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Next Time You See An Oke Apomu LGEA School By Rafiu Ajakaye ( See Pictures)

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A surreal picture of some children learning on bare floor surfaced this week from Oke Apomu LGEA Primary School in Ilorin West. It is certainly not a good sight. A few weeks ago, an online news platform published a not-too-appealing picture of a school in Asa where children were also seen learning under the tree.

Truth is that there are still dozens of such facilities across Kwara State, and this speaks to the mess that public education (indeed Kwara) was in 2019. As uncomfortable as these pictures make us feel as an administration, especially because those posting them are not giving the right background or a tieback, we are not shocked to see such pictures.

Such rots pervade(d) every sector, and this administration has never hidden the fact that it will take years of consistent investments to turn things around. As an administration, we _‘own the sheets’_ and we are not dropping the ball.

It is what we have repeatedly spoken about. Remember the recent picture of a basic healthcare facility in Tanke area of Ilorin.

In return, and always, the PDP insists that what got them out of office in 2019 was propaganda and that things weren’t as bad as they were made to look. The irony is that the picture of Oke Apomu LGEA school was being promoted by PDP itself. Isn’t God great?

In 2019 when this government was inaugurated, there were dilapidated structures across at least 2,064 basic schools in Kwara: 480 at Junior Secondary School level and 1,584 in Primary Schools. That was the Kwara story. It was a fallout of the next-to-zero investments in basic schools for nearly a generation. History: between 2013 and 2019, Kwara was under an official blacklist of the federal government for diverting funds meant for improving school infrastructures, training of teachers, among others.

What is the new administration doing? Between 2019 and 2022, the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration has renovated, remodelled, constructed and equipped classrooms across 605 basic schools in the state. For every classroom fixed, the administration provided adequate furniture, and erected sanitation facilities in many.

This is what the money accessed from UBEC is able to do, along with training of teachers and other activities captured under the work plan. There are beautiful pictures of these schools everywhere!

The public needs to understand that the 2,064 dilapidated schools and hospitals (including Oke Apomu LGEA school) were a legacy of the same individuals in the PDP who are now sharing pictures of schools in shambles. The new administration is only struggling to rebuild what became horribly bad under PDP’s watch.

Here are the things to note: next time you see another dilapidated school or hospital structures, please know that it is the fallout of the PDP years. It is to be noted that the new administration is doing its best to fix these rots, while also investing in other critical needs of the people within available resources.

What this means is that these rots will take years to go away. No magic will make them disappear. Only consistent investment will. This is the point the Governor made last December about the depth of the rots. The good news is that this administration is doing a lot in this regard.

Building on the completed or ongoing structures already fixed across 605 locations, the government is currently compiling a list of school structures that require urgent attention for interventions under the 2020/2021 UBEC-SUBEB renewal projects. Oke Apomu and many others will get a facelift. That is how to know a serious government. This is apart from other efforts of the administration to rebrand public education in the state.

If the horrible pictures of dilapidated schools remind Kwarans of the PDP years, what defines the AbdulRazaq administration are the many strides it has made in steadily fixing the rots in just three years. From Ilorin, the capital city, and Ogele (Asa) in the central, to far-flung Patako (Ifelodun), Ipe (Oyun), Koro (Ekiti) communities in Kwara South, and Sabagina in (Edu), Patigi (Patigi), Damu and Yashikira (Baruten), and Kanikoko (Kaiama) in Kwara North, what you see in public schools testifies to the success of AbdulRazaq and his team.

Rafiu Ajakaye is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

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Saraki: A Man Who Refused To Pay Pensions, Gratuities Is Pontificating On Governance- Qudus Adelodun

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Bukola Saraki, the leader of the dynasty that ruined Kwara State and destroyed every great legacy for which the state is known, was in Ilorin some weeks back. He was pontificating on governance. This is a shameless attitude because he has no moral right to do so. During his reign as governor of the state, he had every down resources to take Kwara to a greater height, but he frittered everything with greed, avarice and kleptomania. He was lucky to have governed at a time of oil boom where the country had so much resources. But what can he point out today as his achievements?

If Bukola Saraki is not fraudulently taking the glory of federal government funded projects such as KWASU, Post Office Flyover, renovation of Ilorin International Airport, among others, he would be advertising failed, white elephant investments such as Shonga Farms, Cargo Terminal, Kwara Mall, Mandate III Estate as achievements. All these are failed multi-billion naira projects that Kwara continues to bleed from because the state still services huge debts on them long after Saraki is gone. Did he do us favour or doom?

Mandate III estate is there with billions of debt. Shonga Farms too with billions of debt. Cargo Terminal did not benefit the state. Kwara Mall has not yielded one kobo as returns on investment to the state. Bukola Saraki did not pay the contractors that handled the Metropolitan Square project for him. He did not pay the contractors that brought machines at Kwara Advanced Diagnostic Centre for him. These are what he point out as his achievements. Failure!

As if those are not enough. Bukola Saraki did not pay pensions and gratuities of retired civil servants in 2009 and 2010, despite the huge resources available at his disposal. That’s too mean. It is the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq he loves to talk down to every time he has the opportunity that has cleared that mess many years after. Even his stooge, Abdulfatai Ahmed that governed after him couldn’t help him clean that mess. Did Ahmed ever fail in paying the pension packages of Bukola Saraki as a former governor during his reign? This was even when he was drawing huge salaries and allowances as senator. They can comfort themselves, but comfort is not to be given to the masses. Yet they continue to pontificate and still nurse the idea of coming back. Is that not shameless of them?

I was at the bank last week after the payment of the accrued pensions of 2009 and 2010 by Governor AbdulRazaq. I could see the happiness, excitement and fulfilment in the senior citizens that came to withdraw their monies. They were so glad. I tried to engage one of them, and he told me they had been suffering to get their pensions and gratuities for long; and even some of them had died in the process. The old man commended Governor AbdulRazaq, saying his impacts are always felt in the state.

These are the testimonies on the streets, but the PDP elements who are tired of life said they have not seen anything good. May our minds not be blocked. What Governor AbdulRazaq has achieved in the last three years have been massive. The schools the Saraki dynasty left to rot are being renovated and rehabilitated. The waterworks they left in a total state of dysfunction have been repaired. Salary payment, pension payment and gratuities have been up to date, timely and consistent. Road construction projects are hitting the nooks and crannies of the state. Our health facilities are witnessing overhaul. The agric sector is also getting a turnaround. The youths and women are being empowered and included in the decision making table.

The governor is also embarking on legacy projects that will change the face of Kwara and make it the one of the preferred destinations for business, investment and economic activities. For instance, the International Conference Centre the Governor AbdulRazaq-led administration is building will be the best in the whole of North-Central after the one in Abuja, the national capital. No state in Nigeria except Lagos has the facilities for last mile finishing that the Visual Arts Centre/Film Studio Governor AbdulRazaq-led administration is building will house. The Eye Centre in the state built and equipped by Governor AbdulRazaq follows that of Kaduna in terms of standard in the whole of the North. We also have the Innovation Hub. And many more.

If Kwara has had a visionary, selfless and financially responsible and disciplined governor like AbdulRazaq instead of the kleptos that superintended over our affairs for 16 years, our state would have moved forward and be competing fairly with the likes of Kaduna in the North. We must give AbdulRazaq another chance to solidify the placement of Kwara on a sound footing. One good turn deserves another. Those who cannot pay something as basic as salaries and pensions during their time should bury their heads in shame and stop rubbing it in our face!

Adelodun writes from Oro, Kwara State

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Count On Our Support At The Polls- Emirate To Gov AbdulRazaq

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The Emir of Gwanara in Baruten local government of Kwara state, Alhaji (Dr) Sabi Idris KotoKotogi II, on Thursday said the Emirate has witnessed significant growth and development under the APC government in the state, declaring their resolve to overwhelmingly vote for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the coming elections.

Fidel Info reports that He said the administration has not only prioritised their infrastructure needs but also restored their dignity as a people, saying the Emirate is reputed for paying virtue with virtue.

The Emir was speaking in Ilorin when he led a powerful delegation from the Emirate on a courtesy visit to Government House.

“To whom much is given much is expected. We want to use this opportunity to assure you and your government that ours is an Emirate that pays virtue with virtue. Therefore, you can count on us and on our support for your second term. On the days of election, we shall vote en masse for this administration that gave us a sense of belonging and treated us as human beings,” he said.

The Emir spoke through the Magajin Geri of the Emirate, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Oyooru.

The First Class monarch commended AbdulRazaq for his leadership quality and appreciated him for being passionate about the welfare of the people.

The Emir had earlier conferred on the Governor the Emirate’s Chieftaincy title — Dallatu of Gwanara — with the coronation ceremony coming at a later date. He was decorated with the traditional emblems of the Emirate, including a sword and other attires.

“The purpose of the courtesy call is to express our very sincere appreciation for the many good things, which your administration has done and is still doing in my domains, including the construction of the Gwanara township asphalt road within the first one hundred days in office,” he said, adding that the administration was the first to construct asphalt Road in the whole Baruten local government.

“Other projects of importance that are/being executed are the renovation of Gwanara Basic Health Center (BHC); construction of 33km Gwanara/Ilesha asphalt road; rehabilitation of Gwanara waterworks; remodelling and rehabilitation of LGEA Central School Gwanara, and provision of ICT Centre in the school; provision of new classrooms in Damera, Gogere, Suuru, and other communities in the Emirate; total renovation and remodelling of Grade 1 Area Court; and the facilitation of the newly established Federal Science and Technical College Gwanara, among others.”

Prominent in the Emir’s entourage were the Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu; Clerk of the House Hajia Halimat Jumai Kperogi; Special Assistant to the Governor on Political (North) Hon. Abdulkareem Yusuf (Dan-hawah); and the Chief Imam of Gwanara Alhaji Salihu Usman; among others.

AbdulRazaq, for his part, thanked the Emir and people of Gwanara Emirate for their objectivity and how they firmly stand by his government, asking them to sustain that tempo.

He urged the Emirate and the entire natives of Baruten to intensify their support for Hon. Yakubu Danladi, who he said has been his government’s partner in progress and has been using his influence to bring many goodies to Gwanara and Baruten as a whole.

“It is important for you to give him the support he needs at home so that the government knows that it is working with a strong partner,” the Governor said.

“Let’s face the reality, there is no (political) position that Baruten LG has not had in the past, apart from Governor and President of Nigeria. You have done Deputy Governor, you’ve done Speaker, you’ve done Minister and all that, but you can see the level of development in just over three years compared to their (PDP) entire sixteen years.

“It is not about voting anybody to a position of either senator or governor. It is about voting for somebody who can do the job and have the interest of the people at heart. Somebody who goes home and is responsible to the people at home. Nobody goes home more than the Speaker (Yakubu Danladi) as far as we are concerned. Why is this young man doing these laudable things? You need to rally around him. And from the projects you have seen, he has delivered.

“You gave us overwhelming support in the last elections without knowing what we were up to. It was a blind trust. But we have shown you the good results and that we can do more, so give us the opportunity to do more and be able to officially open up Gwanara to the Republic of Benin. And to work with the federal government to have a new border post to be able to cross from Gwanara axis.”

He promised to continue to deliver good governance to Kwarans and assured the Gwanara Emirate of his administration’s commitment to equip their basic healthcare centre and provide it with adequate doctors to meet their health needs.

Hon. Danladi said the real development exists in Gwanara community only during the present administration, and that there is no single ward in the whole Baruten that has not seen the government’s presence, thanking AbdulRazaq for a job well done.

“Your Excellency, our people in Baruten are grateful to you. You are doing wonderfully well. I am sure we are the younger generation. Since when we know what they call politics, this is the only time we are seeing the presence of government in our Emirate. There is no district or ward in the local government that your government has not touched. So, we are proud of this administration,” he said.

He said the Emirate has always spoken in one voice on the ballots since 1999, and will repeat the same at the next elections, promising to deliver the 230 polling units in the Baruten LG for the Governor and other APC candidates.

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Kwara: APC Presidential Campaign Rally, Atiku’s SUG-Like Campaign And The Doubting Thomases Of The Saraki Dynasty- Abdulqaudri Mahmud

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Before the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign plane landed in Ilorin on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the doubting Thomases of the Saraki dynasty had said all sorts of condemnable things like “Buhari will not come because he does not like how AbdulRazaq is managing the state”, “Tinubu and AbdulRazaq are not on good terms”, and “Kwarans won’t attend the campaign because they are fed up with AbdulRazaq”, among others. They took to the internet and misled as many as possible of their unsuspecting readers.

The campaign which was massively attended by the loyalists of the APC, and most especially Kwarans, slapped the rumor-mongers and doubting Thomases of the Saraki dynasty with facts and proof that President Muhammad Buhari, incoming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Kwara APC, and specifically Kwarans are solidly behind Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq — who has been the hope of the hopeless since he became the mayor of the state in 2019.

The unprecedented APC presidential campaign didn’t only clear the doubts of the doubting Thomases of the Saraki dynasty — it also proved that the Saraki dynasty has been rejected by the majority of Kwarans who said Otoge, enough is enough in 2019. Their massive presence at the campaign is a pointer that their stance remains the same — Otoge! As I pointed out in one of my previous articles that “Kwarans have compared and contrasted the Saraki dynasty/PDP inglorious 16 years and Governor AbdulRazaq’s progressive 3 years and some months, and they prefer the latter’s.” Has the APC presidential campaign not proven me right?

If not that Bukola Saraki and his fake boys aka Sarakites are shameless, the Saraki dynasty does not deserve to come back in 2023 — not even in the next 50 years. But see them, shameless folks, regrouping themselves to return to power, so that they can continue the loot if allowed to stir the affairs of the state. Kwarans, specifically the civil servants can’t forget how the Saraki dynasty maltreated them. The dynasty owed them salaries and denied their promotions. It didn’t stop there, it also made their children learn under terrible conditions with dilapidated school buildings and the absence of learning materials. The diversion of Kwara’s money for personal use ended with the Saraki dynasty.

The APC campaign has thrown the Saraki dynasty and Kwara PDP into confusion and excruciating pain. They didn’t expect the massive turnout. Of course, they had thought it would not be different from the Atiku-Okowa SUG-like campaign. It has shredded and shattered their hope of coming back. But if you know these Sarakites like this essayist, you will trust them to start giving a dumb reason for the massive crowds at the campaign.

Abdulqaudri Mahmud writes from Ilorin East LGA, Zango Ward, Ilorin Kwara state

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