Leadership, they say is the capacity to translate vision into reality. The closest I have ever been to Honourable Ali Ahmad, one of the governorship hopeful and current speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly was in 2017 in Abuja.
I was assigned to cover a public lecture (Professor Epiphany Azinge Annual Lecture) and behold, the man Ali Ahmad was one of the guest speakers. He delivered a lecture titled: The Legislature in Emerging Democracies; Challenges and Prospects.
I was not only awestruck by the depth he went to exhaust the content of the paper, I was amazed that a politician could take me back to class with rapt attention.
I did a further research about him after the lecture, I then realized Ahmad is not only gifted intellectually but he’s as well imbued with capacity to translate vision into reality.
The success stories of today’s Administration of Criminal Justice Act is unarguably the brain child of Ahmad. The ACJA, as described by the former chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar is a revolution in Nigeria Criminal Justice Administration.
The 480-clause of the ACJA sponsored by Ahmad successfully repealed the erstwhile Criminal Procedure Act which applied in the South and the Criminal Procedure Code which held sway in the North.
The ACJA is no doubt promoting efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interests of the suspect, the defendant, and the victim”.
How well could you describe man reputed to be the Number 1 legislator who sponsored the highest number of Bills in the 7th Assembly?
His relentless efforts and passion for vibrant legislation for the good of the downtrodden saw him being elected as Speaker of theKwara State House of Assembly on June 8, 2015.
Since his assumption of office as speaker, the Kwara State House of assembly has displayed unprecedented vibrancy in the quality of its Motions, Bills, Resolutions and overall legislation.
The House under his leadership engaged in strategic interventions in burning State matters including those involving the Labour and Students and all were resolved to the applause of Kwarans.
Notable among his interventions include:-
Donation of food items to NUT and NULGE during the non-payment of salary crisis.
He interfaced with the Executive for the release of N1Bn from Paris Club Refund for payment of Teachers’ salary.
He advocated for removal of Primary school Teachers’ salary from Local Government.
He advocated for takeover of payment of Basic School Teachers’ salary by the State Government.
He Intervened in Labour-Government faceoff over payment for Training by State Civil Servants.
As the Chairman Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, he facilitated the passage of the Not Too Young To Run bill which seeks to reduce the age limit for running for elected office in Nigeria.
Facilitated the bill which suspend the payment of pension to former Governor and Deputy Governor.
He ensured the passage of the people with disabilities bill, which seeks to strengthen the right and privilege of the physically challenged in the State.
Ensure the passage of the bill which seeks to prohibit unlawful dealing in Human parts.
As Kwarans look forward to who will mount the saddle of leadership come 2019, of course the selection process of APC flagbearer may not be an easy one owing to some certain factors, but it is imperative to state that competence and purposeful leadership are needed at this time to lay solid foundation for economic prosperity and challenges ahead.
The State need a passionate leader with a robust way of looking at the entire facets of the state, so that at the end of the day, no sector will be left unattended to.
A leader that will hold the view that only a strong economy can give our people what they want by making life more abundant and generating employment for its teeming youths.
A leader that will look at the state’s potential and grow it without waiting for allocation from Abuja before delivering on dividends of democracy to the people.
A leader who will offer al-Amaanah (the trust and moral responsibility or honesty) and accepts all the commands and prohibitions with the conditions attached.
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has approved the appointment of youth empowerment coordinators and liaison officers for the sixteen local government councils in the state.
According to a statement issued in Ilorin, the state capital, by Alhaji Sola Isiaka Gold, the Secretary to the State Government, the appointments were driven by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s desire to deepen inclusiveness in governance and boost youth empowerment in the state.
Alhaji Gold congratulated the new appointees and urged them to see their appointment as a call to service for the betterment of the people of Kwara State. The new appointees are as follows:
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT COORDINATORS
ADESINA BASIT TAIYE
BANKOLE ABUSI BABATUNDE
BASHIR IMAM MUSA
COMRADE AGBOOLA OLUGBENGA
ISIAKA RAFIU ADISA
BELLO DAUDA KOLAWOLE
MALL. OYEYEMI HARUNA ISHOLA
ADEBAYO ADENIYI J.
AHMED ABUBAKAR ABIOLA
MOHAMMED HUSSAINI ALHASSAN
HON. ISMAIL W. HASSAN
LIAISON OFFICERS (LOs)
AMONDA BILIKIS MOTUNRAYO
TIJANI OLAREWAJU ABDULATEEF
SHEU SALAUDEEN ISMAILA
BUKOYE WAHEED OLOYEDE
BAKARE SARAFA ABAYOMI
HON. ZHIRI MOSES
HON. ABDULSALAM JAMIU
CHIEF JOSEPH OYENIYI JIMOH
MR. OLAIYA OLAREWAJU MICHEAL
ALH. NDAKPOTUN MOHAMMED SHONGA
MOHAMMED UMAR BAPPA
SULEIMAN A ISMAILA
ALH. ALIYU MOH’D LEGBO
Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war is yet to yield any result saying it has failed.
Ahmad stated this during an interview with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
According to him, it was wrong for President Buhari to have made anti-graft war the priority of his government’s programme considering the slow dispensation of justice in Nigeria.
His words: “The best person that Nigeria has ever had to fight corruption since independence is Buhari but he bungled it. He did! And I cannot see him correcting this.
“I delivered a lecture at the Nigeria Union of Journalists event in Ibadan when this government was less than six months. I told them, you cannot fight corruption in Nigeria the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the Federal Government was fighting it. From day one, you know that our court system is slow; the Administration of Criminal Justice has reduced it by 40 or 50 per cent but it is still slow.
“You have only four years, how can you place your number one priority on a platform that you know is beyond your control, the judiciary? You cannot fight corruption with the judiciary alone, you cannot.”
He urged the Federal Government to make Nigerians embrace the anti-graft war by exposing corrupt people and strengthening anti-graft institutions.
He said, “We have told him (Buhari) that he should strengthen the state and federal lawmakers. Get the buy-in of Nigerians, which is zero at the moment. Nobody believes you are fighting corruption; when you place that priority on the door of the judiciary and after three years, you tell me that the judiciary is the stumbling block; we warned you that you cannot fight corruption in four years through the judiciary, you cannot.”
The speaker also said it was prejudicial for the Federal Government to mention the names of the people being prosecuted in court for allegedly looting the treasury.
Ahmad said, “Whoever is preparing that list is taking Nigerians for a ride. If you tell them that it (the list) is one-sided, they will mention some APC members that are on the list but if you look critically, you will see that those APC members are those that are not in agreement with them. So, it does not still answer the question that you are putting only the opposition in the list.”
Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has promised to build a new police station for Offa at a strategic position in the town within the next 45 days.
He spoke when he visited the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, at his palace in Offa to commiserate with him and people of Offa over the Thursday, armed robbery attack that claimed several lives in the town
Ahmed said he would do everything within his power to prevent a re-occurrence.
Besides, the governor promised to facilitate an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) for the community to beef up security in Offa and its environs.
Ahmed said he has secured the assurance of the Inspector General (IG) that the security infrastructure of the town would be rapidly scaled-up.
He said these measures were necessary to forestall incessant attacks on the existing police station each time there was armed robbery attack, assuring that those behind the act would soon be apprehended and brought to justice.
Oba Gbadamosi thanked the governor for the visit and concern.
He requested government assistance to prevail on the commercial banks not to abandon the town due to the incident.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the deployment of three units of Police Mobile Force (PMF), high powered police investigation team and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to Kwara.
This followed the the robbery of banks in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of the state by arrmed robbers last Thursday.
The heavily armed men robbed Union Bank, Ecobank, Guarantee Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Banks and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank.
Force spokesman, ACP Jimoh Moshood, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said anti-robbery equipment and 10 crew members have also been deployed to the state.
He said that the units which had arrived kwara would cover Offa and its environs as well as other vulnerable points in the state.
The spokesman added that the police teams would carry out intelligence gathering and raids on identified criminal and other flash points in the states.
He said that the team deployed to Kwara, working in synergy with the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in the state had arrested eight suspects connected with the bank robbery.
A heavy rainfall on Tuesday evening, damaged a large portion of the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin.
The Stadium Manager, Mr Wale Obalola, said that it was the grace of God that averted the loss of lives during the heavy storm that accompanied the rain.
Obalola said that some people were still seeking refuge at one of the affected parts of the stadium while the storm lasted.
He said that the downpour completely damaged the ultra-modern score board and the whole of western perimeter fence of the old wing of the main bowl.
The stadium manager also said the rain affected the fence of Sultan Road, the indoor sports hall, the referee secretariat, offices and the office of a private security company (KSA Security).
Obalola said that the stadium management was still assessing other parts of the facilities to ascertain level of damage.
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Ayobola Samuel, said he had not been briefed of the development but promised to visit the site on Wednesday for further assessment.
The stadium was built in 1977 by the then Military administrator of the state, the late Brig.-Gen. George Innih.
The stadium hosted the 1985 National Sports Festival and several other important sports tournaments, such as the World Handball Championship in 1991 among others.
The Kwara State Civil Service Commission has denied media reports that some of its officials receive bribe from applicants before offering them employment in the state civil service.
The Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji A.B Mohammed in a statement on Thursday, described the allegation as not only untrue, but a deliberate attempt to cause disaffection and tarnish the image of the commission.
He challenged anybody with evidence of infraction to come up with it to enable the commission invoke its internal mechanism of dealing with such abuses, stressing that the commission has not received any report of any illicit practices by any of its staff.
Mohammed emphasized that the Commission is guided by not only the extant Public Service rules, but also by universally acceptable best practices in its operations.
He added that the Commission had put in place internal mechanisms aimed at preventing and checking sharp practices and overzealousness on the part of its staff.
While reiterating the determination of the Commission to always pursue the State government’s policy of providing jobs for the youths, Mohammed vowed that the commission would not condone any sharp practice capable of negating the good intentions of the Ahmed-led administration.
The Permanent Secretary therefore, appealed to the public to disregard the baseless allegation, as lacking in both substance and merit, and should be treated as such.
The Kwara State Government has said it would enact a law to curb indiscriminate falling of trees in the State.
The State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed made this known while flagging off tree planting activities in the State in commemoration of the International Day of Forest on Wednesday at the Government House, Ilorin.
He said the law would guide the activities of those engaged in charcoal business in the State.
Governor Ahmed disclosed that human activities were already degrading the environment as the level of deforestation across the State was appalling.
He also lamented the change in climate as a result of poor management of forestry and release of pollutants into the atmosphere.
Ahmed, therefore announced that his administration will adopt tree planting as a matter of policy and engage the State Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders to carry out mass tree planting across the state.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Alhaji Amosa Isiaka Al-Amin disclosed that as part of activities to mark the International Forest Day, seedlings would be distributed to schools across the State to encourage tree planting among students.
He noted that as part of the State government’s Clean and Green advocacy, the Ministry will ensure that trees are planted along the Diamond Underpass at Geri-Alimi. He added that residents will also be encouraged to reserve one-third of land mass as green area.
The Permanent secretary further disclosed that the Ministry is partnering with a UK organization, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in supply of improved seedlings, which will be planted at Apata in Asa Local Government of the state.
Following a passage of a bill by the Kwara State House of Assembly suspending the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies in the state, the Arewa Consultative Forum (CF) has asked the 36 states’ Houses of Assembly to follow suit.
n a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Biu, in Kaduna on Sunday, the Forum argued that it was even morally wrong for public or political office holders to collect double remuneration while those who toiled for the country, lived in abject penury.
The statement partly read, “The Arewa Consultative Forum hereby commends the Kwara State House of Assembly for passing the bill suspending payment of pensions to their former governors and deputy governors that are holding political or public office and at the same time drawing remuneration on account of holding such offices.
“This is a commendable move, considering the hard economic situation in the country. It is even morally wrong for public or political office holders to take double remuneration while pensioners who served their fatherland meritoriously are denied their pension benefits.
“ACF, therefore, appeals to other states Houses of Assembly to emulate the good example of the Kwara State House of Assembly. It equally urges the Kwara State Governor to assent to the bill.”