“I join our brethren in the celebration of the season while praying God to make it a joyous one for everyone,” the Governor said.
“Christ, the reason for the season, embodies peace, love for all, charity, goodness, equity and justice, and absolute belief in God. It is my appeal that we are all guided by these great qualities in our relationship with one another as members of the same family under God.”
Kwara State governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has explained why the 2021 durbar celebration was cancelled in the state.
According to the state governor, the celebration was not cancelled due to security concerns.
He made the clarification while hosting the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Ibrahim Sulugambari at the traditional Sallah homage.
Durbar is an important horse annual cultural festival in northern Nigeria, held a day after Sallah.
Indigenes and residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital had prepared for this year’s durbar only for the government to announce its cancellation.
While hosting the Emir, Governor Abdulrazaq said his government had to comply after a security report which did not favour hosting of the event.
Kwara State Government had earlier on Tuesday announced the suspension of the annual Durbar earlier scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, 2021, on security grounds.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Rabiat Mopelola Abdulrahman the followed a police intelligence report which indicated that some forces plan to use the boisterous nature of the cultural event to cause a breakdown of law and order in the state, thereby complicating national security challenges.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has said his administration will be fair and courageous in taking decisions in the overall interest of the state.
He stated this in a state broadcast on Tuesday amid the controversy trailing the ban of hijab in some mission schools in the state.
The school authorities had on February 19 denied the students entry, saying that the use of the headgear is not allowed in line with the doctrine establishing the mission schools, but the students have defied the directives.
In a statement issued on February 26, the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Prof. Mamma Sabah Jibril, said “any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear the same in public/grant-aided schools.”
Additionally, the government through its Ministry of Education ordered the closure of 10 schools, where the use of hijab is disputed.
But this didn’t go down well with the school authorities.
When the schools were eventually reopened on March 17, violence erupted in Ilorin as Christians and Muslims clashed in the state capital.
The violence started after Christian officials of Baptist School, Surulere disallowed the girls in Hijab from gaining access into the school.
Reacting to the issue, Governor AbdulRazaq said his administration announced an official policy on February 26 allowing any willing Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab in public schools after “several days of consultations, meetings, brainstorming, and dispassionate weighing of policy options.”
“We took that decision in good faith and in the overall interest of all. I swore to an oath to protect every Kwaran. This oath includes looking at the bigger picture and doing everything to prevent a crisis before it occurs,” he said.
“I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed.
“I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities. In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread the message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.
“Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders. I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace, and be willing to listen to their concerns.”
READ FULL STATEMENT HERE:
Text of the broadcast by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on the hijaab decision on March 23, 2021.
On 26th February, the administration announced an official policy allowing any willing Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab in public schools. That announcement followed several days of consultations, meetings, brainstorming, and dispassionate weighing of policy options. We took that decision in good faith and in the overall interest of all. I swore an oath to protect every Kwaran. This oath includes looking at the bigger picture and doing everything to prevent a crisis before it occurs.
I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed.
I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities. In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread the message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.
Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders. I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace and be willing to listen to their concerns. The starting point will be the reconstitution in the coming days of the interfaith committee to further build confidence as well as provide templates to steadily resolve all issues of mutual concerns.
I commend the security agencies for their professionalism and their sticking to strategic patience jointly agreed upon. This has helped to prevent the loss of lives and properties while keeping crisis merchants in check. I urge parents to speak to their wards to stay away from trouble. Any attempt to take advantage of the situation to foment trouble will be met with maximum punishment prescribed by the law.
Finally, my profound appeal goes to all our leaders to prioritise communal peace and human brotherhood. We need to join hands to build a generation of future leaders who acknowledge and respect one another’s differences. This is necessary to build a community of patriots and partners for a greater Kwara.
Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has dissolved his cabinet with effect from December 31, 2020.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Ilorin, the state capital.
“His Excellency especially commends the honourable cabinet members for their contributions to the development of the state while also wishing them the best in their future endeavours,” Ajakaye said in the statement.
However, the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Mamman Jubril, retained his position in the State Executive Council.
Governor Abdulrazaq also directed the former cabinet members to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective ministries.
The cabinet members who were sworn in on December 14, 2019, comprise at least 56.25% female, the statement noted.
According to the governor’s chief press secretary, this was remarkably the most gender-friendly cabinet on the African continent.
The cabinet also had the youngest commissioner in Nigeria.
Governor Abdulrasaq relieved the members of his cabinet a year after they were inaugurated into office.
He contested the Kwara State governorship election in March 2019 and won on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor polled 331,546 votes to beat his closest rival, Razak Atunwa, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured a total of 114,754 votes to emerge second.
He succeeded former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who was in office between May 2011 and May 2019.
Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has presented cheques of varying amounts of non-refundable grants to owners of 48 businesses whose shops were looted in Ilorin the state capital, in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.
The governor presented cheques on Thursday to all the affected businesses in Ilorin, with the highest beneficiary getting a grant of N17m, the middle earner getting N15m and the lowest getting N100,000 as recommended by the adjuster and the committee.
The total grants awarded stood at N180,775,000 in line with the recommendations of the committee.
“We really sympathise with you and we regret that such a thing ever happened to businesses. We do not have the capacity to give you everything you have lost but this is our token of support to encourage you not to give up,” Abdulrazaq remarked just before handing them their cheques,” AbdulRazaq said.
Governor Abdulrazaq also reiterated his administration’s commitment to helping businesses to grow as part of its efforts to build an economy outside of the civil service that is currently the biggest labour demographics in the state.
“The trouble emanating from #EndSARS incident has come to pass but it left a lot of victims behind and you are some of the victims. It is not your fault that your businesses were damaged but as an entrepreneur, we believe in what you are doing.”
Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, says some politicians are sponsoring some angry youths to overthrow the country’s government.
He said this on Sunday while inspecting looted malls in Ilorin the state capital, describing the situation as sad and handiwork of disgruntled persons.
“Behind the ideas (of angry youths) are people with ideologies of trying to overthrow the government, loot the country or trying to take some sort of advantage the legitimate concerns of #EndSARS,” he said.
After inspecting the damages inflicted on business outfits by hoodlums and looters hiding under the guise of EndSARS protesters, Governor Abdulrasaq announced a N500 million fund to assist owners of looted businesses.
While condemning the looting of people’s businesses on Friday and Saturday, the Kwara leader said there can be no justification for such criminal behaviour.
“We are therefore not going to leave the business owners like that. We are setting up a N500 million fund for those that were affected, to access.
“The application form is live and active on the state government’s website and can now be filled by interested parties. We are going to get them back on their feet as soon as possible,” he added.
Today I visited the sites of some of the businesses that were looted by hoodlums. What I saw was disheartening. We will help the owners of these businesses get back on their feet. We’ve set up a N500m fund that they can apply for by clicking https://t.co/sjzIntIC6Epic.twitter.com/9WGpR9l7UL
The Kwara State Government on Friday said it will support owners of private schools in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the state government promised to provide interest-free loans to private schools.
This is to enable the proprietors to “pay their workers and prevent massive job losses in the sub-sector.”
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq said he would “not be blind to the plight” of any resident of the state, including “proprietors and workers across private schools in the state who he acknowledged have been the hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of schools and some other businesses.”
The governor who had a virtual meeting today with the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), said his administration will need to have the right database to know the number of private schools in the state, the number of their teachers, and their students.
According to the governor, the database would be key for efficiency, transparency, and success of the move.
He added that his administration had established a hitch-free and transparent bursary regime with digital registration and verification of all applicants last year.
“The issue of the database is critical for planning. We want to know how many private schools we have (and) where in the state. If we do so, we can even give land (to those who may need it), issue a certificate of occupancy and other relevant documents,” he said.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an independent probe into funds so far received and disbursed to the 16 Local Government Areas from May 2019 till date.
The governor also set up a panel of inquiry comprising members from various backgrounds will also be set up to look into the Local Governments’ funds.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye.
“For the sake of accountability and transparency, the Governor is hereby calling in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an urgent probe into funds so far received as allocations and spent by the 16 local government between May 29 and now.
“Separately, the Governor will also be setting up a Panel of inquiry in the immediate to look into the same issues. Members of the panel and its terms of reference would be announced soon,” the statement read.
Ajakaye said the administration was of the view that council funds should be probed and laid to rest because governance was about public trust.
He noted that the investigation is necessary following “outrageous claims by some persons that money to the tune of N300 million was diverted monthly from LG accounts.”
“The governor restated that he would not be found mismanaging or siphoning public funds. He maintains his stand, which dates back to his days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), that the local governments should be allowed to manage their own funds with minimal or no supervision by the state as the law may allow.
“He insists that any official found to have diverted or mismanaged public funds under him would be made to account for the same as prescribed under the law,” Ajakaye added.
The immediate past President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has rejected a recent move by the administration of the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, over a piece of land said to be owned by his late father, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki.
In a statement personally signed by him on Saturday, Saraki condemned the government’s withdrawal of the ownership of the land allocated to late Olusola Saraki, a Senate Leader in the Second Republic.
He also accused Governor Abdulrazaq of crossing the line of decency with his alleged effort to erase the legacies of his late father.
The former Senate President issued the statement a day after the government reverted to itself, the ownership of the land bordering the Civil Service Clinic in Ilorin, the state capital.
A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Friday said a new secretariat complex would be erected on the land in 2020.
The statement added that no certificate of occupancy was ever issued in favour of the firm as the government had bought the land to house the civil service clinic, its parking space, and a secretariat.
It noted that Governor Abdulrazaq has signed a constitutional instrument withdrawing the allocation of the land, saying the action followed a resolution of the State House of Assembly.
In his reaction, Saraki accused the governor of waging a war of attrition waged against the legacy of his father and everything that belongs to the late politician.
He said, “Yesterday (Friday) night, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq finally showed his true colour when he announced his decision to revoke the ownership of a property rightfully held by my late father, Dr Olusola Abubakar Saraki on Plots 1, 3 and 5 Ilofa Road, GRA, Ilorin popularly known as Ile Arugbo, (Old People’s home).
“The property, since the Second Republic, has always been used to host the weekly gathering of a multitude of aged people in the society who are provided food, money and health services, as part of the social welfare programme sponsored by the late politician. The tradition has since been maintained.”
“Before now, this same Governor had invited all the members of the State House of Assembly and directed them to commence the process of amending the law to change the name of the State University which the last administration renamed after my late father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki,” the former Senate President added.
In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999 and Section 1 and 28 of the Land Use Act Cap. L.5 of 2004 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Governor of Kwara State of Nigeria, give the following notice:
The Notice may be cited as the Land Use (Revocation of Right of Occupancy and withdrawal of allocation) Notice, 2019.
Allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 TPS/MISC 129 to Asa Investment (Nig) Ltd. which is meant for the Kwara State Secretariat. The land, specifically and more described in survey No. KwSH 927 and Land/G1071 situated and lying beside Civil Service Clinic along Ilofa Road Ilorin, Kwara State, is hereby revoked and withdrawn for overriding public interest for use of the purpose it is originally meant for:
The construction of Kwara State Secretariat; parking space for civil service clinic and the Kwara State Secretariat and annex to the Civil Service when upgraded to a hospital.
That the plots allocated are hereby declared void. Notice is therefore given to you, Asa Investments Nigeria Limited, that the plots of land 1,3 and 5 TPS/MISC 129 allocated to you and any title on the land whatsoever are hereby revoked, and the allocation is withdrawn for overriding public interest.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has presented N112million recovered from treasury looters to the Kwara state governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
At the presentation, the Head of the Ilorin office, Isyaku Sharu said the Zone which started its operations in February has achieved a lot in terms of assets recovery and conviction of corrupt individuals.
“We have 29 convictions and over N500million (five hundred million naira) recovery for both assets and cash; part of this recovery is the N111, 428, 891.00 cash recovered for the Kwara state government.
“This recovery is from suspected Kwara state treasury looters. The suspects allegedly misappropriated landed properties of Harmony Holdings while others diverted funds meant for micro small and medium enterprises credit scheme. The suspects cut across political office holders, traditional rulers and top civil servants,” he said.
Mr Sharu hinted that he was mandated by the acting chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu to present a draft for the recovered fund, while assuring of the agency’s steadfastness in ridding the state of all acts of corruption and other economic crimes.
Governor Abdulrazaq, in his response, thanked the EFCC and disclosed that the cash will be used for the social investment programme in the state to lift poor people out of poverty.
“We are overwhelmed because history is being made in Kwara state with the return of our monies recovered by the EFCC especially now that there are many projects to embark on.
“As we promised to replicate the federal government social investment programmes, this cash would be used for that programme and we will make our people realise that the seed money for social investment programme, before we came into power, was also recovered.
“We would let our people know that it is the money realised by the EFCC we are giving them so that they can pay back when they get the loan. It will help to lift thousands of people out of poverty,” he said.
A High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday dismissed the certificate forgery case filed against Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, following the claimant’s application to withdraw the case.
Judge Adenike Akinpelu, struck out the case after Adekunle Olufemi, who filed the case, told the court he had presented a notice of withdrawal of the case.
Olufemi told the court that he is withdrawing the case for his personal security.
Justice Akinpelu then dismissed the case since the claimant said he was no more interested in the case.
The counsel to the governor, Salman Jawondo, however, asked for the cost of N1million against the petitioner which the judge ruled against.
Akinpelu held that the withdrawal means that, the efforts of one Olusola Olaseinde who wanted to join the suit were inconsequential since the original case has been withdrawn.
Olufemi had earlier dragged Abdulrazaq to court alleging that the West African Senior School Certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the Kwara governorship election was forged.
The Governor-elect of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has denied claims that he forwarded a fake WAEC certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the recently conducted governorship election in the state.
Defending Abdulrazaq at the State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Tuesday, his lawyer, Mr Lawal Jimoh, explained that the governor-elect graduated from Government College, Kaduna in June 1976, hence, the claims of possessing a fake document were false.
“My client attended Government College, Kaduna. And of course, he wrote his WAEC in 1976. The records are there, they are clear,” he stated.
A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Apado ward, in the Ilorin East local government area of the state, Adekunle Abraham, had challenged the authenticity of Abdulrazaq’s WAEC certificate.
Specifically, Abraham pointed out that the way the defendant’s name was written as “RASAQ A R” had raised some suspicious.
“From my personal experience, the West African Examination Council( WAEC) as a standard examination body in West Africa do not normally abbreviate names on the school certificates issued by it,” he said.
Furthermore, he said he knew for a fact the the defendant did not sit for the exams and was, therefore, not issued with the purported certificate.
He, therefore, urged the court to declare that the APC candidate lied on oath and submitted forged documents to contest the gubernatorial elections.
Speaking with journalists after the court session, the claimant’s lawyer, Lawrence Ola, said the defendant’ lawyer was yet to file a defence but only filed a Memorandum of Appearance for his client.
“The defendant posted an affidavit that he got a WAEC certificate detailed 1976. And based on the findings of my client, we see that it is a cock and bull story. As a matter of fact, it is perjury,” he said.
But also speaking, the defendant’s lawyer who said that his client was served notice of the suit on May 2, 2019, added that appearance was filed immediately.
He also maintained that his client, got his WAEC result from Government College, Kaduna with full evidence of WAEC result obtained from the school in 1976.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Adenike Akinpelu adjourned the case to June 10, saying the defence was still within the time frame to file their statements.