The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, congratulates all Kwarans and residents of the State as we usher in the New Year 2021. We wish you all a prosperous, peaceful and successful New Year.
With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Nigeria early in the year and its attendant consequences, 2020 was no doubt a very challenging year for all of us. Unfortunately, the All Progressives Congress, APC government in Kwara made it more difficult for the masses with their incompetence, bad policies and lack of foresight and direction.
Our party therefore commends Kwarans for enduring a challenging year under the crass incompetent and depressing administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who has consistently proved to be an insensitive and a deceitful leader, and his style of leadership has failed to inspire hope and confidence in Kwarans.
The performance of Governor Abdulrazaq since he assumed office in May 2019 and particularly in the last one year, has revealed that he is an accidental governor who was clearly not prepared for governance and leadership. In 2020, Kwarans witnessed obvious failures in all fronts.
The Kwara PDP holds that current realities in the State do not show signs of a better Kwara that we all hope for, as Governor Abdulrazaq has refused to fulfil his campaign promises and also failed to implement programmes and projects that can improve the socio-economic development of the State and impact positively on the lives of the people. It is no gainsaying that previous administrations of PDP in the State implemented policies and programmes that improved the wellbeing and living condition of the people.
It is disappointing that the State government cannot present any significant achievement it recorded in the out gone year. We challenge the government to point at any impactful programme and policy it introduced in 2020 and tangible project it completed or even initiated before the end of the year, aside fixing of potholes that are resurfacing on our roads.
One of the major challenges confronting us today is youth unemployment. It is however discouraging that while many state governments are coming up with different strategies and programmes to gainfully engage the youth and address youth unemployment, the Kwara State government under Governor Abdulrazaq has done absolutely nothing in this regard.
During the 2019 election campaigns, Abdulrazaq promised Kwara workers he would implement the new national minimum wage if elected. But almost two years after his election, Governor Abdulrazaq is yet to fulfil his promise, to the disappointment of workers, who went on strike for days during the year. Negotiations held on the new minimum wage between the government and the organized labour have not yielded any positive outcome. And with no provision for minimum wage in the proposed 2021 budget recently presented to the Assembly there is no assurance that the AbdulRazaq administration will implement the N30,000 minimum wage in this new fiscal year.
It was shocking to Kwarans that Governor Abdulrazaq who had at the outset of his administration, promised not to lay off SUBEB staff employed by the immediate past administration, later went ahead to sack them on the eve of Christmas celebration and few days to the New Year. Abdulrazaq once again showed that he is deceitful and cannot be trusted when he makes promises. The governor should however know that Kwarans are no longer swayed by political statements, empty promises and false performance indices.
The current administration is also lacking in financial discipline, transparency and accountability. Governor Abdulrazaq has failed to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of state’s resources. Government’s spendings are shrouded in secrecy while contracts are awarded to cronies of the Governor at inflated sums. Perhaps, this is part of the reasons the House of Assembly has refused to pass the Freedom of Information Bill (FoI Bill), that will further empower Kwarans to ask questions regarding the management of their resources.
The Kwara PDP also notes that under the present administration, Kwarans have experienced all sort of impunities and infractions, ranging from illegal suspension of elected council chairmen, dissolution of lawfully constituted statutory commissions and disobedience of court orders. Governor Abdulrazaq should apologise for violation of human rights, abuse of office and flagrant disobedience of several court orders perpetrated under his administration.
As we mark the outset of Year 2021, we urge Kwarans to hope and pray for effective and purposeful leadership that would address the challenges and problems facing the State and its people. Our party is prepared to offer quality and credible leadership that will birth the realization of a better Kwara we all crave.
Once again, we wish Kwarans a happy and prosperous New Year.