A group, Kwara-Community Association for Grassroot Transformation, on Wednesday criticised what it perceived as persistent marginalisation of the people of Kwara North Senatorial District in the scheme of things.
The group bemoaned that the zone, which forms the tripod of the state, had been alienated in the general affairs of the state for the past two decades, while the hope that the anomaly would be remedied seems dashed.
It expressed its position in a statement signed by the State Coordinator and Secretary of the group, Dr. Mahmud Muhammad-Patigi and Alhaji Abubakar Tsaragi respectively.
A copy of the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin alleged a deliberate conspiracy to reduce Kwara Northerners to third class citizens in the state.
The group, whose membership are Nupe, frowned at the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Akanbi from Kwara Central Senatorial District as the new Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University at the expense of Prof. Sakah Mahmud from their District.
According to the statement, Mahmud was the first on the order of merit on the list of shortlisted candidates for the position.
This, it said, was done to the region despite the fact that it was responsible for 31.5 per cent of the total votes that brought Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq into power in the 2019 general election.
It said the appointment into public offices in the current administration so far indicated that it had been skewed in favour of Kwara Central Senatorial District and Kwara South Senatorial District, with the Northern zone unfairly represented.
The group also lamented that the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and Secretary to the State Government, who hail from Kwara North Senatorial District, had been made to serve as the Governor’s errand boys.
The statement added: “Prior to the O To Ge tsunami that swept away Bukola Saraki caucus off the Kwara State Government map, we thought that our alienation from Kwara State affairs for almost two decades can only be attributed to the inadequacies of past administrations alone.
“We thought the era of candidate imposition, social injustice, political marginalisation, inequity, nepotism and many other vices that made us detest the past administrations were all going to be history.
“Hence, the reason for us throwing our full weight behind the current administration as we believed that the sense of belonging and developmental endeavours, which we have been repeatedly denied on purpose, will automatically become things of the past.
“We thought it would be ‘Uhuru’ for our people as long as the team of this new administration are brought on board and expectedly navigate a better course for all Kwarans without any more forms of discriminations towards us. But unfortunately, how terribly wrong we were.
“One can’t help but to wonder if Kwara North was either mistakenly drawn onto the map of Kwara State or it was deliberately put there just for being sake.
“Since the inauguration of the administration of the day on the 29th of May, 2019; Kwara North has patiently looked on for the past 10 months with very keen interest regarding how it has been continuously ghosted by Kwara State Government in its scheme of governance.
“We wish to clarify a bit more with few examples, amongst many, of how Kwara State affairs are turned into ‘Ilorin’ Affair (Kwara Central and Kwara South).
“Can Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq give justifiable reasons that there is no deliberate conspiracy to make Kwara Northerners 3rd class citizens in Kwara State? We seriously doubt that, not with what we are witnessing today. First, it was on the Ile Arugbo saga.
“After a lot of brouhaha on the undeniable facts that the said land in question is a Kwara State property, a reconciliation committee was purportedly constituted by unknown person(s) which had no single representative from Kwara North in it. Thank God for the numerous alarms raised by Kwara Northerners and some God-fearing ‘Ilorin’ people, the needless reconciliation committee became a mirage.
“Secondly, most if not all efforts against environmental pollution towards getting rid of wastes are more evident in Ilorin metropolis; a very recent activity of such is the evacuation of rubbish and fumigation of markets which none is done in any part of Kwara North up till now.
“In addition, the unexhausted list of top Government offices inequitably occupied by Kwara Central include Chairman Civil Service Commission, Chairman Judicial Service Commission, Chairman Assembly Service Commission, Rector of Kwara Polytechnic and Registrar of KWASU. While Kwara South occupies the offices of the Chairman KWIRS and DG Harmony Holdings just to mention a few.
“One can’t help but wonder and ask; ‘Where is Kwara North?’ Some people who are ignorant of what transpires behind the curtains might be like, but Kwara North has the Speaker of State House of Assembly and SSG.
“Yes. But what has been their positive impacts on Kwara North? Absolutely nothing because Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has sinisterly made them his errand boys by tying their hands and tongues.”
The state government was yet to react to the allegations as at press time.