Senator Rafiu Ibrahim Performance Threatens Contenders in Kwara South.
By Musa Oyetunji
With the turn of events in the political arena of Nigeria, performance is no doubt a yardstick for an incumbent to gain the trust of his or her people especially while seeking reelection.
The issue is not different in all states of federal including Kwara state which narrowed down to senatorial districts up to the local government level.
One man whose reelection bid has been in the centre of every discussion is Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim especially on his performance in the last three years and why he deserves to be given another chance to continue with his good representation.
Before the electioneering campaign, a lot of issues have cropped up over the senator which include a purported recall embarked upon by what the supporters of the senator described as faceless group where the senator was defended by some of beneficiaries of the senator which has now laid the whole process down.
Just like every other state in the federation, Kwara State is divided into three senatorial districts of Kwara Central, Kwara North and Kwara South. Each of the three senatorial districts is known with own peculiarities such that any attempt to distort glaring fact about the trio would be swiftly resisted.
In Kwara South in particular, what distinguishes the people of the zone, which majorly consists of Igbomina, Ibolo and Ekiti is their incontrovertible level of education, exposure and available resources. This confers a lot of advantage on the senatorial district that would not play second fiddle in the scheme of things.
The level of the quality and uniqueness of the zone makes it imperative their representatives to be cautious because for Kwara South, it is either you perform to justify their confidence or be shown the way out.
As the heat on the 2019 elections is getting more intense, the political activities in the senatorial district has become all time high. It is very unusual that the district has caught the attention of people in recent times and what to expect is now issue of discourse at different fora.
Though the district has been fortunate to have two different Senators that represented it in the National Assembly since the return of democracy, Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, a banker turned politician, who is the incumbent Senator, seems to have outshone his predecessors and broken the jinx of little or no performance over the years within his barely three years in the Red Chamber.
Because of his performance that cut across every spare of life in the senatorial district, the legislator has endeared himself to the hearts of Kwara South people, who are becoming more politically sophisticated everyday thereby given other contenders of the senator sleepless night on how to defeat him.
For Rafiu Ibrahim, Kwara South is a political terrain that has undergone revolution in terms of quality projects and programmes that have direct impact on the lives of the people. Before he became a senator being a grassroot person who understood the terrain contributed with the meager he was blessed with to impact on the lives of his people which contributed to his emergency as the senator to represent the district at the Senate.
Since June 2015 when he was swore-in in the Senate, Ibrahim, a former member of the House of Representatives for Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency, changed the narratives for good with many developmental projects completed and ongoing.
The legislator, despite chairing the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, used his influence to facilitate construction of Offa/Ojoku/Afon Road thereby linking Kwara South to Kwara Central. While the phase one of the road project has reached 90 percent completion, the second phase in also ongoing in quick succession.
Other ongoing construction projects at the instance of the Ojoku-born politician include Ora-Agbeku-Edidi Road in Ekiti Local Government Area, erosion control and Ajasse-Igbonla-Agengbe-Agbamu Roads in Irepodun Local Government Area and rehabilitation of Agbeku-Edidi Roads Ekiti Local Government Area.
As part of efforts to cushion effect of water problem, the legislator also intervened in the ongoing reconstruction of Ojoku Water Works, Oyun Local Government Area as well as construction and completion of motorised boreholes with 3.5KVA generator at Erin-ile Market, Ganmo Market Ifelodun LGA, Kara Cattle Market, Ajasse Ipo, Irepodun LGA, Edidi community, Edidi in Isin LGA, Onira Palace, Ira Oyun LGA and Chairman council of Oba's Palace, Kwara state and many others.
His contribution also include installation of electrical poles for 23 communities in Offa and Oyun LGAs coupled with the provision and completion of the installation of 33KVA/500KVA transformer for Iloffa community in Oke-ero LGA, 33KVA/500KVA, Osi community in Ekiti LGA and Omu-Aran in
Ibrahim, who believed so much in the education of his people also funded to completion the construction and renovation of blocks of classrooms in different schools within and outside his district.
The district also witness unprecedented achievements in term of education with the help of the senator with provision of scholarships to students of the senatorial district origin studying in foreign countries and in Nigerian higher institutions of learning, which include sponsorship of Bello Emmanuel Temitope for a standard flight operations course No. 21 at Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria and provision of scholarship for the payment of pilot licence to an indigene of Offa LGA, Khadijat Olabanke Adigun at the International Aviation College, Ilorin, facilitation of entrepreneurship training for 200 youths as well as teachers retraining programme for human capacity development with the theme: "Modern teaching practices and techniques".
Other beneficiaries of the legislator's various interventions included religious organisations and groups and empowerment programmes funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of naira.
Ibrahim's achievements were therefore considered as a landmark in the annals of Kwara South.
However, ahead of the 2019 general elections, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, has given an indication of his readiness to return to the red chamber to continue if entrusted with the mandate
The legislator, who is expected to contest senatorial primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke after the submission of his expression of intent and nomination forms at the state party secretariat in Ilorin.
"After due consultation with my family, the stakeholders in our constituency, our party members and coming from a genuine call to seek re-election so that to the glory of God we can continue the good work as being done at the Senate, back at home and for the fact that by the grace of Almighty God, our leader, the Senate President, who will be the President of Nigeria come 2019, so I have desire to be there so that I can continue to bring the dividends of democracy to Kwara South and Kwara State in general.
"And I believe that I have enough legislative capability and human relation capability among the constituents and the party to be able to win election for our party without too much noise", Senator Ibrahim said.
Musa Oyetunji write in from Ifelodun local government area of Kwara state.