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AbdulRazaq a breath of fresh air — Kwara PDP leaders

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Top leaders of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State on Tuesday pledged their loyalty to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq whose leadership style, humility and attachment to the poor they described as a breath of fresh air.

The PDP leaders, who also comprised at least six suspended council chairmen, women and several youth leaders, spoke late Tuesday when they visited AbdulRazaq in Government House in Ilorin, the state capital.

“We can see a difference and people can feel that they have a government. The situation has changed in the area of road construction, water, health. You have also brought unmatched humility to governance,” Obalola Suleiman, a top PDP chieftain from Ifelodun local government area, said at the meeting.

“You have started very well and our people are happy. We urge you to continue along that path. We are willing to work with you for the overall interest of our state.”

Ben Duntoye, a former commissioner and PDP chieftain from Irepodun local government area of the state, aligned with Obalola.

“You are a silent achiever. We can see things for ourselves and we want to be a part of this success story. We can see that you are doing more work than talk. This is evident in our various communities,” Duntoye said.

Yahya Yinusa, a prominent PDP chieftain from Kwara North popularly called ‘Bulldozer’, also commended AbdulRazaq’s leadership and said the next few months would record influx of thousands of opposition figures into the ruling APC on account of the Governor’s sterling effort to reposition Kwara.

“I am not surprised at the positive turn of things in Kwara. We were in CPC together and I can tell the great roles you played in assisting many of us who were contesting at the time. Your work is really speaking for you,” Yinusa said.

Garba Labaka, suspended chairman of Ifelodun local government area, commended the Governor for his “unrivalled tolerance and political maturity”, saying the Governor has neither stopped their salary nor subjected them to harassment as was the case in some other states.

“This clearly sets you apart as a great leader. We are very grateful to you for your tolerance and large-heartedness,” he said, adding that he has the mandate of all his colleagues to thank the Governor as well as appeal to him to return them to office.

Bilikisu Sanni, a retired permanent secretary and PDP chieftain, said the Governor has made history as the most gender friendly leader in the history of the state.

“We will continue to be grateful to you for this singular honour you’ve done to us as women. You have also changed the face of governance. It’s an entirely new pleasant experience for the people of Kwara a State,” she said.

AbdulRazaq, for his part, commended the opposition leaders for the visit and said he sees everyone as critical stakeholders for a greater Kwara.

“The situation we have found ourselves in Kwara is such that all hands must be on deck to move the state forward. We need everybody on board in this task. That is why I treat everyone as fellow Kwaran. From the civil service to other sectors, my concern has been how to stabilise our state for posterity,” he said.

AbdulRazaq explained his various interventions in the health and education sectors, water, road, as well as his upcoming efforts to tackle poverty and grow the economy through social investment programmes and health insurance scheme, drawing applause from members of the opposition.

The meeting was attended by top government officials and politicians including Senior Adviser and Counsellor Kale Belgore; Special Adviser (Political) Saadu Salau; Special Adviser (Special Duties) Yinka Aluko; and Senator Suleiman Ajadi.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
12 February, 2020.

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Kwara Matters

We are in government to serve Kwarans — AbdulRazaq

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said his administration is determined to right the wrongs of the past, invest in human capital and physical infrastructural development, and improve the living standards of the people.

“We are in government to serve our people. We have made commitments and we will not disappoint. We were here a year ago to campaign for you and you supported us. Let’s do it again this Saturday by voting Adam Ahmed Rufai of the APC during the by-election,” AbdulRazaq said as he wrapped the campaign for the ruling party in Patigi where a House of Assembly by-election is holding this Saturday.

“We come with a solid team headed by myself, the speaker, Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, former Speaker Benjamin Isa and other key stakeholders in the party. So, I can assure you that Adam Ahmed Rufai is in good company and will be supported in the Assembly.”

Accompanied by top government officials and party chieftains, AbdulRazaq had on Monday flagged off a marathon campaign tour that touched all the affected 10 wards of Patigi where he pointed out his various developmental strides in the local government and elsewhere in the state since his inauguration last year.

He pledged that the government would give the necessary support to farmers by providing farm implements, chemicals and funds to improve yields to guarantee food security. 

“We are aware that some communities do harvest three times in a year. Come with your specific demands on the type of suitable farm implements and we will support you,” he added.

AbdulRazaq said the government was discussing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to lend money to those who want fund above N250,000 to support their businesses through the bank’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme. 

He added that the Social Investment Programme, which is due for launch anytime soon, would support smallholder farmers, artisans, small business owners, particularly women, and boost people’s purchasing power.

“You all can testify that we are doing things differently. That is one reason we need you to vote Adam Ahmed Rufai who is a member of our party and shares the vision of this administration,” he said.

Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Salihu Danladi Yakubu urged voters to come en masse on Saturday and elect Ahmed Rufai to guarantee quality and effective representation at the parliament.

Chairman of  APC in Patigi Muhammad Swasun promised that the party would deliver 100% victory on Saturday’s by-election.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor 
11 March, 2020.

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Kwara Matters

Kwara Gov seeks equal opportunity, empowerment for women, girl child

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Sunday rallied support for women empowerment, girl child education, and equal opportunity for all genders.

“I join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day,” the Governor said in a statement by his spokesman Rafiu Ajakaye.

The statement is in commemoration of the International Women’s Day with the theme #EachForEqual.

“As an administration, we are unshaken in our belief that no meaningful development can take place when half of our population is unheard. We stand firm in our resolve to empower the girl child, as we do to our male child, to aspire to the highest height,” the statement said.

“This administration believes that half of our developmental challenges are rooted in not giving the right opportunity to women to reach for the stars. An educated woman is many times more likely to raise a healthy and successful family. Enlightened and empowered, she is more likely to save her family from malnutrition, extreme poverty, ignorance, and other social malaise that now plague our world.

“Today, therefore, I join the rest of the global community to seek fair treatment for all women and girl child. I align myself with the global rejection of sexual violence against women, forced marriage, and other oppressive policies targeted at anyone, especially women and other vulnerable groups in our society.”

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
8 March, 2020.

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Kwara Matters

Climate change: Kwara closes forest, to launch tree planting

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Kwara State Government has announced at least a month closure of the forest for all activities except farming, expressing worries that indiscriminate activities in the forest are fast disrupting the state’s ecosystem and exposing it to severe effects of climate change.

“The (government) is very worried about the rate of wanton deforestation for both legal and illegal purposes such as charcoal and other wood resources/products without commensurate regeneration,” Commissioner for Environment Architect Aliyu Saifudeen told newsmen in Ilorin, the state capital, on Monday.

“This is causing a tremendous imbalance in our ecosystem and Climate Change. Accordingly, the ministry has taken a painful decision to ‘close the forest’ for all kinds of activities for a minimum period of one month and maximum of three beginning from the 2nd of March to 31st of May 2020. This will enable us take stock of what is left of that natural endowment for further action and the inventory of what goes on therein. Consequently, all economic activities except farming are hereby suspended within the period forthwith with offenders liable to prosecution.

“During and at the end of the closure, all those who have any business to do with the forest are required to make themselves available to the ministry for fresh registration, including farmers whose farmlands are in excess of 25 hectares.”

Saifudeen said the government will embark on massive tree planting to be flagged off by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Minister of Environment Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar later in May, a step he asserted was needed to address the question of deforestation and climate change.

“There is a policy of cut one tree and plant five and for each new site being developed a number of trees be planted. This has not been complied with totally. A strict adherence to this policy would have salvaged to an extent our predicament of deforestation,” he added, saying the policy would be replicated at every local government area of the state.

Saifudeen, who announced ongoing sensitisation of the populace on the need to sanitise their state, said the government would also embark on enforcement of the law banning obstruction of traffic flow through indiscriminate trading on roadsides and median and street begging.

He lamented that such practices constitute serious threats to millions of people.

“We have received positive feedbacks as it concerns ‘Post Office’ and ‘Challenge’ junctions. I want to use this opportunity to call on road users to adhere to the traffic rules and to our traders to desist forthwith from displaying their wares including firewood on the roads especially on the pedestrian walk ways,” he said.

“Another major concern is the invasion of our road median by beggars and refuse. Affected areas are mostly at Oja Oba, Gambari, Balogun Fulani, Ipata, Idi Ape etc.”

The commissioner, meanwhile, announced a reorganisation of the state waste management contractors for efficiency, saying a new model is being explored to ease the incidents of refuse dumps in the state, especially in the capital.

Calling for mass supper for the state’s environmental sanitation, he also appealed to Kwarans to vacate flood plains and to keep their environment clean and free of refuse to ward off flooding as another rainy season draws near.

“A new and more mechanized approach will be unleashed especially in Ilorin Metropolis by the beginning of April. Preceding the foregoing and in the whole of March, an experimental Waste Management would be conducted strictly by the ministry. All residents are requested to give maximum cooperation to the operatives,” he said.

“We shall soon welcome the rains, we call on residents to embark on the desilting of the gutters and run-off channels around their premises to keep them clean for ease of water flow and make such places uncomfortable for rodents and other vectors of diseases such as mosquitoes and even dangerous reptiles. This is also important to forestall the calamity of flood. The ministry, on its own part, will soon begin the massive desilting of major drainage channels across the city. All those living around the Asa River banks and any other river across the State e.g. in Pategi, Kaiama e.t.c. should ensure zero tolerance for refuse dump into the rivers. We also appeal to those living on flood planes to please quit with immediate effect.”

Folashade  Yusuf 
Press Secretary, Ministry of Environment 
2 March, 2020.

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