Top leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State on Wednesday pledged their loyalty to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PDP stalwarts made the pledge when they paid a visit to the Government House in Ilorin.
NAN also reports that the PDP leaders were mainly suspended council chairmen, women, past commissioners, retired permanent secretaries and several youth leaders.
Spokesman of the PDP chieftains, Obalola Suleiman, from Ifelodun Local Government Area, said the governor’s leadership style, humility and attachment to the poor has given the people breath of fresh air.
Suleiman said: “We can see a difference and people can feel that they have a government.
“The situation has changed in the area of road construction, water, health.
“You have also brought unmatched humility to governance in the state.
“You have started very well and our people are happy.
“We urge you to continue along that path.
“We are willing to work with you for the overall interest of our state.”
Also speaking, Ben Duntoye, a former Commissioner and PDP chieftain from Irepodun Local Government Area, described AbdulRazaq as a silent achiever.
Duntoye said: “You are a silent achiever.
“We can see things for ourselves and we want to be a part of this success story.
“We can see that you are doing more work than talk.
“This is evident in our various communities.”
Another PDP chieftain from Kwara North, Alhaji Yahya Yinusa, commended the governor for his unique leadership style.
Yinusa, popularly called Bulldozer, said he was not surprised at the positive turn of things in the state under AbdulRazaq’s leadership.
“We were in CPC together and I can tell the great roles you played in assisting many of us who were contesting at the time. Your work is really speaking for you,” Yinusa said.
Yinusa also assured the governor that within the next few months, thousands of opposition figures would defect to the ruling APC.
He added that majority of opposition leaders were impressed with the governor’s sterling effort to reposition the state.
Garba Labaka, suspended chairman of Ifelodun local government council, also commended the governor for his “unrivalled tolerance and political maturity”.
According to him, AbdulRazaq has neither stopped their salary nor subjected them to harassment as was the case in some other states.
“This clearly sets you apart as a great leader. We are very grateful to you for your tolerance and large-heartedness,” Labaka added.
Labaka, on behalf of all the suspended LG chairmen, thanked the governor and appealed to him to return them to office.
Also speaking, Hajia Bilikisu Sanni, a retired permanent secretary and PDP chieftain, said the governor has made history as the most gender friendly leader in the history of the state.
Sanni said: “We will continue to be grateful to you for this singular honour you’ve done to us as women.
“You have also changed the face of governance.
“It’s an entirely new pleasant experience for the people of Kwara State.”
Responding, AbdulRazaq commended the opposition leaders for the visit, adding that everyone is a critical stakeholder for a greater Kwara.
He said: “The situation we have found ourselves in Kwara is such that all hands must be on deck to move the state forward.
“We need everybody on board in this task.
“That is why I treat everyone as fellow Kwaran.
“From the civil service to other sectors, my concern has been how to stabilise our state for posterity.”
NAN reports that the meeting was attended by top government officials and politicians, including Senior Adviser and Counsellor, Kale Belgore.
Others were Special Adviser (Political) Saadu Salau; Special Adviser (Special Duties) Yinka Aluko; and Senator Suleiman Ajadi.