By Hakeem Issa
Facts, they say, are stubborn things. They continue to stare you in the face regardless of your efforts to rewrite them. The drowning opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has hustled to no avail to rewrite the facts about their years of stewardship. They have been telling lies, peddling untruths, misinforming the public, distorting the narratives, especially as the 2023 general election is around the corner. But facts are stubborn things.
No matter how hard they try, it will remain on record and is forever ingrained in the memories of Kwarans that their irresponsible leadership left yawning gaps in basic education, basic healthcare, agriculture, water, among other sectors. It was with the coming of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq that the gaps are being bridged. The records are there!
In basic education for instance, there was no concrete renovation, remodelling, rehabilitation — not to talk of construction — of schools from 2014 to 2019. Why was that? The previous government of Dr AbdulFatah Ahmed, Saraki’s minion led Kwara State to the blacklist of the Federal Government-led Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) with the criminal diversion of the grant meant to invest in basic education to the tune of billions of naira.
Until their dynasty was disgraced out of government by the people of Kwara State for woeful performance and maladministration, AbdulFatah Ahmed was not able to refund the diverted UBEC grant. He left behind a deficit of over N450 million. With this irresponsible behaviour and criminal diversion, Kwara basic education and basic school structures were in tatters. Thousands of nursery, primary and secondary schools were in a state of total disrepair. An estimation says nothing less than 2,064 dilapidated basic school structures were inherited by the present administration. But some PDP elements without a sense of shame have been on the social media, others on radio, talking about dilapidated basic school structures in the state. Is that not an irony? What moral standing do they have to comment on such issue? It’s a crying shame for them! They are only giving the people reason they do not deserve their votes.
So, Governor AbdulRazaq came, met Kwara basic education in shambles. In the early days of his administration, he visited several schools across the three senatorial districts and found many of them in bad conditions. Where do we start from when we are still talking basic education — a hurdle many other states have since crossed? AbdulRazaq wasted no time in swinging to action. The UBEC mess has been a major albatross in the way of improvement for our basic education. The Governor renewed the working relationship with the FG establishment, paid the deficit of over N450 million left by the previous government of the shameless opposition, now trying to stage a comeback in their fantasy.
Afterwards, Governor AbdulRazaq paid the matching grants of the outstanding years nearing some N7 billion. All these in the early days of his administration! Then, Kwara got all the outstanding UBEC grants, and the yawning gap left in basic education is being fixed. The government has been intentional with the process. Local economy has been boosted with the patronage of indigenous contractors. These were part of the dividends Kwara missed with the blacklist. Imagine the cost we would have saved if the process had been done at the appropriate time. We would have covered a lot of schools at a reduced cost compared to now. The Saraki dynasty did Kwara a great disservice, but they still want to come back to wreak more havoc on the people.
An average parent is now comfortable taking his children to public schools because Governor AbdulRazaq has restored confidence in them by equipping them with necessary materials, giving them facelift where necessary and turning them totally around. Go and see the difference on the streets. The pictorials attached give you a sense of what basic education used to be in Kwara State then and now. I was engaging a parent in one of our conversations on public issues. He explained to me that he has four children. The eldest who is female is in a public school, while the three others are in private schools. He noted that with the tremendous changes he has seen in public schools in Kwara State, he is thinking of withdrawing his children who are in private schools to public schools. This will be the case for many parents in no distant time. Our public schools are now competing fairly with the elite private schools in town.
Although the dilapidated basic school structures inherited from the 16 years old dynasty are still scattered across the state, with the deliberate efforts of Governor AbdulRazaq, a reasonable number of them would be touched one after the other. In the last three years, over 600 of the dilapidated basic school structures across the 3 senatorial districts have been impacted upon. More will come. What we just need to do is to give Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq another 4 years to build on his huge investments in basic education. We must never allow the reins of power to slide back to the hands of termites in Kwara State.
Hakeem Issa, a socio-economic analyst writes from Ilorin
AbdulRazaq Greets First Class Monarch, Olofa Of Offa At 59
The Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated the Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Muhammed Gbadamosi Esuwoye II on his 59th birthday anniversary, describing his reign as hugely impactful and fruitful for the Offa community and beyond.
“I send our felicitations to His Royal Majesty the Olofa of Offa on his 59th birthday anniversary today.
May Almighty Allah grant His Royal Majesty good health and long life on the stool of his forbears.
I join sons and daughters of Offa, and the entire state, to commend his resourcefulness, statesmanship, his personal investments in ensuring that his community continues to stand out for good things, his commitment to socio-cultural and economic growth of the ancient town, as well as his support for the government’s peace and developmental efforts in the state,” the Governor said in a statement.
The Governor urges the first class monarch to continue to lead the initiatives for development and peace in Offa, saying posterity
AbdulRazaq Mourns Late Alhaji Kawu, FIRS Director
The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has once more urged security forces to use all available means to eradicate the terrorists and robbers terrorizing the nation’s citizens.
In a message of condolence sent to the Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Mohammed Kawu, the governor made the appeal in response to the murder of Alhaji Mohammed Kudu, a senior official of the Federal Internal Revenue Service, who was killed by bandits on Sunday during an attack between Lapai and Lambata on the Ilorin/Mokwa/Minna Road.
Kudu, until his death, was the Saduki Lafiagi in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, described the killing as unfortunate.
“With total submission to the will of God, I send my heartfelt condolences to the people of Lafiagi Emirate, the Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Mohammed Kawu, and the immediate family of Saduki Lafiagi on this sad development.
“It is one tragedy too many. We are again renewing our calls on the security agencies not to spare any efforts to take out the daredevils who continue to terrorise and waste innocent lives under whatever guise,” the governor said in a statement on Monday.
AbdulRazaq Commiserates Chief Imam Of Ajase-Ipo
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has commiserated with the people of Ajase-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Area over the death of Chief Imam Sheikh Muhammad Mustapha Suleiman, calling it the end of another great era of impressive scholarship.
The FidelinfoNews gathered that the Governor said the death of the Chief Imam, the spiritual leader of the Muslim community in Ajase-Ipo, was a depletion in the rank of community leaders whose leadership roles are key to societal cohesion, stability, peace and security.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Kwara State, I send our heartfelt condolences to the Muslim community, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahya Alebiosu, and the immediate family of the Chief Imam. He left a legacy of being a great leader who played his role in the development of his community,” according to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.
“We beseech Allah to forgive his shortcomings, grant him al-jannah Firdaus, and keep the ummah and his family on the path of righteousness.”
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