By Raheem Adedoyin
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is simple going however he’s a sophisticated chief. He’s unfazed by hate-driven criticism; he’s unmoved by sychophancy. Whenever you reward him, the very best factor you get is a smile.
The Kwara Governor is one yr outdated in workplace. And the jury is out!
To the frequent individuals who matter most in his political orbit, *Ramonu* ( as they name him) is on course. To the political class, there may be an uneasy relationship.
I do know AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq very effectively. We associated very effectively once I was a nationwide officer of the then ruling celebration in Nigeria, the Individuals’s Democratic Social gathering( PDP). After we parted methods politically after he left PDP within the wake of the emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki as Governor, there was nonetheless no animosity between us.
We re-established political contact once more in Might 2018 in Atlanta, United States . On the sidelines of the Nationwide Conference of the Kwara State Affiliation of Nigeria, North American Chapter( KSANG), we had a dialogue on why and the way we must always work collectively politically again residence. He was in PDP, I used to be in APC. 5 months later, following the exit of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed from APC, AbduRahman and their PDP construction moved to our celebration. We had been collectively once more.
I had a chance to know the priorities of the governor earlier than he was sworn in. He tapped me to move his Manifesto Committee whose mandate he later expanded to supply a 4-,yr coverage doc. I additionally participated actively in his Transition Committee and the Hand-over committee. So, I do know his story within the final one yr and that story I’m inclined to supply an perception into.
AbdulRazaq is an introvert and very deliberative. You may’t rush him. He seeks to demystify and simplify government authority. He’s saying to Kwarans: “ I’m your Governor, not Govt Governor; Im AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq” , no Mallam, no Alhaji, no prefix. He attends features unobstructively. His message is merely: “ I’m similar to you, the bizarre Kwaran”.
Why does this matter? In an setting riddled with autocratic malfeasance, it’s a contemporary breath of air.
AbdulRazaq’s manifesto was largely a product of his personal ideas and plans. The manifesto crew took him to job on a few of his plans and he took pains to elucidate these plans and the highway to implementing them. So he’s not governing on impulse.
Well being. Schooling. Agriculture. Highway infrastructure, Built-in rural providers and one thing like a Marshal Plan for the long- uncared for Kwara North. These can be his priorities. And they’re.
One yr down the road, you would rating him on this and you would make your judgement. The place I come from, Irepodun Native Authorities, the heartbeat of Kwara South, Ramonu’s affect is massively felt- Omuaran township highway, Esie Museum highway, complete renovation of the long-lasting Oro Grammar College, et cetera.
Whilst you might say his work for the folks just isn’t disappointing, the Governor has had a turbulent journey within the political area.
AbdulRazaq was not alleged to be Governor. Earlier than he and the “ invaders” ( that’s what I lovingly name my folks from my former celebration) got here from PDP, we had gubernatorial frontrunners in APC: Hon. Moshood Mustapha( two- time member of Kwara State cupboard underneath Gov. Bukola Saraki, former member , Federal Home of Representatives and former Particular Adviser to former senate President Saraki, and profitable businessman); Mallam Shaibu Yaman Abdullahi ( a profitable entrepreneur and political juggernaut); Mallam Saliu Mustapha, a philanthropist par excellence and a serious political participant in Kwara: Mallam Tajudeen Audu,Makama of Lafiagi and Monetary professional and Alh. Yakubu Gobir, Lagos-based primarily based businessman and Wazirin Hausa.
When the PDP folks got here, almost all their outstanding leaders from Kwara Central needed to be Governor. Ramonu was not, of their reckoning, a possible winner.
However Ramonu gained.
“Abuja helped him”. “Tinubu imposed him”. “ He purchased the ticket”. That’s how some fellow asiprants rationalised their loss to him.
As a key participant within the Main battles ( I used to be the Director Basic of MM Marketing campaign Organisation) and a journalist with a nostril for information , I do know the story. However these narratives about extraneous elements serving to to clinch the ticket, had been each consoling and infruating to AA’s opponents.
A number of the guber aspirants later embraced the winner and had been all out for him within the marketing campaign. Some didn’t, heartily.
AA didn’t get the respect a possible Governor deserved from a few of the key celebration leaders. It manifested throughout the marketing campaign. It confirmed throughout the elections ( some leaders really whispered that they had been positive President Muhammadu Buhari can be re-elected however they weren’t so positive Ramonu would breast the gubernatorial tape efficiently.).
However the Kwara folks disillusioned the sceptics, giving AA much more votes than they gave Buhari. After all, that landslide victory was the results of Otoge, the will and willpower of Kwara folks to have a change of management in Kwara. Anybody who obtained APC ticket would have gained.
However the animosity towards AA nonetheless lingered even after he had been sworn in as Governor. Some APC leaders had been fingered within the sponsorship of the court docket case towards the governor on his college certificates outcome problem. I’ve some particulars It was breathtaking.
The mutual mistrust between the Governor and these leaders has resulted in lack of mutual session on governance within the state. It’s a sore level.
Kwarans are aware of the hostility between the Governor and the Kwara APC Chairman , Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa( BOB). The celebration construction is damaged down alongside the strains of Professional-AA and Professional- BOB. That it’s an uneven match, even when a proxy conflict, is apparent.
It’s disquieting that the celebration cohesion that might hearth up the APC faithfuls in help of presidency is lacking. In brief, political unity to drive help for authorities is absent.
The Governor is the Chief of the celebration within the State( learn that again- it’s a part of the competition), he’ll proceed to be blamed for the celebration disaster particularly as he stays taciturn on political points.
Communication has not been the very best pal of the Governor. These days, the tempo of publicity, particularly within the social media, on the Governor’s achievements has elevated. However political communication is sorely lacking.
The narrative of the Governor preventing the celebration construction owes to this communication deficit. The Governor and the Chairman have a bitter relationship however that’s removed from the Governor preventing the APC construction. Infact, the disaster in Kwara APC the place a transparent majority are usually not working in sinc with their Chairman is completely different from the AA-BOB disagreement.
Teams have mushroomed, purporting to be supporting the Governor. I do know for a incontrovertible fact that the governor has not prompted any group to struggle for him. However you can not cease folks from expressing their help for the governor or any chief. The rent-a-crowd supporter teams are all over the place for each political chief. There may be one which was an acronym of a Chief since their defunct Motion Congress of Nigeria (ACN) days, they’re nonetheless energetic. I help our Governor however I don’t belong to any such group.
- Enugbe* was a serious criticism by APC members. It’s a native parlance for lack of patronage from the governor. The celebration disaster stoked the hearth of Enugbe however these days that has subsided. The huge and equitable distribution of Covic-19 Palliaves , particularly the cash given to the celebration constructions, apparently did some good. Extra is desired.
APC stakeholders complain that they don’t get to see or communicate with their Governor. Not all however some key ones. That’s not good. However why is that so? The fault lies *partly* in not understanding the varied methods to speak with a chief government. And could also be if we accord him the respect a governor deserves and never dwell in a world of entitlement, issues might get higher.
I didn’t write to earn a smile from Ramonu nor for any consideration. I’ve solely shared a story completely different from what’s in public area. OtoGe is on observe in Kwara.
- Adedoyin is former Commissioner and APC Stakeholder in Kwara State