Seems there is no end in sight to the resultant effects of November 18th Local government elections which hold in State of Harmony as members of both left and right group continue to pour their minds concerning the outcomes of the poll and the events which surrounded it.
Many people have aired their views on how the event unfolded and what could have triggered the protest votes against the ruling leadership, some are still of the opinion that nothig is amiss in as much the party at the helm was able to claim sixteen to nil against its closest rival People Democaratic Party PDP which they assumed to be a kind of beautiful horse in portrait which cannot run beyond the image.
Whichever way the opinion tiltled to, the fact which is obvious is that Kwarans are not in total support of the government of the day and this is exactly what the loyalists wish for sustainance of the ruling dynasty are making efforts to make known to their political godfather Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
In this latest effort communicated via open letter by the Forum of Ex Honourables of Kwara State House of Assembly to their political leader, eleven (11) major and critical points viz a viz reasons which they believed culminated to the poor outing of the dynasty’s lieutnants in their various polling units across the 193 wards of the State.
Below is the content of the letter for reading of our readers at home….
The Senate President,
Dr. Bukola Saraki,
Dear Leader sir,
The Senate President,
Dr. Bukola Saraki,
Dear Leader sir,
Review of the last LG Elections in Kwara State
The Forum of Former Hon. Members of the Kwara State House of Assembly, held an emergency meeting on Friday, 24th of November, 2017 to review the just concluded Local Government elections in the State.
The review became necessary and imperative, in view of the apathy and protests that characterized the said elections across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State.
After an in-depth discussions and critical analysis of the whole situation, the Forum identified the following factors that accounted for the abysmal performance of our Party, All Progressives Congress, APC, during the last Local Govt elections.
The factors include:
1. Disconnect between the Government and the People of the State.
The Government at the State level, is seen to have completely disconnected itself from the people. For example, it has reneged on its promise, during its campaigns, to carry along the people in execution of programmes and projects that have direct impact on and could improve their welfare substantialy, in favour of ‘white elephant projects’, which are neither priority nor have bearing on the daily lives of majority of Kwarans.
The people do not feel the impacts of adequate developments across the State by this administration, despite the inherent pains they have to undergo arising from the harsh methods of collection of the improved Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of about 1.8 billion Naira on monthly basis.
For example, there are still many potholes on major roads across the State in spite of the earlier promises of ‘zero potholes’ by the Governor; the water situation in Ilorin Metropolis and other major cities, are yet to be abaited just as many schools and health care centres are in bad state of disrepair.
2. Insensitivity of the Government to the Political Class
The Political Class, who brought the present administration to power, have been neglected and apparently abandoned. There is neither Government patronages in form of contracts nor in form of financial assistance, to enable them maintain their existence as critcal Stakeholders that worked very hard for the second term of office of this administration.
Similarly sir, vast majority of our Political Appointees, both elective and appointive, have distanced themselves from Party members and the electorate.
This is largely because some of these Appointees are rather seen to be reaping only where they have not sown.
3. Non payment of arrears of salaries and pensions to LG Staff, Primary School Teachers and State’s owned Tertiary Institutions.
The failure of Government to find lasting solution to this age-long problem, has also been
responsible for the poor performance of our Party in the last Local Government elections.
The factor that has worsened the situation is the frequent Government pronouncements to the effect that it doesn’t owe Local Government workers any salary.
We hold the belief that the Governor should have seen himself more as the father to all workers in the State, most especially by the system of Local Government we operate in the State, rather than seeing the LG workers as ophan children or those from another parents!
Furthermore, where the arrears of salary and pensions are being paid, it is usually based on percentage of their full monthly salary and consequently making such payments having little or reasonable impact on their welfare.
4. Engagement of a Private Consultants to pay Workers Salaries and Pensions
The engagement of a Private Consultants for paying both Local Government and State workers’ salaries and pensions right from the Government House, has not gone down well with members of the public that see it as a way creating jobs for ‘the boys’.
Most of the times when salaries are being paid, there are a lots of complaints from the affected workers, who are being short paid their wages. This development has further paralysed the apparatus of Government at the LG level, accentuated their angers and consequently making the workers in the Local Government Areas across the State, enemies of Government and our Party.
5. Unfavourable Tax Regime
The introduction of Government’s new Tax Regime by the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, (KWIRS), especially in the face of already impoverished people of the State who are suffering from the generally harsh economic situation in the country, could also be seen as a strong factor, which led to the protest votes by many of the electorates and some of our Party members too.
6. SUBEB Tenders
The issue of SUBEB Tenders wherein most people, especially our Party members and supporters, expended a lot of money to participate in the Tender processes but up till date have not been awarded any
contracts after many months, has portrayed the Government as not willing to patronise them despite their massive support to the Government.
7. Neglect of Traditional Rulers
Some of the Traditional Tulers are also not happy with the Government, because they are being owed several months of arrears of allowance, while those who have been upgraded since 2015, are yet to be given staff of office. since 2015 in spite of series.of promises.
They seem to percieve the present administration as Government of deceit.
8. Wrong Appointments, Recycling and Arrogance of some Political Office Holders
One inalienable fact about our Party appears to be that some of those appointed or find themselves in positions of authority and responsibilities, through the benevolence of the Leadership of our Party, are already loosing grip of not only their Wards, but also sadly their Polling Units.
This is an Indication that they have become spent forces and are therefore no longer relevant in the scheme of our politics in the State.
For instance, many of the Apointees who are close to Governor and a host of other Political Office Holders in Government, are known to have lost woefully their Polling Units to the Opposition Patty, the PDP.
Yet, these are the same people who do not value the contributions and importance of the Party members that brought the current administration into office and therefore are used to treating them with disdain, whenever they are approached for necessary assistance for their people.
They are fond of displaying political arrogance in the presence of their presumed supporters and are always giving the Leadership false information on
political affairs and disposition of the Party members generally, to the detriment of the Party and only for their personal and self interests.
Similarly, there are pronounced cases or instances whereby non indigenes are favoured with sensitive positions of authority, at the expense of committed, dedicated, qualified and loyal members of our Party, who are not only bonafide citizens of the State but also had worked very hard for the success of our Party in the last General Elections.
Many of them are noted to arrogantly display accumulation of wealth before the hungry men and women of Kwara with attendant disdain.
Additionally sir, these non Kwarans unfortunately have used such positions to employ more non indigenes at the expense of deserving Kwarans.
Going by this development therefore, the slogan that “Ohun tobase loje”, that is “you shall reap what you sow”, is being seen as mere words that has little or no meaning anymore, to the hard working and loyal members of our Party.
9. Lack of Goodwill with Security Agencies
The relationship between the Government and the Security Agencies in the State is to say the least, frosty. The attitude of the Security Personnels during the last Local Government elections in the State, is an indication pointing to that fact.
The Security Personal openly complained of lack of the usual logistics support from the State Government in our engagements with them during the period of the elections.
We feel that this was not good enough especially when it is obvious that they are more disposed to support Government of the day under such circumstances and it is expected that one good turn deserves another and also to whom much is given, much is also expected.
We recommend urgent and positive review of the relationship between the State Government and the Security Agencies in the State, as we move towards 2019 General Elections.
10. Non preparation for the LG elections
It was apparent that the State Government didn’t prepare adequately for the November 18, LG elections, as it over relied mainly on the Election Commission for the conduct of the elections. For instance, the choice of venue for the flag off of the LG campaign exercise, which was held at the State APC Party Secretariat, was a misplaced one.
We also note that the sum of thirty thousand Naira only (N30,000), which was released to each Polling Unit, was obviously inadequate for a Party that seemed to have lost majority of public confidence in the State before the poll.
11. Role of Party Structures at all Levels in the Outcome of the Elections.
The performances of most of the Party Executives, particularly at the Ward and Local Government levels, during the Nomination Stage up to the campaign and Election day, left much to be desired.
Members of the Party Excecutives at the two levels were more concerned and mainly interested in the monetary benefits they could extract from the Aspirants, rather than the choice of credible and popular Candidates that have the pedigree and support of most of our Party members and the electorates.
The APC Party Leaders at the State failed to either call them to caution or appoint Reconciliation Committee to calm nerves of those who lost out in the Nomination exercise, before the election day.
This also resulted to a number of the Candidates that felt cheated during the Nomination Exercise, consequently turning around to collaborate with members of the Opposition PDP to vote against our Candidates in the elections.
Furthermore, many of the Party Chaimen did not deem it to carry along former Elected and Appointed Political Office Holders like past Legislators, past Council Chairmen Councillors, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Special Assistants etc., in decision making in their Local Government Areas thereby alienating them from reckoning in the affairs of the Party.
This obviously affected the fortunes of our Party in the elections and likely to have more adverse effects in the future affairs, progress and success of our Party in subsequent elections.
Our Leader Sir, we make bold to highlight some of the factors that led to unexpected abysmal performances of our Party across the State in an election in which we expected outstanding performances from all our Candidates, because we believe that there is the urgent need for you to take appropriate and decisive actions to reform our Party and redirect affairs of the present administration in Kwara State as appropriate, in order that our Party and State Government should not face further embarrassments as we move towards 2019.
We recommend that the incoming Local Government Councils should be provided with adequate financial supports to pay outstanding salaries and pensions and also to enable them perform optimally and win the hearts of the people with projects, before 2019 General Elections.
There is also urgent need to review this appointments of some of the key Political Apointees to rejuvenate our political system in the overall interest of our Party, Government, the people of Kwara State before it might be too late sir.
We earlier promised and pledged our Loyalty to you and also support for the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, when we last met with you.
We are hereby keeping to our pledge and promise, through this letter and have the strong believe that you will accept and acknowledge our action as patriotic, as we look forwad to further opportunity, in the nearest future, to engage with u and the Governor of Kwara State and join hands towards the success of our Party in 2019.
May God continue to bless and grant Your Excellency more wisdom and knowledge, as you lead us out of the present avoidable problems in our Party and Government of Kwara State.