Several elders and stakeholders in the Kwara State APC on Monday declared total support for the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who they claimed has changed the narrative of the state across various sectors.
The elders told a news briefing in Ilorin, the state capital, that they have a historic duty to support AbdulRazaq on account of his impactful leadership of the state, his prudence, humility and large-hearted approaches to issues, including party politics.
The elders included Bar Kunle Sulyman; Sen. Sulyman Mankanjuola Ajadi; Sen. Ahmed Muhamad; Chief J. B. Ayeni; Chief Wole Oke; Amb. Nurudeen Muhammed; Alh. Folorunsho Ayinla ; Hon Ilias Ibrahim; Prince Sunday Fagbemi; Alh. Iliasu Alabi Iponrin; Princess A. R. Babalola; Pa G.G. Jaiyeola; Hon. Agbaje Wahab Femi White; Chief Titus Ashaolu SAN; Chief M. T. Lawal; Chief J. A Shogo; Hon. Yahyah Yinusa; Brgdr. Gen B. I. Agbabs; Engr. B. O. Oyeyemi; Chief Teju Oguntoye; Hon. Al-Hassan Yahyah Bagudu; Dr. Sheu Ibrahim; Salman Jawondo Esq; Hon A.S. Katibi;Alh. Mustapha Kobe; Sen. Bisi Oyewo; and Hon Faruk Saruk; among several others.
The elders said it was unfortunate some persons within the party were teaming up with opposition elements to discredit the Governor in spite of his achievements which could be felt across the state within a short period of time.
According to them: "Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq remains a man of the people and he stands tall as a man of honour among the majority of our party members in the state, in spite of the unfair demarketing campaign launched against his administration by some of these party chieftains and their co-travelers in the opposition. This is not by chance," according to a text of their address read by an elder statesman, Barrister Kunle Suleiman.
"Not only has the Governor demystified the office of Governor with his uncommon humility, simplicity, and prudence, he has redefined the story of our state in many positive ways. Whether in health, education, road, or water, the Governor has touched lives in many ways never seen before. He has strategically taken governance to the people such that there is no electoral Ward in the state that cannot point to one or two things that they have benefited in just 18 months of his administration."
The elders attempted a sectoral analysis of what the Governor has achieved, particularly in the health sector, road, water, education and social protection of the vulnerable, commending him for particularly making sure that every part of the state is getting a feel of good governance.
"The interesting thing about him is that he sees governance as an affair that transcends party loyalty, and this explains why he has become so popular with the masses, to the chagrin of his traducers!
"Here is a Governor who has driven his own private car since day one of his administration to date. Here is a Governor who lives in his own house till date. Here is a Governor who is not taking salary. Here is a Governor who is willingly opening up his government for accountability through the phenomenal social audit process.
"Here is a Governor who just wants to deliver his campaign promises to the people, despite the biting economic realities. Here is a Governor who gives every part of the state a fair sense of belonging by always identifying with them in time of cultural celebration or mourning, and extending government’s patronage to every segment of the state. Today, Kwara is a model state on the continent in youths and women inclusion in government.
"The government has positively changed the narrative of staff welfare in the state civil service. There is now regular payment of salary. No more percentage payment and promotion of staff has resumed while arrears of salaries and allowances dating back to as far back as 2012 are now being paid.
"Besides, pensioners now enjoy regular payment of pensions. A sustainable arrangement for payment of gratuities on monthly basis has now been put in place. Following the aftermath of the ENDSARS protest across the nation which led to widespread looting of private businesses, Kwara State has stood out in offering supports for these businesses in a transparent manner.
"Why then would anyone from his own party go against him? The only explanation is that such persons are not interested in development but in their own hidden agenda which is at variance with the Otoge mantra. We have kept quiet for long in the expectation that good reason will prevail. But silence is no longer golden and it is about time every patriot, within and outside our party, stood by this humble and hard working gentleman in order not to allow a few persons persons with dangerous sense of entitlement and greed to erode the historic gains of 2019."
The elders also said the emergence of various amorphous groups within the party in support of the Governor was borne out of open enmity and anti-party conducts of the some party chieftains who do not hide their disdains for the Governor and government of their own party.
They added: "Unknown to many unsuspecting members of the public, the emergence of various groups that have declared support for the Governor was not without a justifiable background. It is to show that this performing Governor is not without patriots who felt that the only essence of Otoge was the service of the people.
"Other interests are secondary. For as long as the Governor does this, he has the full backing of the majority of party members, elders and the entire populace of Kwara State.
"Quite sadly, shortly after the inauguration of the Governor, some chieftains within the party started a campaign codenamed 'jeunkosanwo'. This implied that the Governor was never going to have a second term, irrespective of his Sterling performance. They were ready to frustrate and distract the government just to realise their own selfish ambitions."