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Kwara: A Season Of Recalls



Indeed, these are not good times for two lawmakers in Kwara State as their constituents have commenced recall processes on them. The embattled lawmakers are the senators representing Kwara south in the national assembly, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim and the leader of Kwara state House of Assembly, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke. Coincidentally, the embattled lawmakers are from Kwara South and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

Ibrahim is a core loyalist of the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki while Oyeleke enjoys the confidence of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad. At a news conference in Ijagbo, Oyun local government area of the state, a socio- political organisation; Kwara South Unity Forum said that it has instituted a recall process against the Senator Rafiu Ibrahim. Accordingly, the group said it had dispatched letters to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Assembly to that effect.

Senator Ibrahim, however, found succour in the support he was receiving from youths in his constituency. Some students under the aegis of the National Association of Kwara state students (NAKSS) had passed a vote of confidence on the senator. In a swift reaction to the recall process threat on the federal lawmaker, Comrade Abdulkadir Aliyu, said that the senator had been a man of the people and father of Nigerian students in the constituency.

The Kwara South Forum had said that its decision was necessitated by the alleged under performance and poor representation of the Kwara South senatorial district by Senator Ibrahim. The president of the forum, Comrade John Adegboye said, “the current system of representation we are experiencing under Senator Ibrahim is archaic, demeaning, dehumanising and also unacceptable. We are no longer in the precolonial dispensation where there is indirect rule.

“We the people of Kwara South are appalled by the fact that a man whom we unanimously elected as a senator to represent us in the 8th Assembly, has now openly declared that he has ‘boss’ other than we the good people of Kwara  South, that he takes directives from him.

“We make bold to call your attention to the physical implications of this show of subservience. In almost three years, where are the federal projects the senator has attracted to the district?”

Adegboye added that the senator had continued to dismiss, “our elders and insult our common patrimony by telling us that he must consult with his boss.

“It is therefore under these circumstances that the good people of the Kwara South today decide to intimate the generality of Nigerians about our intention to recall him.”

But the NAKSS chairman in the state, Aliyu said the senator is a man of the people and father of Nigerian students in the constituency.

Aliyu added that the senator’s leadership qualities and open door policy had endeared him to the students.

He said this is evidenced in the construction of relaxation centre for the University of Ilorin students, students’ empowerment scheme, and renovation of Offa township hall, and free SSCE and JAMB registration for indigent students. Others are sponsorship of students’ programmes, scholarships and free vocational training.

“Without iota of doubt, we are convinced that his leadership deserves a great applause,” he added. In his reaction, former transition implementation chair, Irepodun local government, Kashim Adekeye described the plan to recall Ibrahim as cheap talk.

Adekeye added that “anybody can decide to say what he likes. I am aware the senator has brought another developmental project to his constituency. And in our party, the All Progressives Congress we have our leaders that we are following. All of us the followers of Senate President,Dr Bukola Saraki are united under that banner. My general advice is for both parties to engage in dialogue to resolve their differences if there is any”

In the same vein, Members of Eesa/Shawo/Igbodun state constituency in the Offa local government area of Kwara state have commenced process to recall the House Leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke, for alleged under performance.

In a swift reaction, Oyeleke described the attempt to recall him as a gang up to smear his political image before any future elective aspirations.

A statement signed by some people who claimed to be political leaders of the constituency, among whom are Hon. Mufutau Adeyemo and Alhaji Dauda Azeez alleged that the lawmaker had not adequately represented the area in the state assembly.

The people, who alleged that the House Leader had not initiated or supported any motion to effect delivery of his campaign promises to his constituents, added that he had not influenced a single constituency project since his first tenure in office in 2011 till date.

While the people said that Oyeleke had through joint efforts only embarked on empowerment programme in 2012 and distributed exercise books worth N350, 000 to students of the area in 2017, they alleged that the lawmaker had not done anything on agriculture, health, job creation or supported any motion in favour of the area.

The lawmaker was also accused of reneging in his promise to reclaim and restore peace on the land that had reportedly been taken away from Offa and had become contentious. The people of Eesa/Shawo/Igbodun state constituency also said that the activities of the lawmaker during the last local government elections in the state, had caused disharmony and disunity among members of the ruling APC and the electorate in the Offa town.

However, the lawmaker dismissed the allegations levelled against him by the group, describing it as a gang up by some members of the ruling APC and Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP)  in the area to discredit him.

Oyeleke, who said that the executive was in charge of project implementation in various parts of the state, added that his people were aware of his empowerment activities and were not complaining.

While the recall process against Senator Ibrahim seems to be subsiding, the one against Oyeleke, intensified during the week as the aggrieved people wrote the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)in the state to provide them with the certified true copy of Voters Register for the area.

The letter, which was signed by a total of 35 members of the constituency, had five members each from the seven wards in the constituency, while they all attached their voter’s cards.

Speaking with journalists after the group had submitted the request letter to the INEC, a leader of the group, Hon. Mufutau Adeyemo, denied the speculation that they were being sponsored for the recall project.

“Today, we have written to INEC requesting for our voters register. The letter was received by INEC Administrative Secretary and you can see where they signed the copy as received.

“Let Oyeleke leave personality attack and answer our questions. What has he done for our constituency since he got into office. He said he sunk boreholes, let him mention the locations of those boreholes. He said he assisted people to secure jobs, let him tell us their names.

“ One of the prople he claimed he is sponsoring called me yesterday but I refused to pick it because I knew he would want to persuade us to stop this process’s since they are now mentioning his name. But we will not stop because we are helping democracy to flourish.

Adeyemo also denied that the agitation was coming from within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state as he stated that it cuts across party lines and include members of the PDP, APGA etc.

Meanwhile, the APC leadership in Kwara south has waded into the crises with a view to nip them in the bud.

The spokesman of Kwara South APC, Chief John Ogundiran, called on lovers of democracy to stop the trend, which he said was aimed at subjecting the institution of democracy to ridicule.

The APC stakeholders, who urged people to disregard the recall move, said that they had confidence in Hon. Oyeleke. “We wish to state that we not only have confidence in Hon. Hassan Oyeleke but also want to submit that he is committed to scaling all heights, fathom all depths and traverse all horizons to ensure the people of his constituency enjoy the deserved dividends of democracy and he cannot and would not be distracted by the actions of a few misguided elements who considered it necessary to devalue an important provision of the constitution”, he said.

Ogundiran also said that the legislator enjoyed the confidence and support of traditional rulers, religious leaders, party leaders, the youths and the other stakeholders in his constituency.

“It is therefore irksome that some amateurish politicians have in recent times begun to set dangerous precedents by turning the constitution into a mere book of riddles and jokes, their actions and inactions is tantamount to doing violence to the sanctity of a very far-reaching and sensitive provision of the constitution by seeking to invoke it freely without any assignable reason, sadly they have sort of accorded the mentioned provision of the constitution a ‘beer parlour’ matter status.

“We deem it important to use this opportunity to call on the lovers of democracy across the nation to find a way of stopping the ugly trend aimed at subjecting the institution of democracy to ridicule. We are of the opinion that members of the public would help in no small measure in getting the dangerous developments discouraged by readily disregarding the ranting of such nature from those who having obviously woken up from the wrong side of the bed would simply resort to toying with the important provision of the constitution”, he said.



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