In this exclusive interview with our reporter, the beloved son of the former governor of Kwara State, Rear admiral Mohammed Lawal Alabi ( late) Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal, who’s also a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Kwara State bore his mind on the political state of his state and the changing perception of Kwarans to politics of principles and ideology in relevance to his father’s vision.
Here’s the full interview;
Can we meet you Sir?
I am Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal, a passionate Kwaran. I am a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Kwara State.
How do you feel seeing your party sweeping every available positions in the state?
Yes, I feel so glad our party recorded such a monumental and historical victory in the polls. If for anything, it clearly showed that we have the love, trust and support of the people. There’s joy on our people’s faces and songs of hope on their lips after so many years. I see this as a well deserved victory. This is indeed a happy moment for every Kwaran and I am not left out of this fecundity.
Sir, what’s your reaction on the Senate President Saraki’s woeful loss?
You see, Saraki lost to the people. A leader’s only one when he has his people’s support. And today he has lost that support. The people of Kwara State had rightfully decided who they want to represent them in the next four years at the red chamber and that’s the beauty of democracy. I feel it’s commendable that the people can now vote out leaders who do not associate with the yearnings of our society.
This is what has been in the oven for long. Let’s just say this is a revolution whose time has come and nobody could stop it, Saraki or anybody. The people’s will just prevailed.
Sir, do you feel there’s any connection with Saraki’s downfall and your late father’s vision??
First and foremost, let me clarify the insinuations that my father ever wanted anybody’s downfall. My late father was a man before his time, very visionary and foresighted. He saw a different to the social and economic development of our people and he gallantly stood for what he believed in.
If at all there was any connection like you have asked that means a great man’s vision is coming to pass. I believe my father had no problems with the Sarakis, he inherited Kwara’s problems. Like a devoted and patriotic Kwaran, he couldn’t standby and watch his people suffer and that was his only offence.
The only connection I strongly feel existed was that my father wanted the best for his state but it didn’t go down well in some quarter. But history has now judged him right.
Your father was considered the Kwara first Liberationist, don’t you feel fulfilled seeing your father’s message coming to pass 16years later?
It’s every child’s dream to live to see his father’s vision manifest in his lifetime. It’s a known fact that my father was a leader – servant who lived his whole live serving humanity.
But you see, perhaps his most ardent dream was a Kwara with quality education, good roads, improved healthcare, good standard of living and a self sufficient people amongst other dividends of democracy.
As it stands now, I see us taking the first step to this noble vision. It is until we see Kwarans truly reflecting this dream that we can all rejoice and celebrate. Maybe then, we will see the Kwara of our dreams.
What’s your parting message to Kwarans?
I would say a big thank you to everyone for the love and support given to our party during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Equally, I want to enjoin them not to rest on their oars yet as the struggle has not ended. We should maintain focus and determination to put the final shine to a sweet victory on the 9th of March in the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.
I want to implore our people to be magnanimous in victory for peace and harmony to reign in our state. They should remain ardently focus to effect a political change but in a peaceful manner, that’s my message to everyone. God bless Kwara State.