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One year in Office: We inherited moribund sectors; says in Kwara Gov

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says his administration inherited moribund sectors in the state when he assumed office on May 29, 2019.

Abdul Razzaq made this known on Friday at the Government House, Ilorin, while briefing newsmen on his administration’s achievements in the last one year.

According to reports, the briefing enjoyed live broadcasts where the people of the state asked questions on government activities in the last year.

According to him, his administration inherited a state with huge water scarcity, unfunded education system, uncompleted and abandoned projects, moribund healthcare sector, agriculture, and decayed infrastructure.

“Everything was moribund when we came in, the education system and other sectors were in disarray,” he said.

He declared that the situation in the education sector of the state was worsened because previous administrations did not invest in it and other sectors.

“N8 billion was piled up in the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) waiting for Kwara to pick up.

“Because no investment had been made on education in the state for many years, students, pupils were just sitting in classrooms looking at the blackboards without exercise books.

“We realized there are challenges we need to catch up with because there are no chairs, laboratories, and furniture in our schools, and ghost workers in the sector were also a major challenge.

“WAEC had to fine us N20 million because our teachers colluded with students,” he said.

The governor explained that though previous administrations in the state had invested heavily in the water projects, there was scarcity of water supply in the state.

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AbdulRazaq added that his administration was not in a rush to purchase official vehicles or renovate the Government House for him to move into.

This, he said, was due to the fact that the state was littered with unbefitting infrastructure that has kept it down the ladder of socioeconomic development over the years.

He said his conducts, prudent handling of public funds, and prioritization of people’s welfare were in agreement with the spirit of Otoge; the campaign slogan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

“What Kwara people voted for was change. They were tired of how things were being done before.

“They needed a new beginning to chart a new course. That’s the task we are charged with.

“The question they are asking us is how we are funding our numerous projects? The answer is because we are prudent in the management of public resources.

“I thank members of the state House of Assembly. All the lawmakers are entitled to a vehicle each. So far, they have sacrificed that.

“That possibly runs to over a billion Naira. Our Commissioners are also entitled to vehicles. That also runs to over a billion Naira. The Governor and the Deputy Governor and their aides are also entitled to vehicles which also run to over a billion Naira.

“We all have sacrificed much in order to invest in critical infrastructure for the state,” the governor said.

AbdulRazaq said he was not ready to share money to selected few as was the practice in the past.

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According to him, Kwara people did not vote for him in order to lavish public funds on acolytes or entrenched interests.

He declared that his priority was to share projects across the state to deepen development in the grassroots.

“We abandon the renovation of Government House which is also over N100 million. That’s not important to us now.

“We need to focus on essential things. We believe that there should be a change in the way things are done.

“Let us make sure that we start delivering now with the right trajectory because our people voted for change and change has come to stay.

“People will continue to see the change. Yes, some people will complain that we’re not sharing money. We’re not doing this, we’re not doing that.

“We are not here to share money; we are here to share projects and infrastructure. We expect people to stay with us and stay focused,” AbdulRazaq added.

He commended the people of the state for their support over the last year, urging them to remain steadfast as the administration will continue to commit public funds to serve them.

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On the plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic that have slowed down the global economy, AbdulRazaq said the government would slash the N162 billion 2020 budget by roughly N40 billion.

He said the administration would place emphasis on cutting the cost of governance and some infrastructural projects that do not immediately impact on the lives of the people.

He said more money would now go into social investments to shore up the purchasing power of the masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

AbdulRazaq said the state government had nearly finalized debates on the national minimum wage until the pandemic struck.

He added however that the recent presidential order granting autonomy to local governments has justified his position that the third tier of government must be allowed to manage its own resources and take its own decisions.

The governor commended the workers in the state, including the leadership of the unions, for their understanding while the debate lasted, reiterating the government’s commitment to the welfare of the workers.

Politics

ONDO: Deputy Governor gives Akeredolu 21 days to hand over

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Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has said that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has 21 days to hand over power to him or the constitution would be invoked.

Governor Akeredolu, who is currently receiving treatment for COVID-19, had on Friday vowed that he would not hand over to his Deputy in acting capacity.

Speaking through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, Akeredolu said his Deputy was the greatest threat to his administration and has since left the ruling All Progressives Congress.

But the Deputy Governor said it was ignorance to proclaim that Governor Akeredolu would not hand over running of government to him because of political differences.

He stated that the venoms and vituperations from Ojogo in the desire and to desecrate his constitutionally established showed the excruciating pains and whammies his exit has caused the ruling party.

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The Deputy Governor who spoke through his Media Adviser, Comrade Allen Sowore, said Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) was apposite in this circumstances even as he continues to pray for Akeredolu’s quickest recovery.

He said the Governor was at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

According to him:

“Refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy while in self isolation and temporarily incapacitated underscore his absolute disregard for the rule of law; a spite on the people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

“Not only that, his deliberate obstacles to ensure that government continues to run while he’s in self isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 puts lips service to his hypocratic war against the ravaging pandemic.

“Our candid advice is that the energy decipates to pull down the office and person of the deputy governor should be channelled towards resolving the lingering crisis in the health sector particularly, the current strike embarked on by medical practitioners in the state, in the middle of this pandemic. Nobody will take us seriously when doctors are on strike and yet we pretend to be fighting a pandemic. It will only indicates that we’re taking the health of the people for granted.

“The Deputy Governor has a track record of performance in the various offices he has held – first as supervisory Councillor, LG Chairman, Member of the National Assembly – where he served as the chairman of the House Committee on NDDC and even now as the Deputy Governor.

“Nothing serves as threat to good governance than the current nepotism and lackadaisical attitude towards the prioritisation of people’s welfare.

“It’s imperative to inform the general public that, Mr Governor and members of his kitchen cabinet have deliberately barred the Deputy Governor from all government activities as all the daily itinerary and work schedules released from Chief Of Protocols, have not allocated any function or duty to the person or office of the Deputy Governor in recent time.

“The Deputy Governor empathises with the good people of Ondo State, at this critical period of our statehood that Mr Governor has decided to personalise administration and governance of our dear state.”

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Politics

Akeredolu appoints new health commissioner

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Following the death of Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Wahab Adegbenro, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has appointed his Special Adviser on Health, Jibayo Adeyeye, as the state’s Acting Health Commissioner.

The governor also appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Adesegun Fatusi, as the new chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee Against COVID-19.

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Both positions were occupied by the late Adegbenro.

The governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ojo Oyewamide, made this known in a statement on Saturday.

The late Adegbenro died on Thursday of coronavirus complications and was buried on Friday according to Islamic rites.

The statement read in part, “Following the unfortunate demise of the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has appointed Professor Adesegun Fatusi new Chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee Against COVID-19.

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Nigeria Update

Dave Umahi, aides test positive for COVID-19

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Governor Dave Uamahi of Ebonyi State has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. The Governor confirmed this in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday, July 4.

According to the governor, he and some of his aides had the test carried out on them and the result came back positive. He said presently they are not showing any symptoms but have since gone into isolation in line with protocols laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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He has asked the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to take over the frontline coordination of the state’s fight against the pandemic to protect Ebonyi people.

He appealed to residents of the state to take the NCDC protocols more seriously while stating that he’s working from home and will conduct all meetings virtually.

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Ebonyi state currently has 438 confirmed cases of the viral disease. 357 persons have been successfully treated while three have died.

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