By Abdulwahab Oba
Clearly and understandably, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the one I intuitively refer to as the man of destiny, has picked form for the Kwara South Senatorial slot, a position also competently occupied by his brother Senator AbdulRafiu. I call him a man of destiny because he works, prays and leaves God determine his next move and faith. He’s always focus on any task bestow on him without looking back. He doesn’t struggle for position except what destiny bestows on him. Having demonstrated sufficient competence in his various assignments as a banker, he was invited by the then Governor Abubakar Bukola Saraki to hold the financial portfolio of the state, a position he held without blemish.
Subsequently, he was moved to the newly created Ministry of Economic Planning where, acting on the guidance of his principal, he masterminded economic blue print for the state. His discussions and expositions at the State’s Executive Council meetings must have reinforced Dr Saraki confidence and belief in him. But Abdulfatah never lobbied. He never manipulated. He was also invited to pick form for the gubernatorial contest of the state. Today, the rest is history.
In the last few months, each time his media team had reasons to clarify what his political move would be, the Governor repeatedly responded that he has a job he’s yet to complete. “Eh guys, we have a structure. We have a leader who in a collective manner leads our party”, he once told us. But now, it’s evident that destiny once again beckons on my boss, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed after a successful completion, in sha Allah, of his tenure as Governor of Kwara state.
It’s not a matter of opinion but facts that Dr Ahmed has done his best in the given circumstances of the last seven years plus. Those who call him a stooge or lame duck, want him to leave governance to start playing politics with the destiny of Kwarans. They want him to start a crisis which benefits no one but political jabroni. Not Ahmed. There is no doubt that as he prepares to leave the coveted seat at Ahmadu Bellow Way, Ahmed can easily hold his head high, for without doubt he has been able to achieve more than modestly within the resources available to him. History will credit him with the creation of a sustainable revenue model for our state, and for which we have become today a veritable training ground for other states.
Thanks to Ahmed’s ingenuity, today Kwara has IF-K. And we also have the KWIRS. With the latter, we have an improved, stable and predictable internal revenue system that makes financial planning and projection possible while with the former we are able to fund capital projects, also predictably. It may take the next few years to fully realise the import of these two innovative financial systems, but no doubt the record is there.
It is from IF-K that we have been able to fund projects such as the on going Gari Alimi Diamond Underpass, the Sango/University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital road, the various multimillion naira projects at Kwara State University, Malete and various other infrastructure projects across the state.
Governor Ahmed has shown himself as a truly detribalised Governor. Despite not coming from the central senatorial district, he has not neglected to invest infrastructures in Ilorin, the state capital, and its environs. There have been Governors in this nation who seized the opportunity of being in power to shift development mainly to their zone, all in the name of unnecessarily correcting perceived imbalances in the allocation and location of infrastructures. At the end of the day they create bigger problems than the ones they set out to ostensibly correct. This Governor has spread development across the three zones without bias.
Nigeria at a time like this needs a lawmaker who will not see himself as representing solely his constituency but the entire masses of Nigeria. Nigeria needs a man like the detribalised Ahmed. Nigeria needs a man like him who acts only in the interests of all. Nigeria needs a man of financial ingenuity like Ahmed who will literarily squeeze water out of stone.
Some of the projects his administration has invested in the southern part of the state include, but not limited to completion of construction of Eruku-Koro road, construction of KWASU satellite campus (on going), Construction of Obbo-Ile Isapa road, renovation of classroom blocks at St. Bernard LGEA School Ora-Obbo and St Brigid’s School 1 & 2 Osi and drilling of VIP Toilet in some selected schools, construction of classroom blocks at seventh day Adventist schools 1&2 in Osi, Construction of Health facilities & Incinerator at PHC Isare-Opin and first aid box and bench for pupils, construction of classroom blocks at Nomadic LGEA sch. Gaa-Ikerin, Community LGEA Sch. 2 Egure Ogbe Road, Koro and Nomadic LGEA School Owatun all in Ekiti local government area alone.
In Ifelodun Local Government, Gov Ahmed inherited and Completed rehabilitation of three Damaged Schools at Share, completion and equipping of Rehabilitation Centre Amayo, construction of College of Nursing and Midwifery, Oke-ode (Female Hostel). On-going Projects in the local government include construction of Share-Oke-Ode road rehabilitation of Share-Oke-Ode road, installation of 1×2.5MVA 33/11KVA at share Township, replacement of faulty transformer at Iyana Share Community, among others.
In Irepodun LG, Gov Ahmed inherited and completed construction of Omu-Aran Township-Landmark University Road, Irepodun Primary Health Centre, Arandun and Irepodun LGA
Rural Electrification works of Kabba Kajola. Completed Projects in the LG Include rehabilitation of General Hospital, Omu-Aran, procurement and Installation of intercom at General Hospital, Omu-Aran,
Installation of transformer at Oloro Palace, Oro Township; extension of electricity supply to Arandun Water Works; rural electrification at Amberi community, Irepodun LGA; rural electrification at Falokun Community, Irepodun LGA; procurement & installation of transformer, Taiwo Road, Omu-Aran; Completion of Oke-Igbala Eleyin Leprosarium Camp, Omu-Aran,; procurement and installation of 500KVA, 33/045KV Transformer at Vocational Training Centre, Ajasse-Ipo. There are a number of on-going projects in the area. Governor Ahmed’s legacy project, the International Vocational and Technical and Entrepreneurship College, IVTEC, is also conspicuously located in Kwara South.
Ahmed is a loyal and trustworthy individual. Indeed his likes are few in the political history of Nigeria. This is a man who has had bountiful opportunities to sell out his principal and benefactor when the latter was besieged by enemies. The political landscape is replete with tales of political godson turning against their godfathers and turning their godfathers to laughing stock, all in the name of ephemeral glory. But not Ahmed. He has risked his all for the political structure that brought him into limelight. He has demonstrated a rare quality in the landscape and shown Nigerians, especially the political class that all is not about fame and glory; that honour and loyalty is still possible.
Definitely it is not wrong to be rewarded for such commitment.
But they said he’s stingy, isn’t that true? I have heard this accusation several times; that the man is tight fisted and for someone who seeks to go to the senate, who will need to integrate himself more with the people and attend to their needs, would that purported negative quality not work against him? Well, in the first place I really don’t know where those who make this allegation got it from. If by being stingy they meant that he has refused to dispense with public fund to satisfy private needs of people around him, maybe we then need to have another definition of the term stingy. Ahmed is a man who can be trusted with public fund and he has shown this in the years he held sway in this state.
Let me also address the first question likely to come up in the mind of people who are familiar with the fact that there is currently a senator from Kwara south who is no doubt performing and making people of the district very proud that after a long time they now have a voice in the upper chamber of the national assembly and indeed, in the nation. There is no doubt that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim has put up a sterling performance in the national assembly in the last three and a half years. There is no doubt that he has earned the title. Is Ahmed therefore seeking to create a problem for the geopolitical zone where none existed? The answer is a capital NO. The two of them have always been close; they understand the dynamics of power negotiation. They understand that they belong to the same political family and are willing to flow together under one credible and beneficial leadership. They know that under the leadership, there is no loser in the structure. And they know that whoever goes to the red chamber between the two of them, it will be to the best interest of their constituency. So rumour mongers beware: there is no row between Ahmed and Rafiu.
*Oba can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org