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AbdulRazaq And The New Face Of Public Schools In Kwara By Fafoluyi Olayinka

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A flashback to the 16 years of decadence of the past administration in Kwara State is a sad chapter in the history of the state that the people will not forget in a hurry. It was an unmitigated disaster. Education was comatose while corruption oozed to high heavens. Kwara State laid prostate, holding thinly onto life on oxygen, having been sucked and sapped of all nourishment for growth and prosperity.

While education and other sectors were crying for attention during their reigns, the failed political dynasty of the horrible 16 years were busy celebrating and doling out money at ‘Ile Arugbo’ to miscreants and political touts, celebrating inanities, under the guise of charity to the needy. They behaved like Nero who slept while Rome burnt.

Each time we make attempt to revisit the PDP sordid years, there is always the desperate attempt to stop us from revealing the horrendous times, but shamefully they would be quick to always blame the AbdulRazaq administration for not doing enough. What we need ask ourselves is that, is four years enough to correct the devastating 16 years of the erstwhile administration in Kwara?

By the time Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq took over leadership in May 2019, our education sector was in such a terrible state that it was like starting afresh — rebuilding the broken down infrastructure and lifting — the morale of teachers.

 

In one of his tours across schools in the state, Governor AbdulRazaq in the early days of his administration visited a dilapidated school, KLGEA primary School, Venra in Kaiama LGA. The state of the primary school was a reflection of our education system in Kwara in 2019. AbdulRazaq was aghast and wondering about the deficits, decay and deprivations that Kwarans have endured for the past years. He was highly miffed and dejected by what he saw. Not only were the buildings dilapidated, they lacked chairs, books for libraries, sporting facilities and just about anything. The situation had deteriorated to an embarrassing level that pupils and students in some public schools sat on the floor.

But how did Kwara get there? A context is necessary. As a state, we used to be one of the leaders as far as public education is concerned, especially in Northern Nigeria. The 16 years old political dynasty however stole the future of our public education and our children with various diversions and mismanagement of funds, to utterly abandoning investment in the education system. The morale of teachers was at an all-time low, with the default in their payment. A major mess during their era was an infamous diversion of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund which saw Kwara blacklisted in the league of states for seven years.

What that meant was that the state could not access the UBEC grant which was in billions to develop and redevelop basic education because of the greed and indiscretion of some leaders. The quality of education in the state began to sink. School structures were decaying and could not be fixed. Teaching materials could not be supplied. Teachers were being owed salaries for months. The result was the system we inherited where pupils sat on bare floor to learn and the eyesore dilapidated school structures scattered around.

Today, three years after, the situation has changed. Several public schools have undergone comprehensive remodeling across the state. Examples of which are the LGEA schools at Pakata, Wara, Ogidi, Mount Camel Oloje and several public schools in the state. The administration also engaged in massive construction of blocks of classrooms across the state. Several public schools that benefitted include JSS Sheikh Alimi, JSS Obanisuwa, LGEA Shuuban, several public schools across the state. Many schools also had their blown roofs reconstructed, while many VIP toilets were constructed in many of our public schools.

From complete rehabilitation of Government High School, Ilorin, rehabilitation of blocks of classrooms at Community Secondary School, Baboko, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Government Day Secondary School in Ilorin; to comprehensive rehabilitation of Oro Grammar School, Oro, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Ansarul Islam Secondary School, Ikotun, rehabilitation of a block of classrooms at Ijara Isin, complete rehabilitation of Government Secondary School, Share, all in Kwara south; it is a harvest of solid successes.

The comprehensive rehabilitation of Government (Unity) Secondary School, Kaiama, Government Secondary School, Lafiagi and Patigi Secondary School, Patigi, all in Kwara North, among so many other public primary and secondary schools undergoing renovation in the state, is a revolution in the education system.

The interesting thing is that all the schools come with a standard specification. All the schools either renovated or reconstructed have the symbolic red, blue or green roof which makes them distinct from other structures around. It is a revolution in the education sector because today, every local government area has been touched and the process of renovation is still on. The interest of parents in our public schools has been aroused, as they have started to enrol their children. Governor AbdulRazaq is restoring the public confidence the schools used to have in the past.

One of the first tasks pursued by the Governor was to renew the relationship of the state with UBEC. He had to pay what is left of what the previous administration diverted, and then commit another N7billion matching grant to attract UBEC fund. Kwara is now investing about N14 billion to revive the paralyzed education system. We’re getting results already with the ongoing massive renovation of schooling facilities. Of the estimated 2,000 plus dilapidated basic school structures inherited by the current administration, over 600 have been fixed in the last three years. Teachers now have their welfare given keen attention. Since the government started, no teacher or worker has been owed salaries. This is to build a motivated workforce that would give our children the right education.

And then, the AbdulRazaq administration also did something totally different from what obtained in the past on the recruitment of teachers. Unlike in the past where teaching slots were shared at party meetings, Governor AbdulRazaq stood firm that the recruitment process must be objective, thorough and qualitative. This bold step has a long lasting effect on the future of our children because they would learn from competent hands. Add this to the fact that the government has also introduced KwaraLEARN to ensure our education system meets the modern trend of digital economy. Teachers are being trained and retrained and various Digital Literacy Centres are being built across the north, south and central parts of the state.

The dramatic infrastructural turnaround of schools across the state will contribute significantly to the learning ability, interest and experience of the students. It will have a salutary effect on not just the learning environment but more significantly on students’ performance in national examinations so that we would not have to travel the sordid past of having to pay fines for involvement in examination malpractices again. It would be recalled that this administration paid N30.5m fines to prevent many public schools involved in malpractices in 2019 SSCE examinations from being blacklisted by WAEC.

With Governor AbdulRazaq’s administration, successes have been recorded. In December 2021, the state SUBEB contingent came first in the National President’s Cup in the debate competition. A paradigm shift from exam practices to academic recognition.

According to Governor AbdulRazaq, the brilliance, eloquence and composure of the students are a bold statement about the current state of public education in Kwara State, and “we invite members of the public and relevant stakeholders to support our ongoing efforts in the sector,” he stated while receiving the team which is expected to represent the country in the world debate competition this year.

The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Basic Education and Services just recently lauded the investment Kwara State has put to basic education under Governor AbdulRazaq during a working visit to the state.

“What we have seen so far in Kwara is of high quality and satisfactory. There is evidence of focus and commitment, and a clear interest in promoting basic education and empowering our children to survive in an increasingly complex technology driven global system,” chairman of the committee Prof. Julius Ihonvbere said.

At a meeting with the Governor, school heads and teachers from across the three senatorial districts had also commended him for taking their welfare as a priority and for the infrastructural revolution ongoing in their various schools. They clearly understand the difference between the past where they were owed several months of salaries to the present where their salaries are paid as and when due, even in the face of economic meltdown.

Moving forward, AbdulRazaq’s goal is to ensure that no child is left behind or denied every right and privilege to compete with their peers. This has provoked the administration to invest in the future by investing heavily in education so that the children of the poor will not feel inferior as a result of the school they attend. The structures of our public schools are now competing fairly with those of the private schools in terms of aesthetics.

There is also increase in attendance and enrollment in the public school system in Kwara state. This evidently paints the picture that the face of our public schools is changing. But Governor AbdulRazaq is not yet done, because for him, investment in basic education remains a cardinal focus of his administration. There is an inherent need to give him 4 more years to consolidate on his feats and achievements.

Fafoluyi Is SA, New Media to the Governor of Kwara State.

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Why Is Saraki’s PDP Behaving Like A Headless Chicken? By Qudus Adelodun

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I didn’t foresee that my home truth will throw Bukola Saraki’s fake boys in disarray. Since I penned my article on how Saraki’s PDP will place Kwara State on Jumia for ridiculous sale after milking its resources dry if they mistakenly get power back in 2023, some of his fake boys have been trying to outdo one another in a contest of sycophancy and disingenuousness.

From the fake Dare Babatunde who I gathered was a high ranking official of the Saraki government but was only hiding under that name as has been his wont overtime, to the rabid Abdulyekeen Mohammed Bashir who also wrote to ‘mark attendance’, his writing devoid of logic and context, and other media bandits of the Saraki dynasty spread across the new media, what unites them all is the behaviour of a headless chicken.

They refused to address the substance of the matter and were just blabbing and throwing insults! Look, people with sound defense won’t use a whole article to insult and rant. So, you guys should face the issues squarely. I’m particularly surprised the fake Dare Babatunde couldn’t be proud enough of the government and principal he served and therefore offer his name in his watery defence. You can’t defend the indefensible.

If I may jolt the memories of these attack dogs, the people of Kwara said O to ge in 2019 because they were tired of the bad, uninspiring, poor, enslaving governance of the Saraki dynasty. They did that in one, loud voice that no elective position went the way of the dynasty. Some of you in fact agreed that if a chicken were presented as a candidate against your people, it will succeed. Does that not tell you how low you went in governance? Why are you struggling to rewrite history now?

You ran a state for 20 years and destroyed all the legacies of our heroes. Your leadership turned Kwarans to a people who had no water to drink. No quality healthcare system to access. Courts were in tatters. Civil servants didn’t get their salaries as and when due. They were also owed for several months. No implementation of minimum wage. Schools were like prison yards. You didn’t make teachers happy. These are basic, basic things. Yet you failed massively on them. I wonder if anyone who has honour will come out to identify with this glaring failure. It’s your history, don’t rewrite it.

The AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq you have targeted your diatribes at has provided water for the people by repairing the dysfunctional waterworks you abandoned for years. And we do not see the sorrowful tankers you used to distribute water about again. He has been timely and up to date in the payment of civil servants. The computers, printers you failed to buy for them to ease their work, he has bought them. He has invested so much in the basic education you collapsed. Over 600 schools have been rehabilitated and reconstructed in less than three years. Teachers get paid as and when due. Quality learning through KwaraLEARN is ongoing at our basic schools. We are already getting the low-hanging fruits with the brilliant and superlative outings of our pupils in external contests. More is to come. We have left the era where pupils are assisted in exams to make up for the failure of the system. Go see the ambulances this government procured for the state and compare it to the nonsense you left behind. You also know that you didn’t leave a single functional tractor across the state, but we now have about 15.

I chuckled when I saw Abdulyekeen defending the peculiar mess of UBEC grant diversion. He said the past administration didn’t divert the fund. He has the onus to explain to us why Kwara was blacklisted for years and they kept mute. Are they working in the interest of Kwarans or against? And more so, if anyone has more reason to go to court, it is Abdulfatai Ahmed whose government has been indicted. Is he not supposed to clear his name considering the weight of the allegation? What dingbats like Abdulyekeen don’t understand is that the people of Kwara can clearly see the difference between the past and the present. No amount of insults or illogicality will rewrite our story here!

So, I also posited that there was no meaningful investment Saraki did throughout his administration. All his vaunted achievements were marred with never-seen-before scam and failure. None of his boys have been able to do the analysis of the financial resources committed into Shonga Farm and the returns on investment Kwara has benefitted from it. In any case, Shonga Farm ended up a failure in the life of their dynasty, just like the dubious Cargo Terminal. Abdulyekeen should tell us where the Trailer Park Saraki promised to do when he wanted to access his bond is. Then, they have been trying to steal the glory of the FG in some projects. KWASU is one of them. You see, don’t be deceived, 90% of the structures at KWASU was funded by the Federal Government. This is the same way they got full payment for the Post Office Flyover they did which the FG was disappointed in its execution. Years later, Governor AbdulRazaq is constructing the Tanke Flyover with nearly close amount they voted for the Post Office Flyover years ago. Who’s the scammer? A well-informed person in the Saraki camp should come out and tell us what Kwara has benefitted as returns on investment from Kwara Mall and why they had to offer more shares to the private partners despite the fact that the state contributed mostly in the project. These are the issues I expect those behaving like headless chickens to address. Did Saraki not procure machine at Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre and refused to pay the contractors, carried over the debt to the administration of Abdulfatai Ahmed and to Governor AbdulRazaq. How can Kwara under Saraki attract billion naira worth of bond to execute investments and there is no record of the returns the state has made in them. It’s just debt, debtand debt everywhere. Abdulfatai Ahmed should also step out to explain how Harmony Holdings’ N4bn capitalisation fund turned to N404 million.

Under Governor AbdulRazaq, statistics are saying poverty rate have reduced, unemployment has reduced. These are results of his committment to the social investment programmes where people had benefitted millions of naira. Kwara has moved places in financial sustainability rating. Kwara was one of the states that attracted FDI in 2021. The number of industries in the state has risen tremendously under AbdulRazaq. Promotions are ongoing with cash-backing. The pensioners the cruel Saraki dynasty refused to pay, this administration has been paying. This administration is also embarking on legacy capital projects that will boost the economy, create job opportunities and bring prosperity to the state. They are unique and one-of-a-kind in the region and nation at large. The Visual Arts Centre is primed to do last mile finishing. Our Eye Centre follows immediately after the one in Kaduna in the whole of the North. The Innovation Hub will be one of the largest in the country. We have the Garment Factory, International Conference Center, Tanke Flyover, Nootia FM, Kakakin FM, Film Studio, Intensive Care Unit. All these achievements and feats in just three years are what is giving the Sarakites migraine. They can never forgive Governor AbdulRazaq for liberating Kwara State.

Adelodun writes from Oro, Kwara State

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AbdulRazaq Mukeso By Lateef Olamilekan

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When I first heard that there is a man in my homestead aspiring to become the governor of Kwara State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, I paused for a while.

I paused to ask if it is just another case of a visionless advocacy for an unprepared personality to take charge of the mantle of leadership in this our beloved state.

I also pause to ask if it’s a rare case of personality with a vision and passion for rescuing the long forgotten masses of Kwara State.

The answer to this I believe is, or should be of great importance to the people of Kwara State, because ordinarily it ought to be the basis upon which they should give their mandate.

To this effect, I tried to see if I can provide answer to the above question.

My desire to answer this question compelled me to raise questions like; who is he? What are his antecedents? What has he achieved so far? How tall does he stand intellectually? How much does he know of the real need of his people?

What practical blueprint does he have to turn their fortunes around, economically, socially, educationally and politically, among others?

In the course of my investigation, I detected that he’s not in any match for the incumbent Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who’s an all round performer, from Education, to health, to infrastructure, to technology and his iconic social investment scheme.

The PDP candidate on the other hand doesn’t even have any track record, he was even until his emergence as the opposition flag bearer was a Federal Commissioner under the platform of the APC.

He had even at a fora highlighted the achievement of the APC in Lagos as his role model and not even the one of their leader whom they adjudged as the best thing after slice bread.

Recently, Governor AbdulRazaq launched another grant for artisans in the state and also announced free transport for students of the state schooling up North.

If all these are what to go by, then the discerning Kwarans wouldn’t return to the dark ages and would resoundingly re-elect AbdulRazaq for a second term.

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Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Will Be Re-elected-Abdulqaudri Mahmud

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Abdulqaudri Mahmud from Ilorin East LGA, Zango Ward, Ilorin has, today, published a release on Social Media stating why the Governor of Kwara state would be Re-Elected in the 2023 elections.

Fidel Info reports that He wrote that “When Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s adversaries want to give their reasons for why he would not be re-elected in the coming 2023 gubernatorial election in Kwara state, they would mention some enemies of the State who left him because he didn’t give them access to the state’s treasury or coffers. They would say he doesn’t know how to manage people. But the question I ask them is, why are people still with him if you say he doesn’t know how to manage people? This harmless question usually shuts their stinking mouths.”

He further Stated that the same people they claim left AbdulRazaq because he couldn’t manage them went to form another party, and after some months, they fought dirty to the extent that some of them exited the party to form another party. These are the characters the governor’s dolt adversaries believe left him because he couldn’t manage them. Why were they not able to manage themselves after leaving AA? The truth of the matter is that these people can’t manage their egos, greed, and selfishness.

Some of these people joined the Otoge movement not because of the love of Kwara state but because of their selfish interests. They had thought AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s emergence would allow them to steal from the state’s treasury like the previous governments gave them. But when AA said it wouldn’t happen under his leadership, they turned their back on him and left APC when the internal crisis they initiated boomeranged.

He corrected the notion of Governor AbdulRazaq’s enemies who have turned themselves into political analysts and failed to understand is that it’s the Kwarans that will determine if he will be re-elected or not. It’s not some politicians who are fighting him because of their selfish interests. It’s not some politicians who want him to do things in the old ways (the government of the few). And Kwarans have said they’re with him because his government is theirs (ijoba mekunu). They say Ramoni o s’ekan si. Meaning, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is going to do one more term.

Abdulquadri Mahmud claimed that Kwarans are feeling the good works of the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s government. “Unlike the previous governments that denied them the dividends of democracy, they’re now enjoying it under AbdulRazaq regardless of political affiliation. And this is one good thing about this government. You don’t need to be a member of the APC before you can benefit from the empowerment programs this government does through KWASSIP.” he wrote

In the viral social media post, he said“Kwarans are also feeling the good works of the AA-led government in the education and health sectors. They know the terrible conditions these sectors were before AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was sworn in in 2019 and how they are now. They know how horrible the structure of our schools and roads were and how they are now. Also, they know how the civil servants were badly treated and how they’re being treated now. Aside the fact that this government implemented the N30,000 minimum wage, it also promotes the civil servants who are due for promotion. Promotion in the last regime was politicized and didn’t attract cash-backing.”

“These and many others are why Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will be re-elected in next year’s gubernatorial election. His re-election will be a reward for his allegiance and absolute loyalty to Kwarans since he was elected in 2019. Besides, one good turn, they say deserves another.” Me Mahmud concluded.

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