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Activist writes Kwara Gov, makes 8 demands

 

By Mumini AbdulKareem

A Coalition of Kwara North Group (CKNG) weekend has written to
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq calling on him to address the alleged
marginalisation of the region on areas of infrastructure and human
capital development.
Chairman of the group, Musa Idris Buko in an open letter to the
Governor, also issued an 8-point list of demands that he noted would
better the lots of the region.
Among the demands of CKNG was for the Governor to set up what it
called Kwara State Character and Equal Opportunities Commission
(KWASCEOC) to address the imbalance in the distribution of
opportunities in the state and for the government to decentralize the
state architecture to allow for even distribution of infrastructure
across the state and reforms in the local government service
commission among others.
CKNG also called for local government autonomy, a Special Intervention
Vehicle (SIV) For Kwara North and for the district to produce Special
Adviser Kwara North Affairs in the state.
This is the second time in less than two weeks that the Governor would
be confronted with such demands.
Last week, another Kwara Based civil society group, EnetSud wrote the
governor demanding for explanation on money spent on projects so far
since the present administration was inaugurated and how much it has
paid and realised on counterpart funds among others.
While congratulating the Governor for his election, CKNG noted that
its decision to advocate for a Kwara North candidate during the last
gubernatorial election was to promote equity, fairness and justice in
the governance of the state adding that the emergence of Governor
Abdulrazaq was however a blessing in disguise because of the interest
he has demonstrated in the affairs of the Kwara North region that
comprises five local government of Baruten, Edu, Kaiama, Moro and
Patigi.
It said the setting up of structures like the Kwara State Character
and Equal Opportunities Commission will redress the imbalance in the
distribution of opportunities which give overwhelming dominance to a
section of the state over others and ensure equal distribution of
resources, projects, opportunities and conformity with Kwara State
character.
CKNG noted that decentralization of state architecture will ensure
that Kwara State MDAs and other government institutions are either
relocated or established in their areas of comparative advantages or
needs which will open up the areas to development and facilitate equal
distribution and government attention.
“Researches have shown that the five Local Government Areas of Kwara
North are viable. They are the top 1,4,5,8 and 9 in rank of Federal
Allocation receipts between 2003- March 2019, while also having the
highest IGR between 2015-2016. Though, it is certain that Local
Government autonomy is a matter of the Constitution, notwithstanding,
granting LGAs in the state full autonomy to operate and manage their
resources with good supervision by the state will surely speed-up
development at the grassroots.
“With total humility ,Your Excellency, it is not a gainsaying that
Kwara North is an umbilical cord of the state because once the area is
cut-off, nothing tangible would be left of the State of Harmony. The
area constitutes the largest landmass, second largest population,
blessed with abundant fisheries, forestry, grazing and many other
resources that spin money for not only the state but also the country.
Sadly, the huge resources and the potential of the people of the area
have not resulted in any meaningful development.  It is in this
perspective that I suggest that  it is necessary to have a special
intervention in terms of Commission or Agency whose mandate will
solely be to address the problems of infrastructure and human capital
development bedeviling the area.
“On Local Government Service Reforms, the current tradition where
Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs), Treasurers, Accountants, and
Internal Auditors only serve outside their LGAs of origin is
counter-productive. It breeds corruption and makes them to be
unpatriotic.  It is of popular view that such officers are the ones
that usually teach most council Chairmen  how to share government’s
funds especially in the capital city. When such officers are allowed
to serve in their respective LGAs, they will be better accountable to
their people and will at least have a sense of patriotism to serve
their communities progressively. The practice of allowing local
government employees to serve in other LGAs other than that of their
origin, without any intent of sectionalism, needs to be reviewed,
“Additionally, the current tradition where local government salaries
are paid by consultants may also be reviewed for onward propulsion, as
there are usually cases of short payments which usually affect many
Local Government employees at grassroots.
“There is a need to have a special office at the state level to be a
focal point that advises policy? drive and coordination of your
administration’s activities in the Kwara North. This will not only
facilitate, but also speed-up quality achievements in that area”, it
submitted.

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