Sometimes in October 2020, at the government state secretariat in Ilorin during a meeting where I chaired the State Committee of Aliko Dangote foundation micro grant beneficiaries selection, I learnt something new.

As part of Aliko Dangote foundation rules, the traditional and religious institutions must be represented on the three-layer committee — State, LGA and Ward. So, the representative of the traditional institution as nominated by the chairman of council of chiefs, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari was the Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, another first class Oba.

Our meeting had commenced with the director of operations of ADF, permanent secretary Ministry of Women Affairs and local government chairmen  with other committee members in attendance when I noticed some high ranking chiefs from Ilorin Emirate with Dogaris (palace guards) making their appearances. I was scared. Why are they here? Who invited them? But Olomu had always represented the interest of the traditional institution, and he was doing well. I asked myself these litany of questions and whispered some words to the committee’s secretary.

It is important to state that, Kabiyesi Olomu is an infectious early comer in any of our meetings; coming from Omu-Aran he arrives Ilorin before 10:00am when some committee members living Ilorin would still be locked in their homes. 

On this fateful day, the meeting was set to commence when our visitors in full royal paraphernalia and authority made entries. They included, Magaji Are, Baba Isale, Dauodu Afon and Dauodu Bode-Saadu. They had a mission that we didn’t suspect but was later let out.

Hardly had the meeting started when they expressed their minds and each faced me while delivering their message.

“Please, ensure that this project is not hijacked by politicians. We are aware of how your people (politicians) do things like this; you share amongst yourselves and forget the people.

“It is worrisome that you distribute things amongst yourselves to the detriment of the larger populace. It is not in the interest of the vulnerable that needs this intervention when you share amongst yourselves.”

This was a dilemma for me and all us on the presiding side. What should be my response? I made a pledge that, the desired people will get the intervention.

Let me also tell you that, right from the morning the news broke, I started receiving calls as from 6:00am each day from top politicians, men and women of influence across the state. It came as pleas and threats. I settled more than two dozens of disagreement that ensued amongst our people (politicians) who felt naturally they must call the shot in their areas.

This is the issue: there is a serious distrust in the political class from the ordinary man on the street. That was the message the royal fathers brought to the meeting.

We have a duty to restore confidence and trust in our people as their representatives in government. We must as politicians think first of this critical mass.

The insistence of Governor AbdulRazaq that the ordinary man should be given preference over and above the privileged man will be a gain for the political class because it will restore the lost confidence. We must not suffer the same bleak that threw men of yesterday away.

The political class, particularly conscientious members of our great party — APC must cooperate with Governor AbdulRazaq to restore dignity and prosperity to our communities/people in Kwara.

The masses must not leave the man protecting their rights in the cold to suffer unnecessary attacks. They must provide the needed immunity required now, for all of us to enjoy the shared prosperity that is already in high momentum in Kwara.

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