By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin…Anyone entering Kwara state in the last twenty four days since Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq assumed office as governor of the state of harmony would clearly feel the new lease of life being enjoyed by the residents.
With the two key appointments of the Chief of Staff and Secretary to the State Government, who were not core politicians, the governor has left no one in doubt of his readiness to work for the people of Kwara State.
For the first time in several months, water now runs from some pipes around the town and in some homes of those who still subscribe to the services of the state water corporation.
Earlier, the governor visited the Oyun Water Works which distributes water to Offa, Igosun, Omupo and some other communities in the Kwara South Senatorial District.
He said the officials would be given a week deadline to deliver water to some communities after they have received the required funding.
The visit came barely two weeks after the governor directed the ministry of water resources to deliver water to identifiable parts of the state within the next 100 days of his administration.
He said they would get all the support they needed to deliver, warning however to sanction them if the affected officials failed to meet the target.
Provision of water had been the conduit pipes through which previous administrations committed state funds running into several billions of naira but still the residents lacked potable water till the last administration of Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed took its exit.In fact, before the present administration, staff of the water corporation had protested over non payment of their salaries and the bad conditions of their equipment which did not enable them supply water to the residents but all of that are now history.
Potholes on major roads in the town are also being fixed after the governor released N20m to Kwara State Road Management Agency (KWARMA) to fix roads in the state. Some terrible portions of Asa dam road, have also been patched, same with the big round about at Offa garage also in Ilorin among several others.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq also on Tuesday lamented the condition of Radio Kwara and pledged to make it a priority of his administration. Radio Kwara had gone off air for over three months owing to lack of basic equipment to operate.
Several hundreds of millions of naira was allegedly spent by the previous administration to upgrade the station without results. Rather than being upgraded, all the state radio and television stations went into comatose.
Governor AbdulRazaq also paid unscheduled visit to the moribund radio station where he said the total breakdown of operations at the state broadcasting corporation typified the general rot in the state which his administration would address with the support of the public.
“I want you to realise that you (in Radio Kwara) are not worse off than any other sector in the state. The situation is the same everywhere. I cannot use my office at the moment because it is in a state of disrepair and one wonders what they were using our money for. I was just coming from Oyun water works now and the last time they had water was over six months ago.
“So, we are starting from below zero. We need your support to pull through. They are about to start their own radio station to attack us even when they have killed the one that belongs to all of us”, AbdulRazaq told workers of Radio Kwara.
He then pledged to quickly look into the problem of the station, especially the FM arm where the specifics of the problems and solutions have been identified with cost implications.
The staff of the station took turns to explain that all the equipment at the radio station have either become unserviceable or too weak owing to years of neglect or their age and urged the governor to intervene to save Radio Kwara.
Also in a seemingly deft political move, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq during the week suspended the executives of the sixteen local governments in the state which he inherited from the last administration of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
The governor, in a statement signed on Tuesday said, “Pursuant to the resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly dated this 18th day of June, 2019, and Section 29 of the Kwara State Local Government Law Cap. K33, 2006, I, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the executive governor of Kwara State, hereby suspend the executive and legislative committees of all the Sixteen (16) Local Government Areas in the state for a period of six months or pending the outcome of the investigations into allegations of misappropriation of public funds by the Kwara State House or Assembly, whichever is earlier in time”.
The suspension came hours after the House of Assembly recommended the suspension of the local council executive and legislative committees.
The House had, in the resolution earlier in the day, urged the governor to “immediately suspend all the 16 Local Government Executive and Legislative Committees in the state pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations of misappropriation of public funds levelled against them so as not to jeopardise the process of investigation”.
Section 29 of the Kwara State Local Government Law Cap. K33, 2006 empowers the governor to suspend the chief executive of the local council for six months.
The Constitution, on the other hand, empowers the House of Assembly to investigate the local councils for alleged infraction and corruption.
In another development, during the celebrations of democracy day in Kwara State, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage to accord June 12 the national recognition it deserves, and his support for the Kwara liberation struggle.
Kwara had shifted its commemoration of the event to penultimate Friday to enable AbdulRazaq join other state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari for the national celebration of June 12 in Abuja.
The governor also said the state was poised for greatness on all fronts, having turned the page on decades of socio-economic stagnation.
He said,”let me reiterate that my Government will carry the good people of Kwara State along in this journey of renewed hope and prosperity and never are we going to disappoint you on our campaign promises.” The event was held at the expansive metropolitan square along Asa dam Ilorin.
Mobbed by thousands of ecstatic supporters as he walked up to the stage, Governor AbdulRazaq said he was committed to making the state a better place for every Kwaran and resident of Kwara.
“I promise to run an inclusive government in order to carry everyone along. No matter your age, sex or tribe, as long as you reside in Kwara State, we will make Kwara a conducive working environment for you”, he said.
According to him, “we, in Kwara State also owe Mr President a debt of gratitude for standing firm on his resolve that people’s votes must count in the last election. In the past, Kwarans had often voted to reject tyranny and a suffocating hold on their destiny but they always had their mandates brazenly stolen with nobody to resist such oppression. We thank Mr President for standing for truth and justice.”
The icing on the cake for many ground breaking decisions of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq was the dissolution of Harmony board, and 17 other state owned companies on Wednesday to pave way for fresh appointments.
He also directed that the operation of their bank accounts be “suspended until further notice,” according to a statement by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Adegboyega Mobolaji Odetokun, on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government Mamman Sabba Jibril.
The affected companies include Kwara Hotels Limited; Harmony Holding Limited (HHL); Harmony Securities Limited; HHL Investment and Trust Limited; HHL Investment and Property Development Company LTD; HHL Insurance Brokers LTD; Harmony Courier and Logistics LTD; Harmony Transport Services LTD; Harmony Ventures and Supplies LTD; and Harmony Facility Management Services LTD.
Others are Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre LTD; Kwara Football Academy; Ilorin Cargo Terminal Company LTD; Patigi Regatta Motel LTD; Kwara State Cashew Nut Processing Company LTD; Kwara State Tourism Kitchen Company LTD; Kwara Waste Management LTD; and the International Aviation College.
“The Managing Director of each company is hereby directed to immediately hand over to the most senior management staff of the company,” the statement added.