By_Dr Mutiu Olagunju
When some boys decide to pick up fancy wears made of iron, and begin to sway their head left, right, and front in pride during the day. Leave them. What happens when the night comes?
Barely three weeks after the Young Progressives Party launched what it called a 2023 Ballot Revolution in Ilorin, Kwara State they have already started showing their true colours. The two last press statements from their fold were poorly propagandic and political and as such run afoul of their fabled commitment to doing things differently.
I need not hide the fact that I am totally disappointed. A careful study of the tone and contents revealed that YPP lacks ideas about what a revolutionary youth party in 2020 should represent or are just clearly deceitful and intentional in their doings, merely hiding behind the fanciful name of a youth party.
Nothing ever should have made them suppress facts and concoct fictions to be heard. That is what the old politicians they seek to change do. But the attempt to put down the impact of some of the programmes by the current administration on the people is misdirected and rather boorish.
One, it is beyond their place to dictate to Leadership Newspaper or any other for that matter who they give their awards. YPP’s statement is a veiled attack on the media which must be discouraged. These media people don’t owe them. Yes, they may not like AbdulRazaq or some of the awardees but these people say they deserved their honours.
They should have rather kept quiet if they couldn’t congratulate him instead of putting themselves up as embittered and hungry youths denied favour in All Progressives Congress (APC) as alleged before taking up a new dream for a revolution in YPP. I am afraid the lids are coming off quickly!
It is also unfortunate that we have a party priding itself with being youthful kicking against the appointment of a fellow youth. A classical case of dog eats dog. That is the implication. It is all the more worrisome that they are sounding like a power-hungry group of misogynists. Or how do we place their attack on just two women, that too on petty points of certificate and age, out of others in the AbdulRazaq-led government?
Those who wanted to pick a speck in others’ eyes should have taken time to look at themselves in the mirror. It speaks to their lack of education and exposure that they’d ever derided an office holder on account of age, gender, and certificate. If they had known better themselves they would have only critiqued their performances in office and not on frivolities.
Even as a non-resident Kwaran, I am aware that under the “NYSC Corp member” Kwara Sports Festival that was dead for over 15 years has been brought back to life. She is also credited with leading the Kwara Adorable Angels (a Female Handball Team) to glory at 2020 Prudent Handball Competition. The scorecard includes provision of financial support to youths in the state on human capacity building. Yikpata– the decrepit NYSC camp which used to give the state a bad image with prospective youth corp members from across the country– was renovated to become the youths’ delight in Nigeria. Amongst other successes, Kwara United is back to the national league. Staff and players no longer take to the streets to protest. They are now dazzling at the national stage. Kwarans are all aware that COVID-19 affected physical sporting activities grievously. And they should not stop pushing Mrs Kolo’s ministry to give them more– but constructively.
It is no imagination that the true Kwara youths do not encourage disrespect for the elders not to talk of women that are treated with utmost veneration. Still going down what I called the path of perfidy, YPP railed against the Commissioner for Education, Kwara State on a flimsy account of incompetence. Good. See the incompetent woman: Hon. Bisola bagged Bsc in English language from the respected University of Ilorin. She teaches Language at a public school before her appointment. In her stewardship, West Africa Examination Body (WAEC) commended the state for management of education, particularly in the last examination in Kwara State including paying its way out of its blacklist. WAEC must be incompetent too.
No state parades the best of its citizens as cabinet members. The commissioners under AA are not the best of Kwarans and they can never be the best from the state. Even the Governor isn’t the best head. But which state is being governed by its best? Maybe YPP can tell us. What is never in doubt is their leadership capabilities and competence? Almighty God determines who gets what. Or does YPP’s Publicity Secretary, AbdulRazaq Oyan who does not have a mention on google on community or youths development represent the best of Kwara youths or is it Charles Afolayan, who has a bale of scandals bordering on mismanagement of funds and disloyalty from his last role as Director of Media& Strategy for Gobir Foundation trailing his name? They should be humble to lap that up.
Like I said earlier, YPP doesn’t need to shout themselves hoarse to be heard. Facts can never turn to fiction and vice versa. Kwarans once had a governor who doesn’t prioritize education. They can tell the difference apart regardless of their ratings. The truth is no government in recent times has given priority to education better than AbdulRazaq. Right after his inauguration, he mobilized tertiary institution lecturers who had gone on strike back on campus with needed subvention. For the first time in Kwara, students received bursary easily. AbdulRazaq was the first Governor in Nigeria to support private school teachers with funds to help them recover from the COVID-19 – a long break. The access of UBEC funds earlier denied the past administration further concretised such belief. To paraphrase them, AbdulRazaq inherited an infrastructural decay in primary, secondary, and tertiary schools and has set about fixing them. Or are they honestly not aware? They should look around them. There is the ongoing renovation of schools across the three senatorial districts.
I am equally amazed that they referred to Mrs Ahman Patigi’s allegations of misappropriation of LG funds against the government. Well, the same woman made a U-turn, in case they missed it. And thereafter, the panel well- attended by relevant citizens exonerated the government. If YPP is not contented with the findings of the panel of inquiry, they should petition EFCC with evidence and stop presenting half-truths to the public. The demand for LG election is good but should not be lumped into their blanket list. What the Kwara Government claims is financial autonomy. Whoever among their members is credible enough to win in his community should throw its hat in the ring for the coming LG polls.
YPP showed a lack of understanding of state programmes like Owo- Isowo and it is worrisome that people seeking power do not even know their state enough. One, Owo- Isowo is not for senior citizens. It is designed for petty traders and about 21, 263 of them across the state have started receiving in the first batch. The other one Owo – Arugbo is beyond what anyone can call a “comedy.” To have written off these schemes to sound good made them look more horrible. Who says support for the petty traders and care for the elderly is comedic? I dare YPP to go on the street and go tell those traders and senior citizens they do not need support from the government as they are being given in a fair, transparent, and dignified manner, and see. They should start from Patigi to test their popularity. For the record, AbdulRazaq’s KWASSIP is the first and most encompassing social investment programme in Kwara history.
Unless YPP is making a pretense of seeking power, no people would support a bunch of people who abuse elders, women, attack the authority, and show disrespect for the media. These things are clearly inherent in their latest press statement. I am already having a hunch to call on their elders at the national to retrospect on its choice of leadership in Kwara who are coming up more like the ill-bred other than emerging leaders.
Ordinarily, it is a party the young Turks should embrace. But how does a credible youth identify with them now without staining oneself? They had hardly been inaugurated when they set about throwing insults and fake stories about. When will they start talking about their principles, vision, and mission? When will they begin to sell their ideas if they have any? How do they grow from a party without a complete state executive to the one with members in every LG? Maybe I am the only one concerned. Some people are more interested in noise than impacts.
To think they can abuse the state government to stardom is a wrong cause. They’d better back down now. Those who seek change do not do the same thing over and over again. Kwarans are interested in what they have to offer and they should start at it now rather than railing at everyone like rabid dogs. What should set them apart are the strength of their moral convictions and brilliant ideas. A supposed revolutionary party should not be rivalling Kwara PDP in the state award category of ‘Jokers of the year 2020’ barely one month after the inauguration.
To save themselves from further disgrace, YPP should know their place, know their state, know their people, know their visions; and set about achieving them like Omoluabi, and not like some embittered, desperate, and unexposed boys (wishing they were men) with over starched clothes of deceit.164