AbdulRazaq: Opening new chapters and making history
By – Babatunde Opoola
GOD HAS SPOKEN ONCE, TWICE I HAVE HEARD THIS, THAT POWER BELONGETH UNTO GOD. Psalm 62 Vs 11.
WHOSO DESIRETH HONOR (SHOULD KNOW THAT) ALL POWER BELONGETH TO ALLAH. Surat Fatir, CH.35 Vs 10.
Today, God has lifted this simple, unassuming and humble man. God choose him to lead his people at a time of great trials and challenges of Kwara people
As governor, he has faced several challenges unlike no other past governor in the history of Kwara State. They have called him names, they have fabricated false stories about him, they have conspired to paint him black everyday, making wild allegations. They have accused him of every wrong doing under the sun. Some powerful forces conspire against him night and day.
Indeed, they have tried everything to deter him, but everyday, he waxes stronger. Why? Because he is God anointed.
Having been disappointed by the mis-governace in the past, the people had high expectations of the AbdulRazaq government. They saw in AbdulRazaq the vibrancy, the astuteness and above all the refreshing air they wanted in government. AbdulRazaq, many know, has been around enough to truly recognize and appreciate the expectations and aspirations of the people. They also know that from his record as a successful businessman, he is not only out to make a change but also to meet their expectations and not dampen their optimism.
Coming with a well-defined agenda which targeted basic deliverables of any serious government; he rekindled hope in a people full of apathy because of the unenviable scorecard of the past administrations in the state.
With the internecine war in Kwara APC, his political party at the state and desperate interest rearing their heads, report of poor quality of governance laced with characteristic rhetoric of politicians are now being churned out from intra party opposition in Kwara State.
First it was not taking care of the party, later it became not thinking outside the box, after, that he is not patronizing the “party stakeholders” with appointments and privileges. Surprisingly now, he is being accused of not consulting with the party leaders on governance, apparently not sharing the Governor’s seat with them in running the state. Even some members of his party have jumped ship and are now singing praises of those that ruined the state in the past.
570 days after AbdulRazaq assumed office as governor of Kwara State in 2019, the question should be; is he meeting the expectations and aspirations of the people of Kwara State?
This question becomes imperative for several reasons. First, the people of the state had craved for a new leadership and new beginning of service delivery. Secondly, Abdulrazaq also made promises on governance with a difference and service delivery with a focus on the people.
The objective reality in Kwara State shows that the governor in the last 18 months plus has touched the lives of the people of the state in more ways than had been touched by the past administrations put together.
The achievements in the health sector remains one area where its impact cannot be derided. The focus and determination to flattening the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic through effective, qualitative and accessible healthcare delivery, increase in healthcare facilities and other intervention efforts of the governor have brought local and national acclaims. The state has consistently maintained her ranking as one the best State in Covid-19 response according to the Federal Government rating.
Prominent among the landmark achievements in the health sector is the Infrastructural rehabilitation of not less than 20 health care facilities across the 16 LGAs and repackaging of the State’s General Hospital, to the status of an accredited training institution for residency in Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Post-Graduate Medical level for the two Internationally recognised training colleges in the country and West Africa. Also is the reactivation of the Oxygen Plant at Sobi and commencement of operation through a PPP arrangement which is supplying pure oxygen for local consumption and neighboring states. There’s is also the provision of hi-tech, life-saving medical equipment like ventilators, patient monitors, defibrillators etc. for the 12 Bed-Intensive Care unit at the Isolation centre. Before now, there was no ventilator in any public health facility in kwara State.
When AbdulRazaq approved the rehabilitation of 31 Public schools in the state, it seemed like an ambitious project, it seemed a tall order not just for the number but quality expected. Moving forward, with the accessment of the N14.2bn UBEC, about 600 elementary schools will also be fixed over the next two years.
This dramatic turnaround on the educational infrastructure in Kwara state will have a salutary effect on not just the learning environment but more significantly on performance in national examinations so that we would not have to travel the sordid past of having to pay fines for involvement in examination malpractices again. It would be recalled that this administration had paid N30.5m fines to prevent many public schools involved in malpractices in SSCE examinations held in the last year of the immediate past administration from being blacklisted by WAEC.
In the area of sports he approved the resuscitation of the state sports festival which was last held 15 years before he assumed office, as part of his belief in productive engagement of the youth to attain their full potentials.
There is also attention-arresting urban renewal programmes going on in the state capital as well as other locations in other major towns in the state. AbdulRazaq’s urban renewal projects are not only eye catching and impressive, opening up new vistas for economic development and creating employment for teeming youths who had earlier been neglected by previous administration, they also come complimented by an equally important and broader intervention in community development.
Another major footprint of this quiet reformer is the provision of potable water with the resuscitation all abandoned waterworks and sinking of many boreholes. Water is now running from dry taps. The provision of potable water is of paramount importance to this administration, and AbdulRazaq is not ready to leave any stone unturned in this area. The same is true of other areas as he insists on ensuring that the people truly enjoy the dividends of democracy.
All over Kwara State, there are massive infrastructural upgrades – probably unprecedented; significant health sector improvement – never so witnessed in the State of Harmony; enviable urban renewal programmes yet to be equalled and enhanced educational and agricultural intervention- yet unmatched going on. And AbdulRazaq is not about letting go as he is breaking new grounds everyday.
As a government of all, the humanitarian face of the Abdulrazaq administration did not entertain discrimination against the citizens, when in July 2019, the governor created history by holding Executive Budget Review at the state’s school for special needs, to let top bureaucrats and government functionaries appreciate the need to allocate resources in manners that directly affect the downtrodden in the society. Abdulrazaq had earlier visited the school few weeks before then to listen to the teachers and inspect the facilities there, apologising to the children for the past neglect and promising to quickly attend to their needs. Today, the story has changed.
It is safe to conclude that since he has achieved these feats in about 570 days,then the people need more of his attention and less of distraction masquerading as opposition. To realize the plans of God for Kwara State.