By Adebayo Abdullahi
As the 2019 general elections approaches, the race for Kwara State Government House has become more interesting than ever before as aspirants continue to declare their interest in the coveted seat. Although, some appear to be pretenders while only a handful few were observed to have the charisma to take over the mantle of leadership.
Over the years, Dr. Ali Ahmad had demonstrated his sterling leadership qualities at various opportunities at his disposal. Little wonder, till date Nigeria is yet to see anyone that will surpass his achievement as the best lawmaker who sponsored the highest number of bills and even successfully lobbied his colleagues to pass 10 of his bills at a single sitting.
A brief look at some of the achievements recorded so far at the Kwara State House of Assembly under his leadership is a clear testimony of his commitment to the well being of the people and has proven to be a tested and trusted hand and has never disappointed the masses in whatever capacity he found himself to serve his people.
Walking down the memory lane, Dr. Ahmad, at the ministerial defence of 2016 budget, made it known to everyone that the activities of the Harmony Holdings was shrouded in secrecy and assured Kwarans that the House under his watch would not tolerate such from an organisation set up to manage the State Government investments.
Earlier this year, the House concluded its investigation on Harmony Holdings and considers the people despite the pressure from various quarters to sweep the Committee’s findings under the carpet. The Speaker, who has proven to be a man of honour and integrity neither allowed himself to be cowed nor give in to threats from various quarters as he ensured that justice prevailed regardless of whose ox is gored.
Another precedence was when a request for approval of the House to access N20bn Bond was received from the State Government. It amazed everyone that a House that comprises members of the same political party with the State Governor and without an opposition could turn down such request having called for public hearing to harness the opinions of the public before it took the decision.
Another issue that earns Ali Ahmad the trust and respect of the public was the issue of Kwara State Polytechnic school fees hike. All hope was lost before the House waded into the matter. What everyone thought was going be the usual media hype by the legislature later turned to a surprise package when the House passed the resolution that the increment should be reverted and same was implemented.
To ensure total compliance with the resolution of the House, the Speaker moved that the House stood down consideration of 2018 budget till the executive arm complied with the resolution of the House on the school fees increment. This step brought smiles to the faces of the students and parents who had been running helter-skelter to raise the fees and even rekindle their hope in the Ali Ahmad-led House.
Another outstanding display that convinced everyone that Ali Ahmad is a man that will always stand with the masses was when the issue of Paris club refund came up for debate. We are all aware of the stand of the executive on using the entire money for provision of infrastructure, the personal intervention of the Speaker ensured that workers who were being owed backlog of salaries were settled as he insisted that a substantial part of the fund be used to clear outstanding salaries of teachers and local Government staff.
All these aforementioned issues were resolved as a result of his inclusive leadership style which has enabled kwarans participate more in governance than before thereby giving a sense of belonging to all.
These are just few out of many. There are several other instances where Ali Ahmad has proven to be tested and trusted. One is however confident that if given the chance, Kwarans will experience a greater sense of belonging and also bring government closer to the people by bridging the gap between the government and the governed through his inclusive leadership style.
On so many occasions, Ali Ahmad has proven to kwarans that in all his actions, Kwara comes first and the love of his community cannot be compromised.
Adebayo Abdullahi writes from Kwara State. He can be reached via (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Twitter : (@adebayokwha)