Ilorin Rainstorm: AbdulRazaq’s responsiveness is central to democratic theory and practices.
By Basheer Luqman Olarewaju
January 30, 2021
A few months ago, the executive governor of Kwara State made a speech assuring the harmonious people of the state that his administration would continue in its efforts to develop the state and deliver “the dividends of democracy to all. A democracy is a government elected by the people and is obligated to govern with the interest of the masses at heart. Therefore, the dividends of democracy are simply the benefits enjoyed by the masses who voted for the government in power.
Kwara state under the leadership of His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq continues in making impeacable strides which cut across empowerment, health care, infrastructure, security, welfare, power, agriculture, environment, sports, art and culture, capacity building and development as well as justice and sensitisation. The rating of Kwara State nationally is due to the unprecedented pace of developmental projects recorded in the State by AbdulRazaq’s administration, despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergence of the Gov. AbdulRazaq as the executive governor of the state has been re-projecting the state to higher pedestal and the responsiveness of the Government to the yearnings of the citizens has been a total reflection of the commitment of the government to address the infrastructural development deficits in the state. There is no doubt that the governor has been working assiduously to make a huge difference in the lives of the people and such commitment is now being recognised even nationally.
September 19. An unforgettable experience happened, the Ilorin metropolis — almost all the dwellers of Kwara State Capital, Ilorin on that Saturday night — witnessed heavy downpour which damaged scores of houses within the city. The rain, which started around 22 O’clock on Saturday, damaged roofs, walls and electrical poles in the capital of Kwara State. Despite the earliest forecast about the possible weather change, the windstorm made
landfall in the capital city of the state, houses located at Ita’adu, Adangba, Omoda, Adabata, Oloje, Alagbado and Okelele community were some of the most affected by the havoc caused by the rain.
Ideally, storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. The incident left many families hapless and homeless. The events of the year 2020 were enough to keep to history for many generations to come, especially, the scourge – Corona Virus- while the windstorm added more salt to the injuries. When a natural disaster hits, the poor are one of the most defenseless and affected groups due to their immobility and, at times, being bunched up en masse in places like dilapidated homes and assisted living facilities and not being able to leave.
Because of the storm’s high intensity, residents all across the city made sure to be extra prepared. Original forecasts predicted that the storm would pass over the state’s heavily populated east coast, but by the time the storm landed, it bordered the west coast—more than 100 miles away from the original area that was predicted to be impacted the most. Nevertheless, the larger part of the city was affected, with the storm causing more than 1000 houses wrecked: The most severe and compacted case in recent years.
Meanwhile, the ability of a political system to respond to the preferences of its citizens is central to democratic theory and practices. Ultimately, when government delivers based on the needs of the people it serves, it is definitely going to increase public satisfaction and acceptance. The AbdulRazaq led-administration on a recent gesture aided to the victims of the unfortunate event is similar to proverbial the palace of a king burnt down, would definitely be transformed into a cynosure of all eyes in beauty (a Yoruba adage).
Last week, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has officially flagged-off the distribution of relief materials for Two Thousand, Three Hundred victims of a rainstorm in Ilorin. Governor AbdulRazaq through his Deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi assured that the present administration would never abandon Kwarans in time of need, citing recent government’s interventions in Moro, Edu and Patigi Local Government areas as well as victims of #Endsars protest as evidence that the government is irrevocably committed to supporting the people irrespective of party or religious affiliations.
He was quotee to have said, “whatever we give is only to show our concern to the plight and well being of our people, it is a demonstration of our resolve to stand by them. We, therefore, urge our people to replicate our responsive and transparent leadership with more support for our efforts for a society founded on sincerity and good brotherliness”. The relief fund distribution in the categories of Fifty Thousand and One Hundred Thousand Naira for the victims.
Interestingly, the beneficiaries of the government’s financial assistance to victims of the rainstorm were drawn in Ilorin West, Ilorin East, Ilorin South and some parts in Asa Local Government areas of the state. About three hundred victims would receive one hundred thousand naira each, about five hundred victims would receive fifty thousand naira each while one thousand five hundred victims would receive twenty five thousand naira each.
It should not be a matter of debate that a democratic government is one that exists primarily to protect, provide basic goods and services and increase the quality of life of every member of the society it serves. Inequality in the state is never again at an all-time high. The dividends of democracy are equally shared. As he promised, the “dividends of democracy” as the presence of good roads, potable water supply, accessible and affordable education, affordable quality healthcare, constant power supply, good transport system, affordable housing, and favorable economy for trade and investment, just to mention a few are the new strides logging in.