From June, governance will never be the same in Kwara state. There will be a clear demarcation between state and personal bank accounts, competence will replace ass-licking in crucial appointments and the issue of who gets what will no longer be at the whim of one man. These are part of the expected outcome of the battle of wits between agents of democratic and anti-democratic forces which was won and lost on March 9.
On that day, all that the democratic forces in the state needed to do was to muster all effort to throw a sucker punch. The punch connected with devastating consequences; pretenders, long used to life on the fast and false lane came tumbling from their peacock thrones! What many thought was next to impossibility has turned out to be a mismatch. This must be the harbinger of goodness for the long-suffering people of the famed State of Harmony and their friends.
The way it is, governance in Kwara state is about to assume a brand new form that will birth a brand New Kwara! On March 9, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the man who, next June, will become the main tenant of Government House, Ilorin, won a landslide victory in a state many thought could not vote against the establishment. The state-wide carnival that greeted the outcome of the results quickly put a lie to the fear of possible violence if victory went the way it did.
The long-suffering people in Kwara state must genuinely feel liberated from the socio-economic and political malpractices of the past decade and half that turned them into butts of derisive jokes from their neighbours. From June, 2019, hopefully, the famed State of Harmony will not be treated as a captured territory and no single individual will, at their whim and caprice, decide the fate of its people.
From June, finances of the state should be used for what they were appropriated for and not be seen as free money to fuel the false lifestyle of a few over-pampered individuals and their hangers-on as has been the practice over the last decade and half. What the people voted for was to end the era when some believed the state was an inheritance of one individual that should be treated as a private fiefdom. Thankfully, no one individual will operate state bank accounts as their private bank accounts.
Despite the goodwill he enjoys, His Excellency Abdulrazaq knows the challenges ahead are daunting. With a bastardized civil service, non-existent local government administration, decayed and decaying infrastructures and residents’ morale almost at its lowest, the incoming governor knows he has a thorough cleanup to do when he takes over in June. The Governor-elect has the experience to make the difference; what he will need is the right set of lieutenants who will key into his idea of a ”brand new Kwara.” The good news is there is a pool of intelligent and far-sighted individuals to choose from.
The March 9 governorship election presented the long-suffering people of Kwara state the golden opportunity to make a clean break with the past. And when the time came, the people voted in very clear terms that they wanted to retrieve their future and launch the state on the path of greatness. It was time to break the asphyxiating hold of freeloading puppets and their masters. Why, in the first place the people stuck with an abusive status quo and merely sneered by the sidelines for years continues to beat the imagination.
Having frittered several opportunities close to two decades, it is good that things will now be done differently. This time around, Kwara state cannot afford to get it wrong! The electorate did not vote for another yes-man as governor. They have every cause to be expectant because they did not elect another caretaker governor who will only be happy to hold the cow for some arrogant masters.
The people of Kwara state have voted to end years of enslavement. They have ended the reign of stooges and, hopefully, the subsisting stooge will be the last to surface at Government House, Ilorin. What this means is that lean resources of the state will no longer go into fuelling the false lifestyle of a few. There is cause for optimism because the next governor of Kwara state is neither anybody’s fall guy nor prisoner to a particular group or interest!
Those who know him say Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is an independent-minded individual with no baggage whatsoever. In other words, the next occupant of Government House, Ilorin, the incoming governor belongs to all and yet belongs to none; he is not mired in any inter- and intra-political squabbles. In essence, Kwara state is lucky to have a clean and upright governor whose background and orientation are in harmony with the aspirations of the people!
The people of Kwara state sought an untainted, independent-minded candidate who, as governor, will not hold the treasury in trust for others. They wanted a governor they can truly call their own! In the long struggle to redeem their state, the people could not have wished for a more credible leader other than His Excellency Abdulrazaq! For too long, Kwara state has been depicted as a captured territory and its people treated as pawns! It is time to end that portrayal.
It is time the people stopped dancing to the weird drumbeat of a self-serving few who do not have the interest of the state at heart. The incoming governor has promised to return Kwara state to its halcyon days of yore. After years of sitting in limbo, the least the people can do is to lend critical support to the government he is about to constitute.