…Female groups hold rally to support his second term ambition
…Why we are seeking an encore – Women
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s devotion to his job is an unusual form of virtue. He is the calm that succeeds the storm of Kwara’s season of anomie. He is a humane leader, serving with spunk and panache. The one, on whose watch, Kwara attains redemption and undiminished greening.
Since he assumed leadership of the state, Abdulrazaq has committed himself actively to the task of salvaging what’s left of Kwara through nurturant governance. The best form of statesmanship, thought Abdulrahman, was for him to show gratitude through his work.
In person, in interviews, and on the screen, inhabiting the role by which he’s become Kwara’s most celebrated governor, Abdulrazaq espouses an uncanny politic. The power and grace of his performance seem to emanate from something he’s made contact with, deep within, intensely private and specific to his experience, but also mysteriously universal to the best of mankind.
There’s something in the innermost human heart that his people connect to. Little wonder he is being rewarded as at when due. Just recently, scores of Kwara women held a rally to drum support for his second term ambition, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Abdulrazaq bears his talents and achievements modestly, charmingly, and generously. As the executive governor of Kwara State, he conducts himself like a humble servant, who’s unexpectedly approachable and thoroughly delightful company.
He’s a concerned and active world citizen, a spectacular husband and father.
Abdulrazaq is kind and charming, a good listener, and a great leader. He’s the kind of governor who puts together the perfect cabinet of the right people, always with the intent to ensure equity and justice in governance – particularly in the areas of gender politics.
Little wonder he has been widely celebrated by women groups for his inclusion of women in his government. More significant was his assent to an executive bill mandating the state to have at least 35% women appointees in the state executive council and other classes of political appointments.
The law, cited as political offices (Gender composition) Bill 2021, places a ceiling below which the government cannot go in the appointment of either gender for public offices. Speaking in Ilorin at a state government-inspired conference themed ‘Cracking the glass ceiling: the story of Kwara women’, the governor said it is only fair that women be given a fair space in the decision-making process whose outcomes have far-reaching consequences for them and their families.
So passionate are Kwara women’s groups about his second term ambition that they have united to support him every step of the way. At the recent rally for his re-election, women, drawn from various groups and even students held a press conference at the NUJ Press Centre before they proceeded to government house, Ilorin in a long motorcade through the popular Ahmadu Bello way.
At the Government House, they assured Governor Abdulrazaq of their support in appreciation of how much his administration has given due recognition to women in the state.
Speaking at a mega rally organised to show their appreciation and support for the Governor, the spokesperson of the group, Funmi Adefila Osiegbu, said over the last two years in Kwara State, “we have seen a deliberate effort by the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to mainstream gender inclusion in governance. It is on record that no administration in the modern history of Nigeria has done so much for women like this before.
She added, “Gathered before you are women of Kwara State, drawn from different backgrounds. Many of us here are not card-carrying members of any political party.
“However, we make no pretense about our strong interest in governance and all issues that may affect (us as) women and our children. For this reason, we are interested in the policy choice of any government, national or local.
“Over the last two years in Kwara State, we have seen a deliberate effort by the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to mainstream gender inclusion in governance. It is on record that no administration in the modern history of Nigeria has one so well to bring women to the decision-making table.
“We saw this in cabinet composition where he gave 56.25% cabinet positions to women as well as in headship of government agencies and parastatals. This is a fact that has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally. A few weeks ago, the United Nations Development Agency nominated the Governor for an award to recognise his bold steps in gender inclusion. This has far-reaching consequences on public policies and programmes,” she noted.
She enthused further, that, “He topped these with the introduction of a law that commits Kwara to gender inclusion through the Gender Composition Law 2021 and fair treatment of women through the recent domestication of the Violence Against Person Law. The administration has also recently committed to the 2nd National Action Plan which seeks to involve women in conflict resolution frameworks and protect them from all kinds of discrimination.
“These pro-women achievements are monumental and should never go unrewarded by women of this state, wherever we may be and whatever ideology we espouse. We, therefore, have a historic duty to speak up for the Governor and his administration.
“Against this background, we the women of Kwara State stand ready to declare our unflinching support for Governor AbdulRahmanAbdulRazaq. If he declares a bid to run again, we have a burden of history to rally around him. This is beyond partisan sentiments. It is about telling the whole world that Kwara women do not take the support of the Governor for granted.
“We owe this duty to ourselves and to our girl child who has had a dignifying space created for her in the room where her destiny and that of her family is being determined,” she said.