The Kwara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has challenged the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state, Alhaji AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq, to make his campaign issue-based instead of engaging in campaign of calumny against the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The party stated this while reacting to claims by Abdulrasaq that Saraki and his successor, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, have failed to develop Kwara and invest in its people.
Dismissing the claim as baseless, false and misleading, the party said: “From 2003 when Dr Bukola Saraki became the governor of Kwara State up till this present administration of Governor Ahmed, Kwara has witnessed significant growth and development across all sectors.
“The successive administrations of Dr Saraki and Governor Ahmed have also invested heavily in the people of the State through their various projects and programmes in different sectors ranging from education, health, roads and rural and urban development.
“For the record, the administration of Dr Bukola Saraki established the Kwara State University (KWASU), the International Aviation College, Ilorin, the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, Kwara Football Academy, remodelling of the Ilorin Township Stadium, Upgrading of Asa Dam Waterworks and phase one of Ilorin Water reticulation Project, and implemented Urban and Rural Electrification, which saw the setting up of the Ganmo Power Generation Plant and hundreds of ordinary power substations.
“His government embarked on the construction and rehabilitation of roads across the 16 local government areas of the State, which included the rural and feeder road projects, Ilorin metropolitan street lights projects, provision of low-cost housing estates and the Kwara Mall Project.
“As a leader committed to the well being of his people, Dr Bukola Saraki introduced the first state health insurance programme in Nigeria known as the Kwara Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services to poor people in rural communities of the State. The scheme allowed beneficiaries to access primary quality healthcare services all year round for a premium of N500.
“Owing to its impacts on the people of Kwara State, the scheme received multiple awards from international organisations including the United Nations and Bill Gates Foundation.
“The scheme was recently upgraded to a state-wide health insurance scheme by Governor Ahmed to allow all categories of Kwarans and residents of the State benefit from it”, it said adding that it initiated the ‘Every Child Counts’ education policy, which has now been adopted by the federal government because of its positive impacts.
Further, the PDP said Governor Ahmed has since 2011 consolidated and listed the International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College, Ajase-Ipo, remodeling of five general hospitals into state-of-the-art facilities, ultramodern KWASU Engineering complex, 1000-unit Maigida Housing Estate in Ilorin rural and urban road projects as well as people-oriented programmes such as the SME micro-credit scheme that has benefited more 50, 000 small and medium scale businesses across the State.
“The present administration is also undertaking various ongoing projects across the State which includes the two satellite campuses of KWASU in Osi and Ilesha-Baruba, KWASU Post-Graduate School in Ilorin, Geri-Alimi Diamond Underpass, dualisation of Sango-UITH-Oke Ose road, ultramodern secretariat for civil servants, among others”.
It said these projects and programmes implemented by Saraki and Governor Ahmed administrations have had multiplier effects on the development of Kwara State as well as improved their socio-economic welfare.