‘Why cabinet has not been raised by Kwara State governor
According to the former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Dr. Rex Olawoye, the immediate government allegedly left all the ministries and parastatals in shambles, and “called for serious scrutiny before any appointment is made.”
But a spokesman for People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr. Tunde Ashaolu, urged the APC government, led by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasak, to be focused on governance rather than “putting up excuses on the activities of the past government.”
Olawoye, in a chat with The Guardian in Ilorin, said, “The governor is on tour of various ministries and parastatals in the state, but I must confess to you that there are unpleasant reports coming out of all these places. Most of the ministries are empty and even what they call hospitals are mere buildings without doctors and facilities. So there is a need to do the fact-finding mission first before any appointment is made.”
The APC chieftain was, however, of the view that the cabinet might be constituted by the end of August. However, unlike many of his predecessors, Kwara State governor, AbdulRasak, has shown his determination to govern the state with the determination to do the right thing through the assessment of their needs before rushing to any conclusion on what to do.
Touted as “a one-man government”, AbdulRasak has no scheduled protocol list of his itinerary as he moves around the state-owned facilities without any prior notice. Such facilities include the state-owned media organisations, Radio Kwara, Kwara Television, Kwara Furniture, Kwara Hotels, the state’s School for Special Needs among others.
This governor, who is usually without any escort, now embarks on impromptu visits to public schools and state-owned General Hospitals thereby putting staff on their toes to render services to the people. The governor’s unusual method has left many of his activities without press coverage. He is yet to have a media parley with newsmen in the state.
But his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, dismissed the claim, noting that the governor is desirous of accomplishing some tasks before facing the press at the appropriate time.
Already, the age-long pipe-borne water problems in the Ilorin metropolis have been miraculously solved as water now flows freely into the hinterland, just as plumbers now have a field day fixing and mending corroded pipes and taps. The most surprising thing with AbdulRasak is his penchant for using motorbikes to pay inspection tours on some of the ongoing road projects in the state capital, thereby forcing many contractors back to work.
Moved to tears by what he assessed at the state’s School for Special Needs, he apologised to the ‘special needs’ children in the state over the decrepit condition of their school and the lack of facilities.
“Now that I have seen things for myself, I know the depth of the problem we have in this sector and we’ll be responsible for allocating scarce resources,” AbdulRazaq said during a visit to Kwara State School for Special Needs, Apata Yakuba, Ilorin. “We’ll come back here to ensure that basic standards are met. The truth is that basic needs are not met and it is a shame. As a government, we want to apologise to them for living in this kind of condition and we will make sure that minimum standards are met.”
AbdulRazaq toured the school’s facilities along with some government officials and administrators of the school. In what seemed a deliberate move to give the children a sense of belonging, AbdulRazaq took the turn to shake hands with the children and the teachers of the school whom he commended for their resilience and commitment.
He directed the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Mariam Garuba, to urgently submit a recommendation to the government on what the school needs to give the children a good head-start in life. The principal of the school, Aroyehun Faoziyah, said they lack basic amenities to take care of the children even as the classrooms are in shambles.
She said the school lacks toilets while its clinic is without basic drugs to treat malaria and other common ailments.
AbdulRazaq had earlier visited the office of the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, to assess the facilities that are most damaged. In one of such tours, the governor approved immediate rehabilitation of three major waterworks across the state’s three senatorial districts. The three are the Lafiagi Waterworks (Kwara North), Igbaja Waterworks (Kwara South), and Asa Dam Waterworks (Kwara Central).
According to his Chief Press Secretary, Ajakaye, the three waterworks are either in bad condition or not working at optimal capacity, and that they had been recommended for rehabilitation by the Ministry of Water Resources in line with the administration’s commitment to tackle water scarcity in the state.
“Consequently, the governor has approved the release of N48,548,720 for their rehabilitation,” Ajakaye said in a statement.
The Lafiagi Waterworks is currently running skeletal services owing to the damage to four of its five boreholes, the intake and transfer pumps, the statement said. It said the facilities in Igbaja had since broken down as a result of poor electricity supply and lack of proper rehabilitation.
Ajakaye said the Asa Dam, which serves the entire Ilorin, works at half its design capacity, adding that the intervention would boost its working capacity.
“The governor remains committed to his desire to have water running in the state,” he said. “This has started happening in certain areas, thanks to his interventions, but the idea is that every part of the state should have access to potable water.”
However, the state opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has urged AbdulRasak to promptly constitute his cabinet, as the act of governance should not be a “one-man show.”
According to the local PDP chairman Engineer Kola Shittu, “The governor should sit up and appoint members of his cabinet. That is the best way to be effective.”
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