Between LP, APC, A Battle Of Wits For Soul Of Kwara
ABDULFATAH Ahmed born 29 December 1963 was a Nigerian banker and public servant but elected Governor of Kwara State in April 26 2011 elections, running on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He attended Government College Funtua, Katsina State (1973–1978) and the school of Basic Studies of Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic), Ilorin (1978–1980).
He proceeded to the University of Ilorin where he earned a BSc in Chemistry (1986) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA, 1992). He was a lecturer in Organic Chemistry and later Acting Head of Department at Federal College of Arts and Science, Sokoto, in Sokoto State (1986–1990).
He became an Assistant Manager at District Savings and Loans, Lagos (1991–1993). In 1993, he started work with Guaranty Trust Bank in the Credit and Marketing Unit. In 1998, he moved to defunct Societe Generale Bank Nigeria as a Senior Manager/Group Head, Consumer Banking. Later he became Public sector Group for the North West region. Ahmed was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development at the start of Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s Kwara State Administration (2003–2009).
He then became Commissioner of the newly created Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. During this period, Ahmed was also Treasurer of the forum of Commissioners of Finance in Nigeria for six years, and chairman, Budget Formulation Committee and Economic Team of Kwara State. He was appointed a member of board of directors of the International Aviation College, Ilorin, Chairman of the Millennium Development Goals implementation committee and Chairman of Shonga Farms Holdings Ltd.
But with the defection of Ahmed and his political benefactor Saraki from PDP to All Progressives Congress (APC), he will be seeking a re-election flying the flag of his new party in today’s Governorship poll. The incumbent, despite the fact the 47-year-old state is rated 33 among the 36 states of the federation, prudently managed its resources, paying promptly salaries and pensions of civil servants and retirees, just as he made the issue of road repairs and construction the thrust of the policies of his administration.
It is on record that there was no record of a single workers’ strike through out his first tenure in office. His administration renovated five General hospitals in the state, turning them into comprehensive hospitals with state of the art equipment supplied just as qualified medical consultants and other health workers were employed.
Today, any citizen of the state could access free health in all the hospitals. Under KWABES, his government empowered over 4,000 youths giving them monthly stipends of N10,000. even though, the scheme serves as a stop gap for better employment opportunities, the qualified youths for it no doubt have cause to be thankful for the opportunities. Ahmed, armed with these achievement and many others may pose a serious threat to other candidates jostling for the much exalted post.
MICHAEL Olufemi Omotosho the 45-year-old Harvard-trained pharmacist from Obbo-Ayegunle Ekiti Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara state, is flying the flag of Labour Party (LP) in this weekend Governorship election in the state.
A member of over 30 professional bodies, Omotosho who for a period of four years, (January 1994- December 1997) consulted for Mobil Oil, promised to serve his people as Governor ‘probono’ if voted to power. Besides, he promised social security for three categories of people, the aged, the pensioners and the handicapped, with a view to alleviating avoidable procedures associated with the collection of their monthly emoluments.
At present, he is being touted as the surest alternative to the incumbent Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, due to his philanthropic endeavours long before aspiring to be the Governor of the state and his leadership qualities managing human and natural resources. He noted, “I pledge to submit my monthly salary to this noble scheme that shall be implemented with the true sense of service to God and humanity.
Our social security scheme will directly affect three categories of people namely: the aged, the pensioners and the handicapped. The government shall be committed to a monthly allowance to elderly ones beyond the age of 70 years.
“Kwara shall be the first in Nigeria in the area of ensuring that those who served the people with the strength of their youth are not subjected to ridicule at old age.Never in Kwara will any pensioner queue up before accessing what is rightly due to him or her. We shall ensure prompt payment of pensions and gratuity in addition to other special welfare packages. It is my belief that being physically challenged in any way should not make anyone a second rated citizen. We shall ensure adequate protection and proper integration of the vulnerable ones.”
Omotosho, a multi linguist, at present Governor elect of Rotary International District 9125, added, “we have put in place a long and short term plan on how to turn Kwara to a worthy 21st century state with a befitting state capital that rightly develops along with every part of the state. One of the major problems bedeviling the urban and the rural areas in Kwara state is lack of water supply. The specific solutions we are bringing shall end this within 38 months. “The tripod of our government is, accountability and transparency, absolute commitment to service and inclusive governance.
We shall promote accountability, transparency and probity by leading by example and strengthening institution for checks and balances across board. We shall render financial and performance account every quarter without neglecting the transparent process of public declaration of all income monthly.” He promised free qualitative education up to secondary school level, free specialised education for the physically challenged and enhanced bursary and scholarship packages with specified skill acquisition in all the public owned post primary schools.
In his area of speciality, the LP candidate with good business acumen, said he would attempt a deliberate investment in the state’s health infrastructural needs. For him, “there will be free health care for children from age zero to 11 and age 70 and above. We will concentrate on man power development and up grade major health institutions to modern standard. Besides, we will embark on community intervention programs for disease prevention and control facilitating of collaboration with multinational health institutions for remote interventions.”
No comments yet