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OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR ABDULRAHMAN ABDULRAZAK OF KWARA STATE

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Your Excellency Sir. It’s an honor and privilege to write you at this very promising moment in the Development of Kwara State. It by God’s grace that we are witnessing the beginning of a new Political era. An era we all should be very proud of. One thing is for sure, with the way you have started so far, it’s very obvious that the Political landscape in the State of Harmony will never be the same again.

For the past 16years. Our people have witnessed one of the most plutocratic Government in this Country. I therefore salute the courage and determination of everyone that has made this Political chapter a reality. But the work may have only just begun. As a Political Scientist from Zambufu in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State (Kwara North) One of the most marginalized, disadvantaged, underdeveloped part of the State. It’s my hope to reach out to you on behalf of the people on the hope and aspiration of the people and why they decided to stick out their neck for the political course irrespective of the treats and intimidated from agents of the (Dynasty)

I am particularly impressed by your “on the spot” assessment of the reality on ground across the State and for your visit to Kwara North to see the situation our people are going through first hand. It is to such effect that I wish to bring to your attention some of the socio-political and economic policy framework that could be essentially instrumental in making our developmental dreams a reality.

Socio-political and economic JUSTICE must prevail if the State is to ever realize the full potential greatness it is destined to attain. Our problem as a people is not resources (Money) but (Organization) with a holistic sector-by-sector statistical analysis of the problems as well as the standard of development we can realistically attain and how we could strategically get there.

It is my hope and prayer that you understand the intrinsic necessity and immediately put in motion the machinery necessary for the evaluation and implementation of these result oriented developmental strategies that our people have been crying for.

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

Start with establishing INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE COMPANY OF KWARA STATE (IDMC) to immediately set in motion the process of directly constructing of various infrastructural projects such as roads, schools, hospitals, water supply etc. This can easily be achieved by equipping the Company with the most modern sophisticated construction equipment with sufficient presence in every part of State to construct all necessary infrastructures within a stipulated period of time under your full supervision instead of dishing out contract here and there. Sir. “Contractocracy” is a termite that would continue to slow down the phase of Development irrespective of how prudent the Government is.

The CONTRACT cost of just a few roads could be enough to successfully equip a road construction Company that will get the job done on schedule while the institution will still be on ground to continue with “Maintenance” something that is evidently missing in our Development architecture.

You can also provide mobile borehole equipment so that Government can be able to massively provide access to water for the people at a cost efficient manner. The roads linking Kwara and Niger State through Kwara North should also be accorded priority.

UNEMPLOYMENT

On unemployment. There are a lot of cost-effective means to significantly solve the problem with very limited resources. It’s all about sitting down to evaluate every available option. In fact. The massive rate of Youth unemployment is an opportunity for a willing Government to effectively use the situation to FastTrack socio-political and economic development of the State.  Through the strategies that are highlighted here. For instance. Depending on how the conceptual framework is articulated. ICT alone has a lot of potential that would provide diversely sustainable solutions to our long-term Development objectives.

I don’t know if you are aware but there is another ticking time bomb in Edu Local Government. Specifically. It has to do with the presence of a mining Company in the area and how much of compensation the affected communities will individually be paid annually. As at the moment, the situation is still frenzy because even a certain Emir who should have negotiated a good deal for the people is reported to have received a bribe worth Six million naira #6,000,000 from the Company while the situation still remains unresolved.

AGRICULTURE

There is also the immediate need for a comprehensive Agricultural Mechanization Program (AMP) to push for diverse mechanization strategy in Agricultural production of different plants and animals.

You can also work out a process to get every farmer in the State especially in the rural communities registered as Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) through which all forms of support, training and mechanization equipment will directly reach farmers at a very affordable cost.

Establish a committee to identify all lands throughout the State that are Agriculturally viable for production but have not been used for any productive activities then consider different alternative means to establishing large mechanized farms on the land. On the other hand. Large piece of land that is not agriculturally viable and have not been used for any purpose should be designated for establishing of Industrial Parks with the State Government to only give out the land for RENT in order to earn revenue sustainably.

There are hundreds of companies who would immediately expand their productive capacity to the State. It’s all about putting the right incentives in place.

SOCIAL WELFARE

The existing pension scheme is taking our senior citizens to their early grave and needs to be immediately reviewed. People who have worked their entire “Productive lives” for Government should not wait for months or years before accessing their retirement benefits. And even if the existing system should remain there is still a lot that must be done to address the plight of our senior citizens.

Government don’t just carry out its constitutional responsibility. It should also be seen by the electorates doing so. And that is why you must keep in touch with the people in terms of communication.

REVENUE GENERATION

The Government should aggressively pursue a strategy of constructing large infrastructural facilities that would continue to yield revenue sustainably year after year instead of waiting for handout from the Federation account. The same thing should apply to every Local Government who should all be supported to significantly increase their revenue profile.

There’s huge potential of generating more revenue for the Government that is still outside of the State revenue income base. And except we consider updating the system as a whole the State will continue to lose revenue.

HEALTH

At Zambufu in particular. I don’t think you realize there is a General Hospital in that community when you recently passed through. This is the situation that obtain in most Health institutions across rural areas of the State. I am aware that you went to the NYSC Permanent orientation camp. What you must have seen there is a disaster that need to be immediately look into and strategically addressed to ensure that we completely say goodbye to the ugly past. A past of unforgettable predicaments that include epileptic power supply which you must do something about.

EDUCATION

All serving NYSC Corp members MUST be posted to Public Primary and Secondary Schools in rural areas ONLY. While those with Medical qualifications and expertise should serve in Medical Facilities in rural communities as well. All boarding Secondary schools should be relocated to rural area while the existing structure should be converted to a day School to further reduce the burden of over population in Secondary Schools in urban center.

Furthermore. Several Schools in the state are in need of fencing and other equipment especially sports and other recreational activities. In fact. Every school should be mandated to provide facilities for a minimum of (10) sporting activities throughout the state.

POLITICAL REFORM

Any reform that doesn’t start at the Party level and refused to significantly bring in more younger people who are ready, willing and capable of bringing the changes required is bound to hit a dead end because those who are benefactor of the system in the past will never allow any meaningful progressive, result oriented changes to take shape. On another dimension. No infrastructure funded by Government should be named after any individual who is alive. Such honor MUST be reserved for those who have diligently serve the people and have passed-on. In the same instance just like several other provisions which should be reviewed. Lifetime remuneration package for any past political office holders should be immediately brought to an end so that you could have more funds to pursue more important need for the people.

Salaries, allowances and benefits of political offices have to be significantly reduced while the national minimum wage should be implemented arithmetically in such a way that the capacity of the Government will not be hindered from fulfilling it’s long term commitment and obligation.

There is also the need for every Local Government to be equally represented in Government as well as the Civil Service to give everyone a sense of belonging and commitment to a common course. In addition. What is equally very important is to come up with a long-term Development framework for the state to guide the Government into a better future.

TRANSPORTATION

A road construction master plan under one Company, with adequate planning, financing and available manpower is all that is basically needed. I strongly believe that with adequate planning and implementation roads across the State can be brought up to the level it deserves. Equally. The state transport Company has to be reorganized to increase efficiency after which it should be immediately supported with more vehicles to help ease transportation challenge of the people.

The Development policy of the Government should be predetermined holistically by the Government before each political appointee assume office to help implement the policy of the Government.

RELIGION AND CULTURE

Street hawking and begging by children under the age of 18years should be considered a serious crime punishable with imprisonment of anyone involved in child labor and abuse. Every child below the age of maturity MUST be in school “western and or Islamic” as well as learning any handwork or apprenticeship.

Every school in the State should be encouraged to have a functional MSS EVENING AND WEEKEND QURAN CLASS for all interested boys, girls, men and women so that everyone can gain Islamic knowledge without straying too far away from home where they should be better taken care of and guided. With the same opportunity to be applicable to the Christians. (Equal opportunity for everyone) While Children’s working as house maid or help in whatever capacity should be treated as a very serious criminal offense.

Identify at least (20-50) different types of productive skills acquisition entrepreneur business and then select graduates, men and women who have passion for and want to go in to those area of production to be directly attached to group of selected private firms/business in the industry to directly learn from them within a stipulated period of time. Eg Shoe making and design. Bags designing and production. Fashion designing. Fish farming. Poultry farming. Mechanics. Restaurant and bakery. In fact, anything that involves “creating of value” should be considered. This is the only means of bringing an end to the continue recycling of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in the State.

Finally, on security. Your Excellency. the security situation between farmers and Fulani cattle herdsmen has to be dealt with decisively. We cannot afford to have such a breakdown of law and order in the face of other important Developmental challenges. Hopefully. I will also be able to meet and brief you on other more sensitive matters of importance to our dear state and its people.

“MAY GOD SAVE US FROM ENEMIES WITHIN AND WITHOUT”

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