SCORECARD: How Gov Abdulrazaq restored governance in Kwara - Awoyale

Date: 2020-05-31

...Explains why state APC is in crisis

President-General of Orisun Igbomina, a socio-cultural group for the people of Kwara South, Chief Gbenga Awoyale, in this interview, gives reasons for intra-party crisis in Kwara State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, saying some party members do not accord respect to Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq. He also speaks on the achievements of the governor in one year.

What is your assessment of Governor AbdulrahmanAbdulrazaq's one year in office?

Since the creation of Kwara State in 1967, we have never had it this good. Although some governors in the past did their best, only a few achieved many things in 365 days.

For instance, corrupt practices, maladministration, unnecessary waste of public funds, political thuggery, and discrimination belong to the past now. Immediately he was sworn-in on May 29, 2019, he swung into action because he was adequately prepared for the job. He has touched all the nooks and crannies of the state with projects.

Unlike the IFK-Fund createdby the immediate past administration which had no direct impact on the lives of the people of the state, the current administration ensures that all stakeholders are carried along in governance in a bid to demonstrate transparency and accountability to tax payers.

One surprising thing about this government is that its projects were executed by local contractors from the three senatorial districts in the state. During the last administration, contractors and even some bricklayers were imported from Lagos, Ogun and other parts of the country, thereby subjecting Kwarans to perpetual impoverishment.

Today, in Kwara, there are no more political thugs. All the erstwhile hoodlums have repented because there are no more places for them in government. They are now responsible citizens and that is why the state remains peaceful despite the high rate of crimes in other parts of the nation.

Kwara Central

Unfortunately, our brother from Kwara South, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who spent eight years in office could not achieve something tangible for his people. Here is a governor from Kwara Central who has touched every part of the state within one year in office.

Critics believe he is being distracted by the current crises in Kwara State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC...

What we are seeing at the moment is a misplacementof priority on the part of some few individuals, who are not after the progress of the state. To the best of my understanding, it is clearly stated in the partyís constitution that state governors are the political leaders in their respective states. Why would anybody be contesting that with the governor? Infact, that is a breach of party laws which amounts to anti-party activity. It must not be swept under the carpet by the national leadership of our great party. As I speak, no member of Kwara APC has the new party membership card which we recently applied for online. The temporary card which was supposed to be taken to the National Secretariat in Abuja for renewal was diverted to another place and nobody is talking about it.

Is the crisis not resolvable?

In the build-up to the last general election, some donations were made to the party by some well-meaning Kwarans and friends of Kwara to support the liberation struggle. Unfortunately, the money was notadequately accounted for. When some members of the committee in charge, challenged the chairman to give an account, he decided to stop convening meetings at the party secretariat and moved to one of the former governorship aspirant's office.

He thought members of the executive council were sent by the governor, whereas, they only acted in line with the dictates of the party's guidelines and rules. Also, there was a time the party leadership proposed to travel to Abuja to attend a one-day meeting, they requested for a huge amount of money from the governor.

The bill submitted to the governor for a day trip was outrageous and he told them to make use of the amount he would provide for them from his purse because such a request to government cannot fly. He sought their understanding, but this did not go down well with the party chairman and since then he has been rude to the governor.

In Abuja, during a reception in honour of ministers appointed from Kwara, the party chairman failed to recognise the governor among dignitaries that attended the event. It was the height of insult.

He now became a willing tool for those who are fighting to be leaders of the party in the state and people with ambition to resuscitate a political dynasty demolished by the O'too ge wind. I just want to advise them to allow the governor to face governance. They should not embark on what will cause enmity between Igbomina and Ilorin Emirate, because we the people of Kwara South spent eight years in power and Ilorin Emirate did not disturb us. It is the turn of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq from Ilorin Emirate and everybody is aware that he is trying and living up to expectations.

The same APC chairman is not staying in Ilorin. He only comes from Lagos whenever he has a radio programme without consulting the state government. He does not seek to know the level of progress being made by the governor in the state. He will just appear on the radio programme. He also contested to become governor in 2011, but he polled 140 votes in the primary election which produced former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.

The Governor is so simple to a fault and he never deemed it fit to go after those insulting him.

Don't you think party members are indirectly plotting the downfall of the party in Kwara?

You will agree with me that there is no more opposition in Kwara, only the state APC chairman and his collaborators are the ones trying to be the opposition now. Party men and women of good conscience have all come together to work for the progress of the state. We have had re-run elections after the 2019 general election and APC recorded landslide victory. Therefore, if another election is to be conducted tomorrow in Kwara, APC will still coast home to victory. This is because there is more awareness among our people and all that we are saying is "let the votes count." That is what has beenhappening since the liberation was launched beginning with the lastgovernorship, senatorial, House of Representatives, and state House of Assemblyelection.

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