Big, bold Mustapha and other stories

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Ibraheem Abdullateef

Hon. Moshood has some message for us. But he doesn’t appear to like shouting. So that the lessons may not be lost on the public, I decided to dip my hands into his belly to fish out the words in-between – the lines of the statement of support he made recently for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on the ongoing crisis in the Kwara All Progressives Congress (APC).

There were many prominent figures in the hall of the Arca Santa Arena where the factional All Progressives Congress (APC) Kwara held its State Congress 2018, in Ilorin. But the Mustapha – with the political experience and weight – was not just making the number; he stood big, bold, and daring.

Mustapha had been Senator Saraki’s man, possibly all of his political careers. He was a representative at the green chamber from Ilorin West/ Asa before he eventually became an aide to his erstwhile political associate in the early days of his tenure as the President of the 8th Senate. They had quite some blistering relationship before he decided to part ways with him to side with the people of Kwara State in their demand for change. This was when chanting Otoge was not fashionable. Yet he braced the waters.

MM’s place is assured in the history book. What anyone may contest is the chapter. With endurance and patience of a warhorse, even he must be winning over his staunchest critics in the party for staying the course and acting the conviction despite the unfortunate incident of his disqualification in the middle of primaries for the guber in 2018.

No doubt, he was one of the strongest contenders even as he had to battle tooth and nail for credibility as a true progressive. The story about how the rug was pulled off the feet of the former godfather in the party leading to the factionalisation is incomplete without his display of courage and resilience alongside other dyed-in-wool freedom fighters.

That was why disqualification right on the Election Day was going to be painful and disappointing for him. It speaks to the strength of character and his passion for the development of the state that he overlooked the setback and continues to support the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. Without a doubt, MM is saying a lot without talking.

One, it was unfortunate he was called a mole during the electioneering. The events afterwards have reaffirmed his sincerity. Two, his statement reaffirms the belief that some certain tendencies in the party do not quite agree with the Governor only based on the fact that he emerged the winner of the ticket as against their interest despite having promised unsuspecting Kwarans to support him wholeheartedly. Simply put, they are querying Allah.

Hear MM: “The political era has gone and someone has emerged as the Governor. By all standard and convention, the Governor is the leader of the party, and if we want to have peace at the party level, we must be submissive to the governor who is the leader of the party whether we like it or not and whether you like the governor or you not. He is the number first citizen and number one party chairman of the state.

“For me, I don’t think it is the time for us to distract the governor from governance so that we don’t give him an excuse for failure and we say our mantra is ‘O to ge’ I think that we should sheath the sword and cooperate with the governor. We still have about two years or more and cannot afford to continue to fight and allow our people to suffer. I have always been part of the progressives,” he added.

His show of support has also demystified the narrative that the Governor fights with everyone, especially all those he contested with for the ticket. He provides an alternative story. You can now conveniently ask yourself; how are Hon. Mustapha, Kawu Moddibo, Yahya Seriki, Mohammed Dele Belgore not calling him names? What exactly do the aggrieved persons mean by not “consulting and allowing them to rule with him?” Please begin to ask these people a lot of questions on the radio and social media as soon as they begin to tell half- stories.

APC vs AA Group?

I love Chief Akogun most for one thing: oratory. And he seems to know he has the gift. But one thing with that is the tendency to get cocky and talk oneself out of favour if care is not taken. I am sure people would remember the story of Bankarere. Like him, Chief Akogun talked to stardom; it may also be his albatross.

I was appalled to hear him prop the narrative on the radio that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq fights against the party. No, that is outright misinformation being told for sympathy. And I hate to flag an elder there. The Governor is the leader of APC in Kwara. How could he be fighting the same?

I’d expect him to say it the right way. ‘It is an intra- party issue between members for and against the Governor in our party.’ APC vs APC. The narrative that a certain forum, AA forum is fighting APC, is not true. Members of AA Forum are loyal members of the APC who do not praise opposition leaders and criticise the Governor produced by its party publicly. They believe fiercely in the Governor and would rather support him to succeed. How do we now say they fight the APC? In any case, who are the Progressives? Certainly not the people that love APC so much that they are willing to bring down the APC government. May Allah never allow us to know such love.

I am afraid what Baba meant to achieve with such a narrative is to damage the reputation of the Governor and position him as an ingrate to the party which produced him. How unfair. Is Chief Akogun the party all to himself? Even the tendency he said on Sobi Fm ( group ti temi), giving credence to the fears in the town that he is personalising the Otoge revolution, have so many people who contributed intellectual, human, and financial resources not rebelling against the government today. The public deserves to know the truth. Now. Not later again. You do not claim to want peace but go around urinating on the doorstep of the other person.

Governor AbdulRazaq has been a core Progressive even long before it became fashionable to oppose the dynasty. He is not planning to change today. Whoever has crossed a bridge once, is the one, who people should fear to cross it again.

Please take note.

Goodbye Pension Law. Hello, 2021.

We won’t allow the noise to overshadow the impacts. Radio noise is ephemeral. Impacts live with our people on the street. Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday finally laid to rest the ghost of the Pension Law Governor Saraki signed in 2010 to haunt the state. Under the former law, he was qualified for salary, aides, cars and houses the same as a sitting Governor – out of office. This costs the state a fortune. A report by Premium Times claimed that Saraki himself enjoyed it for at least five years not to mention others like Senator Shaaba Lafiagi. However, being a sincere and humble leader, AbdulRazaq has put a stop to such payments by repealing the law. That is another promise fulfilled. Although they won’t tell you on the radio.

Ounje Ofe for your children.

Students in Kwara State will soon be enjoying free food at school. While the federal government handles Primary 1- 3, Governor AbdulRahman-led government will take care of Primary 3-6. Over 4,500 vendors have already been tested in preparation for the take-off in no distant future.

Ounje ofe is the Home Grown School Feeding Programme under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) being replicated by the Kwara Government as part of the four-layered component of Kwara State Social Investment Programmes (KWASSIP). Upon the commencement, it affords the state opportunity to scale down the rate of malnutrition, out-of-school children, and also relieve the parents of the financial burden. With Owo Arugbo, Owo Isowo, and now Ounje Ofe, Kwara is placed better than ever to empower youths, women, vulnerable old people, and protect the children from the scourge of poverty. Have we ever heard it so good? When next they ask what has changed, you know what to tell them.

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