Twelve of the 13 governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara on Wednesday in Ilorin presented their manifestoes to the party leadership and members.
The event tagged, “Towards 2019 Elections: APC Kwara State Governorship Aspirants Parley,” was chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture and APC leader in the state.
The aspirants present at the parley included Dele Belgore (SAN), the Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbi-Kawu and two brothers Lukman Mustapha and Moshood Mustapha.
Abdulfatah Yahaya, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Yakubu Gobir, Salihu Mustapha, Tajudeen Audu, and Hakeem Lawal were also among the aspirants.
Others were a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, and a renowned businessman, Shuaibu Yahman.
The thirteenth aspirant, Kayode Abdulwahab, was absent at the event.
The manifestoes of the 12 aspirants centered mainly on Education, Agriculture, Health, Youth development, infrastructure, economy, finance and wealth creation.
Many of the aspirants also dwelled on mining, potable water, housing, urban renewal, technical education, roads, empowerment, poverty alleviation and social welfare.
Specifically, Belgore said that Kwarans were tired of the present oligarchy governance structure whereby the state is held down by the whims and caprices of one man who determines the choice of political office holders.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said that if given the chance, he would build institutions and create the environment for equity, fairness and justice.
Modibbo-Kawu on his part said if given the opportunity to govern Kwara, he would run a people-oriented government.
The NBC Director General said he would make education free, develop technical and vocational education and build infrastructure.
Lukman Mustapha, in his manifesto, said that after 50 years of its creation, Kwara had been governed by leaders who lacked vision and direction.
He said if elected, he would deploy “five fingers of freedom” that would focus on economic growth, physical infrastructure development, power, water resources and agriculture.
His brother, Moshood, promised to change the face of Kwara in the area of infrastructure development, eradicate poverty and create wealth.
The aspirant also promised to turn Kwara from civil service dominance to an industrialised state.
Addressing the gathering, Abdulfatai Yahaya said he had a seven-point agenda for the state, focusing on education, agriculture, industrialisation, social welfare, security, health, urban and regional development.
The aspirant promised to turn Kwara to “a new Lagos’’ if given the opportunity to become governor.
Another aspirant, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq from Ilorin West Local Government, said his administration would abide by the principles of fairness, justice, equity and inclusiveness.
He also pledged to address the lopsidedness in the state’s civil service.
The aspirant further promised to stop the joint state and local governments accounts for the development of local areas and prosecute those who had stolen government money and assets.
Yakubu Gobir, in his manifesto, said he would use his business ideas to solve social problems and eradicate poverty in the state.
The aspirant also promised to run a listening government and develop the agriculture sector.
Another aspirant, Saliu Mustapha presented a six-point agenda in his manifesto, including education, skills acquisition, youth development, agriculture, infrastructure and health care delivery.
Tajudeen Audu, in his manifesto, said if given the opportunity to govern Kwara, his administration would promote prudence and integrity as well as invest in human capital development.
Another aspirant, Hakeem Lawal, said Kwara, endowed by natural and human resources, had become impoverished because of poor governance.
The son of a former governor of the state, Muhammed Lawal, promised to salvage the state through agriculture, education and infrastructure development.
Prof. Oba Abdulraheem premised his manifesto on good governance, zero tolerance for corruption and re-orientation on value system.
The aspirant said he would stop wasteful spending, embark on civil service and pension reform and ensure prompt payment of salaries of workers and entitlements of pensioners.
Shuaibu Yahman, the only aspirant who mounted the podium holding a broom, the APC symbol, said he would revive the ailing assets of the state.
Yahman also promised to revamp the state infrastructure and health sectors if given the mandate to govern Kwara.
The minister and leader of the party in the state said that the parley was unprecedented in the history of Kwara and a signpost to the conduct of a transparent and hitch-free primary.
Mohammed promised the aspirants that the era of imposition was over in Kwara politics and no aspirant would be favoured in the process.
He gave an assurance that the candidate that would emerge to carry the flag of the party for the governorship election would do so through a rigorous transparent process.