Kwara 2023: AbdulRazaq Remains The Candidate To Beat By Qudus Adelodun
The government presence and impact we have seen across sectors and in the 16 local government areas that make up Kwara State in the last three years are unprecedented. The AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led administration has been responsive, responsible, impactful and people-oriented. Pre-2019, the system that was rejected by the people of Kwara was the one that valued a circle of power brokers and elites over the critical mass of ordinary citizens. A callous system of administration that did not feel the pulse of the people. The ordinary people did not matter once some few entitled elites are happy and satisfied. Schools may look like prison yards for as long as the UBEC fund diverted has been shared between some powers-that-be.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq assumed office in 2019 and changed the whole system to be inclusive and people-oriented. It’s no longer about a few people who feel entitled, but all stratas and categories of citizens are carried along. Some people who had positioned themselves to be the next landlords of Kwara were therefore rightly disappointed as things would later pan out.
How did these people leave Kwara in 2019? What were the things our people rejected them for? Has AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq been able to address a substantial part of them? These are the questions that should guide Kwarans as we go into this 2023 election. The PDP left a Kwara where workers hardly knew when their takehome would come. If it’s not gerigedi, then they might not even take anything at all for the month. Salary arrears accumulated for months in MDAs. People began to groan. So, what is obtainable today under the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq? Apart from not defaulting for a single month in the payment of salaries to workers, AbdulRazaq has also implemented the N30,000 minimum wage. The past administration defaulted serially in salary payment to workers and never implemented the minimum wage (both N18,000 and N30,000).
Similarly, Governor AbdulRazaq has cleared salary arrears inherited by his administration. He has also shown full commitment in clearing backlogs of allowances, pensions, gratuities, promotion arrears inherited by his administration. Instead of squandering any finances available to the state, he channels it to defraying these obligations as the resources permit. If it were in the regime of these people, the SURE-P refund would have been lavished on another white elephant project just to scam the people and enrich themselves and their cronies.
The PDP are now shamelessly pushing the narrative that it is only salary payment that AbdulRazaq can point to as achievement. But that is far from the truth because his midas touch has hit other sectors too within the space of just three years. Our schools that used to be like prison yards are now being renovated, reconstructed and rehabilitated. Over 600 of them across the three senatorial districts of the state. The government also introduced KwaraLEARN to standardise learning process for our children especially with the use of technology. The recruitment process of teachers under this administration was thorough, unlike when slots of teaching were shared at political gatherings, causing a thunderous ruin to our education system.
If you go to health, it has been work and work for the AbdulRazaq-led administration. To show how bad the situation was, the whole of Kwara State did not have a standard functional ambulance. It was Governor AbdulRazaq that procured new ambulances for the state. These ambulances are moving theatres on their own, not the painted ‘danfo’ buses the previous administration left behind. The Sobi Oxygen Plant has been abandoned for years. It took the effort and commitment of this administration to revive it. In water, our waterworks, most of them inherited from the military government, were left to rot by the Saraki dynasty. After mismanaging the over N6 billion they allocated to solve water problem, they brought in water tankers to distribute water to people haphazardly and at will.
Bursary payment for indigenous students under the Saraki dynasty was a racket. Only few students benefitted, and a chunk of the money goes into the hands of unmerited people. Governor AbdulRazaq has addressed that. He has also raised the pay from N5,000 to N10,000. These are part of the situations we collectively frowned at when we said O to ge.
Governor AbdulRazaq is therefore the candidate to beat. It has been difficult for the PDP to truthfully assess and criticise his government and administration. What they now do is spread lies. In spite of all these developments, they said they did not see anything. They said they are tired. They have been spreading false and fake statistics, data on the state just to mislead the people. But Kwarans are not fools.
Their leader Bukola Saraki also shamelessly came to Kwara last week to rant and grandstand. It is laughable. Many of those projects he makes noise about as his achievements are funded by the federal government. Some of the ones he funded with the state bond he took were not completed in the life of his administration. Others were never implemented. The diagnostic centre and cargo terminal were completed under Abdulfatai Ahmed. Even the post office flyover funded by the federal government was completed under Ahmed. Metropolitan Square was never completed. Shonga Farms continues to accrue debt for the state.
What Saraki and his men have been trying so hard to hide is the fact that Governor AbdulRazaq is embarking on landmark capital legacy projects that will not only make Kwara a go-to place for economic and business activities, but also completely change the outlook of the state. These projects include the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, Garment Factory, Film Studio, International Conference Centre, Gen Tunde Idiagbon Flyover, Dualisation of Adeta-AlHikmah Road, Osi-Obbo-Aiyegunle Road construction and so many others are legacy projects of Governor. He is doing all these at the same time he is trying to address the basic challenges facing the state in education, health, water, civil service, sports, road, among others. The second term is a deserved one. We must not hand back our state to the termites that ruined it when we said O to ge.
Adelodun writes from Oro, Kwara State
Return Nigeria to republican constitution, NADECO writes Tinubu
The National Democratic Coalition has written a letter to President Bola Tinubu, seeking Nigeria’s return to the republican constitution.
In the letter signed by its spokesperson, Ayo Opadokun, the pro-democracy group noted that the 1963 republican constitution ensures true federalism and guarantees peaceful co-existence among regions and tiers of government in the country.
“NADECO is gratified that one of its most prominent leaders, who, in fact, contributed significantly to the titanic democratic struggle and campaign that the organisation had to embark upon on behalf of Nigerians to restore democracy to Nigeria, has, by divine destiny, become the elected President of the country of our birth.
“We like to remind you of the most important demand of our common and just struggle, which was centred on the imperative necessity to return Nigeria to a federal constitutional governance upon which we secured our independence.
“Nigeria remains a country, not a nation to date, because the military had without Nigerians democratic approval truncated, illegally suspended, abrogated and replaced our negotiated independent constitution and replaced it with unitary constitution to date.
“The deceptively choreographed, 1979 and 1999 constitutions which preserved all the grave damages which successive military governments have forcefully imposed upon Nigeria remain the bane of Nigeria’s backwardness, stunted growth and unacceptable level of poverty.
“NADECO is more than convinced that a return to the independence/republican constitution will restore responsive and responsible government in the minimum as we grapple with the business of reconstructing our country.’’
Mobile subscriptions shrink by three million
Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions shrank by 3.49 million mobile subscriptions in the last three months, leaving a dent in the country’s march toward mobile inclusion for all.
Since mobile subscriptions hit an all-time high of 226.84 million in February of this year, it has been on a steady decline.
It first fell to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million, according to new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. This is also the first time since June 2021 that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.
In 2020 and 2021, a Federal Government policy to link SIMs to National Identification Numbers affected the mobile industry and caused a steep decline in mobile subscriptions. Since then, subscriptions have improved, and risen to record highs.
MTN Nigeria is the only telecommunication firm to have lost mobile subscriptions in the period under review, losing 4.03 million (from 92.71 million to 88.68 million), while retaining its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.
Other telcos had better fortunes, with Globacom marginally growing by 172,867 from 60.76 million to 60.93 million; Airtel added 31,705 new subscriptions and grew from 60.30 million to 60.33 million; and 9mobile witnessed the largest growth, adding 330,003 new subscriptions to hit 13.40 million from 13.07 million in the period under review.
Within the three months, teledensity (the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area) fell to 117.17 per cent in April from 119.01 per cent in February.
In MTN’s first quarter report, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, noted that global macroeconomic factors, inflation, and cash shortages, among others, were affecting its consumers.
He said, “We continued to experience headwinds in our operating environment in the first quarter of 2023. The impacts of the ongoing global macroeconomic and geopolitical developments on energy, food, and general inflation were exacerbated locally by petrol and cash shortages experienced during the period. This placed additional pressure on economic activity, consumers, and businesses.”
Nigeria’s mobile population is the largest in Africa and the prior steady growth in the number of mobile subscriptions had been attributed to increased productivity and efficiency in other sectors
Adeleke Promises to Upgrade OSBC Facilities, Prioritize Staff Welfare
Governor Ademola Adeleke on Thursday conducted an on-the-spot assessment of state-owned broadcasting firm, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).
The governor who was conducted round the facilities by the management of OSBC led by its board Chairman, Mr. Femi Adefila, expressed commitment towards revamping the station.
‘Adeleke who said the visit was an eye opener said ‘I can see urgent need for modern broadcasting equipments, action is ongoing in that line”
While tasking them to embrace private sector practices in programming and marketing, the governor promised to upgrade the infrastructures and prioritize welfare of staff and manpower development
Speaking on the 66 freelancer in the station Governor Adeleke hinted that their “day of joy is near.”
He urged the management to increase its Revenue generation drive, block loopholes in the Marketing and finance departments and restor OSBC back on its financial strength
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