By Abdulqadir Abdulganiyu
The greatest evil that came with democracy is ‘propaganda’ machinery deployed by both governments and opposition parties. While democracy is a valuable human invention, it is vulnerable to hacking by insincere elements who desperately undermine its beauty. This is the case of Kwara State, whose democracy is as young as Nigeria’s but has suffered more from the inappropriate deployment of blackmails and other questionable mechanisms in the contest for power. Enemies of democracy are people in adorable garments who rape democracy.
When Senator Bukola Saraki obtained the medium-term loan of N17 billion in 2009, the opposition elements said the future of our children had been mortgaged whereas that N17 billion bonds birthed KWASU, Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Center, International Aviation College, Remodeling of Main Bowl Ilorin Stadium Complex, Ilorin Metropolitan Square, Phase one of Ilorin water reticulation project, Ilorin Cargo Terminal, rural and urban electrification project and the overhead bridge along Muritala Way, Ilorin among others. Those moments of self-denial, a psychological resistant stage where people tend to find a way to play around the truth rather than embrace it. The greatest disadvantage of propaganda is that it has a way of affecting governance should you find your way to power through it. Only lies can invalidate lies because once you get used to being a liar, you unavoidably tell new lies to cover old lies and incoherence will set in.
On 26th of January, 2021, the Kwara State House of Assembly approved Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s request to raise 35 billion naira through a medium-term loan for provision of unstated infrastructures across the state. A request that didn’t categorically state the particular projects this loan will be used to fund. The request is also coming at a time when Kwara State allocation has evidently risen and the IGR is still trooping in billions undisturbed from KWIRS. In a pandemic where states are gnashing their teeth and shivering with the economic difficulty it posed, it is nothing but irrational.
What is even more irrational is the failure of this government to state the medium which the loan will be repaid and the term of the loan, it is not only irrational, it also insults the sensibility of our people, especially when they will be the one to repay the loan long after Abdulrazaq becomes history. This clarity and important information need to be made to avoid the dark cloud that surrounds it.
In the state, no major capital project is ongoing than mostly rehabilitation of roads and patching of potholes, school renovations which have been practically about repainting and roofing lazed with bloated contract sums and substandard delivery of such projects. The question is not about whether the government lacks focus, it is about being accountable and letting people know the purpose of obtaining a N35billion loan on their behalf. The major projects this loan is going to fund should be stated. It is of course a wrong timing, in a desperate attempt to handle the present, the future must not be compromised. Do we have the capacity to repay this loan, when and how should be made public?
The Kwara State House of Assembly is not a student union body where affairs should be run based on political affiliation or party politics. The spirit of maturity, audience and legitimacy it has must be well represented by being accountable to the people. It should not be a place to finalize contracts like a board of directors in a football team. They owe the people of the state responsibility and due consideration before approving such a loan, and not even a loan whose purpose was not stated or itemized before the public.
Democracy must not be slaughtered by this administration; people deserve to know what this loan will be used to fund.
Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir writes from Ilorin, Kwara State
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