Governor AbdulRazaq Dares To Be Different By Adisa Ismail
Flash your memory to some decades back and draw a picture of how this same Kwara State used to be. It was all about a single man whom everybody must genuflect for. He brooks no dissenting voice. He just barks down orders. Many years after he even left office as governor of the state, he was still notorious for ordering around his succeeding governor whom he admittedly handpicked.
The man lorded over the state. He treated people as though they were less human. We have seen several pictures of people standing while he was sitting comfortably to have conversations with them. It didn’t mean that there were no chairs for those standing to sit. That was just his own way of telling them they were less human.
He had no respect for our values and culture as a people, and even our elders. Veteran journalist and columnist with ThisDay Segun Adeniyi had narrated how he assembled a team of community elders to receive a foreign, juvenile musician at the airport. That was the height of disrespect in our culture. One of the elders was said to have even protested right at the place against the ‘see finish’ as the new generation would call it.
In those years when they had power in their hands, as an opposition member, you dare not openly and freely ventilate your opinions. Leaders of the opposition were harassed and tormented. The dynasty had an army of youths empowered to wreck havoc on anyone who dares say no to the status quo. They weaponised poverty and threw handouts at people, while they stole their future and inhibited progress for the state.
There were extravagant spendings here and there and the state treasury was milked dry to satisfy personal greed. They allocated choice buildings to themselves and legalised payment of humongous pension and other perks to themselves, while the state was bleeding. School structures were dilapidating. Waterworks had gone bad. Salaries were not paid as and when due. Basic healthcare facilities were in disrepair.
But the new Sheriff Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq dares to be different. He has demystified public office with his very modest spending, humility, simplicity, respect for human dignity, respect of our values and culture.
AbdulRazaq makes everyone feel truly respected. He moves about the street with no air. He speaks often to the people at the grassroots, show concern for them during eventualities. You could see recently how he attended the funeral rites of the late Sheikh Abdulganiy Nureini Aboto, defying the downpour. He was soaked in rain, but that didn’t matter to him than the compassion and empathy he wished to extend.
Governor AbdulRazaq carries his bag by himself. He walks into events without air, unlike the gangster-like style some public officers are used to. He respects the young and the old. No government in the history of Kwara has granted the youths and women inclusion and sense of belonging like his. His cabinet is filled with young, brainy chaps and women. And they have been doing very well. Their colleagues outside there also feel important and have the optimism that it could get to their turn at anytime.
The governor is not a lavish person. This perhaps is why he is having it so rough with some politicians whose idea of politics and governance is to channel collective wealth into their own personal pockets. Despite the fact that he would be at most disadvantage, Governor AbdulRazaq took a bold step to abolish the wicked, extravagant pension packages to ex-governors and their deputies. For a state struggling to make ends meet, such expenses is ill-advised.
Unlike in the past where peanuts are thrown at our old citizens in the most debasing manner, Governor AbdulRazaq has through the Kwara State Social Investment Programmes, KWASSIP, restored their dignity with Owo Arugbo in the understanding that social security is necessary for them. Young people are not empowered for evil, they now enjoy business support and funding running into hundreds of thousand and million naira through the same KWASSIP and other offices.
Civil servants welfare is now given keen attention. Salaries are paid as and when due, unlike what was inherited where backlogs were mounting across board. There are investments in critical sectors of the state. Education is breathing back to life. Health is coming back. Major waterworks have been fixed. More importantly, opposition elements have the latitude to express their concerns without hindrance. No good boys attack them. State forces are not used against them. In fact, many of their abandoned projects are being completed. They did not offer this decent gesture to their predecessors. So far, Governor AbdulRazaq has shown with sufficient examples to be different!
Ismail 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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