New Deal in Kwara State-By Babatunde Opoola - 9japarrot


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Wednesday 15 July 2020

New Deal in Kwara State-By Babatunde Opoola

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq's business unusual yields harvest of developments in Kwara State. Only those not privy to the inner workings of the current administration in kwara will be surprised by phenomenal success of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in such a short time. The foundations of today's giant strides were carefully laid at the beginning. While other governors-elect were basking in the euphoria of their victory, Abdulrazaq was busy at work. 

After he was proclaimed winner of the March 9th ,2019 gubernatorial election in Kwara State, Abdulrazaq immediately set up various work groups, to chart the way forward and generate ideas that would inform the direction of the in-coming administration.

At inauguration, Abdulrazaq did not grope in the dark for one second. He knew where he was going and how to get there. The governor had in possession a collection of master plans covering every facet of governance.

No wonder Abdulrazaq told Labour leaders during the meeting on the proposed minimum wage that he was ready to sign the package if he would not be held responsible for the inability of the local governments to pay the minimum wage.

Abdulrazaq's philosophy is simple. The governor does not believe in handing fish to the people. He holds that the people should be taught how to fish so that they can fend for themselves. And it is an incontrovertible fact as stated by this government that local government funds are intact despite the suspension of the Chairmen. Abdulrazaq , however, has said that since he became governor, money meant for the 16 local governments had been released to them in full. Yet Abdulrazaq is not resting.

 This time, it is about transparency. Abdulrazaq war against corruption is total. Towards having a clean slate at local government and to debunk the widespread allegations of diversion of N300m local government funds, he has in the business unusual invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the local governments funds. In other government circles, such development would have been treated " in house."

He has invited the anti-graft agency to conduct an independent probe into funds so far received and disbursed to the 16 local government areas between May 2019 and now.

According to the governor's spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Governor would also, separately set up a Panel of inquiry in the immediate to look into the same issues. Members of the panel and its terms of reference are expected to be announced soon.

Equally too, the governor has appealed to the Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA), as representatives of the people vested with oversight powers to hold public hearing on the matter.

In pursuit of transparency and development of Kwara State, Abdulrazaq is not resting. The job is a 24 hour vocation for the governor. The task of translating the vision of progress into reality will take a new urgency as the governor begins his second year.

Like I have always written, he remains undeterred by distraction and criticisms but  attempt to discredit his stainless reputation surrounding the diversion of local government funds should be discarded, given his antecedent , which dates back to his days in the Congress for Progress Change (CPC), that the local governments should be allowed to manage their own funds with minimal or no supervision by the State as the law may allow. Abdulrazaq has always insisted that any official found to have diverted or mismanaged public funds under him would be made to account for same as prescribed under the law.

Trust is essential for democracies, for it enhances the legitimacy of government by linking citizens, their institution and politicians. Kwara State is sustaining the trust of the vast majority that voted Abdulrazaq. This is the essence of the new Deal in Governance, the business unusual, a deviation from the usual in- house treatment by past administrations.

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