By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The newly inaugurated Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, Wednesday pledged to run an open door policy that will usher in new economic growth and equal opportunities for everyone in the state.
Towards this end, he said that his government will be fully committed to participatory governance by transforming the relationship between government and the people by continually building mutual trust.
Abdulrasaq made the pledge in Ilorin during his inaugural speech to the people of the state shortly after he was sworn in as the seventh governor of the state held at state Banquet Hall, Ilorin.
Abdulrasaq was sworn in at about 10:05 a.m. by the state Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Kawu Durosinmi, shortly after his deputy Kayode Alabi had taken the oath of office.
The two were accompanied to the historic event by their wives — Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq and Mrs Abieyuwa Tokunbo Alabi — respectively.
The governor later received the handover note from the former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs Susan Dupe Oluwole.
In his maiden speech, AbdulRazaq said: “In all our policies, programmes and actions, the people of Kwara shall always come first.
“Today, I invite you all to join hands with us in government to repair and rebuild Kwara. I invite constructive criticism and urge you all to utilise our open door policy to communicate ideas and suggestions to us.”
He called on the people to look forward to a new dawn that ushers in economic growth and equal opportunities for everyone.
“What we stand for is to empower our people. Make society and life better. Strengthen family values. Improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services.
“What we have lacked before now are dependable and sustainable development plans, credible policies and policy discipline, accountability and transparency, a good sense of social justice and ability to expand social and political spaces that will promote tolerance, equality and innovation.
“Revamp our education to produce the best minds that will in turn make Kwara second to none. Promote industry, agriculture, technology and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.These are areas where our government will make a difference.”
According to him, “We are confident that we shall, together, make Kwara great again through prudent deployment of resources, involving the people in policy making, interrogating past decisions only to the extent that they enable us to move forward.”
The governor attributed the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) victory at the polls to the collective efforts of the people, saying the new government would therefore make the masses the focus of its policies.
“I believe we all know that the Otoge movement and victory does not belong to any single person. It belongs to the people of Kwara. The spirit of that movement shall always remain with us as we work to achieve our dreams.
“If Otoge got us through the struggle to the point of victory, and given the enormous task of reformation and reconstruction ahead, it is now time for Iseya. As you will all agree, there is so much to be done.
“These range from institutional reforms and reconstruction, infrastructural development, human capacity building, social welfare and policy reforms to other socio-economic, cultural, scientific and administrative repositionings. It is not in our tradition to shy away from challenges. We shall engage them and find solutions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has congratulated AbdulRazaq, urging him to trust in God to direct him in piloting the affairs of the state.
He said the outgoing administration left N5 billion (receipts) in the public coffers, while the state also recently benefited from a $750million World Bank grant for some development projects.