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{Op-Ed}: Indeed, Gov AbdulRazaq is Baba-for-the-Youth!- Murtado Sulaimon

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Last week, one of the appointees of Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq called him Baba-for-the-Youth, referring to his government’s applaudable investments in youths, which most observers agree are unprecedented in the country given that no state Governor has trusted young people with power, influence and authority.

Two months ago, a friend and columnist from a neighbouring state wrote an article where he curiously asked why the governor of his State is not taking a leaf out of Governor AbdulRazaq’s book by empowering and investing in the youths of the State whose votes significantly contributed to his emergence in 2019 and 2023.

My friend noted that while AbdulRazaq was determined to build the next generation of leaders, the Governor of his state is not conscious of posterity and has continued to hurt the youths whose only sin was massively voting for him with the hope that he would empower, invest and replicate the giant strides of the likes Mallam AbdulRazaq.

That AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s empowerment and appointment of youths into leadership positions has contributed to being a reference point and particularly reported by traditional and new media is not surprising. This is what happens when you choose a different path from your predecessors in your efforts to build the next generation of leaders.

There’s no gainsaying that no governor has contributed significantly to the development of the youth like Governor AbdulRazaq since Kwara was created decades ago. Not even the dictator and heir of the banished Saraki dynasty who plundered his God-given opportunity to represent Nigerians at the 8th National Assembly. He would later have nothing to show for his stint at the Red Chamber when legislators with lower rankers were commissioning giant projects in their constituencies.

Even as AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s massive investments in youths have continued to yield fruits across sectors, particularly in sport and education these days, the governor, while filling questions from journalists, recently assured Kwara youths that his administration will continue to prioritise their development regardless of background.

Indeed, AbdulRazaq is Baba-for-the-Youth. He’s appointed the youths in the state as commissioners, SSAs, SAs, and heads of agencies, recommended them for federal opportunities, and invested in their education, sporting activities and businesses. Yet, he says the youth community should expect more from him, noting that his government will continue prioritising their development.

Governor AbdulRazaq has raised the bar. He has surpassed the standard. Deliberate in thought and action, Governor Abdulrazaq has etched his name on the sand of time as the most youth-friendly Governor in Nigeria and beyond. His adversaries can only be jealous of his unwavering commitment to youth involvement in the decision-making process.

Sulaimon writes from Ilorin, Kwara State.

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