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Governor AbdulRazaq Dares To Be Different By Adisa Ismail

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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.

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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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