Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara says renovating the decrepit Government House he inherited is not his priority, but programmes that have direct impact on the welfare of the people.
The governor said this on Tuesday when the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, paid the traditional ‘Bareke’ visit to the Government House.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the emir and his entourage were received on behalf of the governor by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi.
The governor promised that his administration would complete all abandoned or ongoing projects in the state, adding that ignoring them would amount to wasting public funds already sunk into them.
Abdulrazaq said he inherited a decrepit Government House which he said reflected the general decay of infrastructure in the state,
According to him, he has chosen to prioritise programmes that directly affect people’s welfare instead of embarking on rehabilitation of his own office when he assumed office on May 29.
“As your Royal Highness may have noticed, the Government House we inherited needs urgent rehabilitation as many parts of it are just not fit for habitation.
“This is reflective of the general decay in public infrastructure across the entire state.
“In the circumstances, we cannot in good conscience prioritise rehabilitation of my office to the neglect of urgent matters affecting the state,” he said.
Abdulrasaq listed the areas that needed urgent attention to include potable water, bad roads, unpaid gratuities, abandoned projects, comatose state media, especially Radio Kwara, resurgence of polio, stagnant education sector, strikes and appalling healthcare system.
“I’m glad to inform Your Royal Highness that all of these issues have received our attention since we came on board.
“We have also resolved not to allow Kwara become a mortuary for abandoned projects.
“This explains why we recently paid N350million to the contractors for the completion of the new State Secretariat Complex.
“We have also given similar assurances to contractors handling all road projects, most of which had been abandoned before we came on board,” Abdulrazaq added.
The governor also said his administration had started fixing three major water works across the three senatorial districts.
They are the Asa Dam, Lafiagi Waterwork, and Igbaja waterworks.
He listed other steps taken to include the resuscitation of Radio Kwara, the commencement of fresh round of polio vaccination, resolution of crises and re-accreditation of the Colleges of Education and ending Kwara’s pariah status at the Universal Basic Education Commission with the payment of its N450million debt.
Others were payment of various counterparts’ funds in health sector and road construction, payment of N100million gratuities to pensioners, payment of running costs to government ministries after many years and ongoing talks with federal and development agencies to develop the state.
“Let me reassure Your Royal Highness that this administration has tremendous respect for our traditional institution.
“We see these institution as partners in our effort to re-launch Kwara into national reckoning,” Abdulrazaq added.
The governor promised to continue to support the institution to deliver on its mandate as the custodians of the nation’s diverse cultures.
“In return, we urge the traditional institution to support our programmes in the overall interest of our people and our effort to continue to keep Kwara safe for investments and socioeconomic stability,” he said.
Earlier, the Emir said this year’s Bareke was the first since the governor was inaugurated and commended the administration for its strides.
Sulu-Gambari called for tolerance, understanding and peaceful co-existence among residents of the state.
He prayed for God to continue to strengthen the good bond between the governor and his deputy, saying this would go a long way in promoting unity and peace in the state.
NAN reports that dignitaries at the Bareke included the Deputy Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly, Rapheal Adetiba; Chief of Staff, Government House, Adisa Logun; and the Head of Service, Susan Oluwole.
Others were All Progressives Congress (APC) State Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa; State Secretary of the party, Mustapha Isowo; and top APC chieftains, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and Kunle Suleiman.
(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)
Gov Dickson solicits international support for credible elections
Dickson was quoted by Mr Daniel Alabrah, his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, as making the call while receiving the Deputy Chief of U.S Missions in Nigeria, Kathleen Fitzgibbon, on Thursday in Yenagoa.
The governor thanked U.S and friends of Nigeria for their interest in the conduct of elections in the country, especially the electoral process, which he said, was more important than the outcome.
He urged the international community to pay special attention to the state and not limit their scope to Lagos and Abuja.
“I know there are some challenges, and this is one state that has challenges during elections.
“Challenges of how to restrain youths, of power, of how to support the institutions and agencies of state, whose neutrality should be as clear as anything else.
“Killings and all kinds of things take place in the name of elections, but we know the importance of your visit.
“We call on your mission to show more support to the agencies of state, INEC, the law enforcement agencies and to keep making the point about the need for neutrality.
“We also urge your mission to use its very wonderful network and access to raise these concerns.
“I look forward to working with you and your team in the area of information sharing.
“In the area of letting people know when we see the red flags, very often, those red flags are ignored, and the red flags are all there. Your interest is legitimate to me,” Dickson said.
The governor also appealed to the mission to dialogue with the opposition parties in the state to propagate a violence-free governorship election.
He said that the poll was about his successor and the legacies.
Dickson called for understanding and partnership in peace building and development.
He said his administration had succeeded in stabilising the state through targeted investment in critical sectors.
According to him, the sectors include: education, health, infrastructure and human capacity development, among others.
Earlier, Fitzgibbon said that the delegation was in the state to ascertain the challenges that could hinder the conduct of the upcoming governorship election in the state.
Fitzgibbon assured that the mission was focussed on engaging the Federal Government, international community and other critical stakeholders to ensure peaceful, credible, fair and hitch-free election in the state.
The Deputy Chief of Missions, who said she visited Bayelsa last 19 years ago, however, commended Dickson for his developmental strides, which she said had hugely transformed the landscape of the state.
Security: Group calls on ministers to increase support for police
Initiative for Leadership Development and Change, a non-governmental organisation, has called for synergy and increased support among the new ministers for the Nigeria Police to curtail insecurity.
Chief Ugochukwu Nnam, the president of the group told Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Thursday that the new cabinet had much work to do in ensuring security and economic stability.
He described President Buhari as a man of vision and urged the new ministers to join the president in stamping out insecurity challenges in the country.
“President Buhari’s next level packages cannot be delivered without the support and contribution of his ministers.
“Let all hands be on deck to especially assist and support the police and other security agencies in the fight against kidnapping and banditry,’’ he said.
Nnam praised the Inspector-General of Police and the Intelligence Response Team for rising to the occasion in the arrest of the notorious kidnap kingpin Hamisu Wadume.
I will strengthen local governments in Kogi — Aspirant
A governorship aspirant in Kogi for the Nov. 16 election in Kogi on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) retired Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, has pledged to strengthen local government administrations and its efficiency in the state, if elected governor.
A statement issued by New Media Aide, Usman Jibrin Campaign Organisation, Mr Alamoh Samuel on Thursday quoted as making the pledge during his consultation tour to stakeholders in the state.
Jubrin said that he was going to strengthen the local government by conducting a transparent council elections where people at the grassroots could feel the impact of governance.
The aspirant who pledged to operate open and direct governance with the people, as well focus of infrastructural development, including, construction of new roads and the repair of bad ones within the state.
“My ambition is to liberate the people from poverty by bringing governance to the doorstep of every resident of the state,’’ he said.
Jubrin promised to restore the dignity of the state and its residents through solution-driven, socio-economic interventions, inculcation of clear values and understanding of fundamental rights, which he said were articulated in the party manifesto.
He pledged to work with the Federal Government for the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Company and ensure full and prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners.
Edited by Kayode Olaitan
Dare as minister will help in youth development–NYCN
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has described the appointment of Mr Sunday Dare as Minister for Youth and Sport Development as a chance to enable the youth to participate in the present administration.
Mr Bello Shagari, the NYCN National President, made the assertion in a press statement issued to newsmen in Sokoto on Thursday.
He said that the appointment of Dare came without anticipation but with full satisfaction, “because he is fully equipped and experienced to do the job successfully.
“On behalf of the leadership of the NYCN, I wish to congratulate the new Minister and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing someone who can deliver for the youth.
“Moreover, we expect that the new minister will peacefully resolve the problems surrounding the youth in the country.
“Especially, the NYCN fictionalisation and save it from over aged men and political hijackers who have continued to invest in the disunity of the Nigerian youth for years”.
Shagari further restated that the objective of the Nigerian youth had always been in line with the policies of Buhari.
Edited by Kayode Olaitan
Ensure smooth implementation of ” Next level Agenda”, LP boss advises FEC
By Aminu Garko
Minna, Aug.22, 2019 ( NAN) Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkarim, the National Chairman of Labour Party (LP) on Thursday, advised members of the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) to ensure smooth implementation of “Next Level Agenda’’ of the present administration.
Abdulkarim, who gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Minna, said that it was only by so doing that the clamour for good governance would be a reality.
He also called on the new ministers to commit their energy to duty with a view to adding value to the affairs of the government.
Abdulkarim said that Nigerians were hopeful that the second term of Buhari administration would bring about the changes Nigerians desired.
He said that the new ministers had the capacity to look at ahead with clear vision of effecting changes for the common good of the country.
He also urged the new ministers to consolidate on the achievements recorded in various sectors of the economy in the first term of the Buhari-led administration.
The national chairman also advised the Federal Government to ensure completion of all viable capital projects before embarking on new ones.
“Mr President should remain resolute in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency, to enable Nigerians move on with their legitimate business,’’he said.
Abdulkarim also called on Nigerians, irrespective of religious and political affiliations, to join hands with the Buhari-led government “in building the country of our dream.”