CHANGING THE NARRATIVES: GOVERNOR ABDULRAZAQ AND THE UNTOLD STORIES.

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AbdulFatah AbdulRahman

One bright Sunday afternoon, I had asked my mentor what he thought of change. I felt the question was going to birth another scholarly engagement with him. But to my chagrin, he merely mumbled few lines in clear disinterest. That was shocking. That my affable mentor would decline discourse is like a born dancer hearing music without shaking his body. However, those words he said that made no meaning to me back then, have come to reality today. Truly, questing for change could be like “…foraging for war. The seeker of peace and progress should take solace in his thoughts for there is often only one of him in hundreds around him”.

These few lines could metamorphose into chapters in the hands of an artful writer. Notwithstanding anyone’s inability to make a book yet, Governor AbdulRazaq revolutionary style of governance continues to dazzle political analysts across the country.

As auspicious as the present looks even the future become much more reassuring as Kwara’s AbdulRazaq tirelessly pursue success. I am just afraid the people might not be seeing the shining light at the end of this beautiful beginning.

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For instance,many seem to have not noticed the change of fortune in Kwara School For Special Need in Apata Yakuba, Oyun. Especially when you remember how dreary the condition of that school used to be. From hosting Budget reviews at the school– to get policy makers appreciate the depths of the rot in the state and the suffering of the less privileged, especially the disadvantaged groups– to donating audio books for the use of visually inpaired students on the Independence Day, Governor AbdulRazaq continually accord the school befitting attention as against the old order.

Until this government came on board, the parents were paying some fees (not school fees) to buy stationery and security dues. That was because the school, like all the ministries, wasn’t getting its running cost.

With the reinstatement of the running cost by the Governor, the school felt there was no need to ask the parents of the children to pay anything again. I put it to you that education in the School For Special Needs is almost free. This is part of change nobody tells you about. I didn’t know myself until yesterday!

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There is another angle to cut. Most people do not know and I don’t blame them, that, it is emerging blessings that AbdulRazaq is aggressively chasing investors– local and foreign– to partner with the state government.

The meetings with the Dangote, Otedola, Governor of Dubai and now the MTN only paint a picture of a relentless chaser of economic buoyancy and development in Kwara state. The exposed, business savvy and clear- sighted leaders all over the world have long realised the inherent benefits in Public Private Partnership.

And it is only commendable Governor AbdulRazaq uses his contacts to achieve this aim.

I can only imagine the multiplying economic effects of these partnerships with the investors. Talk about employment for the youth, improved IGR, increasing standard of living amongst other things. It is either the social media birds critiquing such meetings are mischievous and envy of success or getting choked by ignorance. No investors come knocking on government doors. Kwara youth and graduates should be most pleased somebody have their economic interests on top of his heart. This is another of the change I saw but no one is talking about it.

That Governor AbdulRazaq who have not borrowed a dime from any quarters since his assumption of office was asked by some people to make education free is laughable. You get to see how unrealistic that is when you look at the available indices. Not only that free education is virtually impractical at this age, giving qualitative and affordable education is the standard now. Kwara children and youth would prioritise qualitative education over free but not qualitative system. I feel that the approved payments of subvention to the state- owned institutions clearly demonstrate his resolve to improve education at all levels in the state. What could follow after submission of reports by inquiry committees is reduction in school fees. This is blowing breeze of change. But no one is talking!

Maybe “doing things differently” as the Governor anounced is “…a thankless errand because the people do not often know who dies for them to live..” like my mentor said. But in the history of modern day Kwara, Governor AbdulRazaq’s achievement shape up to be the most defining in just six months.

May Kwara succeed.