Rafiu Ibrahim: Tackling infrastructure deficit in Kwara South. By AHMED 'LATEEF
The Senator representing Kwara South in the National Assembly, Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, recently inaugurated a number of projects across comm?unities in his senatorial district as part of democratic dividends. AHMED 'LATEEF reports on the event.
For the people of Kwara South Senatorial District, a new lease of life is in the offing. It appears the days of selfishness and monopolistic representation in governance had gone by, and day in, day out, people become more politically savvy. Thus, it is practically impossible for anyone representing them at whatever level of governance to think of taking them for a ride. Thanks to their political sophistication.
Beside Kwara Central Senatorial, which is widely acclaimed to be densely populated with sizeable number of the electorate, Kwara South is another that takes centre stage when it comes to numerical strength of the voting populace. In it, there are towns and villages that play host to huge amount of people, who could pull string politically.
Major towns where the political sophistry of ?Kwara South is determined include Offa, Omu-Aran, Oro and Osi among others. The sizeable number of population in these towns and cities makes it presumptuous that the senatorial district cannot be seen as a pushover in determing the collective voting strength of Kwara State as it were.
While the above factor is of utmost relevant politically so also the level with which the people of Kwara South are educated. Without mincing words, they are force to reckon with, and that is why it is inevitably untenable to want to engage in deception as their representatives. Be a good representative and continue to earn their trust and confidence.
In spite of the degree of political sophistication of the senatorial district, it seems that the performance of the previous legislators, who represented the district at the National Assembly did not meet the overwhelmingly expectation of the people, even when available funds that time were sufficient to cater for the people to some extent.
This scenario therefore put spanner at works for whoever takes over not only to address the infrastructure deficit but change the narrative. There is handwriting on the wall already with bold inscription that "perform or be kicked out". Thanks to the heightened level of political sophistication and the wind of change blowing across the land.
And since the 2015 general elections, which produced Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim?, as Senator representing the Senatorial District in the eight National Assembly, the tide appears to have changed. His representation is seen as a magic wand the electorate had craved for long.
Their political sophistication and exposure made it imperative for them to directly or indirectly undertake critical analysis of the performance of their representatives and consequently determine, who to be entrusted with their mandate. It thus became crystal clear from the outcome of the last general elections that only a trustworthy personality could garner the support of the voting populace.
However, the ascension of Ojoku-born Rafiu Ibrahim into the political spotlight apparently had a divine touch, having cut his teeth from the banking sector where he rose through the ranks and etched his footprints as a financial aficionado.?
From being a member of the Kwara State House of Assembly to the House of Representatives and now, the Upper Chamber in the National Assembly, the legislator has left no one in doubt that he has come to change the narrative, especially in Kwara South Senatorial District with a huge number of members of elite forum.
If the level of political awareness and sophistication are anything to go by, then Kwara South needs not being deceived on account of representation at whatever ?level, for doing so can be costly for whoever is involved in the political game.
When he was availed opportunity to represent Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency ?in the seventh House of Representatives, the banker turned politician made a mark by deploying resources on developmental projects across communities that made up the federal constituency. Not done, the legislator initiated empowerment scheme and attracted federal presence to the constituency, thus endearing himself to the warmth embrace of constituents.
Marking his 50 birthday in December 2016, Ibrahim opened what could be referred to as "mother of all empowerment scheme" with provision of multi-million Naira materials to both adults and youths across Kwara South Senatorial District. The event held at Offa Township Hall featured eminent personalities including the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, federal lawmakers and other creme de la creme of the society.
Similarly, the Senator through his Rafiu Ibrahim Bilal Foundation also collaborated with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in training several youths and women in the area of entrepreneurship skill with the primary aim of making them self reliant, knowing that white collar jobs had taken flight.?
To further demonstrated his love for the people,Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, replicated what he has been doing with commissioning of projects across the senatorial district some two weeks ago. From Ganmo to Ajase-Ipo, Osi, Iloffa, Omu-Aran, Erin-Ile and Offa, the legislator inaugurated different projects, which he later described as "community development projects", saying they were meant to cater for the well being of the beneficiaries.
Some of the projects he inaugurated in the affected communities included water, electricity and toilet facilities. At Offa, the Senator comprehensively renovated the township library in line with his vision to improve standard of education in the area and across the senatorial district.
He said the initiative was not just to provide basic amenities as peop?le would believe but tackling observable infrastructural deficit in the affected communities.
Dr Ibrahim explained that the beneficiaries, by implication of the projects, would have access to water, electricity and facilities to ease themselves, adding that the initiative was part of his electoral promises to touch lives positively and ?enhance the well being of the people.?
?He said the projects he undertook was in line with the vision of the political structure he belongs to so as to bring government closer to the people, particularly the rural dwellers.
"If you look at the history of our party and you look at the way we have been? coming, the structure that all of us belong to, now in APC, under the leadership of Dr Bukola Saraki, is all about relationship with all communities in Kwara State. So, that informed that aside from Constituency projects, we can do community development projects.
"So, all the 10 projects commissioned today (Wednesday) are community development projects by our Kwara South Senatorial Office in collaboration with RIB Foundation.? It is so gladdened that our people in Kwara South are very industrious. Even if you give them all the money; take ten times of the money and distribute it in Offa, it is nothing, because everybody is satisfied from home. We Ibolo, Igbomina, Ekiti in Kwara South are very proud.
"What we believed is that whatever we do today, if you are no more tomorrow, it will be there for others. The legacy under our leadership is what all of us are doing. That is why you can see us as representative, except you are not in this structure, doing what we ought to do. We thank God that our people appreciate and we would continue to do more", Dr Ibrahim said.
The Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara South Senatorial District, Alhaji Jimoh Balogun,? who represented the President of the Senate at the projects commissioning, expressed delight over the performance of the legislator in the National Assembly, saying he has been representing his people well.
Balogun said the constituents have no doubt in his competence and ability to attract more projects to them like he he did when he was member of the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives respectively.
He called on the people to continue to trust and support Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, because according to him, his performance was unprecedented in the annals of the senatorial district.
Balogun also pledged that the party structure would not relent in throwing its we?ight behind him, declaring that he has "broken the jinx".
Also speaking, a member of the House of Representatives for Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun, Mr Tope Olayonu, and the Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr Hassan Oyeleke, praised the Senator for giving his best for the constituents and maintained that it has never been so good in the senatorial district.?