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"Our Problem Now In Kwara Is That, We Have A Government That Was Not Prepared For Governance" -Otunba Anu Ibiwoye

The Special Adviser to the former Kwara State Governor Alhaji AbdulFatai Ahmed, on Agriculture & Rural Water Support Services, Otunba Anu Ibiwoye, who is also a chieftain of the People Democratic Party (PDP), shares with KWARAREPORTERS NEWS his views on the 2023 elections and the recent declarations of interest in the presidency by former Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Good morning sir, we would like to get your views on sundry political issues and particularly the 2023 general elections. What does it portend for Kwara in particularly and Nigeria in general, but before we start can we meet you sir? 

Thank you very much. My names are Otunba Anu Ibiwoye. I am a native of Esie Kingdom in Irepodun LG in Kwara State. I have by the grace of God had diverse opportunities and experience which cuts across Investment and commercial Banking, Finance, Consulting, Politics and Public Service. 

I left Banking in 2009 as a Regional Manager, in public service I have been a former Special Assistant to a Minister (2003 - 2005) and Special Adviser to a Former Governor of Kwara State (2015 -2019). I was a Senatorial Candidate for Kwara South under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (2011).

I run a consultancy in Financial and Agricultural services.

So that in a nutshell is who I am today.

You are a member of the PDP and your party lost the 2019 Election to the APC in Kwara State. How would you access the Government of Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq since his assumption of Office as Governor of Kwara State?

Well, let me answer your question this way. The best way to assess a situation or an individual is against measurable parameters.

So the best way to measure the performance of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is to consider what he said he would do against what he has actually done.

Now the first problem I have here is that what did Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq tell the people of Kwara that He was going to do for them as their Governor in the build up to the Election?

All they were just saying is O'to ge !! 

I must admit that that the O' to ge campaign was a strong and powerful propaganda Campaign that swept the PDP away from power in Kwara State, but with all the failed O"toge campaign promises to the people of Kwara, including no dividends of Democracy, all those empty promises are now tales by moonlight.

So How do you even begin to assess this Government?

That is the problem!!

Because you really can't put a finger on anything that the APC O'to ge campaign and particularly the Governor promised the people of Kwara except removing Saraki from power.

Ok so now that Saraki has been removed from power, are the people of Kwara better for it in terms of infrastructural development, has the economy of Kwara State improved, are the people of Kwara better off now economically or socially than they were 3 years ago? 

Has the welfare of civil servants and the civil service feared better under Gov Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq than under the previous govt?

Has the finance of the state fared better under this Government than that of the preceding administration?

What of the investment climate, business climate, creation of job opportunities for the youth in the state?

How has education fared under this government?

What about the coordination of the ministries and agencies that drive the implementation of Government policies? How are they faring?
And I can go on and on. 

Those are the parameters that you can use to assess objectively the performance of the government of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to say whether be has done well or not. 

And if you ask me quite honestly against these parameters, I will say the governor has not done well at all.

I say this because for a governor and government that came to power with such overwhelming support of the people of Kwara and with great expectations, the performance of the Governor and the APC government has been nothing but very disappointing.

You may ask why I say so? You need to go to the streets and do an assessment of how the people feel about this government now. The first feeler you get is one of disappointment because what they are getting now is not what they bargained for.

The second feeler you get is that of frustration, because with the disappointment, they have no channel of getting their disappointments addressed because their Party the APC in the state is in shambles. The greatest critics of the Governor and his party are the members of his own party.

So my assessment of the Government and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq's Administration is very disappointing and below my expectation and that of the majority of Kwarans.

He is not doing well at all and he needs to be told the truth.

All those who have been saying that the governor is doing well have not been able to mention specifically what the governor has done and relate that to the money that has been expended or has accrued to his government. 

Our assessments of this Government must be objective and based on reality, available information and facts.

You were recently quoted as saying your party will take Kwara in 2023. Are you confident of this?

Absolutely confident. You can see that political narratives in Kwara are changing. 
All you see this government doing is trying to drag the name of Saraki into the business of its government. I tell anyone who cares to listen that even if Saraki was the problem before and now that he is no longer there what have has this govt done differently, what has this government done to make the people happy or proud? 

You will observe correctly that since 2019, Saraki has not joined issues with this Government. Not for once. So Saraki is not our problem now. 

Our problem now is that we have a government that was not prepared for governance, a government that does not have the capacity to govern this state, a government with no road map for development, and a government that does not even know what it is doing or what it should be doing.

A government that is an of-shoot of a party in turmoil, a house divided against itself. I don't think we can or should expect anything meaningful from such a Government. 

Today the people of Kwara are disappointed and exasperated, and they are now beginning to wonder how they even got to where we are in Kwara today in the first place.

You will remember that this O"to ge campaign was all about propaganda and lies which the people believed. Today those lies have been bursted and the people are wiser now.

So for us in the PDP, We have done a soul searching, we have realized areas where we need to correct, areas we need to change, areas we need to strengthen, correct the lies being peddle by the APC and the government of the day, strengthen and improve our bond with the people while rebuilding our party across the 193 wards in the state. 

We have also embarked upon honest and genuine reconciliation of our members who have left the party and you can see we have 1 big solid PDP family in Kwara. We are a better, stronger more focused and formidable PDP family in Kwara today and our objective is clear and it is to take Kwara State back in 2023

We have started the journey and it will end in praise by the grace of God.

Some Members of APC are saying PDP can never win Kwara Again, what is your take on it?

For me it is not what you say that matters, it is what you do that matters. 

We doing everything to ensure that our party comes back to relevance and government.

Specifically we are re-engineering our party and putting our house in order, we are focussed on winning the 2023 elections in the state. 

The other people are fighting themselves, doing nothing and saying PDP will never win again in Kwara. 

The PDP in Kwara is a very responsive and proactive party. We are more connected to the people than ever before and we are listening more to people than before. 

I read the interview of Mr Gbenga Awoyale of Orisun igbomina, saying PDP cannot return to power in Kwara in 2023. 

That is his opinion and it is contrary to what is on ground today in Kwara state, Kwara South and particularly in Irepodun LG where Mr. Gbenga Awoyale comes from.

He now talking about 16 years of PDP's misrule in Kwara whereas He was one of those praising Dr. Saraki's administration between 2004 to 2007. At that time they were erecting billboards all over state saying the PDP was doing well. He was a very active and prominent member of the PDP Government at that time saying the Government was Good. 

Today he is the same person praising Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to high heavens saying all is well instead of telling the Governor the truth that all is not well.

Mr Gbenga Awoyale should tell us specifically what the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq Administration has done in Kwara in the last 3 years and relate that to the amount of money that his government and administration has received, borrowed and expended in the last 3 years in Kwara. 

PDP has zoned it's Governorship slot to the North for equity fairness and Justice. That speaks volumes of our determination to win Kwara back.

What I will just say is let us keep our fingers crossed. There is nothing that cannot happen again in Kwara.

PDP will win Kwara again without doubt, and it will happen in 2023.

Finally what is your take on the rumoured Presidential aspirations of your Principal, HE Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki in 2023?

I think it is good. I think it is in order. He has what it takes to lead Nigeria. 

Nigerians are more interested in the personalities and the credentials that the aspirants are bringing to the table. What have they done before now. 

These are important because if we had asked these questions in 2015 we may not be where we find ourselves today. 

In my opinion, HE Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as Governor of Kwara State laid the foundation for development of modern Kwara and the records of his accomplishments are there for all to see. His legacies are still speaking today every where. 

Also as the pioneer Chairman of the Governor's Forum, his tenure is credited as having witnessed unprecedented cohesion and unity of the governor's Forum and made the forum very formidable, engaging and supporting The National Government in policy advisory and implementation.

As President of the 8th Senate, it is generally agreed that the 8th Senate under the leadership of Dr. Saraki has been one of the most cohesive, proactive, and impactful in the history of this country.

Dr. Saraki is a man with proven competence, demonstrated capacity, with legislative and Executive experience, international exposure and experience, he is still young and energetic has an appeal to the Nigerian Youth amongst other qualities.

He possesses the kind of qualities we want to see in our next president. So that is a good starting point. 

His chances are good and bright and I sincerely wish him the best.

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