By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
“If Otoge got us through the struggle to the point of victory, and given the enormous task of reformation and reconstruction ahead, it is now time for Iseya. As you will all agree, there is so much to be done.
“These range from institutional reforms and reconstruction, infrastructural development, human capacity building, social welfare and policy reforms to other socio-economic, cultural, scientific and administrative repositioning. It is not in our tradition to shy away from challenges. We shall engage them and find solutions.
“Revamp our education to produce the best minds that will, in turn, make Kwara second to none. Promote industry, agriculture, technology and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.
“This is not the time to reel out a litany of what programmes and policies will be pursued by our administration just to please the ears. What we stand for is to empower our people. Make society and life better. Strengthen family values. Improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services.”
The quotations above were from the inaugural address by Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara State on May 29, 2019 at the Government House, when he was sworn in.
The question on the lips of many in Kwara State is, has the government been able to match action with words two years after?
The present administration of Mallam AbdulRazaq defeated a legal luminary, Rasak Atunwa, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a free, fair and credible election.
The Otoge mantra, which the majority of Kwarans embraced at the time was meant to change the political dynasty that had been ruling the state for a long time as represented by the Olusola Saraki domination.
Kwarans obviously wanted a change and two years down the line, Kwara State Correspondent for Westernpost randomly spoke with residents to know how the current administration has performed and areas they would want the government to focus more going forward.
A pregnant woman in her mid-30s at Cottage hospital, Adewole Ilorin, who is a fashion designer who has been using the health center for antenatal and child delivery for over five years said the state of the toilet and mattresses in the health center is bad as the sink needed urgent attention to guide against contracting diseases.
She called for the deployment of more medical doctors to the center to cut the time spent by pregnant women and other patients using the facility.
“It’s over five years that I have been using the health center. I observed the toilet facility here is in bad state; the sink is disgusting, then the mattresses are due for change.
“The doctor is overused, sometimes when I come for consultations, I became exhausted before I am attended to as there’s only one doctor attending to patients.
“I want the government to deploy more medical doctors here at least two more doctors should be deployed here so that patients won’t be delayed unnecessarily,” she said.
In the area of education, a civil servant said he would scored the government 80% due to the way the newly recruited teachers exercise was carried out, which, he said, was devoid of favoritsm but based on competence and was unbiased.
He urged the government to ensure proper monitoring of the sector so as to get the goal of sound education.
“If I want to assess the government, I will give it 80%, as there were no sufficient teachers before now in the schools and this present administration has been able to conduct an unbiased recruitment.
“I want the government to do a proper monitoring of the teachers and the schools so as to achieve the goal of sound education,” he added.
The civil servant, who does not want his name mentioned, disclosed that the present administration is making a giant stride in agriculture with the purchase of tractors and distribution of farm inputs.
“I learnt the government purchased tractors and farmers in the state are enjoying the services of the machines as well as distribution of farm inputs,” he said.
Barrister Sulyman Abaya said the present administration has done its best to some extent but said the enormity of governance centers on welfare of the people.
Abaya, former Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kwara State chapter, noted that the challenges as regards judiciary, centers on human rights and delay in court trial of suspects which has led to congestion of prison and remand homes.
This, he said, must be addressed by the government.
He said the government needs to engage the people on issues that directly affect them particularly welfare, adding that government should pay attention to criticism.
In his words: “I know this government has tried to address the issue of infrastructure and maintenance of old but it’s not good enough. In the area of shelter, people need shelter. On that it’s zero percent. We need partnerships with the private sector.
“Another area I want the government to look into is political dialogue so that the government would get knocks and nods appropriately.
“I want the government to spread the largesse to the people of the state, the unnecessary lexical disparate is not good enough for the government as it’s causing distraction. Government should hearken and note the bitter comments of the crudest critics even when it’s not constructive.
“I will say to a very large extent, the government needs to wake up, the power must spread, there should be flexibility on the execution of power by commissioners, SAs, the Board members and above all, there should be emotions of patriotism in the gladiators, executors.”
He urged the government to come up with policies that would be human friendly so that Kwara will be a touch light for other states.
In the area of governance, an architect, Mr. Kehinde Alabi said the governor should stop the blame game, roll off his sleeves and get to work.
“From my own little observation, though I’m not an indigene of Kwara State, I reside here; I will say he has tried his little best because APC as a party usually passes blames to the previous administration. I will advised that he should look inwardly, right the wrongs and not be passing blames.
“There have been complaints that this present administration doesn’t give, he doesn’t take advice, so two years down the line, I want to encourage this administration to correct the mistakes, get to know the feelings of the masses by so doing, a lot of issues would be addressed as he was voted for by the masses.
The Otoge mantra is gradually turning into something else. Let him look inwardly, get people’s opinions, know what people are passing through. By so doing, he would serve the people maximally. Remember he was voted in to serve the masses, and to have impact on the lives of those he’s serving,” he added.
Students’ Welfare And Employment Opportunities
Ayodeji Paul, a student, said the government should look at the possibility of reducing tuition fees in the state own higher institutions considering the economic situation in the country.
He also enjoined the government to do more on youth empowerment as the idle hand is the devil’s workshop.
The general feeling in the state is that Kwara is peaceful compared to other states in view of the current state of insecurity across the country. Few cases of kidnapping have been reported before, but it is not widespread.
Those spoken to urged the government to improve on the current security situation moving forward.
As the AbdulRazaq administration embarks on another year’s journey, it is expected that, if the above observations are taken into cognizance there will surely be a better Kwara in the next few months.