By Mohammed Haruna Likpata
Year 2023 will mark 24th anniversary of return of democracy in Kwara state and Nigeria. Sadly, a particular region out of the three senatorial districts in the State has been a victim of injustice and imbalance in terms of political leadership of the State, despite the contributions of this district to the overall economic growth and development of the state. While the other two districts, Kwara Central and Kwara South have both produced governors, the Kwara North has not been opportune to.
By its nature, democracy advocates justice, fairness and a sense of belonging to all. It also spurs citizens to form opinions on a number of issues of concern including choosing their leaders during elections.
It is important as good citizens of the state to reflect on this opinion before the campaigns for the 2023 general elections commence.
Physiologically, it is important to note that while people tend to assume that oppression benefits the non-oppressed class, the ordinary voters also do not benefit from these oppressions; making our citizens poorer and making the whole economy poorer. But it is not unusual for people to favor policies that harm themselves economically, putting the entire citizens in a state of jeopardy.
Today’s opinion would shape our thinking as we approach the 2023 general elections in Nigeria and in particular, Kwara State. This opinion should guide millions of citizens of the state to critically examine our long age relationships; in terms of political life, socio-economic life, and cultural values among the three senatorial zones.
But the key question is; can Kwara state be better managed as regards to keeping our state more prosperous; rich in agriculture as a visible foreign investments, open and transparent running of government, deliberate policies that will transform and empower our communities for a more inclusive governance in the state?
Kwara State as a whole on a global trend is considered as a rich state in Agriculture as a large population of its people are into farming, with Kwara North having the largest contributions in this regard. Other main investment opportunities in Kwara include Mining, Tourism and Manufacturing.
As a writer, critical stakeholder and an eligible voter whose vote can bring the needed change in Kwara we all desire, I appeal to the readers of today’s opinion to deeply reflect on the future of this State and for the purpose in which its Motto stand for. If we all have this belief in our minds that our votes can change a Kwara of today to a Kwara that works for all, then we can secure our votes to count and make a difference.
We can collectively bring in government of the people and for the people. We can bring in a government that will see every part of the State as a big stakeholder and not disregarded by the system while they are being used as a playthings.
This is why it is important for every Kwaran to pick an interest in what becomes of Kwara in 2023 and beyond. A Kwara that will develop common conscience and ideology to fight against the injustice being done to some part of the state. Kwarans must raise their voices that it is not about sectionalism when it comes to 2023 elections, but a section that can have their due equality and justice. Kwara North section has equally contributed to the economic development of the State. The 2023 Governorship election should be a referendum for Kwara North to produce the next Governor for the State. It is not about emotions that should be play against the people of Kwara North.
The issues I will be dwelling on as my talking points are not far fetch from your many responsibilities that every part of the state should be given a due advantage when it comes to who becomes the next Governor of Kwara State come 2023. All over the world, the marginalized communities are communities that don’t contribute to the economic power of the state. These are people for whatever reason, are denied involvement in the mainstream economic, political, cultural and social activities. This is not the case in the State of Harmony. The three (3) Senatorial zones have contributed greatly to the development of the state, with each zone having its own potentials and economic values.
In 2023, the people of Kwara must in the interest of justice, fairness and overall development of Kwara, support Kwara North to produce the next Governor of our state. This is one good way we can show appreciation to the contributions of Kwara North to the development of Kwara since its creation. Let’s embrace equality, equity, and inclusive representation that drives peace, unity and togetherness.
All over the world, developments happen when citizens believes in one identity. Developments happen when citizens embrace true patriotism. Developments happen when every citizen believes everyone has potentials and can offer the best in them that can benefit the entire citizenry.
Economic development must also be in tune with political, cultural and social life, and strive to eliminate political poverty among the three senatorial zones, infrastrual poverty and as well as the culture of poverty that affects some part of Kwara state in particular the “Kwara North”.
This is the time all citizens of the state should come together and ensure a Kwara Northerner be voted as the next Governor of Kwara state. This is the moment that we all stand up, old and young that equality is development. This is the moment, both the rich and the poor come together and say Kwara North deserves their total supports to become the next Governor of Kwara state. This is the moment that no individuals will say they cant support it. We are asking for fairness. We are asking for equality and justice. And we are asking that it is time and come 2023, it has to be a fulfilling unity for one Kwara.
This is not about political party, but a true reflection of who we are as a people of this state. For a State like Kwara, it is imperative for the people of Kwara to leverage on the socio-economic values that are in abundance in every part of the State and left untapped, to bring about reforms and policies that would better enrich the state and ultimately, lasting development. Agribusiness is the second most richest industry in the world after oil. This is one opportunity that Kwara State has and can generate billions of Dollars if there are deliberate policies and investments in Agriculture. Some of the principal cash crops that Kwara State can greatly invests in and available to tap includes; cotton, cocoa, coffee, peanut, tobacco, benseed, and Palm produce.
Developments can only happen when we all take responsibility that every part of the state is important and can contribute to the economic values of the state in an all inclusive representation in the management of State resources.
A Kwara Northerner becoming a Governor of Kwara state in the 2023 elections will further unite and create an enabling environment and opportunities for all Kwarans. We all have responsibility as voters to correct this anomalies to allow a Kwara Northerner be giving the opportunity to change the State from its state of lean current economic ideas, where short term solutions are being used to address long term challenges without results.
We need a government that understands the economic ideas that fits into the current and global trend of economic prosperity. Kwara state has come a long way to be among the competitive States of the federation where other States can come and invest in it. We have the potentials and with a new leadership in the state, Kwara can be better for all.
Efficiency and visibility are paramount When it comes to occupying any political office. Once there is equality and justice for every part of the state, It allows all hidden potentials be showcased. It can bridge the gap between the poor and the rich. It would allow greater inclusiveness and promotion of a better State.
No political promises by any individual or political parties could ever make a better State where equality and political injustice continued to exist among her people. This doesnt promote true love and bring about genuine development that takes into considerations every part of the State. Until every part of the state is consider in the mainstream economic and top political decisions as number one citizen of the State, no meaningful developments can be seen. If the citizens of Kwara State allow every part of the state to have sense of belonging, Governors from different part of the state will fairly compete in developments and bring about reforms that will better improve the State of Harmony.
The big question is;who has responsibility to fulfill interms of capacity, oral judgment, sagacity to fix so many challenges facing the Kwara of today as it affects all of us. From insecurity, silence in governance, lack of proper perspectives on the issues of economy, poor investments in Agriculture, manufacturing, Tourism, and Mining. Economically, when there is high investments in production and export as revenue, there will be a greater IGR for infrastructural developments, creating more jobs for our young graduates, accessibility to borrowing by the young entrepreneurs to invest in their private businesses, long term planning to addressing long term challenges, and this will greatly reduce dependency on federal allocations.
There are enough opportunities in this State for our growing population to gainfully be employed, but all we need is to put in place a prosperous leadership that understands what the issues are. This is not the time for a State like Kwara to be micro managing short term interventions to addressing the long term challenges facing the State.
Dear Kwarans, we all have responsibility to fulfill. All candidates today are equally qualified, but we can only prosper as a people when we employ all inclusive citizen that drive a strong political unity in the state by voting a Kwara Northerner after 24years of democracy come 2023. Conversations like this is essential because it open up a platform for debate and feedback, which is essence, it’s what politics encapsulates.
For some politicians, they will pin their hope of victory on the things they have done and still doing, some will hope on door to door canvassing aspect of their campaign, and some will largely be dependent on the prevoius election to come back into government.
Not the promise of I will do, but what the real issues of governance hope to be and should be. As a good citizens of Kwara State, we must begin to hold ourselves accountable for the development of our dear state. Not interms of the promises politicians or political parties will make to us that have not been heard. But accountability in fairness, equity and justice. Accountability that every part of the state has a responsibility to fulfil. Accountability that we must allow every part of the Zone to produce a Governor which is fair, just, and equitable.
Kwara state cannot be an exception against itself denying other part of the State not to produce a Governor for all Kwarans come 2023. This is Kwara North turn and should be supported by all. Look at Niger state today, they have grown their political unity above sentiments and emotions as one political families, where every part of the state has accepted the political rotation in the office of a Governor. There is no political crisis in Niger state today, every part of the state are seen as one. They tolerate and accepted their political marriage across the three Senatorial zones. What has become of Kwara of today? Where did we get it wrong? Has Kwara North committed any sin against the other two zones that has caused them this hatred? We must build trust, we must reflect in our actions, and we must tolerate and see every part of the state as one. Kwara Citizens and our political leaders should reflect and take a cue of what become a Kwara for all.
Politicians must know that there is no substitute in telling the truth while citizens fulfill their rights by voting a Kwara Northerner as the next Governor of Kwara state come 2023.
The next Governor of Kwara state should be a man that knows the challenges in the state and through Agriculture, industries and mining can turn Kwara to an investors hub. The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) has graciously be sensitive about the plight of Kwara North to have its Gubernatorial candidate from this part of the state, who has rich credentials. A former Civil Servant, an administrator, an investor in a private driven company with over 25years can safely manage the Kwara for all. Alh. Shuaib Yaman over the years has gone through systems of rigorous understanding of what running of government entails.
2023 is not going to be about promises but solutions to the problems and challenges of good governance facing the state. We need solutions that build wealth. High level of public spending on infrastructures require high levels of IGR in provideing expanded public services like infrastructures, quality healthcare, quality Education, promotion of young entrepreneurs, and provision of general social security services across the state. Kwarans need leaders that knows about the solutions that build wealth.
We all have seen enough of partly governance systems in the State. The issues of governance today in Kwara remains as it is and best to the understanding of the occupiers. The value addition in the life of citizens of the state has remained a mirage of an orphan without an option.
Voters have had more than enough of promises and there is need to collaborate your intentions with your solutions for the citizenry. As a candidate, eyeing the number one seat in the state, your campaign messages should be about real issues and solutions. How you intend to achieve a balance between warmth and authority.
Politics should always be about personality first and policies that will take Kwara back to a State of social safety and prosperity, a State of generosity and warmth to her citizens. A state of Law and Order. A state we would all call a home.