By Yahyah Habib
Just like spectators believe they can play better than those on the pitch, so do people outside the corridor of power believe they can perform better than those in charge. This is the case of the present political happenings in Kwara state.
I was propitious to be among the 7 Kwara patriots who met with most of the aspirants under the platform of APC in the last gubernatorial election in Kwara State before the party primaries. Let me be clear; our meeting with them was on flag-waving ground to know what each of them have to propound in order to move Kwara forward but not in any way political as I and two others equally met with Bolaji Abdullahi of PDP on the same basis.
I am not here to discuss the fallout of our clandestine separate meeting with them but to remind our governor of some of his promises to Kwarans, especially, the civil servants, local contractors, traders and Farmers etc when we met with him.
Just like others, the likes of Lukman Mustapha, Moshood Mustapha, Soliu Mustapha, Prof Oba Abdulraheem, Akeem Lawal, Is’aq Modibbo Kawu and Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, may have their respective blueprint for moving Kwara forward, I was convinced on the choice of Governor Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq after carefully listening to his strategies on how to develop Kwara, elevate the standard of living of the civil servants, increase the state IGR with his business acumen and above all, create enabling environment for small scale businesses to thrive.
Governor Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq happened to be the most consistent aspirant among them all as he has been vying for the same position since 2007 and eventually got it in the 2019 general election, he is expected to be the most prepared governor in the history of Kwara state.
This is 74 weeks into his tenure but most of the major campaign promises to which Governor Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq under the platform of APC rode to power in Kwara state have not been met. One of the major promises made by APC on their popular weekly program tagged “APC Gberede” is the implementation of the new minimum wage. I wonder why APC is tactically shifting the goal post now that they are in power.
The recent fact revealed by Dr Soliu Ajia has made bare the stark reality that the Kwara State Government is under. Truth be told, it will be difficult for Governor Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq to implement the new minimum wage as promised during the campaign. To say that this will meet most of the State civil servant with disappointment will amount to stating the obvious.
What is more, the likelihood of negative reaction cannot be ruled out, thereby making the governor to be sitting on the keg of gunpowder.
Another promise that is yet to be met by the state government is the use of local contractors. If I may ask, what happen to 134 local contractors that participated in an open bid on Wednesday 13th November 2019? To my knowledge, most of the colossal and substantial projects done so far by this administration were awarded to non-native contractors, yet, the level of the work done is very poor as confirmed by the Kwara state speaker of house of Assembly when he visited one of the projects site at Government High School in Ilorin and reaffirmed by our highly esteemed ENetSuD.
While I don’t want to believe the governor has reduced our local contractors to those that can only handle street to street interlocking projects, the facts on ground makes such an inference easy to draw as most of the substantial projects are awarded to foreign contractors.
I want to appeal to the state government under the leadership of our indefatigable governor, Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq to start using the competent, highly qualified and reliable ones among our enormous local contractors.
This I believe will reduce the menace of unemployment and hardship ravaging our state as it will give room for both direct and indirect labor thereby increase cash flow in the state economy.
Another promise that I assume the state government need to take seriously is the governor’s promise to Kwara traders. Before I proceed on this, let me commend the state government on the introduction of the program tagged Trader money “Owo Ishowo”.
However, as good and laudable this program may be, the N10, 000.00 being given is too small. I wonder the kind of business that can be started with N10, 000.00 especially under the present economic condition the country is facing.
As the popular saying goes: “What worth doing is worth doing well”. I would like to advise the government to increase the money to make it more meaningful and purposeful for the beneficiaries to start something worthwhile.
We cannot be blaming the people in government all the time for they are the ones facing the realities. The fact on ground have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the state civil service is excessively staffed and the state government is really battling to sustain them but the government need to consider the sunset staff engaged by the previous administration that have not been receiving their salaries. The government should consider them as part of the liabilities inherited as I believe there are assets inherited too.
Another keg of gunpowder the governor is sitting on is his debacle to hold his house together. A group of Tigers can be led successfully by a Sheep and A Lion may not be able to lead a group of Sheep to success. It all depends on attitude, leadership skills and tactics.
No political office holder can succeed all alone. As it stands in Kwara state, the central cannot hold the grip of power and if it continues it may affect the governor in the nearest future.
The governor needs to close rank with other political office holders, politicians from both sides of political divide and above all, his co-aspirants. They are not in any way on the same page and this is detrimental to the success of the administration.
Governor Abdur-razzaq Abdul-Ramon should define a consolable strategy to increase the state IGR as he promised. Kwarans are tired of hearing the same story over and over again.
The army of unemployed youths that voted for this administration with the hope that things will change for the better are still roaming the street hunting for jobs, the civil servants are still earning their monthly peanut, the backlogs of the local government staff is still there, our roads are still bad, infrastructural decay and nepotism is still reigning.
These are the agitations our amiable governor Abdulrahaman Abdur-razzaq rode to power on. It is now becoming a keg of gunpowder that must not explode.
I strongly believe in this government leading the path to success as all these cannot be fixed in four years but the governor has to start clearing the bushy parts now.
May God guide our leaders right and help the youths the truth to know.