Kwara 2023: Hakeem Lawal’s emergence as SDP Governorship candidate lays credence to his understanding of politics
By- Oyewale Oyelola
The race to occupy Kwara number one seat is becoming interesting as different political parties and their candidates are criss-crossing every part of the state to canvass for votes. The deal-day is about 100 days to go! It is therefore necessary to stir up conversations around who the next Kwara State Governor should be.
The next Kwara State Governor should be a proactive leader, good listener, good communicator and team player. The next Kwara Governor should not be a pretender, sole administrator and Mr ITK (I know it all).
A closer look at the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Kwara State, Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal shows he possesses attributes of who the next Kwara State Governor should be. Hakeem Lawal is home-grown politician with over 20 years experience in grassroot politicking.
He is not a novice or push over in Kwara political arena. Hakeem Lawal, in the build up to 1998 Kwara State governorship election, played a critical role by working with different youth organizations to deliver victory for his late father, Admiral Mohammed Alabi Lawal on the platform of All Peoples’ Party (APP). He aspired for governorship by participating in PDP primary election of 2015 and later moved to All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest in 2018.
His emergence as SDP governorship candidate for 2023 governorship election in Kwara State lays credence to the fact that Hakeem Lawal understands the State political terrain. He defeated four other governorship aspirants with wide margin during two governorship primary elections held by the National body of the SDP.
As a proactive political leader, the 48 year-old International Finance expert swiftly approached other aspirants to solicit their support in order to emerge victorious during March 2023 poll. His reconciliation efforts’ led to harmonization of different structures to a build formidable party capable of winning the general elections.
Being a good listener, Hakeem Lawal has been giving attention to different interests within the party in order to create peaceful atmosphere conducive for winning election against the incumbent Governor. Kwara SDP leadership usually acknowledges the willingness of the Ilorin East-born politician to patiently and passionately listen to others in order to decode both ‘things said and unsaid’.
Furthermore, Hakeem Lawal since the commencement of 2023 electioneering process has been communicating his agenda to birth a new face of Kwara transformation succinctly without ambiguity. His engagements focuses on the real issues which centred on how to bring massive development to every part of kwara and improve Kwarans/residents’ wellbeing. His grasp of governance issues as displayed during Kwara Tabloid Governorship Debate in October, Media Interactive Session and ongoing SDP Interactive Session in different local government areas show his readiness for leadership.
For records, Hakeem Lawal during the Governorship Debate projected N10billion monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state backing it with a convincing explanation on how to make it a reality. He also gave commitment to conduct local government election which he describes as pathway to grassroots development.
Apart from that, the SDP gubernatorial candidate is team-player and not a lone ranger. The all inclusive composition of Kwara SDP Campaign Council is another pointer to how he will run Kwara State, when elected. He consults, critic ideas and embrace suggestions that would be in the interest and benefit of the people of Kwara State.