A SINCERE CALL TO MY FELLOW KWARANS: CRITICIZING SARAKI IS NOT A Shame – Ibrahim Sheriff .A. (Gold)
When deliberate misconceptions by dogmatic hailers are allowed to fly without attempt to use objective facts to neutralise such notions, it will amount to inordinate and authoritative circulation of falsehood.
I give credence particularly to a writeup by a fellow Kwaran, Funsho Abdulwahab, who obviously is a religious supporter of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. In the article titled, “A sincere call to my fellow Kwarans” argued that; for the singular reason that Saraki is a Kwaran, it is shameful for any Kwaran to talk or work against the political leader, we all owe the responsibility to support him, a notion i consider unhealthy for public consumption as the arguments were IIl informed.
On paragraph 4 and 5 of the writeup, the author claimed that “itis important for us to support him (Saraki), in order to assist ourselves and our state”. He furthered that it is a shame that some people are working and talking against him (Saraki). I then asked how will supporting Saraki translate to Kwaran’s personal achievement or collective achievement? What has become of those supporting Saraki? Is it not just making them subject of himself? Tell me how many notable Kwarans are currently occupying exalted positions at the federal level courtesy of Saraki in the current political dispensation? If truly being a Kwaran matters to Saraki, will he work against the nomination of Saheed Olagunju from Offa becoming Managing Director of the Nigeria Bank of Industry? Will his boys be sent to work against the appointment of Mall Ishaq Modibbo Kawu as the Director General of NBC, even when he’s an Ilorin man? It is thus neither obligatory nor shameful but voluntary to support or singpraise Saraki, subject to personal conviction. Those acclaimed supporters of Saraki who can’t tell him the truth are those who should be ashamed!
As radical and antagonistic Governor Ayodele Fayose is, in the spirit of being Ekiti man, he gave ex-Governor Fayemi support in his ministerial nomination, even if it doesn’t count. Why then must Kwarans mandatorily support Saraki? Don’t you think Saraki needs to learn to put the state before his interest and not the state putting Saraki first.
Still on paragraph 6, the author stated that “one of the problems Kwara state government has in the past is over-reliance on foreign allocation, Which are used to pay salaries and leave nothing”, he claimed. Unfortunately, the author while trying to justify political purity of Saraki and co has further castigated them and exposed the fact that Saraki’s administration as Kwara state Governor between 2003-2011 only pays salaries with federal allocations and leaves nothing! We know he did some laudable projects, although not commiserate with the revenue inflow and his term in office, my question is; which past Government of Kwara state is the author talking about? If that of Saraki, which till date, is the longest serving governor in the history of Kwara state is among, then the author should be convinced not to hail a major contributor to the problem of Kwara state, which he identified in his write up. The author also accused the PDP of looting and misgovernance, who was PDP Governor for 8years and 4years that makes the 12years of PDP misgovernance of Kwara and Nigeria? Was it not Sen. Bukola Saraki and Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed? How then will you expect Kwarans to make it an obligation to support major participants in what Mr Funsho Wahab identified as Kwara’s source of setback?
On paragraph 7 of the article, the author reminded us that Kwara state is number seven (7) on the list of states generating internally generated revenue (IGR), congratulations to us! But my question is, what have we to show for it? How has that translate to development in the state of harmony? What is the state of our domestic and major roads? Bad! What is the state of our educational institutions, from basic to tertiary? Unwritable! Yes, other states can come to learn the magic of generating Internal revenue from Kwara state as recommended by the FIRS boss, Tunde Fowler, but Kwara at present is a bad model of how revenues, federal or locally generated are utilised because it is yet to materialise into political goodies for the benefit of the people.
On paragraph 9, the author hinged Lagos state developmental achievements to federal assistance, giving reference on the large loan Lagos state recently secured. As much as i wouldn’t like to compare the incomparable Lagos to Kwara state, i will educate the author on “credit worthiness’, the consideration of the economic strength and political will of Lagos state to utilize the fund for developmental purpose and pay back the loan is there. If it is true that the Senate President is capable to bring any political goody he so wishes to Kwara just like it was claimed that he facilitated federal roads to Kwara state, let him facilitate $300m to Kwara state. He simply cannot, because we are not credit worthy to that magnitude as a state. The different loans obtained by past governments, Including that of Sen. Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah Ahmed, what significantly have we to show for it?
It was acclaimed in the piece that it was part Saraki’s influence, bringing developments, such as Kaiams road, which was funded by Governor Ahmed’s led administration, to be reimbursed by the federal government as promised by Hon. Minister for Works and Housing, Raji Fashola. Did Saraki bring the project to Kwara? Well, indirectly we can attribute that to Saraki because he brought Gov. Ahmed. But to me, it’s a misplaced appreciation. Other roads credited to have been facilitated by Saraki includes Pategi/Egbe road among others. Forgetting that the same Senate Saraki chaired was reported by Minister Fashola to have replaced real capital projects, such as roads with boreholes as their Constituency projects to enable them siphone allocated funds.
The author of the piece equally made a powerful point that “Kwara state has the potential to feed Nigeria with fish and rice”, true! In fact, the only part of his writeup i concur to, but he goofed again by being economical with the truth and attributing the failure of Kwara agricultural sector to bad roads in the Kwara rural areas which is true and can be faulted on both federal and state governments. However, he failed to unveil that Kwara state government has no single tractor! He didn’t reveal that Kwara state government was delisted from FADAMA because it doesn’t remit it’s counterpart funding and these among others killed our agricultural potentials. Yet, we are expected to praise them.
Finally, on paragraph 12, it was claimed that we now have more federal government presence in Kwara state because of Saraki’s influence. Indeed! In Kwara state of today, we have no single modern public basic or secondary school, we have several communities without road access, countless communities that drinks with cows in the stream, yet you want them all to praise those who left them in that pitiable conditions?? The recently disbursed loan to Shonga farm by CBN was also acclaimed to be facilitated by the Senate President, even when the Kwara state governor told us Shonga farm is not owned by Kwara state. If it is true that Saraki facilitated CBN loan for a private business as Shonga farm, then he has a stake there and that may validate the hypothesis that Saraki used Kwara’s commonwealth to setup Shonga farm and claimed it’s ownership afterward. Do we still thank and support him for that?
If you choose to support, work for or hail Saraki, it is a freewill and at your own peril, just like it is to anyone who feels indifferent or otherwise in this direction.