Our attention has been drawn to a publication with the above title quoting a socio-political group, The Peoples Vanguard on some blogs. It’s not unusual to see such a petty group peopled by disgruntled fellows throwing occasional tantrums, especially at a period like this. So, we remain unperturbed by their conjectures and bitter submissions. Truth however is always constant and facts remain stubborn things.
Hon. Abdulgafar Ayilara does not owe Ibrahim Musa and his co-travellers parading themselves as The Peoples Vanguard any explanation because they have chosen to be biased, partisan and blind to realities, especially with their recent outburst. But for well meaning constituents of Ajikobi/Alanamu, these clarifications are important and necessary.
No doubt, the impacts of Hon. Ayilara’s quality representation of the good people of Ajikobi/Alanamu constituency are on the streets. Thankfully, those who matter in the scheme of things and not some ranters hiding under The Peoples Vanguard have overtime appreciated the good representation the lawmaker is providing them at the State Assembly. These are the people who truly know where we are coming from and where we are at the moment. We have moved several miles from where we were despite the scarce resources within our reach.
Short of genuine criticisms, The Peoples Vanguard went to exhume a dead story of the EFCC inviting Hon. Ayilara. Yes, anybody is open to investigation by the anti-graft agency. What we expected from the group however was to tell us how the investigation ended? Where are the parties in the case? Why are they not pressing further? Truth is that there was a coordinated effort through the allegation to paint Hon. Ayilara black due to his ambition at the time, but he emerged victorious over naysayers. Bringing back the memory of such a matter that ended in favor of the lawmaker is therefore laughable and the height of pettiness.
Hon. Ayilara is one of the performing lawmakers in the Assembly today. It is not only his constituents that are attesting to this, a pro-democracy organization, Kwara Must Change also pointed this out in its assessment of the performance of lawmakers in Kwara State. The group rated Hon. Ayilara as the most performing lawmaker in Kwara Central. What’s most interesting is even that he scored his highest mark in community projects. So, the claim by The Peoples Vanguard that Hon. Ayilara has nothing to show for his two years does not hold water. Maybe they are talking about personal expectations, but for Ayilara, collective expectations takes precedence.
The constituency of Hon. Ayilara is arguably the largest constituency in Kwara State. In spite of this, he has not fallen short in matching heads to heads with his colleagues at the Assembly whose constituencies are not as large as his. Ajikobi/Alanamu constituency has its own peculiarities, so, we do not need to work by the template of others in so far dividends of democracy and quality representation are being provided in view of our own peculiarities. The goal for all lawmakers is to provide quality representation to their people, but they will do this in different ways. A single way does not lead to the market.
Ilorin North/West where Hon. Ayilara comes from is a hub of markets. What the lawmaker has been doing for the market people have been largely commendable and impactful. He has a routine, organised empowerment for petty traders to boost their businesses and livelihood. There have been 6 series of such programme that have had far-reaching impacts on the lives of people at the grassroots just in the space of two years.
When the Oloje market caught fire, causing destruction to the shops of the common people, at a period of COVID, Hon. Ayilara came through. He not only visited the scene to commiserate with his people, but also reconstructed the shops destroyed in the fire disaster and also provided monetary support to the victims to rise again on their feet. The Oloje community can never forget this generous and timely intervention by the lawmaker.
More so, the lawmaker has always ensured that the people of his community adequately benefit from the state government led numerous programmes, especially the social investment programmes run by KWASSIP. He monitors the process and ensures that the aged, petty traders and other categories of vulnerable persons from his constituency are registered and benefit from the scheme.
Hon. Ayilara has also facilitated the construction of roads that have long been neglected in his constituency. Example of such is the Mosalasi Babaita road that links Adangba to Omoda area of Ilorin West LG. The road had been abandoned in a state of disrepair since 1978. Succour came through Ayilara who naysayers said his two years have been a colossal waste. How unfair and untrue? Internal roads at Oke Apomu of Ilorin North have also been reconstructed after two decades of neglect and despair. Many more of such are in the works to be facilitated for reconstruction by Hon. Ayilara. That’s quality representation the people asked for. Facilitation of projects that touch lives, benefit the community and not some few greedy persons.
In terms of humanity and closeness to his people, Hon. Ayilara stands out. He’s very close to the grassroots. It’s myopic of The Peoples Vanguard to measure closeness to the people by conducting town hall meetings. Hon. Ayilara has always been in touch with stakeholders of the party, the rank and file of his constituency. He has attended series of grassroots meetings and organised many surprise visits to identify with his people. His proximity to the grassroots played out when he intervened in the travails of one of his constituents, Mr Sambo Okandeji whose house collapsed throwing him and his family members out of shelter and protection. Ayilara sponsored the reconstruction of the building to become befitting and habitable. That’s humanity borne out of being in touch with the grassroots.
It’s also untrue that the Constituency Office of Hon. Ayilara is always closed. This is an office that various constituents visit almost everyday and have their needs attended to. How will a Constituency Office where some people work as management and administrative staff be locked? It’s simply unreasonable.
It’s quite baffling that the so called Peoples Vanguard made light of the educational intervention of Hon. Ayilara that children of the less privileged benefit from. The free JAMB form distribution of Hon. Ayilara has come to be a huge relief for families, giving hope to prospective students who have no such capacity to foot the paltry bill of the form. The interesting thing is that the scheme keeps growing. During the first edition, only 100 students benefitted, but in the second edition which is the latest edition 150 indigent constituents benefitted. All these little things matter a lot for the indigents. It represents extension of hands of fellowship and sense of belonging. The allegation of exaggerating the number of beneficiaries is a figment of imagination. The beneficiaries exist, could be accessed and verified. The Peoples Vanguard was also unfair having failed to mention that Hon. Ayilara sponsors a selected best among the beneficiaries to tertiary institution. It’s not possible for him to cater for all needs. But his little educational interventions have been purposeful.
During his first year anniversary as lawmaker, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu testified to how responsible and resourceful Hon. Ayilara has been in the Assembly. He said he’s always punctual, dutiful and has meaningful contributions to support every matter discussed during legislative sessions. This testimony put paid to the lies being bandied by The Peoples Vanguard about his role in lawmaking. He has made good suggestions and inputs that shape several bills passed by the House in the last two years. Also, the issue of Freedom of Information Bill is a matter that’s being largely contested not only in the House but also other places in the state. The lone voice of Hon. Ayilara could not have therefore hindered the passage of the bill. The lawmaker is perhaps the most vibrant lawmaker in terms of timely information dissemination to constituents and media engagement.
While Hon. Ayilara is open to genuine criticisms and advice because he believes he can do more in representing his constituents, he’ll not be bullied by the blackmail and parochial ranting of those who called themselves The Peoples Vanguard. Clearly, they are not concerned about collective good but personal scores they have with the Hon. who has been receiving wide accolades from his constituents.