By Bashir Akanbi
￼This publication is aimed at straightening things without ambiguities. A rational being would be personally worried seeing some rascals referring to white as red for Nigerians, all in the name of nailing their political opponents and antagonists of their satanic missions for Nigerians. However, it is always mind-bothering reading some mischievous commentators on social media claiming Sen. Abubakar Bukola Saraki achieved nothing as Kwara state Governor between 2003 and 2011. One would have decided to ignore or underplay such comments but there is need to engage their mischief because of the undiscerning readers.
After the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections which saw the triumphs of General Muhammadu Buhari elected as President of Nigeria and some Senators like Sen. (Dr.) Bukola Saraki elected as Senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have been reading some concoctions of nonsense ignorantly packaged by some weak hearted people who have resorted to calumny of distorted facts, all aimed at tarnishing the good image and person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS), who has been rendering selfless humanitarian services in the cause of fulfilling all his mandates. This he has displayed in several community development projects, both in cash and kind to the people of his state (Kwara) and the country at large through the several political/public offices he has held in the past and he is holding presently.
Verily, the 2013 politically progressive movement of G7 (New PDP) into APC that was seen as a welcome move by everyone who genuinely likes and wants the best for Nigeria, was seen by the conservative retarders as threat to their hood winking. Anyway, one needs more than four walled schooling to be well schooled in the Fine Arts, Science and Schematics of a developing environment as ours, and prepare today for the future as we see in the progressive steps of Sen. Bukola Saraki. The hundred percent acceptance of his leadership by Kwarans as he delivered all elective positions hundred percent to APC and the success of APC in the presidential election has answered the visionless minds who still wanted Nigeria to continue under the cruel government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), simply because they were ingesting the national largesse or optimistic to be its beneficiaries if GEJ won. Some of them even believed “Federal might” works but Senator Saraki consistently told us such powers are impotent at the height of current political revolutions.
Today, some of his boys who served under him as Commissioners, SAs etc but stayed and got capsized with the PDP ship are now spreading their freehold trust in the vision and qualitative leadership of their ex-boss.
Meanwhile, many of them boasted and bragged of their party’s victory in the 2015 poll but God who is not hypocritical in his ordainments vindicated Saraki’s political dynasty under the leadership of Sen. Saraki. This is simply because it was this same dynastic that nurtured politically, all of them including their gubernatorial aspirant, Sen. Simeon Ajibola who was nominated and pivoted by Sen. Bukola Saraki in 2011 amidst some controversies which surrounded his candidature. Now all of them have not only gone into extinction, they have untimely reached the terminus of their political careers.
Shouldn’t we commend Sen. Abubakar Bukola Saraki for giving Kwara new developmental direction as below?
– Has Kwara State University (KWASU) he established not become the pride of Kwarans, home and abroad, not to talk of the host community, Malete? The University all the past Governors (military or democratically elected) could not establish for one of the firstly created states like Kwara.
– Is Ilorin International Aviation School not a source of knowledge cum employment for Kwarans and others? Of course it adds to the IGR of Kwara state.
– The rehabilitation of Ilorin Airport to international standard and construction of Ilorin Cargo Terminal is also worth commending him for.
– The Civic Centre on the Asa Dam axis, and even playing host to an international stars including Akon to open the edifice during Nigeria @50 celebration in 2010 as evidence of capability of the venue and scenery is for any kind of event? It leaked that the capacity and beauty of the Civic Centre made Jonathan and PDP to insist on scheduling their rented and imported crowd rally at the Metropolitan Square early 2014.
– Was it not ABS that sponsored the Community Health Insurance and Kwara Safe Maternity Service Act?
– As a Medical Doctor, he established Kwara Advanced Ultramodern Diagnosis Centre which is one of the best in Africa rendering a world’s standard service at affordable cost. I am bold to tell the world that this centre is widely visited from all parts of Nigeria and neighboring countries.
– Was it not ABS who provided us with Ganmo Power Generation Plant, hundreds of ordinary power substations and some injection Substations and Water Works Construction?
– Was it not ABS that started and completed the Ilorin-Oshogbo Road, Baruten road, hundreds of road constructions and rehabilitations across all the 16 local governments of the state, particularly, Ilorin and other mega cities of the state?
– The road from Kwara Police Command A Division to Offa Garage and many other roads were made dual carriage roads and rehabilitated during his first tenure and that of Offa Garage was extended to Ganmo town at the tail end of his second tenure.
– These roads were not only tarred but decorated by beautiful medium kerbs, attractive flowers and street lights. Have we forgotten how Kwarans nicknamed him “The Road Builder”?
– Was it not the same ABS that sponsored the Kwara Child Rights Act?
– What about Every Child Counts programme and many children’s oriented policies he initiated through the office of the brilliant Commissioner for Education and Former Nigeria Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi which were even adopted by Federal Ministry of Education?
– Have we forgotten so soon the Voluntary Teaching Services by Bolaji Abdullahi in which thousands of Kwara graduates were engaged and given stipends monthly before more than ninety percent of them were absorbed into the state Civil Service, Teaching Service and SUBEB?
– What about the Kwara Clean and Green Programme which positioned Kwara as the cleanest State in the country during his first tenure?
– What about Kwara Stadium Modernisation, Expansion and Internationalization?
– What about the establishment of Kwara Football Academy (KFA) which was the talk of the world as Jose Morhino of Chelsea Football Club of England and many international soccer stars attended its foundation laying event?
– He established his own football team, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club (ABS FC) which together with its twin team, Kwara United was always among the top clubs in the Nigeria Premier League. There is no gainsaying fact that Kwara sporting activities was at its peak during ABS’ tenure.
– This same ABS ensured the maintenance of peace, creating an enabling environment for growth and development, enabling haven for several private sector industrialists to promote socio-economic growth of the state.
– Have you ever bothered to inquire, what was the old Adewole before the current Adewole Estate, who vilified Late George Innih, who started the process then, why not appreciate the various estates (Mandate I, II and III, Harmony Estate, Irewolede Phase II, Mandate Estate Omun-Aran etc) initiated by ABS? Mandate Modern Market along Western Reservoir Road, Ilorin is also not left out.
– He facilitated the construction of Ilorin Ultramodern Central Mosque through his friends and associates as fund raisers in 2010.
– What about his many agricultural interests and youths’ training and retraining programmes on farming with startup kits and grants in Malete ADP and other parts of the state? These projected Kwara State and Dr. Bukola Saraki as the best in Agriculture. I hope we do not forget so soon that he was awarded several times by Federal Government and many agricultural NGOs as the best Nigerian Governor in Agriculture during his tenure.
– Shonga Farm Holdings as a model farm, owned by GTB, FCMB, UNITY, KEYSTONE & ACCESS Banks + Kwara State Government, without an individual owning a share in the model “individual farming” system. Do you even know that if you drink WAMPCO’s (PEAK, THREE CROWN milk) milk or Nutricima’s product, that you are drinking Shonga’s milk indirectly!?
– It is a pity that in this 21st century, we can have people still too befuddled to add 2+2 and get 4!. How can a multinational company deal with a government and an individual will own part of the structural income?
– I also heard of the utter rubbish that ABS wanted to relocate the Eid Praying ground, will he also relocate the cemetery? Anybody that goes and knows Eil Praying Ground very well would know its boundary has many decades back, been demarcated by fence at the back. So nobody tampered with the sacred land.
– What about the juicy federal political appointments he facilitated with his intimacy with the late President Yaradua and office as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum for many Kwarans like Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, Dr. Yomi Ogunsola into Federal Character Commission, Bio Ibrahim, Nimota Akanbi and many others? These exclude Kwarans who he used same influence transferred into federal public services as Directors and top public servants from state civil service.
– What about the youths’ involvement in the leadership of the state in which we had the likes of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Hon. Zakari Mohammed and so on appointed as Commissioners in their 30s?
– Rehabilitation and Modernization of Kwara Office Complexes housing many Ministries in the year 2009 to boost the morale of Civil Servants and enhance productivities was also lauded and smiled at by Kwarans then.
– The creation of office of Youths Empowerment Coordinators (YEC) for all the 16 LGs through whom his unmatchable youth empowerment strides were carried out is also memorable to mention. LG Liaison Officers (LO) to governors were also appointed among youths.
Tourism, Environmental, Women Affairs and other ministries also had it big during this period.
These are just few within the limit of my easy remembrance out of the monumental achievements of Dr. Bukola Saraki as Kwara State Governor. I am sure his aides then should be able to mention many hundreds of such unbeatable track records. They are too numerous to mention. His philanthropic gestures are second to none among his equals in Nigeria. Any personal contact with him will confirm that he is so humble, generous and likes to give arms in anonymity.
What has PDP cohorts done in history to develop the state? They didn’t have the courage to ever commit to the solid infrastructural developments, but now that it is in place, they come as nocturnal visitors on every election period from the Federal Capital to steal from where they never sowed.
It is high time that the people of Kwara awoke from their lethargy and note that the so called forefinger is only a finger, notably in the fore ably assisted by four fingers. Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, now the Senate President of Federal Republic of Nigeria is a man, who has blood in his vein like yours, and if some people with a warped sense of transferring their hatred of Dr. Sola Saraki onto Bukola Saraki, haven hidden under the cloak of same Bukola Saraki to gain foothold of power are now rabid enough to be barking down the tree they climbed up on, time shall tell who really wanted the best for this state. Many people do not know that it was not Bukola Saraki’s political wisdom that won him the highly coveted seat of Senate Presidency but his goodwills and beneficial relationship many of his fellow governors and political associates have enjoyed from him in the past. That made the likes of Sen. Sanni Yerima, Danjuma Goje, Godswil Akpabio, Andy Uba and many of them stood across the party lines to support him for the position. Evidently, the vote of confidence passed by 81 Senators last week, which in figure, included 35 APC and 46 PDP Senators finally showed Sen. Bukola Saraki truly had the 35 APC supporting senators as he previously claimed. So had it been the Lawan Group did not abscond from the venue of the first primary election, which gave them more time to buy more Senators from Saraki and that APC did not wittingly insist on Open Balloting System during the second mock election, Saraki would have won gallantly. Well, his election was constitutional and nothing was treacherous about it. Politics itself adopts treachery as an instrument. Alas! Sen. Saraki whose political sagacity does not lie on words but nationalism and patriotism to the subjugated Nigerians played it rightly.
What more can a state governed by a man of monumental achievements, aptly named “Maigida” meaning “Owner of house” look for as sample of a “leading by example” leader? Anyone who knew Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed as a new entrant into public service in 2003 and/or during his stint at both the Finance and later the newly created Planning and Economic Development Ministry in Kwara State, will attest to His Excellency’s quiet hardworking attitude, so for anyone to describe his mien as a sign of weakness has never seen what a cougar looks like in the bush before pouncing. A government of continuity is always like that.
Obviously, Dr. Ahmed was busy completing some of the projects his predecessor and leader, Sen. Bukola Saraki could not complete in his first year in office alongside many Kwarans’ oriented projects. Kwarans should discern that they are fabrications of their political opponents, forgetting the politics NOW is more advanced than the politics THEN. That is, political propaganda do not always work now, it is candidates’ goodwills and works that speak for them. It is obvious that the personality of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed which is in higher inches better than all his opponents that resulted in his reelection in the April 11 general election.
Indeed, Kwara is set to clutch the climax of her glory with Sen. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President of Nigeria who would be complementing and supplementing the Better Kwara Initiatives of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed. They both need constructive criticisms not detractions incited by political opponents and in-fighters of APC from other states. They need our prayers to perform as expected. May God guild and protect them to better our lives as Kwarans and Kwara as our state.
So, agent provocateurs, be warned.
These are merely scratching the veneer of truth.
More are coming…