Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq continued his consultative meetings with various stakeholders in the state on Thursday, the fourth in two weeks, with robust interfaces with religious leaders, women groups, and political leaders within his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor had recently met with heads of security agencies, first class traditional rulers, political and thoughts leaders, students and youths leaders, and other shades of opinions across the state.
On Thursday, the Governor first met with Muslim and Christian religious leaders to brief them on the developments in the state, including the fallouts of the #EndSARS’ protest, minimum wage, the looting in Ilorin, and the steps he has taken to address the issues and drive socioeconomic growth in every facet of the state.
He also mentioned the sacrifices government officials, including himself still living in his house, have made to save cost while concentrating resources in fixing basic amenities and strengthening critical infrastructure to gradually boost economic growth.
“We are not insensitive nor are we unaccommodating. I urge that we maintain peace and harmony in our state. I urge you to please help us send the right message to our people because they look up to you at all time,” AbdulRazaq told dozens of religious leaders that comprised leadership of the Council of Ulamah led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin Sheikh Muhammad Bashir and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) led to the meeting by Reverend Sunday Adewole.
AbdulRazaq later told reporters that the meeting had been called to brief religious leaders about the happenings in the state and across the country.
“There is (always) the need to meet all strata of the society. We started about two weeks ago with traditional rulers. It is all about peace and development in the country. We also talked about the Police. We need to encourage them to come back. We appreciate what they have been doing. And we acknowledge that not all policemen are involved in brutality,” he said.
“The meeting is part of our strategies for capacity building on peace and security in Kwara.”
Former Grand Kadi of the state Retired Justice Saliu Muhammad, who spoke for the Muslim community, said the meeting was welcome and unique as it underscores the importance AbdulRazaq attaches to consultations.
“This government, from the actions and direction of the Governor, is a government of the people. He has also shown that leadership is not just about the office but about being humble and move closer to the people. He realises that leadership is about going to the hinterlands and getting the inputs of the people,” he said.
“Changes have come politically, economically and socially to Kwara State. This kind of engagement is new in the state. As religious leaders, we owe the whole world a message of peace and that is what we will tell our people.”
Vice Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State Bishop Timothy Adewole, who spoke for the Christian community, commended the Governor for the consultations which he said showed his belief in participatory governance.
“The governor called us to intimate us about happenings in Kwara State. He briefed the religious leaders about happenings in the state. The governor talked about recent labour strike, the #EndSARS protest, and the pieces left after the protest, and the efforts he has made so far, which are quite commendable,” he said.
“We deliberated. We advised him on the next line of actions. We are going into our various constituencies to intimate them about the actions of the government. Information is vital and that is what he has given us. We are going to disseminate the information to our people accordingly.”
The Governor later met with various women groups that comprised professional bodies, market women, politicians, and female grassroots leaders from across the state.
The women, who took turns to congratulate the Governor for his unprecedented efforts at women inclusion and empowerment, urged him to broaden the strategies for youths employment and creating more economic opportunities for women across the state.
They also pledged to support the government in promoting peace.
AbdulRazaq next met with a delegation of the Kwara APC elders led by Alhaji AbdulKadir Manko on issues of development in the state.
The Governor thanked the party elders for their support, reiterating his commitment to building a state that works for all.