Why Ahmed should be reelected, by Segun Ojomo


By the evaluation of the performance of the present leadership in Kwara State under Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, there is no doubt that continuity, through a second term in office, is well deserved.
At the onset of his administration in the state, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed established a ‘government of continuity’ to complete and consolidate programmes begun by his predecessor, Dr Bukola Saraki, while also embarking on a well mapped out plan to focus on his intended development agenda for the state.
In pursuit of this goal of continuity, he embarked on and completed unfinished projects of the previous administration which is an uncommon phenomenon in the nation’s governance process as successive governments usually jettisoned projects embarked on and uncompleted by their predecessors.
The beauty of the process, which also enhanced his scorecard in the early stage of his administration, was that while the inherited projects were being carried out, his development plans were also being executed. This ultimately resulted in the availability of a large number of laudable projects for commissioning within his first year in office.
Apart from the laurels gained by the quick execution of projects, another major accolade for his administration was by the establishment of the Shared Prosperity Programme with the aim of consolidating developmental gains as well as delivering the accruables from such developments directly to the people of the state, especially the resource-poor indigenes.
Based on a five-point agenda including impactive economic growth, human capital development/ youth empowerment, strategic infrastructure and effective governance, the Shared Prosperity Programme was the flagship for all of his administration’s golden achievements. As a matter of fact, this account would be inadequate to enumerate the achievements of the programme, especially in the education and health sectors of the state.
It is also important to mention that despite the huge reduction in statutory allocations to states by the Federal Government as an austerity, he has been able to pay salaries promptly and offer promotions to the rank and file of the civil service while some other states groaned. As a matter of fact, he has settled for another pay rise for workers, which is expected to take effect from February, this year. The increment is expected to hike the state’s wage bill by as much as N100 million monthly, to be catered for through the state’s internally generated revenue. This is apart from another N250 million which has been set aside for the training and retraining of civil servants for optimum performance.
Ahmed’s personality as the Chief Security Officer of the state is also worthy of mention. He naturally has good listening ears which makes him ever ready to comply with the yearnings of his people. To demonstrate this, he had conducted town hall meetings at several periods to avail him forum with the indigenes where stakeholders views were aired on specific ways they wished to be governed, in line with the tenets of the All Progressives Congress.
It is also heartening that despite the huge opposition in the state and the number of intending candidates for the governorship contest, respective aspirants in the state have come together just as it now obtains at the federal level, to ensure that the governorships elections come up without violence and rancour.
For this feat, kudos should be given the perceived strong opposition in the state for setting the stage for overwhelming post-election peace and it is also important for the incumbent to further use his good offices for the security of the process.
*Ojomo wrote in from Lagos


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