***Says opponents plan violence, baseless corruption allegations against Gov
By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara state government has alerted to various plots by some unpatriotic political interests in the state to instigate violence and blame it on Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as part of a grand conspiracy to defame him.
Briefing journalists on Wednesday in Ilorin, the state capital, Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said the plots also include sponsorship of spurious corruption allegations using sexed up official documents and innuendoes in the media to blackmail the Governor, urging members of the public and security agencies to be wary of the conspiracies of these unscrupulous anti democratic agents.
He said: “The objective of the plotters is to create a false image for the Governor as a promoter of violence, thereby heating up the polity in the name of politics and pitching him against the public. The desperadoes behind this plot do not care about the safety of the ordinary people and their properties.
“The image they desperately seek to give the Governor is contrary to the sustained policy of His Excellency not to patronise thugs or any violent elements as was the case in the recent past. Rather than deploy the children of other people for political violence, the Governor desires to build a state that gives everyone, including those long condemned to thuggery and other antisocial behaviour, a fair chance to lead decent life. It is on record that even before becoming the Governor, he ran a campaign that was strictly issues-based without going around with thugs. He has a personal conviction that politics should be devoid of violence of any kind.
“Another leg of the evil campaign is a planned and sustained media campaign of calumny woven around baseless allegations of corruption, contract inflation and the likes using doctored documents and wicked innuendoes. All of these are targeted at the Governor because he chooses to do things differently. His only sin is his principled stand that Otoge means we cannot continue to share public patrimony to a few individuals. He is being targeted for malicious campaigns because he chooses to be his own man, and not to be another stooge who would be tossed around to do biddings other than what the public expects of him.
“The adversaries of the Governor have perfected their plans to constantly link him to violence for their selfish reasons. They have resolved to make the state ungovernable for their own selfish agenda. Central to this evil plot is a resolve to instigate crisis/attacks and then instruct those who carry out the attacks to “drop” the names of the Governor or his aides as their sponsors. They want to go as far as sowing cloths with the signature (AA) initials of the Governor and give same to their foot soldiers or hitmen to wear in order to blackmail the Governor. This is desperation in its worst form.
“The intention behind this evil campaign by certain political interests is to dent the image of the Governor whose prudence and commitment to public service are a historic high in Kwara State. We urge members of the public to ignore the propaganda and refuse to be pitted against the peoples Governor who is so passionate about the development of the state. Those behind the plots have paid for radio slots and mobilised various bloggers and social media influencers to constantly attack the person of the Governor.
“Unfortunately for the brains behind these plots who cut across party lines, the Governor has not only endeared himself to the people with his humility, simplicity, excellent performance and prudent management of public resources which everyone attests to, he has indeed proven to be consistent and deliberate in his efforts to strengthen transparency and accountability. Many of the transparency measures he has adopted are unknown to this clime. For instance, the social audit process has not only helped to awaken government officials and contractors to the necessity of public accountability, it has seen a great boost in efficient service delivery.
“Beyond the political jeering of his efforts, the results are glaring even to the blind. Just recently, Kwara State under him emerged as one of the six states of the Federation designated as Open State in Covid-19 Fund Management. This is based on our open communication of what we earn and efforts made to ensure proper accountability. We thank Connected Development (CODE) and the OXFAM for this honour, and we promise to do much more. What this shows, ladies and gentlemen, is that this is not just a pro-masses administration but it also a transparent one.
“We therefore enjoin members of the public and the media to take note of these evil plots to blackmail the Governor, and be properly guided. We are however certain that forces of evil has never triumphed over forces of good, no matter how hard they try or whatever alliances they strike within or outside of the state. We urge members of the public to be vigilant while we trust the security agencies to be on the alert at all times.”