AbdulRazak: Torn between politicking and service in Kwara
For average citizens of Kwara State, when asked of their ratings of the over two years performance in office of the state Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak, they would probably give answers that would raise much dusts among political observers.
AbdulRazak, who succeeded Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, took over the mantle of leadership but with a different style considered alien to the existing political climate in the state.
The development no doubt has pitched him against many of the prominent politicians in the state, especially those in his political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) who felt that they were not properly considered in the affairs of his administration.
Before his emergence as the Governor, the party Secretariat of the then ruling party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and indeed the Government House, along Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin, were a beehive of activities and fanfare.
But at present, such camaraderie had since been replaced with quiet implementations of policies and doling out of political largesse at the strict directives of the Governor.
Besides, there is no love lost among the top echelon and members of the APC in the state. The Biblical allusion of Paul and Apollo camps is apt at describing the existing disparities within the party.
Already, the development has deteriorated into existence of two parallel lines in the state chapter of APC that may not be able to meet again even at an attempted compromised level. At present, there are two party secretariats in Ilorin, the state capital. One is under the control of the Governor while the other is under the tutelage of the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The hitherto cold war had since escalated into open hostilities, as each of the factions now publicly throw banters at each other.
For Mohammed, “before now, we had made series of attempts to find a long lasting solution to the imbroglio or whatever but to no avail.”
A government source told The Guardian in Ilorin that, “the Governor is not fighting with anybody in APC. I think the only area of difference has to do with the style of party politics. Some people want to impose leadership of the party in the state on him. They have forgotten about the enormity of the constitutional powers of Mr Governor.”
Already, the Governor has taken complete control of the machinery of the party by effecting the removal of the former Chairman, Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa and his prompt replacement with Abdullahi Samari.
The development no doubt irked the group led by the Minister who had sought resolution of the matter by the nation’s judiciary.
Despite all these developments, many political analysts believe that the Governor would have an easier passage into his second term in office. But quite a sizeable number of other pundits said, the battle for the ticket would be a tall dream.
Chief Woke Oke, Jagunmolu of Shao in Moro Local Government Area (LGA) of the state said, “political ticket for second term in office is primarily determined by achievement of the one seeking it in his first tenure. As a high Chief in Shao, I want it in record that the people of the town had never had it so good until the tenure of AbdulRazak. Shao township road is fixed. The electricity supply is boosted and even the water pipes are not dry again. So we are ready for his second term.”
Sources said that the Governor had since his assumption of office concentrated most of the state’s resources in developing Kwara North Senatorial District, which is about 30 per cent of the valid voters in the state. AbdulRazak hails from Ilorin, which is in the heart of Kwara Central Senatorial District of the state.
This does not remove the fact that he had pockets of achievement, especially on roads’ constructions and renovation, equipping and staffing of hospitals across the two other Senatorial Districts; Central and South.
Chief Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, from Isin LGA of the state, believed that the Governor’s acclaimed feats fell below the expectation of the people of the state, who had backed up the ‘Otoge’ movement to oust the erstwhile political hegemony of the Sarakis to replace same with AbdulRazak’s.
But the Special Adviser of the Governor on Political Affairs, Bashir Adigun faulted Oyedepo’s claim, noting that, “all the projects embarked upon by His Excellency are of high quality unlike the standards of some of what he met on grounds.”
A teacher of Political Science from Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, University of Ilorin, under condition of anonymity said, “the nature” of the nation’s democracy and existing Electoral Systems would make it cumbersome for any incumbent state Governor “not to come back to power.”
His counterpart from Kwara State University, Malete, Moro LGA of the state, believed that the Governor remains “an unsung achiever who deserves nothing but a second term ticket.”
For AbdulKarim Olola-Kasum, a socio/political commentator from ‘Ganmo’, the outskirt of Ilorin, “the Governor should allow his party to flourish if he intends to get his second term ticket.
“But, some of us have bought a ring side ticket, watching the unfolding trends in Kwara politics. If we need a replacement now, who is the person?”