout the state as to either Edo will choose simple agenda or consider moving forward. The APC candidate pastor Ize – Iyamu in his statement said, “When Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1978 formed the Unity Party of Nigeria. Even though I was quite young, I was fascinated by the manifesto of his party. The four cardinal programs of the UPN include free education, free health services, integrated rural development and employment for all”. This has become the mantra of the APC candidate.
Obaseki, in what looks like a reaction to the above, relies his cardinal agenda on moving Edo forward. He aims to capitalise his work on his previous achievement. In the main, the Edo BEST(Basic Education Sector Transformation), expansion of infrastructure in terms of road, Obaseki’s administration has taken the state from where it was and the governor promises to consolidate on them in his second term. “Edo is not Lagos” is his mantra.
And this reminds me of Gov. Ambode, the one-time Governor, who was disqualified for failure to respect the law of the game and was thrown out in a bid to seek re-election. In the case of Obaseki instead of him to respect elders, rather chose to leave his party for another decamp to seek elections, not only that he renovated the State Assembly to save himself from impeachment. Obaseki’s refusal to bow is only known to him and he can face the battle and win it. The dice is cast and September 19 is near to know who owns the state!
I urge the Edo electorate to come out massively in order to vote their preferred choice of as the future of the state remains depends solely on them. They shouldn’t be induced by money or anything that can compromise their wish for the state.
Based on this, I wish to remind the Edo electorate of Joachim Macebong’s admonition in a piece entitled, “The Importance of One Vote” on April 1, 2011. He said: “The most often heard excuse for not voting in an election is ‘my one little vote won’t make a difference.’ Yet, history is full of instances proving the enormous power of one single vote. In many cases, the course of nations has been changed because one individual ballot was cast or not cast”.
Hon. Adenike Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin; An exemplary woman of virtue By Saleeman Muslim
By Muslim Saleeman
The occasion of your birthday is indeed remarkable to reflect on your wonderful personality and retrospect on your specialities. As you display through your actions, I shall briefly justify your essentiality through Pen.
It has been a wonderful and impressive journey of grace and gratitude so far. You’ve really made us proud and happy with your excellent performance as the Honorable Commissioner of our great State. The leadership traits in you is inherent as you’ve truly differentiated between progress and stagnation.
Words are not enough to appreciate God for your life which is a beacon of hope for the hopeless and an inspiration to numerous. Your patriotism, selflessness and bridge-building capacity have manifested in unprecedented administrative and socio-political excellence, undisputable social investment on the development of our dear state.
The exploits of your predominant tenacity with resilience in every facet of humanity are testimonies to your exceptional leadership and uncommon vision for coming generations. Even if all seems to be a familiar appraisal, I will still emphatically say you’re always on adventures of commitment to ensuring ability where there’s disability and stability where there’s instability.
There have been so many practical experiences with you which make me a witness to justify the above accolades that you deserve. The platform you’ve been given to serve even acknowledges the intelligence and wisdom you’re blessed with to pilot the affairs of the Ministry. A versatile bold woman you are!
As a model to me, you are a great epitome of integrity and discipline; these among others I so much cherish as you’re so worthy of emulation in all ramifications. May Allah continue to be your strength.
Hearty felicitation on your new glorious age Ma. May you continue to be enriched with the necessary qualities that shall best make you greater than who you are as I wish you many graceful and prosperous returns with more accomplished fulfilments. Amin!
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