Top leaders of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State on Tuesday pledged their loyalty to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq whose leadership style, humility and attachment to the poor they described as a breath of fresh air.
The PDP leaders, who also comprised at least six suspended council chairmen, women and several youth leaders, spoke late Tuesday when they visited AbdulRazaq in Government House in Ilorin, the state capital.
“We can see a difference and people can feel that they have a government. The situation has changed in the area of road construction, water, health. You have also brought unmatched humility to governance,” Obalola Suleiman, a top PDP chieftain from Ifelodun local government area, said at the meeting.
“You have started very well and our people are happy. We urge you to continue along that path. We are willing to work with you for the overall interest of our state.”
Ben Duntoye, a former commissioner and PDP chieftain from Irepodun local government area of the state, aligned with Obalola.
“You are a silent achiever. We can see things for ourselves and we want to be a part of this success story. We can see that you are doing more work than talk. This is evident in our various communities,” Duntoye said.
Yahya Yinusa, a prominent PDP chieftain from Kwara North popularly called ‘Bulldozer’, also commended AbdulRazaq’s leadership and said the next few months would record influx of thousands of opposition figures into the ruling APC on account of the Governor’s sterling effort to reposition Kwara.
“I am not surprised at the positive turn of things in Kwara. We were in CPC together and I can tell the great roles you played in assisting many of us who were contesting at the time. Your work is really speaking for you,” Yinusa said.
Garba Labaka, suspended chairman of Ifelodun local government area, commended the Governor for his “unrivalled tolerance and political maturity”, saying the Governor has neither stopped their salary nor subjected them to harassment as was the case in some other states.
“This clearly sets you apart as a great leader. We are very grateful to you for your tolerance and large-heartedness,” he said, adding that he has the mandate of all his colleagues to thank the Governor as well as appeal to him to return them to office.
Bilikisu Sanni, a retired permanent secretary and PDP chieftain, said the Governor has made history as the most gender friendly leader in the history of the state.
“We will continue to be grateful to you for this singular honour you’ve done to us as women. You have also changed the face of governance. It’s an entirely new pleasant experience for the people of Kwara a State,” she said.
AbdulRazaq, for his part, commended the opposition leaders for the visit and said he sees everyone as critical stakeholders for a greater Kwara.
“The situation we have found ourselves in Kwara is such that all hands must be on deck to move the state forward. We need everybody on board in this task. That is why I treat everyone as fellow Kwaran. From the civil service to other sectors, my concern has been how to stabilise our state for posterity,” he said.
AbdulRazaq explained his various interventions in the health and education sectors, water, road, as well as his upcoming efforts to tackle poverty and grow the economy through social investment programmes and health insurance scheme, drawing applause from members of the opposition.
The meeting was attended by top government officials and politicians including Senior Adviser and Counsellor Kale Belgore; Special Adviser (Political) Saadu Salau; Special Adviser (Special Duties) Yinka Aluko; and Senator Suleiman Ajadi.