In his inaugural speech on Wednesday, the new Kwara governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, said there is much work to be done in the state, now that the former ruling party and dominant political family in the state have been ousted.
Backstory: Abdulrasaq led the APC to a resounding upset victory in March over the incumbent PDP which had both the then governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and senate president Bukola Saraki in its fold. He was sworn in alongside his deputy by the Kwara chief judge Suleiman Kawu in a low key event inside the Council Chamber of the Government House.
What he said:
- 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 repositionings. It is not in our tradition to shy away from challenges. We shall engage them and find solutions.”
- So much endured in the past 16 years (Abdulrasaq was basically counting from 2003 when Saraki took over as governor from Mohammed Lawal): “We all know about the now legendary infrastructure deficits, decay and deprivations that our people have endured in the past 16 years. Now that we have put our hands on the wheel of peace, progress and sustainable development, we must redouble our efforts and show to the world that we know the difference between progress and stagnation.”
- No wailing: “Let me state that our goal in Office is not to lament over the sad past. Rather, our goal is to build confidence that a better future is possible; create an enabling environment to empower our people and communities.”
- What Kwara has lacked: “I make bold to say that there is enough wealth and opportunities for everyone in this state. 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 social and political spaces that will promote tolerance, equality and innovation. These are areas where our government will make a difference.”
- Just as it was with a lot of inaugural speeches yesterday across the country, governors and their speech writers borrowed from the philosophy and direct lines, in some cases, from U.S. President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in 2016. Hear Gov. Abdulrasaq: “Fellow Kwarans, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, 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. In all our policies, programmes and actions, the people of Kwara shall always come first.“
Question: At what point was Kwara great in the past?