Kwara State commissioner for finance, Alhaji Nurudeen Demola Banu is a household name in Kwara politics. He told journalists at an empowerment programme he organised recently that Alhaji Razak Atunwa, the PDP governorship candidate, would come out tops in 2019.
What are your thoughts on the coming elections, especially in Kwara State?
I just want to urge the good people of Kwara State to make governance experience an important factor as part of the parameters that will define the choice of the next governor of the state.
I also want to urge them to shun part-time politicians who appear shortly before the election only to disappear after and not seen until the next election approaches.
The governorship candidates of the PDP and APC have emerged, who do you see winning?
Alhaji Razak Atunwa of the PDP is the most qualified among the gubernatorial candidates due to his rich experience.
There is no way you can compare Atunwa with the candidates of other political parties.
We don’t even know who really is the APC candidate , we were told that someone won and that they announced another person as winner and that the issue is not yet resolved.
Let us even assume that Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is the candidate. This is someone that we don’t even know much about in Kwara.
Razak Atunwa has gone through all the aspects of governance, he has served as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, he was a commissioner and a federal lawmaker.
He knows what to do when he gets to power. He knows the terrain and he is not someone that is new to the public sector, who would for one or two years be required to learn how government business is conducted.
Atunwa will hit the ground running because he has the experience and the exposure unlike the other person.
We really have to be truthful to ourselves. This is someone who will disappear after the election and later reappear. I am sure that our people are enlightened , they know the right thing to do at the right time.
The people of Kwara State are enlightened and intelligent and they would therefore know how to differentiate between the two of them.
There are different perspectives on the performance of the Governor Ahmed-led administration in the state, what are your thoughts?
The state government has made good efforts towards getting things done in spite of limited resources.
Though Kwara is the least on the revenue ladder, the governor has not only ensured that salaries are paid regularly but also initiated new projects and found ways of empowering the people.
Once again, I want to thank the people of the state for their support and prayers because without the support of the people, the government would not have been able to record the achievements it has to its credit.
Therefore, I wish to appeal to Kwarans to continue to support the state government.
Why are doing this humongous empowerment when you are not vying for any position in 2019?
It is not all about elections, it is usually a thing of joy for me, putting smiles on the faces of my people , what they need is for you to show that you care for them and that you are with them when they need you.
As you are aware, the state government under the leadership of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has introduced several empowerment programmes targeted at the youths and the women, but there is no way everybody can be captured under such programmes and schemes, the government can only play its role.
We need to complement whatever is being done and what our political leader, Senator Bukola Saraki is also doing.
We need to follow their footsteps and create avenues for the empowerment of the people.
You will recall that I have been doing this since 2005. It was then an annual thing but we recently made it a monthly affair . It is also a way of giving back to the society.
It is not only about winning elections, I do make monthly contributions to the development of the party at the local government level and we have 11 Wards .
The empowerment programme will last beyond my stay in government. It is like a foundation. I want to ensure I try to touch the lives of the people.
I pray that God will give me good health and grant me long life in order to sustain it.