By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin-It was a carnival of a sort,as the ancient city of Ilorin,Kwara state capital, was shut down for the better part of Thursday when the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)Alh Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq went on a road show to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari,himself and other candidates of the party ahead of the fast approaching elections.
Thousands of tumultuous crowd, were surging from Fate road where it took off,down to Maraba then to the popular Ipata market.
From the Ipata market, the road show moved to Gambari,then Abayawo,and Oloje,then Adeta,and Pakata and to other major parts of Ilorin.
The shout of “O to ge”, meaning enough is enough to the ruler ship of Sarakis political dynasty in the state was deafening on the road, as supporters,sympathisers,includ ing children, market women and men even shouted Sai Buhari and also hailed Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, who was in the open Toyota Hilux vehicle with his aides,waving back with admiration and addressing the supporters and sympathisers as the road show went bye.
The security officials in the state,comprising the police officers of civil defence, road safety officials,soldiers, and even para military officers had hectic time controlling the tumultuous crowd.
Aside,supporters of the gubernatorial candidate, sympathisers of the party who joined the road show gave a good account of the increasing popularity of the candidate and the party in the state ahead of the fast approaching elections.
Speaking in an interview with journalists, the APC gubernatorial candidate of the party Alh Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq said “We are committed to end the tyranny in our state. O To Ge. We will ensure workers are paid their dues at the right time. A government that cannot account for trillions of naira of public funds cannot expect to be trusted again,”
AbdulRazaq also laughed off a recent claim by Senate President that APC wants to make Kwara a part of the West, dismissing it as the antic of drowning politicians hanging to any straw.
He said,“If West means Tinubu, Bukola took Kwara to the west in 2015 when Tinubu was leader of APC,”
He added that,“Their desperate attempt to incite the public against us has failed. Every student of history understands the role my father AGF AbdulRazaq SAN played in 1955 to convince the Willinks Commission on Minorities that Ilorin belonged to the northern region. Where was Saraki in those years? Where is his sense of history?”
He also said that he will not create rancor with PDP even if they plan to do so.
Speaking on minimum wage debacle,he said,”Kwara civil servant will enjoy APC leadership style but we have to check the financial atrocities that have been committed by PDP, a government that is owning 6-8 months salaries”
The road show followed another road show on Wednesday, organized by the Director General of National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)Alhaji Modibbo Kawu.
The rally which took off from the popular Post office area of Ilorin terminated in his campaign office,while he was governorship aspirant, along Zango area of Ilorin.
Chieftains of the party among who were Barrister Kunle Sulyman,the organiser,Alh Modibbo Kawu, ,Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq among others in turn took their time to also take a swipe at the present government in the state,and indeed the previous administrations under the ruler ship of Sarakis political dynasty, saying that there was no better time to release Kwara state from the political bondage than now so that the state can move forward.
Also on Thursday, while the road show was ongoing, elsewhere, hundreds of APC women leaders from the sixteen local governments across the state were gathered by the women wing of the party at the expansive Savanna event center, along Ajaseipo road,ilorin to sensitise them about the fast approaching elections.
The minister of information and culture, Alh Lai Mohammed and his aides were also in attendance.
The women in their various colourful Ankara attires took their turn to dance to a melodious Fuji music of a local musician, who sang like KWAM 1
In her opening remarks, the state APC women leader Rahmat Bolaji said that the party had marginalized women in the scheme of things, adding that “we know that this is not deliberate.”
Hajia Bolaji added that “the general and most important objective is to make sure that our party women leaders are adequately sensitized to
mobilize the entire women population in the state so that we can be victorious at the 2019 general elections.”
In his address,the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state,and Minister for Information and culture, Alhaji
Lai Mohammed also described the allegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that APC is planning to annex the state to South West as tissue of lies.
According to him, “In this season of politics, everything goes.Our problem is not ethnicity, it is not religion, it is not that of gender. These elections will not be determined on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender. The main issues here have to do with
how our state has been governed in the past 50 years, 40 of which have been dominated by a single family.
“What has happened to the commonwealth, which has been cornered by a single dynasty at the expense of the people? Where are the roads and other infrastructure to justify the huge resources that have accrued to the state? If you follow a path for so long, and it leads you nowhere, won’t you try another path? These are the issues.
“They say some people want to take them to the Southwest. Absolute lies from those whose family ties to Kwara are questionable. I can speak for myself. I am a bona fide and proud Kwara citizen. My father
and mother are from here. No question about that. Our gubernatorial candidate is unquestionably a proud Kwaran, from right here in Ilorin,
and there are no questions about his origins. So who is the stranger here?
“In our campaign for the forthcoming elections, we have been proudly showcasing what the Federal Government has achieved since assuming
office in 2015. That’s the way to go. When they come to you, ask them how many kilometers of roads they have tarred. Ask them why the people
have no potable water to drink. Ask them why workers have been pauperized because of non-payment of their salaries. Ask them why the quality of life of our people is at the lowest point.
“Ask them who tarred the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa road that they took to Bode Saadu, where they launched their campaign a few days ago. That road was impassable during the time of the PDP, the same party they are now touting as the one with the magic wand.
If they tell you that President Buhari was the reason they have not performed, ask them what they did with the several bailouts they received from the Federal Government. Ask them why they could not pay
workers salaries despite getting bailouts and Paris Club refund.
“They claim they are helping the state to offset workers salaries.Remind them that they are only returning some of the commonwealth they have looted. They are only doing so out of panic.
“Ask them why they used their position to sabotage national budgets year after year, to the detriment of the people. These are the issues that will dominate this campaign, not those tales by the moonlight.
“Some of the people they nominated to the boards of government agencies and parastatals are still there, yet they claim that Kwara has not benefitted from this Federal Government. These people, some of whom
are holding executive positions, will soon be shown the way out.”the minister revealed.. Interesting times ahead..