Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
All Progressives Congress (APC)’s AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was sworn in as the seventh executive governor of Kwara State on Wednesday, with a pledge of a complete paradigm shift and evolvement of a state that will work for all.
“What we have lacked before now are dependable and sustainable development plans, credible policies and policy discipline, accountability and transparency, a good sense of social justice and ability to expand the social and political spaces that will promote tolerance, equality, and innovation,” he said in his inaugural address.
“These are areas where our government will make a difference.”
The governor also said the new administration would look into how public resources had been deployed in the past but to the extent that such inquiry would turn the page for the state in its quest for socioeconomic development.
“We are confident that we shall, together, make Kwara great again through prudent deployment of resources, involving the people in policy-making, interrogating past decisions only to the extent that they enable us to move forward,” according to the governor.
AbdulRazaq said he welcomes constructive criticism, calling on the people to own the government and look forward to a new dawn that ushers in economic growth and equal opportunities for everyone.
“In all our policies, programmes and actions, the people of Kwara shall always come first,” he said.
“Today, I invite you all to join hands with us in government to repair and rebuild Kwara. I invite constructive criticism and urge you all to utilise our open-door policy to communicate ideas and suggestions to us.
“What we stand for is to empower our people and to make society and life better, strengthen family values, improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services.
We hope to “revamp our education to produce the best minds that will, in turn, make Kwara second to none, promote industry, agriculture, technology, and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.”
The governor attributed the APC victory at the polls to the collective efforts of the people, saying the new government would, therefore, make the masses the focus of its policies.
“I believe we all know that the Otoge movement and victory does not belong to any single person. It belongs to the people of Kwara. The spirit of that movement shall always remain with us as we work to achieve our dreams,” he said.
“If ‘Otoge’ got us through the struggle to the point of victory, and given the enormous task of reformation and reconstruction ahead, it is now time for ‘Iseya’. As you will all agree, there is so much to be done. These range from institutional reforms and reconstruction, infrastructural development, human- capacity building, social welfare and policy reforms to other socio-economic, cultural, scientific and administrative repositioning. It is not in our tradition to shy away from challenges. We shall engage them and find solutions.”
AbdulRazaq was sworn in at about 10:05 a.m. by the Kwara State Chief Judge, Suleiman, Kawu Durosinmi, shortly after his deputy Kayode Alabi, had taken the oath of office.
The two were accompanied to the historic event by their wives Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq and Mrs Abieyuwa Tokunbo Alabi respectively.
The governor later received the handover note from the out-gone governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs Susan Dupe Oluwole.
Ahmed congratulated AbdulRazaq, urging him to trust in God to direct him in piloting the affairs of the state.
He said the outgoing administration left N5bn (receipts) in the public coffers while the state had also recently benefited from a $750m World Bank grant for some development projects.