“Kwara North: Warming the ‘Neglect Seat’” By M.S Hassan.
The creation of Kwara State in 1967 was conceived to ensure equitable spread of the dividends of overall corporal existence of the country Nigeria. Its central position earns it a North central status because of its sharing borders with the southern and northern part of the country. The state indeed enjoys a geographically balanced disposition though suffers criticisms for not being assigned a full southwestern status, a position that would continue to be advocated for by a section of the state. Kwara therefore, like other states, parades two balanced but one caged senatorial districts- all totaling three: Kwara Central Senatorial District, Kwara South Senatorial District and Kwara North Senatorial District- arranged in order of perceived importance.
Kwara State has produced brilliant administrators who have in turn governed the affairs of the state both as civilians and military. As laudable as this could be, it was done in preference to Kwara Central Senatorial Districts and Kwara South Senatorial Districts. While Kwara Central govern the state between 1999-2011 producing Rear Admiral Muhammad Lawal and Dr. Bukola Saraki, Kwara South produced David Bamigboye (1967-1975), Alh. Adamu Atta (1979-1983), Cornelius Adebayo (Oct. to Dec., 1983), Salaudeen Latinwo (1984-1985) and now Dr. Abdulfattah Ahmed (2011-Date); with Kwara North producing just Alh. Sha’aba Lafiagi who was only lucky to rule for twenty (20) months (Jan. 1992-Nov. 1993). It won’t indeed be out of place to attest to the fact that Kwara North Senatorial District has suffered leadership neglect.
Today, Kwara North has another disadvantaged rank to itself; it is the least developed of the three in terms of infrastructure, Capacity building , aside leadership neglect. The north, being the food basket of the state has produced more than 50 percent of what the people consumes on daily basis, people there are predominantly farmers and traders but little has been done to develop the area to meet the living standard of inhabitants of these communities; a development that has encouraged migration to the state capital thereby congesting the already populated areas and sharing little resources that has not stopped people from asking for more. A trip to Baruten, Patigi, Edu and Kaiama, areas that occupy about 40 per cent of the state land mass will make you ask why these areas has suffered despite its economic and human potentials.
In the South/Central Senatorial Districts people have access to basic education, appreciable health facilities and other social infrastructures, while reverse is the case in the North as people have to travel several kilometers to enjoy same facilities for no reason. Yet, politicians go there to promise heaven and earth during campaign periods. An example of neglected project in the district is the proposed Faculty of Agriculture of the Kwara State University to be situated at Ilesha which has taken years to build and the newly renovated General hospital at Lafiagi to be shared by the people of the region, which is almost inaccessible to other parts of the districts.
Any infrastructure you can think of is lacking in the area. Schools are not worthy to be called one, no motorable roads, social amenities lacking (e.g. government is still finding it difficult to provide the people of Baruten electricity till date), you have to transport the sick down to the state capital before you can access a health care facility. Don’t even dare to talk about access to portable and clean water, people still wash their wares in streams that they fetch from (I witnessed all these firsthand).
As a region blessed with mineral resources and its agricultural potentials, we hope government will find reasons to yield to the plight of people in these areas and start looking North, and political parties will also learn to start tailoring their calculation towards fielding a northern candidate in the next election, come 2015. Anything short of this may continue the circle of neglect!
Kwara, it’s good here!
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