New Kwara needs a father, not Father-Christmas


By Ibraheem Abdullateef

There is a twist to every story. Only the truth is constant.

Even if it was an attempt to turn the truth on its head, what the latest twist to the politics of propaganda as seen in a letter purportedly written by the family members of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq revealed is that O’ to ge gave Kwara a conscientious leader who uphold fairness and equality both in private and the public space.

In the so-called letter that pseudo-family members of the Governor wrote to castigate him for allegedly “not giving contract or singling them out for an appointment,” they decried that government patronage does not come home as it is normal.

They opined that benefits meant for the over 3million Kwarans should be dropped on the family table for sharing as is typical of a Nigerian people whose son is opportune to govern a state. Simply put, it means December has come for them, and he must be a father- Christmas.

You know, I hold that sociologists are special people. This very incident would make one think they get another one right.

They say childhood, like the past, holds such a strong influence over one. It takes so much to take the moral and emotional burden off one’s present situation.

Conceptualising Kwara politics, it is safe the issue is beyond the letter. We all know letters bear names. This one had none. It is propaganda sponsored to portray the Governor as one who abandons his people. But instead of taking it on the face value, a deeper look reveals a mindset which must be abolished.

It was the disenchanting system the state ran before Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq assumed office. Aside from policy and institutional breakdowns, political analysts often posit that the most brazen of impunity ‘chop make I chop’ wrung assault on the growth and development of Nigeria since 1999.

One may safely conclude that the consensus has a strong hypothesis in Kwara which as a firebrand critic I stopped short of calling a PLC. Long before Comrade Issa Aremu came with the ‘papa, mama, pikin’ (although means differently) tagline in the 2019 elections, people were long aware of it as a family business. As events at the panel in the last few days reinforced, there was a space for friends too as public officers gave out funds and state properties to family and cronies unchecked.

Office holders can do philanthropy. But there must be a time and place for it. Early in his administration, Governor AbdulRazaq donated braille to people with disabilities (PWDs) at the School for Special Needs, Oyun to aid their learning. Also three days ago, he completed the surgical funds for a young boy Yasir with N3million. There is the help of different kinds ‘father’ does for children or family. What must not happen is legitimizing such for the art of governance. Especially as people who have suffered so much for it.

Among other obvious facts, the audacity to accuse the Governor underscores the effects of such a system on our socio-cultural values. When nonsense is repeated, it starts taking the semblance of truth. One of the gravest mistakes we can make as a people is to begin to rate leaders by how much free money, contracts, patronage they dole out to family, friends, and crony. It was Governance 101. But it must stop forthwith.

Instead of putting the Governor to ridicule, this also highlighted the need for proper scrutiny of those who wish to recapture the affairs of the state. People who feel they could score points by contentiously pushing the narratives that the Governor doesn’t give his family members free money and contracts are stylishly encouraging nepotism, and it is safe to assume they’d do it again, and again!

It bears a pattern in the way some of them rationalised and have latched on to the letter to score cheap points. But the joke is on them. Isn’t it funny the same people who have gone to town earlier with narratives that the Governor gives all the contracts and appointments to his family are celebrating ‘abandonment’ of the same family!?

As this has given the lie to claims that Governor AbdulRazaq is controlled by the family and puts personal interest above public interest, it has further exposed the desperation of politicians who spared no thought in likening politics and statecraft to a mere Premier League in a bid to regain power.

The swiftness of the reportage by National Pilot is worrisome. In a year when fake news and propaganda have wreaked indescribable havoc, publishing a letter not signed by anyone was ill-intentioned journalism. My mouth! But some have since begun to say they are throwing caution to the wind in a bid to satisfy their principal. Very sad!

The crystal truth for all to hold, however, is that governance is really evolving positively in Kwara State. The message it sends to right-thinking people is that you have a Governor who sees the entire Kwara as his constituency and not the Yerimisa clan. He is seeing Kwara, not the Yerimisa family. It solidifies the claim by some of us that AbdulRazaq’s passion and honestly to do right by the state and the people against all odds is remarkable.

The new Kwara has a father, but not father- Christmas as was the norm. Well, the traces are obvious. Roads. Schools. Water. Social investment programmes go round the community ballots ordinarily reached in the past but never developmental projects. I hate to breeze much into the past but the windy days are just getting over.

There can be a twist to every story. But only the truth comes out constant.

If we must continue on the path of progress, Kwara’s top seat cannot be a place for Father-Christmas!


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