By: Olawale Agboola – Anikulapo
At normal times when the populace can fend for themselves without restrictions to their legitimate day to day businesses, people can pretend to ignore illogical displays by people in authority provided it doesn’t affect self pursuance of means of livelihood. We are not in normal times, hence, my personal decision to overlook whatever flaws the Kwara State Government displays for one year. That decision resonated from the maxim that good judgment comes from experience while experience comes from bad judgment. Its eleven months now and the Kwara State Governor has proved the maxim rightly but since this piece is premised on germane necessity, issues relating to the infractions, highhandedness, cruelty, warped logic and amateurish displays by the administration will be reserved, hence, the Kwara State Governor and his staunch supporters should consider this as a friendly piece.
Had the pestilence not occurred in Kwara State, the leadership acuity of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak to provide for the needs of residents of Kwara State wouldn’t have been put to test. Majority of the people would have remained chuckled to the unfounded claim that the administration means well for the people and that the Governor has hallmark for excellence. The claim is unfounded because, not a singular advancement in governance that benefits the populace has been witnessed in Kwara in the last Eleven Months, but the deterioration in values and infrastructures knows no bound. People who are glued to history understands that hypocritical leaders don’t evaluate the damages they inflict on their subjects until the patience of the people are tested, not in the murky water of politics or vendetta, but on the altar of denial of freedom to feed properly.
We are not at normal times, the pestilence ravaging the world stare at us in Kwara in ugly manner, rather than facilitate how to keep the people safe in their homes; restrictions are imposed without considering how the people fend. Artisans, Labourers and owners of small and medium scale enterprises can’t earn a living at the moment due to restrictions, even salary earners are groaning as their salaries can hardly take care of their needs. In all of these, the people are considerate in managing their meager savings to feed but majority are getting fully drained, majority can no longer survive the lockdown as hardship has knocked on their locked doors, now the doors are open.
If my instinct serves me right, Kwara State Government was very proactive in the school shut down and declaration of lockdown before any COVID 19 case was discovered in the State. The profound logic that: when preparations meet with good resources, positive results are guaranteed received negation in Kwara State. Despite early declarations of lockdown, valuable orientations and education of the prevailing circumstances were not duly offered to the populace by the State Government. Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak has been invincible and saves for one Press Conference and distribution of shameful palliative meant for animals by the design of the Governor, he has indirectly placed the populace as prey for the pestilence due to poor handling of the health system in Kwara State.
In the evening of yesterday, 19th April, 2020, I was locked in a serious discussion with a neighbour on why COVID 19 test are not been domestically conducted in Kwara State and why is UCH Ibadan a Centre designated for the test when we have one of the best diagnostic centre in Africa is situated in Kwara State. We have barely finished our discussion when my neighbour received a distressed call to come and convey an ill family member to the hospital and I volunteered to accompany him to the family house at Oja Oba and then to the General Hospital Ilorin. My first observation at the entrance of the General Hospital was the absence of any protocol relating to COVID 19 preventive measures. The Hospital Security Staff were not with nose masks nor request us to use nose masks before gaining access to the hospitals. While at the Accident and Emergency Unit, most of the personnel on duty had their nose masks lowered to their chins while attending to patients, probably due to assumptions on ailments of patients.
I was shocked to the marrow when an ambulance conveyed a patient to the hospital from Erin Ile or Offa at around 11:05pm. The population of people that accompanied the other patients standing close to the entrance was alarming. Upon enquiry, information filtered that a patient earlier referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital from the General Hospital mentioned rejected at the UITH and returned to the Hospital, he was said to have peculiar symptoms as reasons for referring him to UITH. Except the resident doctor and two other staff that wore nose masks and gloves, all other persons within the hospital premises didn’t comply with WHO protocols on the pandemic prevention. Why am I bothered? The General Hospital requested that we produce face mask for our patient and the attendant staff, yes, it’s no hassle, that’s affordable for us but what of other people that can’t afford that. Government Hospitals operate on subsidised rate, that’s why they are cheap for the poor, unfortunately, the Government’s provision for them in the face of the ugly situation we face today is very poor. No serious incentives have been offered to the Health Workers on duties in different hospitals, the government has been treating them like normal times.
The poor handling of the health care system has exposed the hypocrisy of the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak. He is not proud to be the Governor of a State that owns the Kwara Diagnostic Centre – one of the best in Africa before his emergence as Governor eleven months ago. My first and only visit to the Kwara Diagnostic Centre was in April 2015 and I went there to conduct a test as directed by the State General Hospital, Ilorin. I was very surprised at the ambience and sophisticated equipments at the Centre. Majority of the people that came for test on that fateful day were from Kogi, Osun, Oyo and Lagos States, this endeared me to find out why people outside Kwara State came for test at the diagnostic centre and the response made me proud of Kwara State.
Out of natural obscurity, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak has refused to glorify the most important asset owned by Kwara State, which is the Kwara Diagnostic Centre. The Governor has already carpeted his predecessor as a failure with no achievement, what’s regular on the lips of the government is that Kwara was in comatose before the emergence of this administration, how then can the National Centre for Disease Control designate a centre in Kwara State when the present administration has done nothing virtually to improve on the assets inherited?
For the avoidance of doubt, the populaces are no longer taking the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak serious, he has lost his stint on the people and the populaces are only thinking of survival. No one is in love with a stingy pretender with unconfirmed international exposure. If Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak is who he claimed to be, how come his is naïve to the facts that most communities don’t have markets that can supply their home needs. Aside Idi Ape, Oja Oba, Oja Tuntun, Ipata, Mandate, Unity road, Saw Mill and Yoruba road, which other major market exist hat can supply needs of over one thousand communities in Kwara State? People from far can’t access these markets by foot except by vehicles and the State Government said public transports are banned on the designated market days, how will the people buy their home needs?
The above are posers to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak to ponder over and think well on how to be an exemplary Governor that will commandeer respect from the populace. I hold it a dear responsibility to inform the Governor that he is still far better in rating compare to his inexperienced appointees. Some of us thought his deputy would be above board, but with the infantile expedition on the Sanitiser Machine built by the Mechanical Engineering Department of Kwara State Polytechnic, it simply implies that Governor Abulrahman Abdulrazak assembled the best immature and inexperienced personalities to assist him in governing Kwara State. I know the Chief Press Secretary and his allies are duty bound to respond to this piece, save yourself the energy, go and learn how to guide the Governor rightly or resign.
If reasoning will prevail, I am duty bound to advise the Kwara State Governor as follows:
Create markets at every community and facilitate how the sellers will get supplies to sell to the residents in the face of restriction orders.
Equip all hospitals with sufficient nose masks for patients, heath workers and relatives of patients.
Pay allowances to Security Personnel on duties at check points and health workers promptly.
Motivate the resident doctors to treat all issues in line with new protocols and save the State of unwarranted cases.
Educate and offer productive orientation to the populace on the pestilence, with emphasis on preventive measures against the spread, fund and lead the process.
Reasoning only avail to those with conscience and I leave a benefit of doubt that the Governor will rise from oblivion and pretense to high consciousness to understand that the present issues have nothing to do with politics and his feud with the Saraki Hegemony, the honeymoon is over and it’s high time for Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak to begin to show his leadership acumen differently from the dearth of acumen in leadership witnessed in the last eleven months… to be continued
Olawale Agboola – Anikulapo is a public analyst and can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org