Going by the Freshinsight online publication of 15th November, 2022 titled “Kwara Hotel: Gov. Abdulrazaq’s statement on staff transfer was political – Oluwole, Kwara HOS” wherein the Kwara State Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole established the earlier public fear about mass retrenchment of workers by the Abdulrazaq’s led APC administration.
According to a Press Release signed Sholyments Olusegun Olusola, HOD Newmedia, PDP’s Campaign Council and made available to Daily Links, Kwarans will recall that due to poor management and failed leadership, Governor Abdulrahaman had on the 10th of October 2023, announced total collapse of the Kwara Hotel facility. The state government made this announcement through the state’s Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology (BIT), Ibrahim Akaje.
This announcement was said to have dashed the hopes of hundreds of staff of the hotel who are mostly family men with loads of family responsibilities hanging on their shoulders. It should be noted that the government was still owing the hotel staff not less than four months salaries before the cruel announcement of total shutdown of the hotel.
The release stated that, in arresting the rising situation, the government made a hope provoking promise that the affected staff would not be retrenched but be redeployed to the ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology, a development that calmed tension among affected staff who, on the strength of government promise, had awaited their formal redeployment to the ministry.
However, in a dramatic twist which shocked Kwarans to the marrow, a popular online blog in the state, FreshInsight in its December 13th publication reported the technical sack of the hotel staff which was done in secret with few others who were asked to report at the Kwara State Road Traffic Management Agency, KWARTMA. This was a total deviation from her promise not to disengage these workers and to redeploy them to the hotel’s parent ministry.
The release stated further that, however, in a sharp rebuttal to Freshinsight publication, the Government in a statement through Harmony Holdings titled “NO KWARA HOTEL WORKER HAS BEEN SACKED” denied disengaging any of the staff and reiterated her resolves to transfer them to ministry while others will be redeployed to KWARTMA based on academics qualifications. The statement signed by Harmony holdings DG partly reads:
“We debunk this claim as no worker of the state-owned hotel has been sacked to this day. The report is uninformed, speculative, malicious and one-sided. We, therefore, advise the general public to disregard the report which is targeted at painting the government in a bad light. The facts of the matter for clarity purposes are that the transition process of Kwara Hotel staff is still a work in progress. The process is being jointly undertaken by the Office of the Head of Service, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology, and Harmony Holdings Limited, which are looking at educational qualifications, age and other criteria to suitably migrate the staff into the civil service”
According to the release, with all these strong worded promises which are clear of ambiguity, our party is utterly disappointed to learn of late, that the Kwara State Government had secretly reneged her promises and have summarily dashed the long time hopes of these poor hotel staff.
This is evident from the recent publication by FreshinsightTV, where the Kwara State Head of Service, Mrs Susan Module Oluwole was quoted to have confirmed the inability of the government to absorb the estranged staff into any of the state’s ministry nor KWATMA contrary to public expectation.
The Head of Service according to Freshinsight Publication had told the worrying hotel staff to stop nursing ambition of any transfer of service, noting that the words coming from Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq is a mere political statement which was deliberately designed to deceive the hotel staff and their families into nursing fake hope for their careers.
This, in summary, the press statement said that it indicates that Kwara Hotel staff have been unduly sacked and rendered jobless at a time like this.
Having waited for more than 72hours after the publication, expecting government’s usual rebutal, which is not forthcoming, we hold that the statement from the HOS is valid and a true position of Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq led government, failing, yet again, on its promise, just as the Governor is fond of reneging on his promises but rather takes to media governance in showcasing audio achievements.
The press statement added that If Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq, after Kwara Hotel has been ruined under his watch, could not keep to his promise of not disengaging Kwara hotel staff, even when election is just few months ahead, what then should he be trusted with? Why should Kwarans trust a leader with open disregard for his own words again with our mandate in 2023?
“Under Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq’s sleeping eyes, unemployment in the state has soared and investments have waned,with many businesses forced to shut down abysmally due to harsh government policy and unfriendly taxation.
“With the latest development, Kwara Hotel has just joined the likes of many Kwara privately owned busunesses such as Micro finance banks and other businesses that have been forced to shutdown under this regime.
“In September 2022, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria claimed 11% of companies closed down annually in the state due to unfavourable economic climate. This is sad and unprecedented.
“This shutdown of businesses is creating more unemployment in the state, leading to avoidable youths restiveness, anti-social vices such as kidnapping and daylight robberies of various degrees across the state which must be sending a sense of danger to all well meaning Kwarans. The truth is, we cannot afford to continue this way”, the release stated.
The press release stated further that what else is left to be said about a man who does not respect the rule of law but shutdown the 16 Local government administration, imposing his surrogates to oversee affairs of our council thereby making that level of government irresponsible to the people.
“Abdulrahaman is yet to deliver on good governance to the people since he came on board in 2019. Otoge campaigned to revive dead companies such as Ile Isana in Ilorin, Okin Biscuit Offa, Paper Mill at Jebba and host of others, so they can provide job opportunities for our teeming youths population.
“Today, the reverse is the case, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq came and sacked more than two thousand 2,000 young teachers duly employed under previous administration, apart from this, his poor policy also killed Microfinance Banks operation in the state-leading to more than 2000 workers losing their jobs at a stretch.
“Many small and medium scale investment which were booming under past government were also not spared. During the #EndSars crisis, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq failed to secure the Kwara Mall, with his followers having the mindset that the venture belongs to the Sarakis, the business facility was attacked, looted, vandalised, and grounded, running owners into abysmal debt and bankruptcy. Up till today, the Mall is yet to stand on its feet”, the stated added
According to the release, the Kwara populace have since rejected the Governor’s over his incompetence and non-performance. With Kwara Hotel staffers being relegated to jobless and dependent population, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq has further proven he lacks what it takes to lead a state as peaceful and progressing as ours.
“This is an interesting time for Kwara people who were deceived with Otoge propaganda in 2019. Better put, a Governor who dashed trust of Kwara citizens whom he has just sacked and shut down Kwara Hotel alien to the masses, and therefore, cannot be trusted with our mandate again lest he makes another unfulfillable million and one promises”.
The PDP’s Campaign Council, however, said “it is time to count our losses and move on, but we cannot afford to not send him packing, lest he sack all our vibrant youths and send them back to the streets begging for survival.
“Enough is enough! Let’s rescue Kwara from the shackles of an accidental emperor who have relegated Kwara into an insecure state where youths are losing their jobs in droves.