Three Electrifying Hours With Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
By Ahmed Lukman
I was lucky to be one of the young persons in the media hosted by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on a Saturday evening. The event is almost a past now, but I still relish the awesome experience it offered.
The Governor breezed into the venue of the meeting. No airs. He then walked as quick as he could and settled down quietly. Finally, the great man we have been anticipating his arrival is here. I could read the excitement in everyone’s face. Myself was excited too. The meeting commenced.
After a prelude, we the guests introduced ourselves. The Governor listened carefully to each and everyone of us, with his gaze firmly following every speaker. For me, that speaks to attention to details. We rounded off the introduction session.
Fast forward to the time the Governor began his remarks. Soft-spoken and articulate, H.E AbdulRazaq spoke to issues around governance, administration, development, politics. Forget what some naysayers who have never had the opportunity to sit down with the man say. Governor AbdulRazaq is a great thinker, repository of ideas (global ideas) and an effective communicator. He rolled out the feats he has recorded in the last three years, the ones he’s recording, and his vision for the state. He spoke about the ROTS he met on ground too, and how he and his team have been making sacrifices to clear them and once again put Kwara on the map. He dished out statistics, case studies from various countries. The Governor has a fine grasp of developmental issues. He’s acquainted with the trends on international scale.
He started from the media itself, touching on how our heritage Radio Kwara, Kwara TV, The Herald were left in tatters and pitiable conditions by the previous administration. All these state-owned media outfits were completely off air and out of production for issues bothering on poor working equipment, workers welfare, inconducive work environment, among others. Staff were owed backlogs of salaries. He spoke to how he has been able to rescue the situation. Radio Kwara and Kwara TV now running 24 hours. The latter is now on Star Times, while efforts are ongoing to enlist it on DSTV. The turnaround that has happened to their studios. And lots more. The Herald is now running consistent quality publications. The labour of our forebears that was already heading to vain is now being rewarded with the efforts of Governor AbdulRazaq.
He moved to education, spoke on the UBEC funds (the PDP people hate to hear it because it exposes their callousness to state and particularly young children). He spoke on the facelift happening in schools across the three senatorial districts; the thorough recruitment exercise, the KwaraLEARN programme. And many more. He touched healthcare, water, agriculture. How his administration has revived so many waterworks across the three senatorial districts. How every area is now being reconnected to get water. In the past, tankers were used to distribute water in the state capital. Yes, he also spoke on workers welfare. How he has not been owing salaries, clearing arrears, banished gerigedi, providing conducive work environment for civil servants.
He then went on a journey into the signature projects of his administration. The Garment Factory. The Innovation Hub. The Visual Arts Centre. The International Conference Centre. The General Tunde Idiagbon Flyover. And lots more. These are projects that stem from visionary, futuristic and global thinking. They will create job opportunities, place Kwara on the map and make it a go-to place, as many of them are rare projects in the country. Film post production works are only being done in Lagos. Kwara will join the list as the Visual Arts Centre will house a Dolby studio. Governor AbdulRazaq told us how Garment Factory would create not less than 2,000 jobs. The potentials in Innovation Hub and ICC. And how these projects are already nearing completion. Some vociferous PDP elements have been dragging the Governor on signature projects. They should tell us if those signature projects they link to Saraki were ready in his first term. Governor AbdulRazaq will deliver many of his signature projects in his first term. H.E also spoke on the Ilorin Masterplan too. The Okuta Radio. Ilesha-Gwanara, Osi-Obbo-Aiyegunle road projects. How he is spreading development across the three senatorial districts.
The Governor was so robust, clear and on point with his narrative. He spent quite a lot of time rolling out his feats and plans for Kwara. From my observation, he did not exhaust one-third of what he intended to lay bare due to time constraint. We later told him to ‘off the mic’ (Your Excellency, issokay, off the mic). It was a reassuring moment to be a Kwaran. With AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, our state is sure heading for greatness.
There’s also something to note. He said the PDP leadership cannot compete with his administration in terms of policy and administration, and that they only depend on lies, propaganda. Then, a video emerged where the leader of the Kwara PDP, Bukola Saraki was urging the new entrants into his party to weaponise propaganda against the current government. That’s clearly true to type!
Yes, as expected, some mischievous persons and little minds have latched on the meeting to do infantile and petty things. Most of them from the opposition PDP and the erstwhile Aanigbas, now splintered into SDP and NNPP. But they were united in pettiness. I saw laughable posts tagging our loving pictures as “Data Boys Visit Governor AbdulRazaq”. These are elements who do similar praise-singing for their principal, but are very rabid to see others commend and sell their own leaders. What colour of hypocrisy is that.
Deep down some of these fellows, they are very crazy to get that kind of opportunity to meet the Chief Executive of the State at a close range. Many of them have never had such opportunity. When their leader was in power, they were not given that sense of recognition. Political thugs were valued and regarded than them. That meeting with the Governor really unsettled them. It shows unlike their leader, Governor AbdulRazaq appreciates our loyal followership of him, fairness to him and belief in his cause. And he did communicate it too.
In fact, in 2018 when Bukola Saraki later hosted some of these fake boys, they were given ill-treatment meant for the sub-human. A few of them sat of the floor, while a large number of them were on their feets. That’s dehumanising! But these shameless persons are outside today macking mockery of guests who sat on chair, were given opportunity to flow with H.E AbdulRazaq. Is that not an irony?
There have also been stories about a gift doled out by the Governor. I struggle to see what is beyond the ordinary about this. Especially when the fake boys Saraki hosted in 2018 were also gifted a paltry N200,000. But little minds continue to make issues out of it. For me, it’s really not about the gift. It’s about the recognition. The dignity with which we were treated. The courtesy rather than dehumanisation the fake boys were meted with. The opportunity to speak with the Chief Executive of the State which some of these fake boys never had with people they call leaders when they were sitting in same position. Thugs were valuable than them. The gates of Government House were flung open for thugs during the years of their leaders, but not for them, who were not even recognised by the slightest means.
I look forward to more of such close range meetings with His Excellency. As e dey pain dem, e dey sweet us. Fake boys and their colleagues in mischief, the Aanigbas will cry me a river!
Lukman writes from Ilorin
APC SAK: On March 18, Our Vote Should Be For AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq- Qudus Adelodun
Just like the February 25th election is now history, March 18, the new date of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections, is also around the corner and would also become history in the nick of time. One significant thing however is that we cannot afford to get it wrong in our dear state, Kwara. Citizens must vote right and vote wisely.
The March 18th poll is a choice between maladministration and good governance. Never must we allow darkness to triumph over light! Any mistake could cost us a whole lot; something fatal than we had experienced in the past. That’s why for me, I choose AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Mr. Capacity) over the assemblage of desperate and disgruntled politicians.
Kwarans, we must never forget where we came from. Four years ago, we liberated ourselves from the hands of desperate, arrogant and self-serving politicians who had arrogated our state and all its resources to themselves. They had no regard for human dignity. They failed in governance and administration.
We must never forget that we came from an era where civil servants did not get their salaries and entitlements as and when due. We must never forget that we came from an era where senior citizens who are retirees did not get their pensions and gratuities. We must never forget that we came from a regime where the water question could not be tackled head-on and our people were at the mercy of tankers to access something as basic as water. We must never forget we came from a regime that was rocked with all kinds of financial scandals, misappropriation, lack of value for money and widespread corrupt practices that drew our state several years back. It was under this same era that UBEC grant worth billions of naira was diverted, taking our basic education many years backwards.
Kwarans, we must never forget all these atrocities and scenarios as we approach the gubernatorial and state assembly elections to make an all-important decision. As we go to the polls, we must also bear in mind the landmark transformation and remarkable change that have happened across sectors of the state.
Starting from what was practically ground zero, AbdulRazaq has taken our state to enviable heights. From a state with no functional tractor in 2019, Kwara is now recognised as one of the rice producing states in the country due to his major investments in agriculture and support for farmers. From a state with no functional ambulance in 2019, Kwara was applauded for its exemplary role in managing COVID-19 and is now the state that houses the largest Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the whole of central Nigeria. The state now has ventilators. Our Isolation Centre is renovated and refurbished to a standard taste. Our long-abandoned Oxygen Plant in Sobi is now up and running. All these are results of prudence and capacity.
With the quantum of works this administration has done in the last four years, there is no ward in Kwara State today where it doesn’t have a project. The administration has established bold government presence in all the wards constituting the state. Young people and women are given recognition like never before in the state. The same state where youths were relegated to nothing and/or as ‘good boys’ is now where they get million naira grants to boost their entrepreneurial desires. This stands commendable! And this is the same fashion in which the government has been supporting every segment and demography of the society.
One thing I will never forget to add is the conducive political environment this administration has created. Opposition and dissenting voices are not been silenced or muzzled. It was so bad under the previous regime that opposition elements dare not attend events that the governing personalities attend. Everything has changed. People now have the platforms to ventilate their views without nursing the fear of being chased about by good boys.
The political culture has also changed drastically. Yesterday, you had to practically crawl and genuflect for the hegemons to grow in politics and government. Today, nobody does that. Political offices have been largely demystified. You now have the sense that political office holders are more or less like you, and that you can also be one in the nearest future.
Kwarans, we must never forget. We must allow the consolidation of this transformative foundation that has already been laid. On Saturday, March 18, we should all come out en masse to vote Mr. Capacity AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. He is the man who has shown capacity where others failed woefully.
Adelodun writes from Oro, Kwara State
March 11: Dear Kwarans, Let Us Do Four More With AbdulRazaq By Abdulquadri Mahmud
A few weeks before the presidential and national assembly elections, I was very optimistic that my fellow Kwarans would vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of the unprecedented achievements the state has recorded under the party. And as God would have it, they did. They voted APC from top to bottom. Their action no doubt shows that they are progressives and do not want any party (PDP) that will reverse their gains over the last three years. It also shows that they do not want a Saraki dynasty that will take them back to the era of geri-gedi and all sorts of maladministration.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Kwarans for choosing to be progressives. Also, I want them to know that there is no chaff in all the candidates they elected. They’ll represent us well at the national level and fulfill their campaign promises.
However, Kwarans should know that our dear state will not be fully progressive if we fail to re-elect Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq whose achievements in the last three years have brought Kwara back on track. The governor has done well for us and the best way to compensate him for his good intentions towards us and our dear state is to come out en masse on March 11 to cast our votes for him. Among all the candidates vying for the post, AbdulRazaq is the only candidate who means well for Kwara.
AbdulRazaq was tested and he delivered. He comforted Kwarans and recorded the achievements his predecessors could not record in their 16 years of misruling and looting Kwara state. Bukola Saraki and his stooge Abdul Fatah Ahmed had almost sold Kwara on Jumia before AbdulRazaq came on board. They had sold many properties belonging to the state government. Despite this, they did not pay civil servants salaries. Despite this, they could not fix bad roads and schools whose structures were terrible and posed threats to students.
It was AbdulRazaq’s emergence that brought relief and renewed our hope in Kwara state. All the things that could have benefited Kwarans such as the 30,000 naira minimum wage, provision of potable water, and others, Saraki and Abdul Fatah failed to deliver them. They treated Kwarans like they were not humans while they comforted their party loyalists with the state’s treasury. It was the AbdulRazaq-led administration that changed the story. Today, our people have access to potable water and receive the 30,000 naira minimum wage among others.
To continue unraveling the progress, growth, and developments we see today in all parts of our dear Kwara, we must ensure AbdulRazaq’s victory at the polls on March 11. That’s the only way to prevent Saraki and his hungry boys from coming back to loot our treasury. The Saraki dynasty has nothing to offer other than misery, suffering, and poverty. That’s why we must do everything legal to prevent the dynasty from raping Kwara again.
Dear Kwarans, “let’s march to victory and progress”. Let’s do four more with a trustworthy, receptive, and responsive AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. He remains the best man for the job. Kwarans do not need someone who will be waiting for his greedy and merciless leader’s directive before he can attend to their needs. What Kwarans need is someone who has the wherewithal to run her affairs and that person is Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq!
Abdulqaudri Mahmud writes from Ilorin East LGA, Zango Ward, Ilorin Kwara state
Why Kwarans Shouldn’t Fall For Saraki’s New Gimmick- Abdulqaudri Mahmud
When Bukola Saraki realized that his several propaganda to pit Kwarans against Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s performing government didn’t work, he directed all his followers to start begging Kwarans to vote for the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar if they can’t vote for the party’s governorship candidate, Abdullahi Yaman. He said the former’s victory was more important than the latter’s. The former Senate President didn’t just say this, he has discovered that well-meaning Kwarans are in full support of AbdulRazaq’s second-term bid.
However, Kwarans should be very careful and shouldn’t fall for Saraki’s new gimmick. Even though Saraki has failed to tell his followers why he prefers Atiku’s victory to Yaman’s, some of us know his reason. Saraki knows that Yaman can’t win AbdulRazaq at the polls, therefore, if Atiku wins he is going to help him claim either by force or by raping the court. Currently, Saraki’s boys have been meeting unsuspecting Kwarans and begging them to vote for Atiku if they can’t vote for Yaman. That’s why you will barely see them campaign for Yaman in the last few weeks.
This essayist urges Kwarans not to fall for Saraki’s evil plans against them and the progressive state. The steady development and unprecedented achievements of the present administration have been giving Saraki and his retrogressive camp a serious headache and they are sad that Governor AbdulRazaq is doing what they couldn’t do for the people in their 16 years of governance in Kwara state.
From Saraki’s campaign rallies and his very recent interview on Sobi FM, it is glaring that he does not mean well for Kwara state and Kwarans. Saraki said the AbdulRazaq-led government had failed. If I may ask him, a government that pays salaries and promotes workers has failed? A government that repairs roads and renovates schools has failed? A government that provides potable water for its people has failed? A government that provides good teaching materials and introduced KwaraLEARN has failed? A government that creates jobs and pays the 30,000 minimum wages has failed?
Saraki is a sadist and he doesn’t mean well for Kwara state. His return will be a disaster for our dear state. May Saraki not happen to us again. If not for the Otoge movement in 2019, it is only God that knows where Kwara would have been by now. Bukola and his protege Abdulfatah Ahmed crumbled the state. Workers were owed months’ salaries, no potable water for the people, the structures of schools were terrible as students studied under the trees, no learning materials in classrooms, pensions, and gratuities were not paid, and hospitals were not hospitable. These are what Saraki calls achievements that AbulRazaq has not replicated which made him a failure, according to Saraki.
The Otoge movement gave us a brilliant, smart, and progressive AbdulRazaq. In all the areas Saraki and Abdulfatah had failed, AbdulRazaq has done well in the areas. Therefore, dear Kwarans, the 2023 presidential election and national assembly elections are this Saturday, February 25, let’s cast our votes for all the APC’s candidates and most importantly, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It’s our massive votes for Tinubu and other candidates that can stall Saraki’s evil plots against us and our dear state.
Abdulqaudri Mahmud writes from Ilorin East LGA, Zango Ward, Ilorin Kwara state
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