Haven read series of publications and write-ups from prominent writers both in local and national dailies within and outside the State, one is prompted to pen this piece.
In spite of the rumours about a number of aspirants jostling for the Kwara State Government House come 2019 elections, readers would, after reading this piece, realise that only one person has the prerequisites and requisite experience to take Kwara State to the promised land.
Governance, they say, is the way a State or city is controlled by those at the helms of affairs.
Kwarans, as we all know, are yearning for a leader, whose ideology is related to that of the masses at this critical moment. Someone who will share in their pains, feel their pulse, listen to their immediate problems and proffer endearing solutions, thereby bridging the gap between the elected and the electorate, the rulers and the ruled; making government responsive and bringing government closer to the people.
A little background check on Ali Ahmad revealed that the incumbent Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, joined politics in 2003 and had held different positions in the executive arm of government ever since. As the Chief of Staff, Government House, Kwarans, who had personal encounter with him, described him as the best we have ever had for making himself accessible to all.
As Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Ahmad, in his characteristic style of leadership in carrying the citizenry along, introduced the Layman’s Law, thereby making it easy for the common man to understand the laws of Kwara State so as to serve as compass and guide to avoid running foul of the laws. He also introduced the computerized case tracking system to fast track dispensation of justice as well as organizing monthly parley between the Nigerian Police Force and Ministry of Justice to smoothen the relationship and enhance their investigation activities. He, in effect, added value to dispensation of justice and
made the people to be abreast of the laws that govern them in the State.
Consequent upon his election as a member of the House of Representatives representing Ilorin East and Ilorin South Federal Constituency between 2011 and 2015, Ahmad, an Associate Professor of Law, was preoccupied with studying the laws of Nigeria and was able to highlight those that were no longer in tandem with the best practices in the world while others were busy looking for ‘juicy’ committee appointments only for monetary gains.
He went further to strengthen the laws by introducing new laws and amending the existing ones to meet the nation’s needs. He has written his name in goldmine in the History of Nigeria as the lawmaker, who sponsored the highest number of Bills out of which 10 were passed in one sitting.
Ahmad also recorded the highest number of Bills that received presidential assent.Till date, he is being celebrated as the man, who sponsored the 480-Clause Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Bill, which Former Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloma Mukhtar described as a revolution in Nigeria Criminal Justice Administration. He is a rare gem haven made a remarkable impact to promote quick dispensation of justice in the Country.
In 2015, he was elected as a member of Kwara State House of Assembly and unanimously elected Speaker. Since his assumption of office, Kwara State House of Assembly has been at the forefront compared to other State Assemblies in Nigeria. The quality of legislations under his leadership has endeared Kwarans and Nigerians at large to the activities of the House.
The passage of the Bill to suspend payment of pension to Former Governors and Deputy Governors in Kwara State was first of its kind in any State Assemblies and as well as the Bill prohibiting unlawful dealing in human parts, to mention but a few.
State Assemblies have been visiting to understudy some of the newly introduced legislations that have put the Kwara Assembly ahead of others. Under Ahmad’s watch, the House has been described as the house of the people and voice of the voiceless by labour unions, students’ bodies and people with special needs. The remarkable achievements of this administration owe largely to the legislative activities of the House to keep the executive arm on its toes for transparency, accountability and good governance.
Haven held so many positions in virtually all organs of government at various times and coupled with his familiarity with issues confronting the state, it is apposite to posit that Ahmad is not only primed but armed with strategies to transform the State for the benefit of all if entrusted with the mandate of the people.
One is convinced that with his inclusive leadership style and strong commitment to better the lots of the downtrodden as exhibited in Kwara State House of Assembly, where he holds sway as Speaker, he would take the state to an enviable height among the comity of states in Nigeria.
Adebayo Abdullahi writes from Kwara State.