Kwarans task Ahmed on inauguration speech

Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State

Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State

GOVERNOR Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State is, no doubt, one of the few state governors with oratory prowess and the people of the state are tasking him in the fulfillment of the many promises he flawlessly made in his second term inauguration speech.

Ahmed, in an impeccably delivered speech during the colourful event at the Metropolitan square in Ilorin, the state capital, said among other things, that there would not be any form of discrimination against non-Kwarans in the delivery of dividends of democracy during his second term of office.

While Kwara is considered one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria, non-natives are demanding more political appointments under Ahmed on the ground that the development, if granted, would boost their level of commitment to the socio, political and economic growth of the state.

The non-natives who claimed to have resided in the state for the past 20 years and had since been contributing their quota to the growth of Kwara are however not demanding for equal shares or plum posts, but more recognition through appointments as Special Assistants “in the areas where the governor knows we can function.”

Speaking under the aegis of Kwara Progressives Residents (KPR), the group praised the governor for creating conducive atmosphere for them to thrive just as they extolled the virtues of Ahmed for his non discriminatory posture in the area of payment of school fees among both natives and non natives at primary and post primary institutions in the state.

According to the KPR President Chief Adelanke Ajulo, a native of Oka Akoko in Ondo State, during a chat with The Guardian, “we are grateful for the peaceful co existence of all in Kwara State irrespective of creed, sex or religion.

This had been an age-long tradition in the state but one must specially commend the incumbent governor for sustaining the tempo. We know this because we had been in Kwara for over two decades. “However like Oliver Twist, we want the governor to concede some political appointments to us. We are not making demands for the Offices of Deputy Governor, Commissioner for Finance and stuffs like that.

It could be the posts of Special Assistants, on areas we can function more than the natives. For instance, in the area of collection of Internally Generated Revenue IGR), we can be more effective there. I know what I am saying; it is like that in many other states of the federation. “The governor in his second term inaugural speech, promised us every other benefits like the natives.

He was however silent on the issues of the appointment into offices of the non-natives. Afterall, we voted him to power as well.”      Reacting to the demand, Senior Special Assistant to Ahmed on Communications and Public Affairs, Dr Femi Akorede, said the governor would meet all his promises as contained in the speech stressing that his boss “is a man of his words.” He added, “The governor is not a flippant person. He had cleverly weighed all his words before divulging them.

But the recent shortfall in the Federal Allocations to the state may make it difficult for many governors to enlarge their cabinets’ capacities more than it is necessary. But certainly, the governor is a man of his words.” Ahmed had stated in his speech, “on this Democracy Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who fought for our right to express our will, those who sacrificed so we can have a better tomorrow, those who laid the foundation of the democracy that we currently enjoy. “For me, this day has added significance. On this Democracy Day, we welcome a new dawn.

Today, we are witnesses to a shift in the national mood from despair to hope and from seeming helplessness to cautious optimism. On this day, we begin the job of building a new Kwara State, one that our people desire, and one that we all deserve.”

He added, “I salute my dependable partner on this journey, a reliable man and trusted ally, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Elder Peter Sara Kisira. I am also grateful to our leader, distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki, (CON) party stakeholders, members and supporters for finding me worthy to serve as your governor for a second term. “However, the real victors are the people who voted us with a conviction that we will do a much better job of making their lives better and more prosperous. And to them, I say a big thank you.

By the grace of God, I will not let you down. By now, most of you know the challenges we face. Our national economy is on its knees. Global oil prices, the mainstay of our economy, are dropping daily, limiting our ability to fulfill our obligations.

These challenges are enormous but we refuse to give in to despair, as I believe that this will be a defining moment in our history. I, Abdulfatah Ahmed, will not rest until the prosperity that our state once enjoyed is restored. “My administration’s priority remains the people’s welfare.

We will build more schools, roads, hospitals, power projects and structures needed to get more of our youths working, businesses growing, food on more tables and greater prosperity for everyone who calls Kwara State home. “This administration will upscale development and boost entrepreneurship to get a greater number of our youths working.

Starting from today, we will begin the work of transforming our state to the North Central’s Economic hub. We will create a new frontier of prosperity where everyone has the opportunity to better their lives subject only to their willingness to apply themselves.

“To begin with, education is the pivot of development and the most tested route to economic empowerment. In line with this, we intend to enhance functional education and expand access to formal education.

We will overhaul an initial 120 secondary schools across the state by building 1,274 new classrooms and rehabilitating 2,000 existing ones.

“Additionally, we will open new campuses for the Kwara State University, KWASU in Ilesha-Baruba with the establishment of the College of Agricultural Science and another one in Osi where we will locate the new College of Architectural and Environmental Studies.

“Furthermore, the International Vocational Center, Ajase-Ipo will be fully equipped and operational this year in line with our determination to provide our youths with critical vocational skills for entrepreneurship.

“In keeping with our determination to bring potable water within the reach of all residents, we will expand the Malete and Okuta Waterworks and begin work on Oyun Water Works to meet the needs of an estimated 180, 470 people in seven communities.”

The governor went further to make pledges on other areas of development like power generation and road construction and he also expressed his commitment to run a government that will be prudent and transparent in the management of state finances. However, whether these are real promises or not, the next four years will determine their authenticity as Kwarans are counting the days, expectant and analyzing the speech and its implementation on daily basis.

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