By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned a factional governorship candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq over his vituperations and smear campaign against the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
The party notes that the endless stream of vitriol being hurled by the APC gubernatorial candidate against Saraki and the current PDP administration in the State is an attempt to incite Kwarans against him and the government.
In a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, and made available to National Pilot on Saturday, the PDP said the factional APC candidate, AbdulRazaq and his party should face the court case instituted against them in court over their legality by the Balogun-Fulani led leadership adding that he has not benefitted or contributed to the development of his community or people.
The statement read in part:
“We dismiss as false, baseless and misleading the claims by AbdulRazaq that Dr Bukola Saraki and his successor, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed have failed to develop Kwara and invest in the people of the State.
“From 2003, when Dr Bukola Saraki became governor of Kwara State, up till this present administration of Governor Ahmed, Kwara has witnessed significant growth and development across all sectors. The successive administrations of Dr Saraki and Governor Ahmed have also invested heavily in the people of the State through their various projects and programmes in different sectors, ranging from education, health, roads and rural and urban development.
“For the record, the administration of Dr Bukola Saraki established the Kwara State University (KWASU), the International Aviation College, Ilorin, the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, Kwara Football Academy, remodelling of the Ilorin Township Stadium, Upgrading of Asa Dam Waterworks and phase one of Ilorin Water reticulation Project, and implemented Urban and Rural Electrification, which saw the setting up of the Ganmo Power Generation Plant and hundreds of ordinary power substations.
“Additionally, his government embarked on construction and rehabilitation of roads across the 16 local government areas of the State, which included the rural and feeder road project, Ilorin Metropolitan Street Lights Projects, provision of low-cost housing estates and the Kwara Mall Project.
“As a leader committed to the wellbeing of his people, Dr Bukola Saraki introduced the first state health insurance programme in Nigeria known as the Kwara Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services to poor people in rural communities of the State. The scheme allowed beneficiaries to access primary quality healthcare services all year round for a premium of N500.
“Owing to its impacts on the people of Kwara State, the scheme received multiple awards from international organisations, including the United Nations and Bill Gates Foundation. The scheme was recently upgraded to a state-wide health insurance scheme by Governor Ahmed to allow all categories of Kwarans and residents of the State benefit from it.
“It is also noteworthy to add that the Saraki administration initiated the ‘Every Child Counts’ education policy, which has now been adopted by the Federal Government as a result of its positive impacts.
“Governor Ahmed, who came on board in 2011, has consolidated on the achievements of his predecessor through the various programmes and developmental projects he has initiated in the past seven years. Some of these projects are the International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College, Ajase-Ipo, remodeling of five general hospitals into state-of-the-art facilities, ultramodern KWASU Engineering complex, 1000-unit Maigida Housing Estate in Ilorin, rural and urban road projects as well as people-oriented programmes such as the SME micro-credit scheme that has benefited more 50, 000 small and medium scale businesses across the State.
“The present administration is also undertaking various ongoing projects across the State, which include the two satellite campuses of KWASU in Osi and Ilesha-Baruba, KWASU Post-Graduate School in Ilorin, Geri-Alimi Diamond Underpass, dualisation of Sango-UITH-Oke Ose road, ultramodern secretariat for civil servants, among others.
“Clearly, the above listed projects and programmes implemented by the successive governments of Dr Bukola Saraki and Governor Ahmed have multiplier effects on the development of Kwara State and welfare of the people as they expanded access to higher education, improved healthcare delivery, created jobs for the people, and have ultimately developed the State.
“As a party, while we admit that there is still much to be done, we hold that it is preposterous and grossly unfair for anybody to claim that the administrations of Dr Bukola Saraki and Governor Ahmed have failed to develop Kwara and invest in the people.
“The APC factional governorship candidate, who made the false claim, has no record of investment in or empowerment for people of his immediate community let alone Kwara State as a whole. He has no community-based project to his credit in any part of the State. In fact, the Alfa Yahaya/Idigba/Gaa-Aremu road, which is the only road in front of his family house at Adewole ward in Ilorin was constructed by Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki as part of his constituency projects. The ongoing Olobokoto road construction in Idigba at his Adewole ward is also part of the constituency projects of the Senate President.
“As a matter of fact, the candidate has never won in his ward in all previous elections at his Adewole ward including the ones he contested in. This is obviously as a result of his total disconnect from the people and current political reality in Kwara.
“We, therefore, advise the APC and its candidates to accept the looming defeat that await them in 2019”.