By Ibraheem Abdullateef
Long before now, when we try to tell some people the truth about the progressive state of affairs in Kwara, it was not unusual to hear the critics say one thing: “be deceiving him.” Or sometimes taken differently, “he is just deceiving you.” To them, we are people deceiving ourselves and just butling the ego of the Governor.
Yes. We love him. And believe so much in this government. And yes, it is fine if others don’t rate him highly. Regardless of whatever side one belongs, what should remain constant is the sincerity of purpose and passion for state development.
That constant passion for development has remained the trademark of Governor AbdulRazaq. The impacts are on the streets. Our women are happier, and old people are rejoicing. Look around you, dear. Can you see the state of the roads!? Do you see life creeping into our healthcare system and education!? Our roads are also divorcing potholes.
People no longer take to the streets to protest lack of payments of their salaries. Workers’ welfare is being given priority. Negotiations are ongoing, and the implementation of the minimum wage is a matter of time. At least, eight waterworks have been fixed, and more are in the works. Water tankers have disappeared in our communities. We no longer have dry running taps.
Students get their bursary as and when due fairly and transparently. NYSC camp in Yikpata which was a field of terror is now prospective corps members’ delight. Local contractors are being patronised for government works. And more will still get in the upcoming construction of schools across the state. You must have heard enough to write a book of lamentations on how they were bypassed in the past.
Yes, I will not forget. Kwara’s management of COVID-19 is topnotch. The government receives big applause nationally and internationally for its responsiveness and proactiveness. This is better by the fact that AbdulRazaq donated 10 months salaries to the fight against the virus. In the transparency and accountability front, LG accounts were audited and were declared clean of grafts. In no distant past, some 16 LGA chairmen were suspended for mismanagement. You can also tell the difference. It is no longer business as usual.
To keep track of government projects and to keep at quality delivery, AbdulRazaq initiated the social audit. The foremost CSO partnering with the government, ENetSuD announced a few weeks ago it had saved the state millions of naira. While some do not like to hear it, the fact remains that our budget process has improved, and the overall budget and economic approach panning towards Open Governance (OGP).
This administration did the first open budget and also went a step better by allowing the three senatorial districts to make inputs. It is the first of its kind.
Let me make a brief reminder. AbdulRazaq bought service vehicles for civil service and fire service agents to beef up their productivity. The MDAs which were denied funding to die have since begun working full-fledged.
Kwara has been put on the global map as the most gender-friendly in Africa. The cabinet had 8 out of 16 members. That is not to talk of others for SAs. AbdulRazaq is challenging the norm, releasing women folk from the bondage of patriarchy and giving them space and time to bloom.
And there are little, little things that matter. Like now, we have a leader who is frugal and straightforward. We were not young and naive when some flew private jets on public funds and gathered retinue of aides doing little or nothing. One of the implications of such abuse of power was wastage and the encouragement of opulence and avarice.
Pardon me. I forgot I was not to write today about AA’s strides. But I ended up giving you a peek into a little of his efforts at rebuilding the state. Yet, when we say Kwara is working for Kwarans, they say we are praising him. Yes, encouragement and commendation is no crime.
What is auspicious is that we are swelling in numbers. Leadership newspaper – a reputable media group, is the latest addition. Have you heard!? Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was declared Governor of the Year 2020. Oh my God, Leadership is going to deceive him the more.
May God forgive them. Or sorry, may God help them the truth to know.
There is gaiety in the land, and if the optimism which has greeted the award is anything to go by, it is deserving. The majority agree with the Leadership. There can be no other way of saying the truth. Truth has no replica. AbdulRazaq is fulfilling his electoral promises to the electorates, and the awards can only come in. This Governor should continue ‘deceiving’ us.