Kwarans, let's do it again March 11, By Qudus Adelodun

#Kwarans, let’s do it again March 11, By Qudus Adelodun

Those who think #Kwara as their fiefdom must have now got the message clearly from majority of the people with the concluded polls of February 25.

The shellacking was huge and wholesale. The opposition PDP did not only fail to make any seat in the national assembly elections, it also lost with wide margins.

It is therefore a comic relief to see their candidates falling over themselves to reject the polls and head to court. It’s an effort in futility, and at best an attempt to save face.

In all, #Kwarans must be commended for turning up in numbers to cast their ballots. They must be acknowledged for their determination in bidding a farewell to a dynasty that ruined their state for well over 16 years in which it reigned.

They must be appreciated for shutting up the proud, pompous and arrogant leader of the dynasty that reversed all the gains the state had recorded before their coming, and yet had all Kwarans to blame except himself.

However, there is still one more hurdle to cross come March 11. One more step to finally bury political servitude and retire the arrogant and anti-people political dynasty. That’s by re-electing Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and all State Assembly candidates of the APC.

It should be APC from top to bottom. That’s the party of the progressives. We do not seek retrogression in Kwara State anymore. We should therefore give our votes to the progressives party.

Governor AbdulRazaq deserves re-election. We must support him to finish. He has changed the narrative of Kwara State in his first tenure in office. Kwara State as we knew it in 2019 was the state where civil servants were not getting paid their salaries and entitlements.

And when the hegemons of yesterday chose, they paid what we call gerigedi (amputated salaries). In 2019, several government establishments were owing backlogs of salaries and entitlements.

State workers were not paid pensions and gratuities. Their promotion had been stagnated for years. And many more of such evils and maladministration.

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Kwarans, let's do it again March 11, By Qudus Adelodun

But when AbdulRazaq came, he restored sanity to the system and gave a new lease of life to state workers. His first line of action was to clear all the backlogs of salaries the previous government owed in some MDAs.

He has also never owed any salary or paid gerigedi salaries since the beginning of his government. Add all these to his implementation of the minimum wage where no state worker gets less than N30,000 as pay (which the past government failed to do) and his implementation of promotion for civil servants.

In 2019, we knew how our schools were. Basic education was in a shambles. The previous government did not make any meaningful investment in that sector.

They also had tarnished the image of the state with UBEC by diverting educational grants amounting to billions of naira. This criminal diversion is what earned Kwara a blacklist by UBEC – ignore the post-truth by Ademola Banu, a failed former Commissioner of Finance.

When AbdulRazaq came, he paid the balance of the diverted funds and also backlogs of the counterpart funds. This effort has resulted in meaningful infrastructural investments in our basic schools. 

The Governor also introduced KwaraLEARN which has improved the quality of teaching and learning in our schools today through the deployment of technology.

Public school attendance has increased sharply under the AbdulRazaq administration as parents now have confidence in the education system.

We can also say the same thing of our health sector. The healthcare centres inherited by the AbdulRazaq-led administration in 2019 across the state were nothing to write home about.

They were in serious decrepit conditions. But now, the governor has invested in many of them in the central, southern and northern parts of the state.

People are also now glad to attend the healthcare centres because they are now in good shape and well equipped.

So many things have changed from 2019 to 2023. It was the same Kwara that had no single functional tractor for farmers in 2019. The governor has procured tractors for the state.

Our people lived in deprivation and servitude for long under the Saraki dynasty. For their 16 years, they did not deem it fit to provide a radio station to serve the Kwara North people whom they now pretend to love by fronting a fake Kwara North Agenda (thankfully our brothers in Kwara North have seen through this bait).

Today, the current administration has built a radio station from scratch in Kwara North — that’s the first radio station in the whole of the district.

Apart from restructuring the basics and foundation of the state, Governor AbdulRazaq is also opening up Kwara State for great economic opportunities with his landmark capital projects in IT, hospitality, textile, agriculture, infrastructure and many more.

Kwara has about the biggest Eye Centre in the whole of Northcentral Nigeria. We also now have an Intensive Care Unit fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Only God knows the number of our compatriots we could have lost to COVID-19 if we did not have a visionary and audacious administrator in AbdulRazaq.

Despite the state of unpreparedness the maladministrators of the past plunged our state into in terms of tackling medical emergencies, especially with no ventilators, an abandoned oxygen plant, among others, AbdulRazaq rose to the occasion to make Kwara one of the subnationals that efficiently tackled the global pandemic.

We are currently building an Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, International Conference Centre, Garment Factory, Agro Processing Zone, Sugar Film Studio, Tunde Idiagbon Flyover, and many more.

All these projects will change the face of Kwara and provide economic opportunities including job creation and revenue for the state.

We must support Governor AbdulRazaq to see these innovative ideas to the end and consolidate on his impactful and purposeful governance. We must not allow the dark forces in whatever form to truncate our march to fame and progress in Kwara State come March 11.

Therefore, let’s mobilise, troop out, and we should vote AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as Governor and all APC candidates in Kwara State aspiring for the State Assembly.

Adelodun writes from Oro, Kwara State