AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR ABDULRAHMAN ABDULRAZAQ
The Executive Governor of Kwara State,
His Excellency, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq,
NO ONE IS GOD, THREAD SOFTLY
I am not oblivious of the risk of writing this open letter, yet, I chose to stick my neck out for posterity.
I have had causes to interact with you both physically and through other mediums of communication prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial election of 2019 where you, I and about 10 others were in the contest. Despite being unfairly treated by the party during the primary election, I never displayed any form of contempt towards you. Do recall when the then APC Chairman, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa (BOB) came with you to my Maitama office in Abuja to plead with me to support you. I told you to go to my campaign office in Ilorin and speak with my supporters, which you obliged. Since you emerged as the Governor of Kwara State, I have given you nothing but respect and maximum support. I, however, do not understand the reason for the deep-seated animosity you have towards me.
There is no gainsaying that you are the biggest beneficiary of the revolution and struggle for the emancipation of our dear state between 2018 and the election of 2019. I remember very clearly how the struggle started in the early 2018. I led my ward, Alanamu, to organize the first parallel congress within the APC. Sequel to the success of the first parallel congress, the movement gathered momentum and the parallel congress was replicated at the Local Government (LG) level. Aside from Ilorin West LG where I spearheaded the parallel congress, there were scores of LG parallel congresses across the state. We didn’t stop there; I, alongside notable stakeholders within the APC, proceeded to Arca Santa Arena for the State parallel congress. It should be noted that only three of us, that is, Alh. S.Y. Yaman, the then Hon. Minister of Information, Alh. Lai Muhammed, and my humble self, financed the entire process which subsequently provided the Executive of our own faction led by BOB. Thereafter, we went to Abuja for the APC National Congress.
Leading a faction of the party to a National Congress where the then number 3 citizen of the nation was in charge of the main faction, was not a walk in the park. We were like orphans at the venue since there was no space for us under the pavilion. The delegates we sponsored to Abuja could not get tags to access the venue. It was a terrible experience but we remained undaunted because we were determined to achieve our goal of emancipating Kwara State.
My brother, AbdulRahman, you may not be aware of the challenges we faced in our struggle to sustain the tempo of stabilizing our own faction of the party because as at that time, you were in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). That is why it is expedient that I take you back to how the struggle started so that you will have a proper grasp of the sacrifices some of us made that paved the way for the benefits you are currently reaping.
However, as soon as you clinched the APC’s governorship ticket, you started to show your true colours. You fought most of the people you met in the APC, a party you decamped to just a few weeks to the primaries. You got your way through the back door, yet, we all accepted the wish of Allah. We collapsed our structure and supported you after the former President appealed to all the Governorship aspirants at the villa in Abuja.
Instead of you to appreciate our coming together to support you, after your inauguration, you chose to destroy most of us politically and now, you plan to destroy me economically. It will not work because you didn’t make me in the first instance. I am a God-made man and your threats hold no water.
It is important to remind you that the allegation that I am waging social media war against you on the Kwara Hotels (KH) issue is vague, in the sense that, was it me that coordinated the social media attack on your government over the Tanke bridge or other projects that Kwarans have spoken against?
The KH imbroglio ought not to have generated this kind of conversation if the government that you lead had played by the book.
Your Excellency, you and I know that my company, Crystal Group, bidded in 2021 for the KH Concession. We went through a painstaking process and subsequently, Harmony Holdings Ltd. issued us a letter of Award. You chaired the state Exco to approve the Award. We requested for a legislative concurrence which you obliged, and the Kwara State House of Assembly gave their legislative approval. We received the draft agreement but at the point of finalizing the agreement, you chose to do something in the contrary. I requested to see you on different occasions when I sensed the plan that was being orchestrated but you avoided me.
Please recall that my last chat and conversation with you on the KH matter was on 1st December, 2023. I sent you a copy of the press release by your government and expressed how shocking it was for me to hear of a new tender bid for the same KH that I already have approval for by both the Executive and the Legislature. Recall that you called me back almost immediately and that was when you mentioned your intention to spend N17.8 billion.
Between you, me and Almighty Allah, I told you that the figure is completely outrageous and that the N3 billion my company proposed and subsequently got approval for could do the job. I also noted that if for any reason, we have to consider inflation and the exchange rate, then, we can look at a figure around N5 billion. What offence have I committed by telling you the truth?
I am a professional in hospitality, I know the dynamics of the business and I gave my sincere position as a concerned Kwaran. I know we have a deficit in other key areas like infrastructure, health, Education etc. I rejected taking the unpriced bill you sent to me because I already have an approval. You felt challenged by my refusal and you went ahead to award the contract at a staggering sum of N17.8 billion.
This is not fair, Mr. Governor. You and I know that this figure is unjustifiable and a waste of scarce resources. The good people of Kwara got wind of it and decided to ventilate their opinions as it’s allowed in a democracy. I expected you to have listened to them. They voted you into office, you are supposed to be subservient to them. You are supposed to be a servant and not a dictator that abhors dissent views.
My company, through our lawyers, wrote an appeal letter to you to rescind your decision to award the contract to another company when there is a subsisting and valid Award and that if such is not done, we might approach the court for a relief. Yet, you took the letter in bad faith and saw it as absurd.
If we don’t go to court, where else can we go to seek redress? My dear brother, you threatened that you will destroy me if I go to court. Are you my maker or my God? No please.
Let me make it clear to you that as a law-abiding citizen, I will surely go to court whether you like it or not and I await whatever you plan to do. I am unmoved by your threats. Kwara’s common patrimony is not your personal property, you are just a temporary custodian. We have had Governors before you and we will still have many Governors after you. Power is transient.
I learnt you said you will use the government instrumentality to deal with me. I am waiting for you. For the records, you planned to demolish my properties in Kwara. I have been investing in my dear state since 1989 and I won’t stop. I have investments worth billions of naira in Kwara and employed many of our people. Go ahead and carry out your threat, roll out your bulldozer, I am waiting. You are not God. Don’t forget the stories of David and Goliath, and Moses and Pharaoh. God takes care of the defenceless.
Lastly, you have been in saddle of the affairs of our state for the past 4½ years, how many Kwarans have you patronized or assisted? Yet, you want to destroy a business that is the source of livelihood for Kwarans. For once, put yourself in the position of the people you hurt at will, how would you feel if roles were reversed? Remember, no one is God.
APC Chieftain and Former Governorship Aspirant.