In Search of Political Unity In Illorin
For decades, progress in terms of self-help projects has been avoided in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, due to the lack of cooperation among the elite, especially politicians.
In recent years, a large portion of Ilorin’s elites have avoided returning to their community for free, but purely for political reasons. At that time, most of the Ilorin elite avoided participating in community development because they felt they had not been given the desired recognition from some quarters.
The elites have almost left the issue of community development in the hands of the late Senate leader of the Second Republic, Dr Olusola Saraki, popularly known as ‘Olooye’ and his political followers. The elites feel that the late Saraki was designated as alpha and omega when it comes to community development and has consequently been given ‘undue recognition.’
However, the recent decision of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari to recognize the moderate contribution of some prominent Ilorin indigenes to the development of the community by awarding them honorary titles, is seen as an attempt to change the old arrangements.
The leadership of the umbrella body of all socio-cultural groups in Ilorin- the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) benefits from the Emir’s initiative. The union on Thursday July 7, 2022 organized a dinner that brought together new title holders belonging to various political camps.
The national president of the IEDPU, Alh Aliyu Otta-Uthman, did not waver in informing the title holders that the strength of the people of Ilorin Emirate depends on their unity.
Otta-Uthman said the event was specifically arranged for that day because:
“You are an individual who has contributed to the growth and development of the Ilorin Emirate in one way or another. Once again we thank our father, the Emir of Ilorin, for recognizing your value and contributions. We appeal to His Majesty to consider more of our prominent countrymen for suitability to traditional titles as it will inspire more patriotism.
Drawing the attention of the honorees to the expectations of their people, the IEDPU president said: “The primary duty we expect from you is to serve as agents of unity and peace. We urge you to work towards ensuring that the unity of purpose we inherited from the founding fathers of the Ilorin Emirate is maintained. You must work to ensure that the tendencies for disunity among our people are completely eradicated. We cannot pass on a divided creature to our younger ones. History will not be kind to us if we do.
“This call for peace is needed now more than ever because we will enter another round of general elections next year. We urge you who are fighting for one position or another to act as statesmen who are always thinking of the next generation. Those who do not, are encouraged to work with people, on the need to always maintain peace and courtesy. Conduct politics peacefully. We must show the rest of the country that we are positively different.
“We also hope that you will use your good influence to attract all the positive developments in Ilorin Emirate. We expect those who have the ability to establish or attract industries in the Ilorin Emirate to do so quickly. This is necessary to reduce the level of unemployment among our youth. Therefore, you deserve to do something about that for the love of our people.
“I am glad that each of you has experienced public servants, statesmen and leaders who have influenced your own rights. It is the intention of the union that you work with each other to ensure that the rights and privileges of the people of the Ilorin Emirate are available from both the state and federal governments.
“It is disturbing that many of the federal establishments located in the Ilorin Emirate have not yet been led or have the presence of host community indigenes in their workforces. Some of them are four or three decades old. However, there is no equivalent presence of Ilorin Emirate there. It doesn’t always happen elsewhere. It’s even against the principles of federal character. And so we need your cooperation to correct this wrong. “
Otta-Uthman called on all the natives of the Ilorin Emirate and especially the new title holders to emulate the exemplary patriotic disposition of the heroes of the community including Shaykh Muhammad Kamaldeen Al-Adabiy, Shaykh Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory, Alhaji Yusuf Amuda Gobir; Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq (SAN) General Abdullahi Mohammed, General Abdulbaki Babatunde Idiagbon, Alhaji Umaru Saro and, of course, Alhaji AAJimoh, among others. All of these individuals, except one, are late.
He said they are remembered not only for the enormous wealth they left behind but also for their unique contribution that has benefited the entire community.
Speaking at the event, Kwara State governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq said his administration spends more than N4 billion per month on paying salaries and pensions of workers and retirees.
Representing his special strategy adviser Alh Saadu Salahu, the governor said his administration’s policies and programs, including immediate payment of workers ’salaries, establishment of an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub and the launch of the new Ilorin urban masterplan is all focused on ensuring prosperity for the people of the state.
He called on the citizens of Ilorin Emirate to take advantage of the new Ilorin urban masterplan to invest in their homeland to reduce the problem of unemployment and also stimulate the economic growth of the city and the entire state.
AbdulRazaq explained that the new Ilorin urban masterplan aims to attract local and foreign investors to the state over the next 20 years.
“I will charge the sons and daughters of the Ilorin Emirate who visited during sallah to take advantage of Ilorin’s new urban master plan to invest in their homeland as part of efforts to empower our people and stimulate the economy of the state.
At the ICT hub project, the governor said the project is underway “to mainstream our youth in the digital economy where billions of dollars worth of business is conducted online in seconds. This is our vision for the ongoing construction of the ICT hub, the conference center, export processing zone, etc. ”.
He expressed joy that the solid cooperation of his administration with IEDPU and similar unions has resulted in peaceful coexistence among the people of the state and got the state described as the most peaceful and secure state in the country.
He congratulated the Emir, the IEDPU leadership and the award recipients and assured them of his pledge of commitment “in supporting the union in our collective vision for the rapid socio-economic development, peace and tranquility of the State. .
In his sermon, the guest lecturer Dr AbdulSobur Alaaya emphasized the need for unity among the people of Ilorin Emirate and praised the purposeful and exemplary leadership style of Governor AbdulRazaq.
New title holders honored at the ceremony include Dr Alimi AbdulRazaq (Mutawali) elder brother of Governor AbdulRazaq, Mal Salihu Mustapha (Turaki) who is an APC stalwart, Alh Saka Onimago (Shettima), a Sarakite , Alh Yakubu Gobir (Madawaki), the gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) Sheikh Sulaiman Onikijipa (Mufti), Sheikh Imam Yakub Aliagan (Seriki Malami) and Engr Kale Kawu (DanIya).
A former Sarakite and APC stalwart who is now the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) gubernatorial candidate, Prof Shuaib AbdulRaheem (Tabla ng Ilorin) was also present at the event.
And similar to the IEDPU’s call for solidarity with the Ilorin Emirate elite, Governor AbdulRazaq at the Eid praying ground on Saturday exchanged greetings with the state’s opposition, including former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and the former Acting national chairman of the PDP, Alh Abubakar Kawu Baraje.