RIGHT OF REPLY:
READING Lanre Is’haq’s Modibbo mono thematic page recently, got me thinking about my late mother’s philosophical analogy of a mad man, who stumbled on a defecating man and quickly made for his clothes, sprinting away. The man, the story went, although visibly distraught by the mad man’s act, restrained himself from pursuing him to recover his clothes, so that he is not mistaken for mad.
This piece is not meant to go after the ‘mad man’ but to sufficiently alert the general public of their presence so as to be on their guard. This is particularly important because according to Kassim Afegbua, “when a writer has an inherent problem with his inner-most being, his psychological quotient becomes insufficient to make the right thoughts and this predictably affects his cognitive reasoning. Rather than think in a positive way and assemble his facts in a manner that underscores his intellectuality, he quarrels with the socio-political melieu as the rationale for his obtuse reasoning (and failure)”.
Imagine the funny memories a friend provoked after reading Lanre’s recent write up on Saraki and the Kwara State Government, describing it as aptly qualifying for tales from the stable of a perpetual bed-wetter and one with obtuse reasoning.
Indeed, like all zonked minds, over time, it has become clear that Lanre’s alliance with people, who high on pitiable illusion, think that the right behaviour is defined only by always trying to pull down governments or people in leadership positions where they choose to stand with the masses by sticking to people-focused ideas, has adversely affected his way of reasoning.
Even when evidences point to the contrary, he has continued to hurt himself by painting every move by the Kwara government in bad light. Only recently, he spewed yet a cocktail of lies and grossly misrepresenting Governor Ahmed’s ingenious efforts at tackling the sliding revenue tides so as to accomplish target projects. In his congealed blind criticism, Lanre showed that he truly desperately needs the help of a diazepam to calm his awry nerves. This time, his misplaced diatribe was on the recent move by government to block all revenue loopholes and strengthen Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Permanently cast on the critic mode and shutting out common sense, which would have helped him to see far beyond the enemy images that has beclouded his sense of reasoning, his hate for anything Kwara boiled over. Apart from regurgitating same things week in, week out, as if they were nursery rhymes, he attempted to denature an otherwise ingenious initiative of the State government to raise revenue to suit his devotion to arts of robust mischief.
This time, he attacked the newly commissioned Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS), established to take measures that would make the state economically viable and financially self-sustaining so as to enable the state meet up with its growing obligations to the people. The new revenue and tax office was also to create a wide range of revenue pool and ensure that every perceivable loopholes through which government funds take flight are blocked and readily insulate the Kwara economy from the oil-market downturn. In the face of shortfall in funds, the agency was to also identify new revenue beds and convenient modes of collecting same. At launch, the people applauded the governor for the idea, but not Kawu.
Last week, Lanre deliberately lost it. Perhaps, hoping to deceive and misinform the people as always by lying that Kwara State got a monthly allocation of N3.6billion in January from the Federal government. How, in his hate-fueled world, N1,870, 915, 605.61 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventy Million, Nine Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Five Thousand, Sixty One Kobo) received in January by the state multiplied to N3.6billion can only be explained in his dreamy and hate world! Or his obsession for anything Kwara has made him forget the difference between local and the state governments?
Lacking in the right investigative skills also, he lied that Saraki collects several millions as pension monthly when (as common for all former governors) the Senate President receives just a little above a million naira. But Lanre’s lying devotion did not start today. It dates back to when he alleged that the state planned to sell the Yidi Prayer Ground and the Emir’s Palace! Indeed, Kawu deserves pity.
Interestingly, practiced pessimists forget that whatever misgivings anyone may have about a leader, not necessarily, Dr. Ahmed, one thing you would never take away is the strong inbuilt mechanism to re-invent one’s self to stay ahead. It is noteworthy that since his first term as governor, Dr. Ahmed has proved this stonewall to pessimists many times over, yet they would never learn! And, you begin to wonder, like former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Alhaji Dalhatu Tafida, why a responsible man would still wait to be told to go home after the market is over. “A responsible man would go home immediately,” Tafida says as he quit the party. But will Lanre and his sponsors trailed by streaks of failed efforts to discredit the Kwara government and the state’s political leadership ever quit the market place and walk home bearing their shame now that the KW-IRS initiative is yielding fruits?
The other time, he equated Kwara state, with its current meagre resources, with others that earn as many folds as he knows. Good and commendable as it is, in governance, anyone who relied on one ‘schools feeding programme’ even if successful, for instance, to track down indices of progress in any state, ignoring the differences in government’s priorities and fact that governments and people all over the world have different needs and strategies to achieving them, would almost certainly end up with the folly of thinking that good governance is measured by many states doing same programmes.
Blinded by hate and disappointment, Lanre cannot see the various ongoing projects in their hundreds in Kwara State. Typical of one, who is only interested in what he would appropriate to himself and not for the general good, he has equally turned blind eye to the clear steadily falling oil price, which has negatively affected federal allocation to states, including Kaduna and Kwara, to the point that state governments are desperately sourcing for funds from other areas to finance projects. Or, probably driven to the cliff by an itinerant hollow mind, he desperately wants Kwara State to ape a ‘schools feeding programme’ as opposed to infrastructure development, which tops the Ahmed government’s priority list and potentially presents residents with a chance to lead a self-reliant lifestyle other than depending on government for daily food handouts to survive.
So, when and how in Kawu’s warped imagination, did taking a bond become a yardstick for underlining a failed government? The world over, records hold that bond is one of the ways capital projects are financed. Today, even the United States and British governments, rich though, still resort to bond to finance its projects. So, where did Kwara government under Dr. Ahmed or even Saraki as it were, go wrong, particularly where projects for which the bond is taken had been earmarked? In 2009.
Kwara under the former administration of Dr. Bukola Saraki, took a bond, which assisted in executing the first phase of the Ilorin Water Reticulation project, and some projects at the Kwara State University, including Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, the International Aviation College, remodeling of the Ilorin Township Stadium, Ilorin Cargo Terminal, some rural and urban roads, as well as the several rural electrification projects executed by the Saraki administration. The bond has been fully repaid.
What the Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration intends to do with the new bond is in the public domain for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Abdulwahab Oba is CPS to the Kwara State Governor.