VIEWPOINT: Why Prof. Oba Should be Elected as Next Kwara Governor By Abubakar S. Imam Following the rising tempo of politics nation- wide, many analysts have seized every available space and air-wave to uncover their thoughts or outright emotions on political aspirants and their aspirations. While such discussions should be encouraged to enrich our democracy, it is necessary to advise that such intellectual enterprises should not be devoid of empiricism in the interest of posterity. This is because history is memory. It is in the light of the above that I would like to debunk the insinuations abortively projected by one Bashir Akanbi in his Facebook Account about the glittering personality and rising profile of Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem OFR, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission. I must say that my interest in the debate is goaded not just by patriotism but also penetrating empiricism as we must always cultivate and exhibit rectitude at all times and on all issues. We need not to run down our leaders to protect selfish-interests and group yearnings or destroy our heroes to satisfy the pernicious appetite of others. I found all the allegations propagated against the Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin laughable as none of the postulations celebrated in the attempt can stand the test of objective scrutiny and distilled positivism. Without a modicum of doubt, Professor Abdulraheem remains one of the most sincere and patriotic indigenes Ilorin Emirate is blessed with. In the realm of human capital development, the Professor is second to none in the annals of the Emirate. His intervention in the facilitation of employment opportunities for youth is universal. His interest has always been competence, integrity and fairness in the selection of his beneficiaries here. He cares little about where one comes from. The appointment of the Director of Corporate Affairs of the University of Ilorin during his tenure at the ivory tower remains a glittering example of his candid nature. Space would not permit me to render the names of his several beneficiaries. But the case of Jimoh Ologbomosho Pakata, from the maternal side of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who the Professor assisted with an appointment at the Nigeria Ports Authority shows that he is unparalleled in that realm. The perilious allegation of fueling the Aafin- Okemale dichotomy and outright nepotism posted against Professor Oba is also painfully misplaced. Right from his days at the Bayero University, Kano, his doors have always been opened to all those who sought his assistance for admission and financial support without minding their origin. He also built on that traits as he contributed to the emergence of Professor S.A Dan-Fulani as the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in 2009 and the baptismal of Dr. Ali Ahmed, among others, into politics and public service. In fact, the incumbent Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed can also claim not to have benefited from the patronage of the Professor during their days in kano. For the author of the piece to dub the Professor as academically – unproductive shows his lack of respect for ingenuity and creativity. For the avoidance of doubt, Oba Abu obtained his post-graduate degrees from two of the foremost globally renowned Universities in 1980 and 1982 respectively when most of his antagonists were still in the Higher College. While his contemporaries were seeking employment in juicy places, the Professor preferred the academic world where he assisted in building the careers of so many persons many of whom have attained the pinnacles of their interests. He has also addressed so many academic fora at all levels and supervised many Ph.D candidates who are now Professors. It is, indeed, amazing that an anonymous critic could question the academic integrity of a well-baked Scholar, who did not only attained the pinnacle of his academic endeavour but also won the prestigious National Order of Productivity Merit Award. Professor Abdulraheem, unlike the unscientific position of Bashir Akanbi, is an efficient manager of human resources. That is, indeed, a factor which accounted for his leadership of the Governing Council of nearly all the institutions of higher learning in the state at various times. His worth also influenced his Chairmanship of the Transition Committee that mid-wived the administration of Ex-Governor Bukola Saraki in 2003. The allegation of financial recklessness leveled against the penetrating Scholar is also unfounded. The Professor is known for his meticulous application of financial resources everywhere he worked as the panel set-up to investigate his tenure at Unilorin cleared him of financial mismanagement while the opposition to his appointment and reappointment as the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission based on spurious charges fell like a pack of cards. Many are also unaware that Professor Abdulraheem facilitated the emergence of the late Alhaji Ahmad Hameed as the National President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union in 2004. The IEDPU power- brokers had approached the eminent egg-head with a view to making him the President of the Union. He declined the offer and instead nominated Alhaji Ahmad Hameed for the slot. The issue of the betrayal of the cause and interest of Ilorin Emirate when he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin is also watery and unfounded. The Professor never disrespected any of the leaders and elders of the community either then or now. He was seen by those apolitical patriots and elders as a true son of Ilorin who gave a very good account of himself. That was why unassuming elders of the Emirate like the late Justice Saidu Kawu, late Alhaji Akanbi Oniyangi, late Alh. S.A. Lawal, Justice Abdulkadir Orire, Dr. Amuda Aluko and Ambassador A.M.S. Imam could go-out boldly in a paid advert in several national newspapers to defend him and his administration against the pernicious campaign of that era. Till today he still admired by all other elders of the community for always making Ilorin proud everywhere he found himself. The issue of the emergence of Professors Shamusudeen Amali and lshaq Oloyede as his successors at the University of Ilorin has been too stressed to be repeated here. It is, however, important to state that while all the stakeholders favoured the emergence of the former in 2002 that of the latter five years after was carefully planned by the power that be which appointed an “Egba man” as the Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Ilorin at that time and probably for that singular factor. To the best of my knowledge, Professor Oba has never insulted the memory of Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, who he still seeing as a man who meant well for the state. Bashir Akanbi and other persons for that matter would do well if the Professor’s alleged vituperation of the late Elder Statesman as well as the place and time of the verbal attack could be mentioned, at least, for the records. What many are unmindful of is that Professor S.O. Abdulraheem is not like our usual fair – weather politicians who are apostles of now famous “stomach infrastructures”. He is not blind to see when it comes to the interest of the people of the state. He is also a deeply religious man who believes in the timeless efficacy of prayer against ritualism. The Professor’s idea of developmental politics may be new in our climes. But he is not the type that would block the progression of his compatriots just because of political difference and trivial issues. He is the type whose universal approach to politics is needed to move the state to the next level of development. I must round –off this piece by encouraging all compatriots not to rely on unscientific postulations in the analysis of our leaders but must always strive to know each of these gentlemen thoroughly and clearly to ensure sagacity in political decisions. That is, indeed, needed to sign-post a new functional begining in our politics to give room for the patriotic Professor Shuiab Oba Abdulraheem to accentuate the progress of the state and safe her from the hands of political vampires.
Posted on: Sat, 02 Aug 2014 15:58:40 +0000
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