Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday said the state is poised for greatness on all fronts, having turned the page on decades of socio-economic stagnation.
“Let me reiterate that my Government will carry the good people of Kwara State along in this journey of renewed hope and prosperity and never are we going to disappoint you on our campaign promises,” AbdulRazaq said at the event commemorating the June 12 Democracy Day in Ilorin, the capital city.
The event was attended by thousands of supporters and creme de la creme of the state and other prominent Nigerians, including Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Salihu Yakubu Danladi; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mamman Jibril; Chief of Staff Aminu Adisa Logun (mni); and members of the State House of Assembly.
Others included the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bashiru Bolarinwa; permanent secretaries; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Gambari and Kola Abiola, businessman and son of the acclaimed winner of the June 12 presidential polls, MKO Abiola.
Also, former Deputy President of the Nigerian Labour Congress and guest speaker of the day Isa Aremu; former governorship aspirants; and several other dignitaries witnessed the epoch making day.
Kwara had shifted its commemoration of the event to Friday to enable AbdulRazaq joined other state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari for the national celebration of June 12 in Abuja.
Mobbed by thousands of ecstatic supporters as he walked up to the stage, AbdulRazaq said he is committed to making the state a better place for every Kwaran and residents of Kwara.
“I promise to run an inclusive government in order to carry everyone along. No matter your age, sex or tribe, as long as you reside in Kwara State, we will make Kwara a conducive working environment for you,” he said.
In a communiqué signed by Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to the governor, AbdulRazaq praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage to accord June 12 the national recognition it deserves, and his support for the Kwara liberation struggle.
“Nigerians of good conscience have lauded President Buhari for finally recognising the June 12 as Democracy Day,” he said.
“We in Kwara State also owe Mr President a debt of gratitude for standing firm on his resolve that people’s votes must count in the last election. In the past, Kwarans had often voted to reject tyranny and a suffocating hold on their destiny but they always had their mandates brazenly stolen with nobody to resist such oppression. We thank Mr President for standing for truth and justice.”
In his opening remarks at the event, Bolarinwa thanked Buhari for “his show of magnanimity for making June 12 a reality.”
Aremu, for his part, drew a similarity between the June 12 and the struggle of Kwarans, describing AbdulRazaq as a governor of destiny.
Apart from Abiola and others, he called on Buhari to immortalise other heroes of the June 12 struggle, including the late Comrade Ola Oni, Pa Anthony Enahoro, Abraham Adesanya, and Frank Kokori, among others.
Kola said it took 25 years to get Abuja to recognise and honour the mandate of his late father.
He added, however, that the greatest legacy to the struggle is for Nigerians to treat one another as brothers as they did on the day of June 12 election.
“The significance of June 12 is not just about MKO. It also symbolises what we can do together if we set aside our differences and relate as one tribe,” Kola said in his remarks at the event.
“If we do that, the sky is the limit. If we don’t allow ourselves to be divided along ethno religious lines, we will succeed as a people. if we hold our unity then June 12 will remain alive forever.”