Fake News! Ignore The Old Video, Gov. Abdulrazaq Was Not Booed!
Alas, this has made it very difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is false in today’s world.
Thus, no time is more auspicious than now for the advocates of fact-checking to intensify on their crusade in order to stem the increasing damage of fake news. We are in an age when nitwits take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to punch their keypads, come up with utter balderdash and disseminate widely as contents all in a bid to set cyberspace into a virtual conflagration.
It is the propagation of such fake news that the advocates of content censorship always point to, to amplify their voices for censorship. While censorship stifles the freedom of speech, no efforts should be spared to nip the activities of fifth columnists whose stock in trade is concoction and dissemination of falsehood.
The proponents and purveyors of deliberate falsehood and fake news have revved their machine back to life again. Alas, their target is the intrepid Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State. An old video has resurfaced showing the governor purportedly being booed off the stage by a raucous crowd.
Acutely aware that fake news poses a corrosive existential threat to democracy and governance, Governor Abdulrazaq, who said he is neither shocked by the slant of the narrative nor shaken by the gimmicks of the opposition, has decided to set the records straight for posterity.
According to Alhaji Bashir Adigun, Special Adviser, Political Communication to the Governor, the video was that of an event held on December 26, 2018, by the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) at the Emir’s Palace, which was allegedly disrupted by thugs and supporters of former Senate President Bukola Saraki. The governor who was a candidate then attended the event as a special guest of his home community association.
Adigun stated, “Attached to the video (they tried to trend now) is a caption that the governor was booed at Kwara State Polytechnic, which is false. No event took place in Kwara Polytechnic on August 7, 2022, to warrant the governor being there.
“It is well known that this riotous and disrespectful action by Saraki supporters was the last straw that caused the Sarakis’ loss of every single elective seat in Kwara at the 2019 elections.
“Those who trended the video desperately meant to send the signal that an incumbent governor was being booed. That probably misled the wrong audience. For the Kwara audience, however, the video did the opposite. It reminded them of the terrible old days when anyone who held different views was treated with contempt and harassed by thugs loyal to the deposed dynasty.”
Adigun stated further that the video came at a wrong moment in history because the past three years of the AbdulRazaq administration have seen Kwara enjoying unprecedented peace and security while scheduled flights to the city of Ilorin have quadrupled. The latter achievement, he added, enabled all Ilorin sons and daughters and residents of the capital city to enjoy a very peaceful Eid and a joyous Durbar where the governor and other dignitaries rode on horses along with the Emir amidst a cheering crowd. “Such events were never held peacefully in those dark years,” he quipped. Adigun urged the public to ignore the old video clip, which he described as propaganda gone awry.
Indeed, until the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq era, Kwara State faded like a limp flower. Hitherto coveted for its promising blooms, the state wilted to inept leadership. Viewed up-close and from a distance, the state, otherwise noted for its resource endowment and visual and structural harmonies, splayed in spent glory.
It foundered and strained in weariness under the yoke of mis-governance. Sixteen years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – comprising eight years each of Bukola Saraki and Abdulfattah Ahmed’s governorship – did a fine number on Kwara; they met a promising state and left it wretched. Inadequate health facilities, substandard education, scarce water supply, and a dying economy among others, rendered the state a shadow of the titan it was supposed to be.
However, with a deft combination of courage, compassion, and confidence in his vision, Governor Abdulrazaq is rewriting the story of Kwara State, governing humanely while steadily changing the people’s fortunes.