Let me declare my interest from the beginning. I am a Kwaran, one among many who voted for change during the last elections. As a youth, I was also caught in the excitement that we wanted to influence a leadership change and still take control of events in our dear state. In fact, in the last election, I identified with the ‘O to Ge’ revolution. The manner in which we effected the change of government was also based on the numerous promises made by the current Governor that there will be a revolutionary change in construction of infrastructure, youth employment, wealth creation and provision of social services like quality education, good health and eradication of diseases. With so much hope raised and the high expectation, I looked forward to seeing Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq hit the ground running and to focus on the onerous tasks ahead. However, the recent developments in which the Governor is getting involved in needless issues that could divert his attention baffles me. This issue of engaging in war of words with the Saraki family or being accused of focusing on settling scores or invoking family rivalry will not do the Governor and all of us who invested our hope in him any good. I am afraid it will only create distraction that will not help his image. It will only present him as a combative governor not as a performer. There is a lot to be done.
As at today, the governor has spent seven months out of the 48 that constitute his mandate. The next primary election will take place in 2022 while the general polls will hold early 2023. Technically, therefore, there is just less than three years left for a focused administration to work. As at today, the present administration in Kwara has not commenced the construction of any new road or building of a new hospital or school building. If it plans to construct any road, the contractors cannot mobilize to site earlier than March. Then, it takes two years to construct a an average 30 kilometres of road. So, if we take two years by counting from March, what time is left before we get into electioneering period? Except Governor Abdulrahman is happy being a governor who specialises in patching potholes and merely renovating few existing buildings. Our hope is that he will move beyond what the past administration has done and give us something newer, revolutionary and radically refreshing.
This governor has not even started attending to the promise which the All Progressives Congress (APC) used in galvanizing the youths to vote for it last March. That is employment generation and youth employment. Nothing is being done and many are getting disillusioned. That is why when the governor gets bogged down by petty squabbles, he sends a wrong message to the teeming youths and others who take the risk to vote for somebody they did not know so well, against the structure that they are well acquainted with. My advice to the governor as a supporter is to start shun advice from the political dregs and hawks he inherited from past administrations who have nothing up their sleeves to offer in the area of development except to throw around dirty old tricks. He should start giving giving more heed to the advice of the creative, experienced, selfless and thinking members of government who can shun out ideas by thinking outside the box in search of revolutionary policies, programmes and projects which can deliver the goods to the majority. For example, instead of sneaking a bulldozer to Ilofa road a few minutes to New Year and brazenly demolishing the structures of the late Oloye Olusola Saraki, why did the governor not allow the bulldozer to move into the rural areas and start working on the access roads there?
What should pre-occupy Governor Abdulrazaq now is how to give fulfillment to the ‘O to Ge’ revolution. He should come out with ideas that can help youths get jobs or be self employed. He should introduce policies that will make Kwara the leading state in terms of provision of quality education in first class facilities, accessible to the ordinary people. Same way the health infrastructure should be overhauled and its services readily accessible and affordable to the poor. He should think of how road infrastructure can modernize the towns and villages and properly link the state to other states. What is happening so far does not help the image of the Governor and his administration. The youths who voted for O to Ge want something new. The style of government and the practical, problem-solving approach they desired is still missing. The positive manifestation of the ‘O to Ge’ philosophy is still not there. There is obviously a need for rethink. A need for ingenuity and doing things radically different.
The governor should retrace his steps and focus on development. We voted to correct the issue of lack of development but what the governor is doing is far from trekking the road to development. All these resorts to old political schemes and tricks will only take us back. We do not want to return to Egypt. Let us move to Canaanland.
BabaAgba writes in from Ilorin, Kwara State.