OPINION: Abdulrazaq – Getting the ‘positioning’ wrong

By Mohammed Abdullahi.

In a cynical atmosphere in which the new Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, finds himself, he needs no one to tell him that the general expectation of the people is that he will, through his early actions as governor, reassure them that what changes in Kwara is more than a political party and a new face in power.

In Kwara, much as everywhere else, the people are generally accommodating and tolerant of a new government only for a short while. The generally impatient attribute of man is such that he wants to see his expectations manifest quickly, or at least see a promise that such expectations are realizable. This is why the strict assessment every new government is subjected to means that it either wins more supporters (those who see promise in its actions) or begins to lose support and goodwill of those who easily get disappointed after observing the first few days in power.

Having won the election as governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq was well aware of the huge burden of expectations he carries. But may be, he is not a good student of Kwara people and the new environment he finds himself, hence he believes the support he enjoys is such that he can take his time to deliver on his campaign promises. But Kwara citizens are human too, and the natural inclination of a human being is that of impatience. Soon, a murmur of complaints would begin to filter in to signal the end of the honeymoon period for a government that came in ‘by popular demand.’

It is said that the seed for either the success or failure of a new government is sowed during its early days in office. The governor of Kwara has spent a week serving Kwara people, and during this period he has failed to show he is prepared for the job he was elected to do. For one, the way and manner he has positioned himself signifies a person who enjoys public show at the expense of real work.

When the governor drove himself to the venue of his inauguration, I was part of the crowd that cheered and wailed at the humility of Kwara’s new man in power. It was a good public relations stunt by Governor Abdulrahman and it ‘wowed’ me and many others. It was a cheap way for the governor to further endear himself to the people by simply being what his immediate predecessor was not.

However, when after almost a week in Government House, with no deliberate action to set up a functional machinery for government to run effectively, not even the easy appointment of a Chief Press Secretary or Media Adviser was done, I was surprised to see again the unofficial media team of the governor pushing out another PR article to the effect that Governor Abdulrahman was at the Eid praying ground “at least an hour before the Emir.” Tagged ‘ _Accolades as AbdulRazaq wins another first in Kwara ‘_ , the statement was again reinforcing the narrative of the governor being a humble and unassuming person; the same image the ‘self-driven’ act was meant to create in the minds of the people.

If the way and manner Alhaji Abdulrahman wants to position himself as a governor is to cut the figure of someone who comes down to the level of the people and relates with everyone with so much humility; there is absolutely no error in such a choice. But one bad thing with an overstretched public relations stunt is that it will soon wear out and begin to hold no meaning to the majority of the people the governor intends to impress with such attitude.

For a Governor who has failed to make even the professional appointment of a media aide that has nothing to do with getting clearance from party leaders and stakeholders; you begin to wonder if being known as a ‘humble governor’ is much more important than being an ‘action governor’. As it is now, the only appointment that concerns me is that of a media aide, because journalists are currently flying blind with no specific person to interface with when they need information from government or require clarification on any issue. Yet my governor thinks building a profile of humility as governor is much more important than looking around our media houses to pick a competent media assistant, an appointment that ordinarily should be done in less than 24 hours of assuming office.

For the record, what we are celebrating as signifiers of humility in our governor are normal human characters that every human who knows he is nothing but a mere dust should imbibe. It is only because of the nature of our environment and the fact that we are accustomed to treating people in power with so much reference, almost like demigods, that we are celebrating the ordinary actions of Mr. Governor.

His Excellency, the governor, should be aware that there is no question of legitimacy surrounding his mandate, so there is absolutely no need trying to work himself into being loved and accepted by the people. He is already acceptable to the majority of Kwara citizens, and that is why he is the governor. As a sitting chief executive of the state, the right positioning should be one that signifies performance and eagerness to meet the humongous expectations of the people.

Our governor, who has come to play the role of a Messiah at this point in the life of our State, should know that he enjoys no ‘time wasting’ luxury on the trivials. The oath of office administered last Wednesday signals “the ticking clock which counts the inexorable march of time.”

Please, dear governor, give us an organized government and position yourself as someone who works to create worthy ‘news’ for posterity and not for the current crowd of supporters and cheerleaders.

Abdullahi, a media and youth development practitioner, writes from Abuja. He tweets @mfabdullahi


DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.

2 Replies to “OPINION: Abdulrazaq – Getting the ‘positioning’ wrong”

  1. May your ink never runs dry brother,everything you put up there is succinct.
    The man will soon know his place in a very short time,except he realizes that a week has gone from the weeks he has.We Kwarans will never allow another demigods to hold us into ransom,just as we had in the past under Saraki and his political jesters/prostitutes.

  2. Thanks for the write up as you speak in parable but there is no good end in it as your side support base on median aid. This show that you are one side concern not for the masses. if your wish is for good you woundnt eppose the one you want to work for and use threaten to achieved your want at this early stage of AbdulRahman government.
    If you can get your want through this that mean the governor has no say of his own and has no good decide that a show actor governor.
    My advice for the governor is to think of what people we say about him when he is not on that seat after completion of his service as governor for kwara state. May Allah lead him right and guide us too for good.

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