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Between Governor AbdulRazaq’s Investments In Basic Education And Opposition’s Show Of shame In Kwara State

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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

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BREAKING: CBN Extends Deadline For Old Naira Exchange

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended deadline for the swapping of old naira notes till February 10, 2023.

The CBN stated this in a release on Sunday.

The apex bank said it added a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023, to allow for the collection of more old notes…”

This is according to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

More Details Later.

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Yebumot Al-Hikmah Road Temporarily Shut As Construction Begins

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Kwara State Ministry of Works and Transport will temporarily closed the Yebumot Al-Hikmah Road from today,  Wednesday 11th January, 2023.

Fidel Info reports that the closure is effective from 11:00am to allow for the commencement of the asphalt laying of the road.

The Ministry urges road users to make use of other routes for their journeys pending the completion of the asphalt laying.

The Ministry sincerely regrets the inconveniences this may bring to the residents and users of the road.

“Our goal is to improve the city and make your travel experience better”

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Yoruba Nation Rally: Normalcy Restored At Ojota After Unrest

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Following reported unrest Monday morning involving alleged Yoruba Nation agitators, normalcy has apparently been restored in the Lagos State neighborhood of Ojota.

Fidel Info reports that Videos that have been making the rounds on social media purport to show that a person who cannot be named died amid the unrest when protesters and police allegedly battled where the protesters gathered for a large gathering.

The scene of the unrest is now reported to be calm and serene, due to the intervention of security operatives.

Additionally, armed police officers and cars were seen near the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota.

Jubril Gawat, a staff member for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, posted a status update on the incident, saying that things were back to normal at Ojota.

He wrote, “UPDATE: Ojota is calm. OP-MESA and other Police Divisions are fully on ground. People are going about their normal duties, all clear.”

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