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[Op_Ed] : Of Kwara and Asiwaju’s minister choice – By Idris Onimajesin

The feat would not have been possible if some forces had had their way. Most unfortunately, ministers of the APC government not only worked against their party, they were alleged to have sponsored opposition politicians with huge funds too. But thanks to the outstanding performance of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq which put these forces to shame.

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In the 2023 general election, the feat Kwara State pulled off for the All Progressives Congress (APC) is one for the books. The ruling APC won the presidential election with a very wide margin in the state. It also went further to clinch all the National Assembly seats. What’s more, APC also retained the gubernatorial seat and cleared all the seats at the house of assembly except one. This kind of amazing feat was not recorded in many other states of the federation.

The feat would not have been possible if some forces had had their way. Most unfortunately, ministers of the APC government not only worked against their party, they were alleged to have sponsored opposition politicians with huge funds too. But thanks to the outstanding performance of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq which put these forces to shame.

With this benefit of hindsight therefore, it is not surprising that members of the APC family in Kwara State are now advocating that the ministerial positions of the state be handed to core, loyal party men. This is just as they are appealing for the maintenance of the two ministerial slots Kwara State enjoyed under the last administration. Well, for me, it’s deserving for the state considering its feat and the massive solidarity it rallied for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

I align with their sentiments. Asiwaju must reward loyalty, hard work and commitment to party. Our ministerial appointments should end up in the hands of competent, loyal and faithful party men. We can never afford doling out ministerial appointments to people who are not trusted or reliable. Ministerial appointments should go to those who laboured for the Kwara victory and therefore understand the pains it took to get the victory.

Various groups within the APC family in Kwara State have recently been drumming support for Ambassador Yahaya Seriki Gambari. Yes, he’s very deserving for the role. Seriki, if you ask me, has paid his dues as far as APC is considered and his loyalty to the Governor and contributions to the party and state in general are not in doubt.

We won’t forget that Yahaya Seriki was the ‘four star’ political general who led the Kwara APC Campaign Council as Director General, giving the party a resounding victory across the board. He mobilised resources, networks, spent energy and time for the sweet but hard-fought victory to happen.

His disposition as a genuinely committed APC party man did not just start. We’ll never forget in a hurry how he led the charge for a common front that the party needed to defeat the Saraki establishment in 2019. He sacrificed his ambition to lead the way for a united front by teaming up with AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who was also an aspirant at the time. We won’t also forget the several roles he played to ensure the victory of the party in the 2019 election. Moreso, the statesmanship and sportsmanship he demonstrated during the 2023 primary election where he lost his senatorial bid to Saliu Mustapha. Some contestants have remained bitter over the incident till today. Not for Yahaya Seriki who has continued to stand with the party at both the national and state levels. Hallmark of a sportsman, indeed.

Yahaya Seriki is a young politician with a vast network and acceptability amongst the people. He easily connects with the youth constituency, women, elites, traditional institution, religious institution and many more. So therefore, he possesses the requisite characteristics to become minister in the emerging cabinet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He’s a competent hand too who discharges whatever role assigned to him with total commitment and dedication. A workhorse!

Our new President is a man known to be an outstanding leader who cherishes party loyalty and commitment to party as well as hard work. Yahaya Seriki does not only have these qualities, he’s also a successful investor in the private sector. By appointing Seriki as minister in his cabinet, Asiwaju would have settled for the popular choice. And by extension, he would be buying one and getting one free: Seriki the political juggernaut and Seriki the experienced business man.

As Asiwaju leads Nigeria to prosperity and renew our hope in this great country, we want to see Kwara-born Yahaya Seriki making history with him.

Onimajesin writes from Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State

Opinion

How Otunba Ajiboye Is Repositioning Nigeria’s Cultural Values- By Saeed Tijjani

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“Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle” by Albert Camus

On January 12th, 2024 the appointment of Otunba Biodun Ajiboye as the Director General, National Institute For Cultural Orientation (NICO) under the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu hit the Nigerian airwaves.

An appointment that has been described by Nigerians, cultural experts, cultural icons, corporate organizations among others, as befitting and deserving.

This is not far fetched from the fact that Otunba Biodun Ajiboye is a renown cultural icon whose activity in the international cultural festival, tagged world sango Festival saw over 20000 foreigners in Nigeria in the year 2013.

The new NICO DG and currently the Otunba Muwagun of ORO Kingdom was also on a tour of cultural expedition with the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III to Cuba and Brazil in 2014 to appreciate the importance of Yoruba culture in the Americas.

A cultural outing that has distinguished his capacity and love for the growth and expansion of Nigeria Culture.

The passion for culture is always displayed in every of his ceremonial dressing, as a disciple of the late Alafin of Oyo, he mostly appears in his “abeti aja” cap and a well tailored kembe and Royal Dansiki.

Away from being a cultural icon, as a respected Leader in both media and telecommunications, the Cultural ICON understands the ideas and what it takes to contribute to the success of Nigeria’s creative economy.

With a successful background in media and advertising, he is a luminary in the industry.

In less than 3 months upon his assumption as the 6th Director General, National Institute For Cultural Orientation, He took the bull by the horns radiating his commitment on not leaving any stone untouched towards ensuring the success of the agency inline with the #RenewedHope mantra of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that birthed the creation of the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.

The NICO Boss has reiterated that inline with President Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda, his vision for NICO is ensuring cultural renaissance, championing cultural regeneration, and advocacy in the rich tapestry of the Nation while harnessing culture for National Development.

As part of his commitment to ensuring a resounding success in office, He paid a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hajia Hannatu Musawa where he expressed his eagerness to collaborate with the Ministry, emphasizing on the pivotal role of cultural orientation in the nation’s creative evolution.

The Cultural ICON has set the machinery in motion to promote Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage propelled by his vision of a nation with a true “Cultural Identity”

Inline with one of the Institute’s objectives of serving as a focus for orientation in cultural matters for Nigeria’s policy makers and other government officials, The NICO Boss also noted that the Institute under his watch will focus more on training political Leaders, Legislators, Diplomats, Military and para-military Leaders.

In his quest towards achieving this and repositioning the Institute, he also parleys the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (NATCOM-UNESCO) in Nigeria.

He has also struck strategic partnership with top agencies like The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where NICO partnered on inter-agency collaborations towards re-orienting Nigerians on the need to revive its cultural values as a tool to fight and eradicate corruption in the country.

In a bid to strengthen the involvement of young people in the safeguarding, transmission and promotion of Nigerian culture towards equipping them to become experts in safeguarding the nation’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) collaborated with NICO and the University of Calabar to undertake the training, this was made possible by the Otunba Ajiboye led administration.

The Cultural ICON also secured approval from the Management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to commence teaching of Nigerian indigenous languages in 36 states of the federation and the FCT. This is part of his vision towards driving national re-enactment of Nigeria’s cultural values.

The Oro Born technocrat also revealed his plans on how Nigeria through NICO can earn huge foreign exchange through proper packaging and enhancing Nigeria’s festivals and tourism potentials. He noted that if these are properly put in place they can serve as a good foreign exchange for the country that will help to boost its economy.

In his quest towards a policy realignment that will mandate the inclusion of at least 20 percent of cultural content in films produced in Nigeria, He also partnered the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to explore areas of collaboration towards achieving the renewed hope agenda of the president Tinubu.

He maintained that he’ll drive the Institute’s core mandate and reposition it to take its right responsibility within the dictate of the Act that created it through effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders both in public sector and private sector.

Otunba is committed to re-enacting cultural values in Nigeria as one that is characterized by vision, diligence and steadfast, dedication towards advancing the cultural landscape in the country.

These uncommon traits of Otunba Biodun Ajiboye has also been confirmed by His Imperial Majesty, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife in his press release where he commended President Tinubu and expresses satisfaction over Ajiboye’s appointment as NICO DG.

It’s pleasing to say that Nigeria is lucky to have Otunba Biodun Ajiboye as the custodian of its cultural orientation, another good choice made by President Tinubu towards the actualization of the Renewed Hope agenda.

Culture which makes for group identity and unity is key to genuine nation-building, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye is bringing everything and everyone on board to ensuring the success of President Tinubu towards national development and economic advancement by promoting and projecting the Nigeria’s Cultural values to the world.

If development can be regarded as the enhancement of our living standards then efforts geared development cannot ignore culture.

The United States of America is said to be where they are today as a result of management and development of their cultural values.

It’s our collective responsibilities as a Nation and as people to support Otunba Biodun Ajiboye in his quest to promote Nigeria’s Cultural values.

Saeed Tijjani is a renown online media Practitioner from Kwara State and can be contacted via saeedtijjani3@gmail.com

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Opinion

[Op_Ed] Rethinking Nigeria’s Future: A Call for Unity and Governance Reform

During the 2023 elections, the APC resorted to divisive tactics, exploiting religious and cultural fault lines to secure power. This manipulation not only underscored the party’s desperation but also underscored a lack of vision for inclusive governance.

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The deafening silence that greeted our warnings about the consequences of re-electing the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections mirrored the depths of Nigeria’s societal divisions. In a nation rich with multicultural diversity, the failure to grasp the inherent strength in our differences remains a poignant reality.

During the 2023 elections, the APC resorted to divisive tactics, exploiting religious and cultural fault lines to secure power. This manipulation not only underscored the party’s desperation but also underscored a lack of vision for inclusive governance.

From 2015 to 2023, Nigeria witnessed a stark regression across all key indicators, from economic growth to security, with the ruling party failing to address any of the nation’s pressing challenges.

It is disheartening that, amidst the fervor of choosing new leadership, fundamental considerations are often overlooked. How could a nation knowingly reinstate failure? Despite eight years of lackluster governance, the APC’s return to power exemplifies a failure of collective memory and foresight.

The persistence of religious and thought leaders in endorsing a regime that perpetuates widespread poverty highlights a systemic failure in our societal ethos. A revolution of our thought processes is imperative, urging Nigerians to prioritize critical analysis over blind allegiance.

Embedded within our societal fabric is a pernicious tribal and religious chasm, perpetuated by politically motivated propaganda. Yet, true progress necessitates a collective embrace of unity, transcending divisive rhetoric.

Amidst the prevailing adversities, baseless tribal and religious arguments only serve to deepen societal schisms. To chart a path forward, we must transcend these divisions and embrace a unified national identity.

While acknowledging the reinstatement of failure under the APC, unity remains our beacon amid the storm. Our diversity, if harnessed effectively, promises immense benefits in decision-making, creativity, and community development.

Efforts to further divide us are intensifying, especially on social media. Recent calls for a shift from a presidential to a parliamentary system, warrant serious consideration. The inherent flaws of the presidential system, exemplified by its inefficiency and lack of accountability, underscore the need for reform.

A parliamentary system, tailored to Nigeria’s diverse landscape, offers a viable alternative. Drawing inspiration from past successes, such as the era of Sir Tafawa Balewa, a parliamentary framework ensures enhanced governance through transparency and accountability.

Unlike the current presidential system, wherein power is concentrated in the hands of one individual, a parliamentary model distributes authority, fostering a culture of oversight and collaboration. The ability of parliamentarians to hold the Prime Minister accountable reflects a democratic ideal sorely lacking in the current system.

Nigeria’s democracy, rather than a mere emulation of foreign models, should be uniquely tailored to our socio-cultural context. The inherent diversity of our nation renders a centralized leadership model untenable, necessitating a shift towards inclusive governance.

In pursuit of national progress, the overhaul of our governance structure is paramount. The presidential system’s detrimental impact on local government authorities and the judiciary underscores the urgency of reform.

As we navigate the complexities of our nation’s future, unity and governance reform stand as linchpins of progress. By embracing our diversity and reimagining our governance framework, we can forge a path towards a more prosperous and inclusive Nigeria.

Sincerely,

Farid Abdulrazzaq Salman Esq

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Opinion

Oloriegbe: The Game Changer At 63

The above quote by Jackie Robinson best encapsulates the life and personality of the Immediate past lawmaker who represented the interest of the people of Kwara Central Senatorial District in the 9th Senate of the Nigerian National Assembly — Dr Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, who clocks sixty-three years on the 12th of November this year.

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“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

The above quote by Jackie Robinson best encapsulates the life and personality of the Immediate past lawmaker who represented the interest of the people of Kwara Central Senatorial District in the 9th Senate of the Nigerian National Assembly — Dr Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, who clocks sixty-three years on the 12th of November this year.

Born in the year 1960 when Nigerian got her independence from the colonial masters, Ibrahim ironically grew up to become one of the very few people whom almighty Allah used in the year 2019 to liberate the people of Kwara State from the grip of non-colonial colonialists who politically enslaved and held the State economic jugular for many years. Like many failed attempts of the liberationists such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Anthony Enahoro, and other eminent Nigerians who patriotically waged war against the colonialists before they eventually succeeded over 63yrs ago, many progressive and conscientious Kwarans have been on the struggle for a liberated Kwara State before 2019, and Oloriegbe happened to be one of them and was even the torchbearer of the struggle in 2011 before becoming victor eighter year later, the rest as they do say; is history.

The attempt of this piece is not to highlight Oloriegbe’s biography or recount his achievements as a Medical Practitioner and later a politician of note, several scholarly publications have been written in this regard by different authors who were fascinated by his outstanding personality and strides. However, it is a tribute to celebrate the new addition to his age, the first one after his remarkable performance as the representative of his people in the Nigerian highest lawmaking body in Abuja.

While open tributes and public validations characterizing a day like this for any serving public office holder may likely be reduced drastically in number for Oloriegbe because he is out of public office, for people like us who wined, dined, and witnessed how he diligently served and delivered sterlingly in the task given to him, it will be another day to bring him to the public glare, for he is a hero worthy of celebration beyond his birthday and the office where he served.

For us, we ain’t celebrating Oloriegbe for being a politician who has enormous cash to throw around when he needs people to hail him and shout his name around; we are, and shall be celebrating him only for the indelible impact he left behind as a first and one time Senator that performed beyond the expectation of friends and enemies.

As if he had the premonition that he wouldn’t have the privilege of the second time, within four years, he worked and overworked himself in the Senate by thicking the tripod used for assessing legislative representation in any democratic setting. From bills to motions sponsorship; to contributing brilliantly to issues of National importance; to fearless outings at any oversight events; to projects and benefits facilitation to the people whose mandate he had, he exhibited a class with no equal neither amongst his contemporaries nor his predecessors.

His performance was so huge and visible to an extent that his sworn critics could not hide their admiration and sympathies for him when he couldn’t obtain the return ticket in the primary elections. Albeit his inability to return, he refused to rock the boat against his party, and neither did he falter in his obligations to the people of his constituency. Rather than sulking and disenchanted about the outcome, he ensured that all the projects he facilitated were delivered to specification without suffering any deserved vigour. As he marks his birthday this year, he through his wife yesterday commissioned some other projects facilitated through the year 2023 appropriation act, as several constituents would receive empowerment tools from him today as well, as part of the Capital Projects he input into the ongoing year’s budget, supplemented with additional funds from his private pocket. A non-serving Senator still doing wonders outside office!

To Oloriegbe, it is about service to the people, it is about transparency and accountability, it is about being alive to one’s responsibility; it is about keeping to trust and being trustworthy before man and God. What a special breed of politician we have in him.

Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe might have lost his seat in the Red Chamber, but he has not lost his respect and position amongst critical stakeholders and elder statesmen that the new administration on board in the Nation is consulted and will continue to consult regarding the state of the country, especially in the health sector which is his forte. The reason is not far-fetched, he has paid his due as a professional medical expert and outstanding public servant who was one of the three best Senators of 2019-2023 set as rated by the OrderPaper.

As Oloriegbe becomes a year older today, I celebrate the Game Changer who redefined the legislative representation in Kwara Central and Kwara State as a whole as his standard becomes the yardstick to measure the present and future legislators. May almighty Allah continue to work and walk with him in all his endeavours.

Bolaji Aladie writes from Ilorin. He can be reached via bolergyladie@gmail.com

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Opinion

Obasanjo Orders Oyo Traditional Rulers To stand up and greet him

Obasanjo issued this directive while inaugurating a 34.85 km Oyo-Iseyin Road and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin Campus, home to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources.

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On Friday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo reiterated the constitutional authority of elected officials during an event where he instructed certain traditional leaders to rise and greet him.

Obasanjo issued this directive while inaugurating a 34.85 km Oyo-Iseyin Road and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin Campus, home to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources.

Speaking in Yoruba, the ex-president emphasized the importance of traditional rulers showing respect to their elders and those in positions of power, as it contributes to preserving the Omoluabi culture of the Yorubas.

He stated, “Thank you. Please, take your seats. Firstly, I extend my greetings to all monarchs and royal fathers, and I appreciate your presence here. However, let me clarify something: whenever the governor or the president is in attendance, even royal fathers should stand in honor of the president (or the governor).”

“Stand up! You may then take your seats. Please!!!” he instructed them.

The statesman emphasized, “In our (Yoruba) culture, we hold two main principles in high regard: age and position. The governor’s position takes precedence over that of any monarch, as long as he is still the governor.”

He added that even during his tenure as president, he respected traditional rulers, underlining the importance of promoting cultural values and systems.

The retired military officer served as Nigeria’s head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its president from 1999 to 2007.

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Opinion

Uniting Behind Abdulrahman Abdullahi Kayode for Kwara State PDP Secretary

In GreatKay, we find not just a leader, but a torchbearer of unwavering loyalty to the party’s ideals and principles. His commitment to the PDP’s core values resonates deeply, setting an example for all who aspire to make a meaningful impact in the political landscape. His loyalty, cultivated through years of dedicated service, serves as a foundation upon which we can build a stronger, more cohesive party.

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By Onilemarun Abdulkareem

In the dynamic realm of politics, it’s not just experience that matters; it’s the fusion of dedication, loyalty, and fresh perspectives that propel a party towards success. Again, we spotlight a true stalwart of the party – Abdulrahman Abdullahi Kayode, affectionately known as GreatKay. As we stand on the precipice of progress, it’s paramount for all stakeholders to rally around this loyal Sarakite and passionate youth, advancing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State.

In GreatKay, we find not just a leader, but a torchbearer of unwavering loyalty to the party’s ideals and principles. His commitment to the PDP’s core values resonates deeply, setting an example for all who aspire to make a meaningful impact in the political landscape. His loyalty, cultivated through years of dedicated service, serves as a foundation upon which we can build a stronger, more cohesive party.

But loyalty is not the only virtue that GreatKay brings to the table. His youthfulness injects a fresh energy that’s essential for the growth and rejuvenation of our party. The perspectives of the younger generation are crucial to fostering innovation and ensuring that the PDP remains relevant to the evolving needs of our constituents. GreatKay’s innate ability to bridge the generational gap positions him as a unifying force that can bridge the old, young, today and the future.

As we embark on this journey to advance the PDP’s cause in Kwara State, it’s imperative that all stakeholders recognize the potential that GreatKay embodies. His deep-rooted understanding of the party’s history, coupled with his forward-thinking outlook, makes him an ideal candidate to lead us into a new era of success and progress.

In embracing GreatKay’s candidacy, we’re not just endorsing an individual; we’re standing up for the principles of unity, progress, and unwavering commitment. Our party’s strength lies in our collective efforts, and by rallying behind a leader like GreatKay, we send a resounding message that the PDP is poised to rise to new heights.

Let’s unite as stakeholders, as members of a family united by a shared vision, and propel the People’s Democratic Party in Kwara State towards a brighter future. Together, we can pave the way for a new chapter of growth, inclusivity, and success under the leadership of a committed Sarakite and dedicated youth – Abdulrahman Abdullahi Kayode, GreatKay. The time for progress is now, and it starts with all of us coming together for a better tomorrow.

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Opinion

[Op_Ed]: Kwara PDP State Secretaryship: why Greatkay stand tall among it’s peers.

In the realm of Kwara politics, one individual who stands out as an influential figure is Greatkay. The name Greatkay has become synonymous with excellence, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the development of Kwara State. His formidable track record and outstanding achievements have propelled him to prominence, setting him apart from his contemporaries in the Kwara PDP State Secretaryship race.

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By Abdulsalam Oniyere

In the realm of Kwara politics, one individual who stands out as an influential figure is Greatkay. The name Greatkay has become synonymous with excellence, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the development of Kwara State. His formidable track record and outstanding achievements have propelled him to prominence, setting him apart from his contemporaries in the Kwara PDP State Secretaryship race.

First and foremost, Abdulrahma Abdullah Kayode popularly known as Greatkay extensive experience in politics makes him a remarkable candidate for the position. Having been actively involved in the political landscape of Kwara for several years, he has acquired a deep understanding of the local dynamics and intricacies that shape the state politics. This invaluable experience enables him to navigate the complex web of politics with poise and strategic acumen, giving him a competitive advantage over his peers.

Moreover, Greatkay possesses exceptional leadership qualities that have earned him widespread respect and admiration from both his colleagues and the general public. He is known for his visionary approach, pragmatic decision-making, and ability to inspire and mobilize others towards a common goal. His natural charisma and effective communication skills enable him to connect with people at all levels of society, fostering trust and inclusivity within the political landscape.

Greatkay’s unwavering commitment to the development of Kwara is another key factor that sets him apart from others in the race. He has consistently championed initiatives and policies aimed at improving the lives of the people of Kwara State. His focus on education, healthcare, infrastructure, and job creation has demonstrated his genuine concern for the well-being and progress of the state’s residents. It is this passion and dedication that has earned him the respect and support of many, further solidifying his position as a formidable candidate.

Furthermore, Greatkay’s ethical conduct and integrity serve as a shining example to his peers. He has consistently upheld the highest standard of honesty and transparency in his political career, refusing to engage in corrupt practices or compromise his principles for personal gain. This unwavering commitment to ethics and accountability has earned him the trust and confidence of the people, who view him as a leader they can rely on In the realm of Kwara politics.

In conclusion, Greatkay’s exceptional experience, leadership qualities, commitment to development, and ethical conduct set him apart from his peers in the Kwara PDP State Secretaryship race. His ability to navigate the intricacies of Kwara politics, inspire others, and prioritize the welfare of the people is a testament to his suitability for the position. With Greatkay at the helm, there is no doubt that Kwara State will experience tremendous growth and progress.

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