"The man on the street" considers three years enough time to stand jury over Gov Abdulrazaq's actions so far. He already has marked some of his moves as "mistakes." Midlandpost reports
By Gbolahan Balogun
It is three years this week since the Otoge Tsunami submerged the political influence of the Saraki dynasty replacing the almost four decades hold of the family on Kwara politics with an obvious adversary that had waited in the wings. Abdulrahman, of the AGF Abdulrazaq family, is the new kid on the block, from May 29 2019.
Cutting right to the chase without the whys and hows of how the cookies crumbled for the old power blocks, including the heroes and warriors of the Otoge movement who felt shortchanged and are lamenting the imperious manner of Governor Abdulrazaq, we thought that what matters at the moment is a performance appraisal of the governor’s three years in the saddle by the “the man on the street”.
Who is the man on the street? He is the teacher, student, job applicant, trader, artisan, housewife - all those who are directly or indirectly affected inevitably by the governor's official actions. The man on the street by our reckoning is one whose appraisal would be defined by the metrics of his needs - food, health, education, infrastructure and security, including the needs that the social scientists termed love and belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.
Take note that the politician has been excluded from our “man on the street” in the above. We have taken this stance because we know that commendation and condemnation will be both total in the views of opposing blocs of politicians, depending on whether the person belongs to PDP or APC; the APC Loyal or AA Support Group, the various devil’s advocates on each divide and other opposing political parties.
For instance, how would Barrister Kunle Suleiman, Chief Sunday Fagbemi, Rafiu Ajakaiye, and the SAPOL, Abdullateef Alakawa on one hand and, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Hon. Saheed Popoola, Chief Iyiola Akogun, Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem or even the politicians in Bolaji Abdullahi’s clime appraise AA’s performance in his three years? The most common statements would be “he has performed wonderfully well”; “he has performed better than anybody before him” or “he has done absolutely nothing”; he is a total disaster”.
But then, the argument came again if the politician is also not invariably affected by Governor AA’s official actions; if he is excluded from the physiological needs of food, health, education, infrastructure and security; if he is not at the top rungs of scavengers for love and belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs, all which are social needs that dictate an individual’s behaviour
What drives some men to politics is self-actualisation, just as it leads others in different directions to other pastimes. Maslow described self-actualization as a person’s desire for self-fulfilment, namely, the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is, potentially.
However, the id that drives a politician is stronger than that of others in other pastimes. For those conversant with Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, and the pleasure principle of id, it is the unconscious drive that prompts man to seek immediate gratification for his needs, wants, desires and urges. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state of anxiety and tension.
But as a man is driven by his id, so also he is controlled by his ego and superego. According to Freud, the ego is part of the personality that mediates the demands of the id, the superego, and reality. The id, he made us believe, is the most basic part of the personality that urges people to fulfil their most primal needs. The superego, on the other hand, is the moralistic part of the personality that forms later in childhood as a result of upbringing and social influences. It is the ego's job to strike a balance between these two often competing forces and to make sure that fulfilling the needs of the id and superego conforms to the demands of reality.
The import of all these is to show that what drives an average politician is the desire for self-fulfilment and actualization of his potential. This is what makes him plunge head-on into the fight to wrestle power from the initial wielder. We believe this is the veriest fact of the Otoge war.
If these were so, the voice of the politician is also appropriate in our appraisal of what the governor has done with the mandate fought for by the acclaimed Otoge warriors. This is the meeting point between our man on the street and the politician,
Midlandpost thus sought the opinion of these class of people in a random survey to judge, from their viewpoints, Governor Abdulrazaq's achievements, his mistakes, and those expectations of theirs he (Governor) has, as yet, not fulfilled.
Here, presented, are such views. They are as diverse as the people we have spoken to. In summary, the "ordinary Kwaran is glad about the restoration of power and governance to the people, years after residing in a family; he's glad that Kwara is belonging to Kwarans after all; he's glad that he’ll receive his salary as at when due, even though the so-called minimum wage is a far cry from his expectation; and he's glad about the turn-around in the educational system that has raised hope of parents that their children are moving towards becoming digital natives by the Kwara Learn programme. He commends AA’s steely, but coldly determined stance that has driven away hangers-on and political nuisance in the state’s body politics.
But he wonders...
He wonders why development is eluding the communities in the hinterlands, safe for a few, while the state capital is receiving all the attention. He wonders why the local government councils have remained ‘clipped’ and almost comatose while they still receive funding from the federal allocation.
He considers three years enough time to stand jury over Abdulrazaq's actions so far. He already has marked some of his moves as "mistakes."
Mistake No. 1, according to the man on the streets, including the politician, was the impression he created of himself that he was vicious by the way he treated his co-travellers in the Otoge struggle. The politician is particularly miffed that the governor particularly created division within the party to wedge himself away from the people. He complains, why he has not done much in raising the economic base of the state? He asked: “What has the government done by looking inward at economic benefits that are of comparative advantage to the neighbouring states that can generate income apart from the ones left by the previous government in terms of IGR?”
On the whole, the "common man gives the governor a pass mark, while he waits, and hopes. Now from the horses mouths...
Three years of Governor AA’s administration to me is with mixed feelings. It’s with pluses and minuses but I will say straight away that he is a poor manager of persons and issues given the controversies that trailed the three years. And they are many: AA versus APC; a Commissioner throwing in the towel on account of some unpalatable stories; falling out with some members of his inner cabinet, and concerns from the traditional institution.
The person of the Governor has been very elusive in the discharge of his administrative responsibilities. He seems to be comfortable hiding behind a screen of two persons who often than not make pronouncements that first sound like a rumour.
In the period under appraisal, one would have expected to see a functional third tier of Government in a state like ours after the Otoge victory, but that is not to be. Rather, this administration still chose to tread the wrong path of the past, imposing some indescribable elements as its representatives at the grassroots level.
Truth be told, there is a wider spread of some infrastructural development when compared with the last two successive administrations within the same sphere of time. These can be seen in the numerous roads constructed, and rehabilitation of some schools and hospitals.
But it goes to say too that government lacks a total sense of purpose in the execution of some of these projects. Take for instance the rehabilitation of hospitals without employing personnel to man them or put them to use. Certainly, this is another waste of our scarce resources.
This administration to its credit has reduced significantly, hangers-on and political nuisance in our clime…. .
Overall, with plenty of rooms for improvement and meeting the aspirations of the people against the backdrop of the Otoge movement, this administration has not done too badly within its first three years if compared to previous administrations.
ALHAJI A T AHMED
COO/Project Manager Demhata Associates
People of Kwara State ushered in a new government on 29th, May 2019, with Mal. Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman riding on the back of Otoge mantra. People felt joy and relief from what they called “mofun e government”; the hegemony of filial governance.
In assessing how far this government has fared since assumption of office, I’ll opt for a macro outlook by focusing on rural development, most especially in Kwara South and Irepodun Local Government area in particular.
At the inception of this government, Local Government Community Development Association was formed to harness the needs of all the communities in the local government, but, as brilliant the idea was, nothing came out of it till today. The platform has turned out to be free for all.
Infrastructural development in terms of electricity/transformers needed to power rural areas where there are needs for it did not see the light of the day. For example, Arandun town wrote to the Ministry of Energy and some officials were at the town to assess and value the needs. To our surprise, nothing has been done till now.
In terms of road development, I will say it's only the centre of the periphery that has enjoyed it. Apart from Oro and Omu-Aran, no other communities in this area can say half a kilometer road has been tarred.
When Arandun was celebrating her Aran Day of Unity on 27th, December 2021, the Governor was present and saw the deplorable state of the road. But, to our amazement, he said his government do not have capacity to tar the 15km road for now. The question is, how did the same government financed the township roads in urban centres? To me, how can a government that preaches ‘no’ to rural-urban drift accomplish this when the rural areas are neglected?
Education is the key to development. This government no doubt fared better in this aspect, but, much is still skewed towards the urban areas. Hardly can one see any comprehensive renovation of schools in rural parts of Irepodun.
Again, I will state that this government focused more on areas where it thinks there are fairly large population, and, neglect the rural masses who are the provider of urban food.
On health care facilities, this government cannot be scored high as the rural health centres are not well staffed, talk less of drugs. Almost all health centres here are in shambles.
As I've said earlier, it's not that the government has not done anything, but, all his activities are concentrated in the centres while the periphery are almost untouched.
Water, they say is life, most rural areas depend on rain and stream water. For example, Arandun as a community has written as usual to lodge our complaints about our Water Works, but, to no avail. One may say all communities cannot be captured at a time, but, there is the need to spread the infrastructures to touch all life in the state, perhaps, the governor is waiting for the second term. This I will say belongs to God Almighty.
The bond taken should be evenly spent on the three Senatorial Districts of Kwara State.
In the last three years, Kwara State has witnessed monumental progress in different sectors.
In the educational sector, there is massive renovation/remodelling of many buildings in public schools across every ward in the State. Also, new blocks of classrooms are built in different schools. While some have been completed, others are still ongoing. This great feat is in over 600 schools in all the wards in the State. I said this because I know.
In the area of human capital, thousands of teachers have been engaged to bridge the deficit.
Civil servants receive their full salaries as and when due while the minimum wage is also being implemented.
Hospitals and health centres are also renovated and supplied with standard medical equipment across the state. Health personnel are also hired to make up for the deficit experienced in the past.
Another major achievement of the Governor is the massive investment in infrastructure. Many township roads have been renovated in all the Local Governments in the State. Also, intercity roads are also been constructed. While some have been completed, others are ongoing at different stages of completion, these include the Osi- Obbo Aiyegunle road, Tanke Bridge etc.
In spite of the general insecurity in the nation, Kwara State is enjoying relative peace and harmony. This is as a result of the measures put in place by the Governor which include the Community Policing measure. Again, Vigilante groups are empowered to ensure adequate security in conjunction with the Nigerian Police.
In the area of agriculture, there are various measures put in place by the governor to boost food production, with a view to achieving food sufficiency in the State. Tractors are provided at subsidized rates to farmers.
In the area of youth empowerment, start-up capital is provided for many youths to boost entrepreneurial activities in the State. This will greatly curb the rate of unemployment in the State.
The governor however needs to bring back some of the party members who are aggrieved with a view to building an all-inclusive State.
ZEATOB NIGERIA LIMITED
Yes, thanks for the opportunity. You see, assessing Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s three years of administration can be distressing, especially trying to rationalize his paralysis in the face of the growing need to build an enviable state as envisioned by us when we won the election in 2019. We all can see what the state economy is like today despite the government’s propaganda.
Within its three years, the governor has failed to demonstrate competence in running the state as a state. For me what is important now is that the people of Kwara will just have to manage him till next year. Having spent three years belaboured by his strange political and administrative orthodoxies, Kwarans can only afford to have him for only a few more months as precarious as those ominous months might be.
ALH TUNDE MOHAMMED
The three years of the Gov. Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq’s administration can be summarized as opportunity thrown away, or better still, mismanaged opportunity.
The mitigated development started with the administration leadership’s inability to annex and manage the abundant human resources that were envisaged would turn Kwara State around through avoidable and unnecessary squabbles.
Traditional rulers were not carried along in the scheme of things but looked helplessly as their emoluments went into arrears. So also, the administration made itself inaccessible to the otherwise wise counsels that prominent stakeholders sought to offer.
The talk about School feeding scheme is surely not operating in Kwara State. Wide scarcity of potable water remains the order of the day, while citizens, who could afford it, make do with private wells and boreholes.
The much-desired industrial uplifting has not taken off and the moribund Operation Pothole-free Kwara surely did not meet its objectives.
Refuse collection no doubt received a boost in this administration but could be improved upon. One will advise that works on the Asa river channelization be vigorously pursued to completion before heavy downpour sets in.
Hon. Lekan Alabi
National Leader People Living with Disability
Social Democratic Party
Chairman, Afenifere Kwara State
As a Kwaran, who in every aspect of life is affected by my political, and socioeconomic environments, I am obliged to speak on the actions and inactions-positives and my perceived drawbacks, of the government of the state. This is particularly important considering the political narrative and the immediate political dynamics of my state. My opinions on the topic of this survey are herewith expressed from three fundamental aspects-Political, the Economic and Political Elite personality of the Governor. Each of the above stated is further expressed below:
- The Political variable: This is viewed from the Governor Abdulrazaq and internal politics of APC and his conflict management style, opposition parties, policy processes-policy making and Implementation
As a form of background, it is important to start by looking back at the political narrative of the state in order to situate the discussion properly. The political narrative of the state in the last three years witnessed a paradigm shift and a new dynamic. The age-long domination of the political landscape by the Saraki Empire was challenged and brought to a ‘seeming crumble’ collectively by the people. I argue that the Saraki political domination was brought down by the people as against the possible perception of, or, a possible arrogation of the ‘success’ to the Abdulrazak family who has severally contested the governorship position and has been denied the opportunity by the Saraki political powerhouse. No doubt, the people of Kwara were dissatisfied with the continued domination and sought to end it.
Within the political space and coming from the background of the chief executive of the state-Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahaman, my opinion is that he has been shrewd, palliate and obscure not only to his party members (APC). This in my opinion has created negative feelings within the O’toge movement, an agitation and uprising against the old order that was sold to the people by the then opposition political party-APC, at the right time and through which the old political dynasty was brought down and which served as the platform for him to win the election. While in my view his turning his back on his contemporaries in the party might be based on his attempt to show the people that the politics of the state is not business as usual, it has the tendency and perhaps has done damage to the party in Kwara which the opposition parties can manipulate if these parties possess the capability and ideological resources to do so which I doubt.
- Economic perspective
The question in my mind as a typical man on the street are: What efforts has the government under the present governor put in place in terms of raising the economic base of the state? What has the government done by looking inward at economic benefits that are of comparative advantage to the neighbouring states that can generate income apart from the ones left by the previous government in terms of IGR? What are the economic policies initiated by the government under governor Abdulrazak? For instance, we all are aware that Kwara North is important in food generation, what has the governor done in this regard to encourage the area?
- The personality of the governor and conflict management
As stated earlier, in my view, the governor depicts a shrewd personality which negates integrative (collaborative and collaborative conflict management styles). This method of conflict management help to reduce and lower the level of conflicts in the workplace. However, when an individual or a leader adopts an avoidance or domineering style as in the case of governor Abdulrazaq; the level of conflict increases. The non-compromising style will only make a conflict fester into violence.
Conclusive, it is worthy to note that the governor has seemingly done bits in infrastructural management such as road construction and repairs, the works are mainly within the state capital. I wonder why the road leading to the state assembly (Offa garage roundabout through Asa Dam Road) is terribly dilapidated without concern not only from the governor but the lawmakers. Does one assume that the non-compromising attitude is part of his intra-party issues? Also, the appointment of youths into his cabinet seems to fail in considering experiences in such appointments, the case of the young lady-Yohana Kolo, appointed as commissioner is a case in this regard. The question that readily comes to mind is: What experience and knowledge does this lady have in managing sports ministry? A round peg in a square hole, I think.
Dr Adebowale Adeyeye