By: Olawale Asunmo-Edu Agboola
Slave Masters usually devise different methods, means and manners to make the slaves fall in love with their chains, but most freeborn never fall in love with their chains.
They are guided by the philosophy that; Slaves who fall in love with their chains will forever remain in bondages and servitude. Under the previous era, political spectators and commentators across the Country implicitly reference the resident of Kwara State as people under the slavery of a political hegemony.
The unholy appellation “Saraki Slaves” was the major catalyst that led to the birth of resistance against the inheritor of the hegemony in question. The water of change was tested in 2011 and 2015, before it yielded positive results in 2019.
Funny enough, the major actors that sided with the inheritor of the hegemony, from the era of good footings under his leadership of the State, till he slides into an inglorious reign, had active participations in the Otoge Mantra that sent him into his current State of Political Stupefaction.
If the current administration performs exceedingly beyond the expectation of both the populace and the political class, by next transition, there is a great tendency for him to be sent into a permanent Political Oblivion, but can the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq actually achieve such great feat, with all the melodramatic happenings under his watch?
ASSESMENT OF THE FIRST YEAR PERFORMANCE
On assumption of office on 29th May, 2019 by His Excellency, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, his countenance, assurances and posture, presented him to the enthusiastic populaces as a personality with candour. A critical evaluation of his candour bait has created ambivalence, especially with measures of his administration’s transparency in terms of contracts sum and structural renovations across the State, regarded as pedestrian by critical thinkers, while a good percentage of the people see his actions as work in progress.
According to findings, the Governor’s mindset that Kwara State possesses humongous finance to execute landmark projects in all the nooks and crannies of the State, has turned out to be an afterthought, leaving him to flounder, whether to toll the path of loans, which will add to the huge indebtedness of the State or create enabling environment for growth of businesses and industries to boost the Internal Generated Revenue of the State, which serves as plausible explanation for the rating of his administration in the last one year.
The Governor has received praises for settling outstanding salary arrears of Staff of State owned Polytechnic and the Colleges of Education, similar to the actions of the Kwara State Governor in 2003. In 2003 to 2004, Six Months Salary Arrears owed to the Staff of the same Institutions by the preceding administration were cleared by the Government, in addition to donation of Shuttle Buses to ease Students Transportation Challenges, Provision of Security Equipments to those Institutions, Repairs of Water Dams for provision of pipe borne waters for the populace, road constructions in different parts of the State, prompt payment of salaries to workers, renovations of Schools and Health Centres among others.
In actual sense, records are in the Government House and minds of conscientious masses. In the midst of all these activities, the then Governor still laid the foundation for the establishment of a State University. He earlier proposed the Conversion of Kwara State Polytechnic Ilorin to a State University, an action vehemently opposed by Kwara Poly Stakeholders, the unhindered Governor eventually established the University years later.
THE UNFOLDING REALITY
In Kwara State, the last four months can best be described as season of journalistic endeavours with relays of factual and counterfactual assessment of the reality of Kwara State under the current leadership. It is an understatement to state that Kwara residents have now developed the tendencies of daily monitoring of government activities and discourse of issues, from semblance of populist’s agenda, to a level where those within the corridors of power, particularly the Governor’s Media Aides are put to herculean task of defending the irksome activities of the government. At the moment, issue of renting of tractors by the government at exorbitant cost that can purchase tractors for the government is receiving public condemnations. There are insinuations that virtually all projects executed by the Governor became cash cows for his appointees.
Though, facts have not surfaced to indict the Governor in all the ensuing mess but there are certain questions begging for answers. There was a Cabinet shakeup recently after information filtered on crisis of confidence between two female Commissioners. Within the period, unfounded allegations were made on mismanagement of Local Government Fund, where many of us that held a strong believe that the Governor can never be involved in any financial scandal in the cause of running his administration hanged on to our believe, a rumoured resignation of one his Commissioners rented the air, is there more to this matter?
To exhibit resonant leadership, Empathy is a key element among other variables such as Self & Social Awareness, Relationship Management & Authenticity. Emotional, Cognitive & Emphatic Concern are three components of Empathy, as revealed by Goleman. Where Emotional Empathy succinctly capture getting the sense of feeling what others are going through, Cognitive Empathy explains the awareness of how people feel, while Emphatic Concern measure where we are moved to help others when needed. In clear essence, only leaders who understand empathy can provide resonant leadership.
The Governor is yet to be wary of the consequences of further alignment with the antics of praise singers and those in waiting line of pecuniary gains within the corridors of power and Gate of the Government House, whose major interest is to open channel for benefiting from largesse and cutting corners with Government Contractors. In all honesty, the Cabinet Members and other Political Aides of the Governor will have little blames when found involved in frivolous actions, how available has the Governor made himself to monitor the operational activities of his administration, the Governor is hardly available in Kwara and once available, packaged for condolence visits, naming ceremonies, birthday celebrations and other events attendance, to portray him as someone with empathy, while his Deputy who supervised most activities of Government has been a subject of discuss among the populace for untoward characters, needless to mention here.
One distinct personality covered up for the Governor in the last one year. Unnoticed to the general public, he was the pillar of strength for the administration who to a great extent, ensured many of the appointees stayed in tune with the good intentions of the Governor to correct the wrongs in the State, unfortunately, he was lost recently to the cold hands of death. Alh Aminu Logun, the erstwhile Chief of Staff to the Governor played a very significant role in facilitating stability for the administration. Unlike past Chief of Staff under previous administrations and other climes with malfeasance in the cause of running the affairs of government, he was dutiful and meticulous. The administration needs a perfect replacement to fill the gap.
WHO DOES THE CAP FIT?
The character of the replacement must be someone not in search of sudden wealth like many of the appointees. The Governor can afford to get many things wrong; he can’t afford to appoint someone who will put his administration into total disrepute. There are notably great personalities with affinity to the Governor not currently holding political offices in the State. They are successful industrialist, just like the departed Chief of Staff. No point mentioning names, the Governor should know who best can serve the purpose of rallying force with capacity to make his administration more popular and accessible to all and sundry.
At this era, appointing a personality with managerial skills and kindheartedness can best serve the missing link in the government. There are few reasons the criticism against the Governor has not sunken to hearts of the masses and pitch them against the Governor. Topical among them is the popular believe that the Governor was extremely rich, honest and generous, though debatable. The other is the fact that some non state actors have been expending their personal resources to service loyalty of the political class and pacify the people to tolerate the government.
Appointing someone who will be collecting kickbacks from contractors or someone who will not be accessible to the people or commandeer respect through display of positive political characters will not speak well of the administration.
THE CREDIBILITY OF ABDULRAZAQ FAMILY, AMONG OTHER CONTENDERS
The endorsement of the candidacy of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq by the National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress wasn’t happenstance or on the ground of being competent than other contenders nor his spending spree during the primaries. Though he was alleged of throwing money here and there to get the party ticket, likened to his 2011 Gubernatorial Ticket on the Platform of Congress for Progressive Change, when he hijacked the Party Ticket and Structure from Air Commordore Ayuba Buhari rtd, but truth be told, the main reason was far from the above stated.
This is the indisputable fact; the proponents of ending the reign of Saraki Hegemony in Kwara State held a strong philosophy that; only someone with a family pedigree on the same level or above the Saraki family can defeat the hegemony in any contest, if strongly supported and projected in good light to the electorates. This same philosophy accounted for the emergence of Mohammed Dele Belgore, SAN as the flag bearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria in 2011, in manner similar to the 2019 APC Primaries. Guided by the consequences of polarisation of ACN after the Party Primaries in 2011 when leading Party Chieftains decamped to other Political Parties, in 2019, people of great concerns rallied round to ensure that polarisation didn’t occur again to the progressive platform, all the Party Chieftains remained in the party and contributed meaningfully to the victory of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq at the 2019 Governorship Election.
The wave of crisis in the Kwara APC is best regarded as the most unfortunate situation, as those that swallowed their anger and refused the entreaties to pay the Governor in his own coin, are those mostly disregarded by the Governor.
His incompetent political allies, who couldn’t win elections for him in his previous contests, are the favoured ones that have been benefiting appointments and recognitions, committing political and administrative misdemeanours without calling them to order, what an irony of life. If the Governor thought in his mind that it was his powers that fetched him the ticket, he should have a rethink; it was the rating of his family as one of the most respected families in Ilorin. The trust and confidence reposed in him solely belongs to the man of unequal achievements in Kwara State, Late Lawyer AbdulGaniyu Abdulrazaq.
The Governor really needs to undertake a self reflection of this salient fact, to avoid dragging his family name in the bud. The contributions of his siblings to his emergence as Governor cannot be overemphasized.
They staked their hard earned resources and reputation to sustain the family pedigree and majorly funded his contest in 2019, this is not contestable. It was Dr Alimi Abdulrazaq that firstly built on the political foundation laid by the Patriarch of Abdulrazaq Family, as the major contender for the Governorship Seat in 1999, where he lost to Governor Lawal backed by Late Olusola Saraki. Senator Khairat Gwadabe – Abdulrazaq also served as FCT Senator in the National Assembly, while Alhaji Isiaka Abdulrazaq remains a colossus in the downstream sector of the Nigeria Economy.
If not for the fact that late Dr. Olusola Saraki left indelible marks in the hearts of the people and his landmark achievements are difficult to erase, the crumbling of the hegemony wouldn’t have been blamed on Senator Bukola Saraki alone, that’s why a point was proved with the appointment of Senator Gbemisola Saraki as a serving Minister, which confirmed respect for late Olusola Saraki even in death, leaving Senator Bukola Saraki to his own shortcomings. When he was busy appointing people, whose major interest were to make money from government, when he allowed them to dip hands into the purse of the State, he didn’t believe his reign could be cut off suddenly, especially when he was at the exalted position of Number 3 in the Country. Is this lesson not sufficient to guide Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq?
In the whole of Northern Nigeria, it is on credible record that the first Lawyer hailed from Kwara State, Ilorin to be specific. As captured by an erudite scholar, Professor Ademola Ajayi of University of Ibadan – “His selflessness stands him head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries in community service. He is an outstanding contributor to national development. He was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire; Member of Parliament, Northern Regional House of Assembly; Minister in Nigeria’s First Republic.
He was a Commissioner in his home state of Kwara; Chairman of the Body of Benchers; School proprietor and administrator; Member, Constitution Drafting Committee; President, Nigeria Stock Exchange; director and chairman of many private companies, among others.
At each post, he displayed ability, integrity, determination, endurance, organization and foresight not only to play each of these parts creditably and worthily, but also to succeed, legitimately, within the Nigerian environment. He was a recurring decimal at each time Nigeria needed men of valour and foresight to chart a new course. He played a pivotal role in the drafting of the Nigerian Constitution, sequel to Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1979”. The Governor and his allies should kindly note this biography, it is too distinct for any of his Children to allow their allies without family pedigree to mess them up.
IS KWARA STILL IN BONDAGE OR NOT?
According to global overview of bondage, from Slavery to Freedom is a common phenomenon since the end of the Slave Trade. Hardly does the odd; from Slavery to Slavery get discussed, whereas, majority of Africa Communities exemplify from Slavery to Slavery and from Bondage to Shackles and Manacles. To say that nothing has changed in Kwara is fallacious, the political landscape is wearing a new look.
Once you belong to the right group with financial strength to sponsor radio programs and abuse the minds of the people against your opponent, through the usage of propaganda, once the people believe you, you can win an election, that’s the noticeable change in the State where people carry rumours with arrogance, as for the polity, it’s another dimension of suffering and smiling for the poor masses. Most roads are still in deplorable conditions as most communities remain on the waiting list.
Governor Abdulrahman has proved to be very smart and intelligent with his outright rebuttal of the electoral promises made on his behalf by his party men, in the build up to the last general elections. Had he not perfectly detached himself from those promises, he would have been held in his jugular by the electorates by now, especially on the issues of implementation of the Minimum Wage for workers, massive employment and provisions of basic social amenities. In fairness to the Governor, he only promised to run a transparent government which will ensure growth and development of the State.
The Governor seems to be carried away with the fantasies of power, which can easily debar him from enjoying a long lasting goodwill from the electorates. When one is derailing from a good cause, it takes serious reprimand from an acknowledged mentor, self discovery or evaluation of critical opinions from critics, to maintain the lane of good cause. As someone who wants the Governor to succeed, one cannot afford to mince words in stating the obvious of issues that are capable of portraying the administration in bad light, which the Governor seems to be oblivious of.
When you are on a right cause, not sanctioning your aides who are misrepresenting your interest implies one’s endorsement of their actions. Recently, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Domestic Matters, Mr Obasanjo popularly known as SOJ was mentioned in a viral broadcast by a former aide to Comrade Musbau Esinrogunju, a frontline APC Chieftain in Kwara State. The messenger stated that SOJ took Government Money to Esinrogunju for personal usage on several occasions, especially when he was ill. Esinrogunjo declared the accusations as fabrications. The conflict within their fold is open knowledge, whether true or not, the information implies so many things. Within the period, the ruling Party Chairman in the State, Hon Bolarinwa berated the performance of the administration during a radio program. He alleged the Governor of sidelining the party structures in government activities and rated the administration low in terms of performance.
The derogatory statement made by SOJ against the APC Chairman was enough to relieve him of his appointment, assuming the Governor doesn’t endorse his statement. In his words, as a Yoruba man, he was taught to respect elders, hence he can’t hurl abuse at the Party Chairman for passing negative ratings on the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq but the Party Chairman, who was a Local Government Chairman, former Member of the Federal House of Representatives from Lagos State and a former Governorship Aspirant in Kwara State be registered in the Psychiatric Hospital Aro in Abeokuta for his comments against the Governor. SOJ equally created the coinage of “Asaro Elepo” meaning that the Party Chairman and other party loyalists at loggerheads with the Governor are scavengers seeking to eat porridge from the government.
Assuming those personalities are not men of pedigree and sustainable wealth, the populace would have mistaken his propaganda as true representation and admit it hook line and sinker. The cheap propagandists was far from live of luxuries before the emergence of the administration in 2019 and in less than a year within the corridors of power, living a life of extravagance and currently in the Court of Public Opinions over the Information that he purchased plots of land valued at #15,000,000 fifteen million naira at around Division F Police Station at Tanke Area in Ilorin.
Another Special Assistant to the Governor reportedly started a Magnificent House Project in February 2020 and completed the Building within Five Months. The property valued at 80,000 Eighty Million Naira is located along the road opposite LUBCON Company at Wara Osin Area of Ilorin West Local Government. There is no law that appointees of government should not build houses and ride personal exotic cars, provided they can account for it. The two cases mentioned are not isolated cases, for the fact that the Governor hardly stays around in Ilorin, he may not even be aware of the information at public disposal in this regard, this is a tip of the iceberg for the Governor to know that interested persons concerned with transparency and sincerity of his administration are keeping a serious watch.
The masses are aware of the financial worth of his appointees before their appointments and the legitimate earning of public officers is a public knowledge.
SOJ in particular has maintained a very close relationship with the Governor since 2010, if he didn’t live in affluence all those period, despite the ratings of the Governor as an extremely wealthy personality with tendencies of generosity, that implies that Government Money is easy to dash out or cornered, that’s double standard in raw form, though one cannot conclude that these cases represent the general behaviours of all the appointees, since there are credible Information about the meticulousness of some Commissioners, while the Governor himself has sanctioned many Civil Servants found involved in misdemeanours, but has displayed lack of will to sanction his erring appointees, “Ooooin, Mr Governor, you doing well”
The Contract sums for the renovation of Schools and COVID 19 expenses especially the palliatives generated a heat that seems to have been making the Governor uncomfortable of recent. Sum of #330,000,000 three hundred million naira was alleged to have been earmarked for the renovation of Government High School Ilorin.
The issue, though well defended by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye who claimed the released figure which got to public notice through the report of the State House of Assembly was wrongly quoted as the sum is not only outrageous, but too strange to fathom. If found to be true, it means the people of Kwara have transited from Slavery to Slavery, as that amount to rape on the lean purse of the State. The figure released by the Government on the COVID 19 PANDEMIC expenditure generated controversy to a level where the tolerance of the Governor for criticism because exhausted and exited his number from Fresh Insight Whatsapp Platform. .
This particular case is an opportunity for the Governor to undertake self appraisal. As someone that approved the renovations, he is aware of the approved amount for the project, let him engage the service of three different external valuers to assure himself that he is on the right track. The Civil Society Organisations that monitored the distribution of the palliatives have already demanded for accountability from the State Committee on COVID 19 and are seriously craving for the domestication of Freedom of Information Act in Kwara State.
SUBSTANDARD PROJECTS AND THE GOVERNOR’S RESPONSE
In the face of the seeming controversies the government is getting enmeshed in, day in day out, no one has alleged the Governor of cutting deals with the Contractors. In actual sense, the Governor has already threatened to revoke contracts of those alleged of executing substandard jobs especially on the obvious school renovation exercise, but it remain a mere threat considering several underlying issues. Firstly, were the Contracts issued through transparent process of contract bidding and approval or the Governor just awarded the Contracts to friends of allies without letting the Ministries undertake their duties? Secondly, were these projects properly and timely funded to deliver on time and execute standard jobs? Thirdly, if the projects are badly executed, can the Governor take punitive actions against the Contractors? There are credible information in the public that the Governor outsourced several activities that can easily be carried out by Ministries to Consultants, how can the Governor then hold them responsible if projects executed are substandard.
If the Governor will look around him, he will discover he has surrounded himself with funny characters, funny enough; some of them are close allies of the past administrations, what a very funny situation. They are owners of magnificent buildings in GRA, credit to their relationship with former Governor, Bukola Saraki during his reign, only to ditch him later when they ran out of favour, is Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq not in a fix? Well, he needs them to realize his second term ticket, how well this is realisable will soon manifest. Governor Muhammed Alabi Lawal served only a term as Governor, respected by all and sundry even in death, his achievements remain resonant. The watchword of the Governor should be this simple: What if the second term didn’t come, what will he be remembered for?
Kudos to the Governor for renovations of existing structures and completion of inherited projects, as he continue on that good note, he should initiate remarkable projects he can complete in two years, not for political expediency, but to be guided by the watchword (Hope the Governor will pay me handsomely for the unsolicited advice) I’m sure the Governor might be wondering, why the advice, when he has not open channels of discussion with anyone for his second term bid. Let me help his anticipated curiosity. People read meanings to government activities, especially projects executions in communities. Information have been filtering round the State, querying the good intentions of the Governor. The novel road constructions and other initiatives in Kwara North have been interpreted as an orchestrated plan to water down their agitations for a power shift in 2023.
How can the developmental strides of the Governor in Kwara North be classified as soliciting their loyalty for second term, that’s purely strange. What if it’s true, will the people of Kwara North support the Governor’s Second Term bid assuming the opposition party present a Candidate from the district. Will Kwara Central still vote massively for the Governor without commensurate developmental strides in their district and what will determine the votes of Kwara South? For the avoidance of doubt, the Governor is yet to complete renovations of all the 31 Schools for over a year out of over 200 Schools that needs renovations.
Note that the Governor is not building new Classrooms to add to the existing ones, the administration is renovating some classrooms in the 31 Schools across the State. Considering the dilapidated state of most classrooms in Kwara State, before the emergence of this administration, taking this bold Initiative deserve applause. On the other hand, with the slow pace of the renovations, if the current situation is a yardstick, it means the Governor can only carryout renovations in 120 Schools in this tenure and if the projects are badly executed, it invariably means leaving a loophole for his opponents to have advantage against him, that’s why the Governor should just concentrate on Governance and act with the earlier mentioned watchword and leave the future to take care of itself, if he succeed in delivering on his mandate and carry the ruling Party along, he won’t face much difficulty in future.
PARTY CRISES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION
Those political players that are guided by the philosophy that “respect is earned and not demanded” will have lesser problem with other political actors. If one goes by the narratives not popular within the public domain and information stumbled upon, on specific roles of principal actors which translated to victory of APC at the last general elections, it will amount to rubbing salt on injuries. The only action the Governor needs to undertake with all sense of modesty and sincerity is to seek genuine reconciliation with those he currently has issues with within the Party Structures.
Come to think of it, those telling the Governor to carry on with the war of attrition against those personalities in APC are the people he should distance himself from. In 2011 and 2015, the performance of the Governor was an abysmal failure, what changed in 2019 that facilitated his victory? If the Governor can genuinely review the poser, he should be remorseful and reconcile with the personalities in quote, even if he equally feels they undermined him, as some among his deceptive political loyalists want him to believe.
There is only one question. Did the Governor actually attempted to influence the choice of another personality as Minister at the expense of the present occupier from Kwara South or not? If that is true, it means the Governor was not in tune with certain actions the person in question undertook on his behalf in the buildup to both the Primaries and the General Election, often times, victorious people at polls, don’t comprehend issues relating to their victory appropriately. Alas, the electorates made it possible, they were determined to end the grip of Senator Bukola Saraki blab la blab, what happened in 2007, 2011 and 2015, why didn’t they end it then?
The Local Government Election will be the testing ground for Kwara APC; it is the real assessment of their acceptability by the electorates. Can they afford to go to polls with divided house? One man’s fortune is another man’s misfortune and vice versa. When will the Local Government Election be conducted in the State? The elected Chairmen have spent over a year under suspension and their tenure will soon expire, why not appoint Transition Committee as soon as their tenures are over, if Elections can’t be conducted in earnest and why the mind game with those seeking APC Candidatures to contest at the polls? From North to South to Central, Aspirants have been moving round homes of stakeholders to seek support without any Date in sight for the election, this is not a good omen for the administration, by the time the game is over, it would be hard for conscious political players to trust the Governor.
The suspended Local Government Chairmen decamped from the platform of PDP to APC after discussions with associates of the Governor. According to information, they promised them soft landing but the Governor scored a very good point on the issue, by not yielding to the antics of those political prostitutes and their propellers, the action of the Governor served them right. They are on suspension over fraud allegations and they believed decamping to the APC to become loyalists of the Governor will lighten his mood and get him carried away, if they can commit fraud and abandon the platform that got them elected, they can’t be permanently loyal to anyone. The big lesson for the Governor is that, his associates that lured those Chairmen to decamp are distrustful, he should be careful in dealing with them, they can behave worse than those Chairmen, except the information were fabricated by mischief makers.
Again on the issues of Party Crises, the National Convention will hold in less than five months from now, which invariably means State Delegates will be nominated, elected or selected from different States, if the Governor didn’t reconcile with the Party Apparatus early enough, the scenario that happened to Kwara at the last APC National Convention may repeat itself and that will be bad for the image of the Governor. Whether now or later, Ward, Local Government and State Congresses will take place, the Governor will be at advantage to influence the process to his favour, if he stoop low now, to conquer later, that’s politics with human face, there are times you maintain decorum even in the face of political ignominy.
CAN THE ADMINISTRATION PERFORM BETTER?
The answers solely rely with the Governor as the main man commanding the affairs of government. Aside the notion of Federal Might against Governor Alabi Lawal in 2003, had he managed his relationship with Late Olusola Saraki, all the issues that led to discord between them wouldn’t have arose. Governor Abdulrahman has stepped on the same route with the unending crises with powerful leaders within his party. History is a good guide for those who seek guidance. In 2002, when the political battle became fierce, violence of high degree enveloped the State and security of lives and properties became threatened, among the major actors in the violence on both sides, do we have people of same tendencies currently among the warring factions in the ruling party or not? The agitation for the grading of Kings was another crises Governor Lawal faced, his reactions and actions on the issue became a subject of blackmail against him, are we not currently witnessing a resurgence of the agitations. The wage increment in Higher Institutions and implementation of the minimum wage was another bottleneck that pitched the Governor against the Labour Unions and Workers at large, is the administration not already facing these same challenges.
Despite all other achievements of Late Governor Muhammed Alabi Lawal of the blessed memory, despite remarkable projects code named UP LAWAL in public glare till date, he couldn’t sail through his reelection bid, credit to the above observations. The two succeeding administrations were very lucky to benefit tolerance of the masses despite all odds, they spent two terms each. Twenty years, after a leading member of the Abdulrazaq Family lost the Gubernatorial Election to Governor Lawal, another leading light in the family emerged as the Governor of the State. Is it a coincidence that virtually all the undoing of the administration of Governor Lawal are reoccurring now? Are the two families related or share historical affinity? The Governor really needs to ruminate over these observations as a personal guide for his administration, to be able to perform better.
THE SECRET OF CAPTURING THE MASSES
The last administration was disparaged for several reasons, notable was the failure of Kwara under his administration to pay counterpart funding for UBEC Grant, aside that, he failed to complete the projects he initiated, such as the New Secretariat Complex which he left at 85% completion and water reticulation project left at 80% completion. To his credit, the IVTECH Ajase Ipo was established and the under pass bridge at Geri Alimi, Ilorin.
Majority among the masses are not aware that the administration of Governor AbdulFatai Ahmed settled substantial debt incurred by his predecessor on the construction and equipping the Kwara Diagnostic Centre, The Aviation College and Kwara State University, this is expressed without any iota of doubt. What then went amiss? Is there really any positive action the present administration has taken to benefit the people not undertaken by his predecessors? Understanding the sensibilities of one’s subjects is a secret possessed by smart political players. Once this is ascertained, the people will serve your purpose, knowingly and unknowingly, no two ways about it.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has displayed smartness with the Special Intervention Programme Initiative, structural renovations and road maintenance. Taking care of the Elderly and provision of soft loans to Artisans and Transporters are nice gimmicks at playing the electorates into submission, to the whims and caprices of the administration. There are so many pointers that query the sincerity of purpose of the Governor in handling the activities of government without sensationalizing critical issues such as transparency and allegations of misappropriations by some of his appointees. Some actions are very petty and the Governor needs to be very conscious, not to inflict self injury on himself in the cause of trusting the wrong people.
The State Government can undertake proper Auditing of Accounts when there are allegations and uncover the truth without the deceptive pronouncement of EFCC Invitation. Funny enough, he has been jubilant on the issue on been the first Governor to invite EFCC to come and investigate allegations of financial impropriety under his administration. The Governor needs to learn the arithmetic of governance very fast without insulting our sensibilities. Let’s simplify the issues: Some members of the public demanded proper accountability of the amount claimed by Government to have spent on COVID 19 Palliatives, claiming that the amount is outrageous. Same for the Contract Sum for the Schools Renovations, the Governor didn’t call EFCC, he believed those allegations are flimsy.
There are internal means of verifying whether the allegations are true or not, what has then changed that warrants calling EFCC to investigate allegations of misappropriation of Local Government Fund, obviously, something must be wrong somewhere. Is there anything to cover or uncover. If the Governor is cocksure that his appointees are not carrying out act of financial improprieties, let him call EFCC to investigate who and who among his appointees living above their Salaries and account for where they gets the money to be living large and flamboyantly. The so called EFCC Invitation classifies the administration as lacking the technical knowledge of handling governance. What’s the duty of the State Auditor, what are the functions of internal and external auditing? The Governor should employ the services of credible auditors to audit the expenses of his administration with focus on quality assurance, contract sum and job valuation, effective service delivery and financial discipline, if he is truly transparent.
Truth be told, the Governor has set the ball rolling in his bid to understand the sensibilities of the electorates but will he truly understand? The Yoruba adage states that, little words for the wise man
CULLED FROM: THE EXPONENT MAGAZINE – AUGUST 2020 EDITION
Opinion expressed in the writs up entirely that of the writer and does not in any way represent the editorial views of Fresh Insight.