Opinion

[Op_Ed] Asa/Ilorin West: Ajia and the quest for quality representation

By Abdullateef ‘Lanre Ahmed

A few weeks ago, a 2019 governorship aspirant in Kwara State, Ibrahim Mohammed Ajia, threw his weight into the ring for the 2023 general elections. But this time, he hearkened to a clarion call of his community to vie for the seat of Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Understandably, the call on him to join the fray is to tend to the yawning gap in the seat of the constituency in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, precipitated by the current lacklustre showing and representation, believed to have deprived the constituency a number of opportunities in almost three years of the present dispensation.

The resolve of the people was that the constituency deserved more than it bargained for in the last poll, and since it is another election season, it is appropriate to look inward and put forward a candidate with antecedents and proven track record of achievements without having to serve in public office previously.

And apparently, the people of Magaji Ngeri Ward of Ilorin West must have observed Ajia, a young, vibrant and energetic police officer, who retired some years ago, before beckoning on him to be the harbinger of hope and fill the void literally created in the last three years in the House of Representatives.

In the spirit of complementarity and with the belief that government can’t provide the people’s needs all alone, the retired Superintendent of Police raised a nongovernmental organization named Mohammed Ajia Ibrahim (MAI) Foundation five years ago with clear objectives of assisting the people at the grassroots in the areas of health, empowerment, poverty alleviation, education, agricultural support , youth capacity building and community development.

For the record, the foundation with its popular slogan “hope alive”, has offered free eye test/treatment including provision of eye glasses for beneficiaries across the state, provided motorized boreholes in various locations, renovated classrooms and built modern toilet for ECWA Primary School Oja Iya in Ilorin West Local Government Area. He has supported small businesses with equipment and cash for micro businesses beside securing federal jobs for numerous young people.

Youth were also not left out in the series of intervention schemes of the foundation having realized that the future of the young people begins now with right orientation to widen their horizons and even provide them with the requisite skills to curb restiveness and social ills prevalent among the critical segment of the society.

The foundation under Ibrahim Mohammed Ajia as Founder and Chief Executive Officer has also, within its available resources, prioritized philanthropism with financial support to the poorest of the poor, thus giving hope to the hitherto hapless and hopeless among the populace.

In the last couple of years of the existence of the foundation, so many nongovernmental organizations have also been partnering it with the common goal of advancing the cause of humanity. Even Nigeria Police Force, as an entity, has benefited from the foundation as it built, furnished and donated first of its kind transit camp for 50 PMF Kubwa, Abuja.

Ajia’s immediate area and adjoining communities also benefitted from his personal benevolence, which obviously drew the colossal support of his people, who felt Magaji Ngeri has not had its fair share for the House of Representatives seat of Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency.

Convinced that Kwara State is better served under the PDP with the wherewithal to takeover the rein of power, the security expert joined the race with formal declaration, submission of letters of intent to party leadership at ward and local government levels and procurement of nomination form in preparation for the primary elections of the party.

With enviable antecedents including philanthropism and cult like following, it is obvious that the opposition party stands a good chance of winning the House of Representatives seat for Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency if Ajia, who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FUNAB Group of Companies, is put forward as candidate in the poll.

That he is influential, charismatic and energetic is no longer a debate. His past records proved his worth and capacity not to reinvent the wheel but provide quality representation that is widely acclaimed to have eluded the federal constituency that should be a pacesetter for others in the lower arm of the National Assembly.

Ajia, over the years, has not hidden the fact that he is a team player, loyal party man with the utmost belief that Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki-led PDP in the state has not completed his assignment of making the people of the state both formal and informal sectors happy with correct leadership that places the welfare of the people above other considerations.

Now that the people can compare and contrast and view beyond sentiment and emotion, it is time for the good people of Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency of PDP to pick Ajia admirably referred to as “Mai Girima” as their flag-bearer and ultimately work as an indivisible entity to triumph in the forthcoming general elections.

Ahmed is an Ilorin-based Journalist.

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