‘Omo to sure’: The Mike Omotosho guber challenge in Kwara

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n Sunday night, this week, Mike Omotosho, gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Kwara State, visited my residence in Ilorin. We held wide-ranging discussions for about two hours. It was my first meeting with him and he is the only one of the governorship candidates that asked to meet with me. Omotosho is a very imposing, and impressive individual, in many ways.

He has a background in pharmaceutical supply management and has done not for profit work for many years. He explained to me, that it was largely the work that he has done with people in communities and the challenges associated with their lives, which largely conditioned his decision to enter politics. “OMO TO SURE”, as he is called by his admirers, says he sees his effort as an opportunity to touch lives.

He is a realist and optimist rolled into one, and his programme which is printed into pamphlet size and titled “SURE PATH TO GREATNESS”, focuses mainly on social security; urban & rural development; Responsible & Responsive Governance; Education, Employment & Entrepreneurship; Productivity; Agriculture; Trade, Commerce & Industrialization and Healthcare. I reminded Omotosho of the challenge that he faces, in a state that for long has been dominated by the hegemony of a single individual.

He is willing to give his all; and his passion, conviction and commitment were certainly infectious! And the fact that I got to meet with him, allowed me to take a good measure of the man. I feel happy that increasingly, many genuine patriots are beginning to take up the mantle to oppose the corrupt hegemony that has been creaming off the resources of Kwara state since 2003. It is this criminal hegemony that has presided over the underdevelopment of our state in the past twelve years. This is the challenge, which Mike Omotosho has chosen to confront from the platform of the Labour Party. I wish him well.

Having spoken about Mike Omotosho, it is only fair to also mention other candidates in the race. Even my cousin, Ahmed Yinka Aluko, is the gubernatorial running mate of PDP Candidate, Simeon Ajibola,my senior at GSS Ilorin. Similarly, the incumbent, Abdul Fatai Ahmed, is someone with whom I have a relationship dating back decades.

But in all of these political contests, for me, the most important issue has always been the wellbeing of the people of Kwara state. Unfortunately, over the past twelve years, governance has resembled an elaborate pyramid scheme of fraud and personal enrichment, far more than delivery of good life to the people. This is the reason that I have been critical of the performances of government in our dear state, and the suffocating overlordship of a single individual who remains central in the governance architecture in Kwara state, since 2003.

Kwara state deserves the very best and unfortunately, that is what it has not received in the past twelve years. We have tremendous advantages that could have provided a basis for our development as well as positioning our people to take full advantages of modernity. These include the relatively high level of education; an enterprising people; a people with diverse cultural backgrounds, but who have learnt to creatively manage our diversity and made it work to a large extent, before a regime of heist and taking out but leaving little, was installed from 2003 till date.

It is imperative for all those who want to rule us to embrace platforms that make the people the central cause of the developmental agenda, not the creature comfort of a single hegemon and his satraps. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet the other gubernatorial candidates, but the regime of heist in place since 2003 is not sustainable.

Those exploiting the Nigerian people’s desire for change to institute continuity of taking our money under fraudulent purposes will eventually give account. In any case, we won’t stop monitoring and holding to account, whoever wins the gubernatorial election in Kwara state. That is what I owe the people of our state!.

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