The day Kwara North Stood Still for Ahman Pategi Bahago
All roads that leads to Patigi in Patigi local government area of Kwara State, witnessed a huge vehicular movements on Saturday 24th February, 2018, as people from far and near converged on Patigi to attend the #AhmanPategiFoundation 3-in-1 programme.
At the early hour of the colourful day, items to be presented to the beneficiaries of the empowerment scheme have been set at the Etsu Patigi’s palace, venue of the empowerment programme. A close watch revealed a sum of seven million, two hundred thousand naira was released for party structure of his each of the three local governments of the constituency; three million naira for the youths and three million naira for women. Aside from cash, one hundred numbers of 2.5kva generator, one hundred and sixty-five sewing machine, thirty numbers of motorcycle and hundreds of other items, Endowment fund/educational scholarships were all distributed to the benefit of the good people of Edu/Pategi/Moro federal constituency.
They were all meant to economically empower residents of the three local government mentioned above. It would be safe to conclude that the beneficiaries were drawn from not only members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the political party of the host, Hon. Aliyu Bahago Ahman-Pategi, but also other political parties and apolitical constituents.
The occasion was the launching of Faculty of Science, Ahman Pategi University, Educational Endowment fund and Empowerment Scheme of Hon. Aliyu Bahago Ahman-Pategi.
At the palace square was a beehive of activities. While the organisers conferred with beneficiaries at one end of the venue, the special guests, seated at the reserved seats engaged in some tete-a-tete of interest to them. They include the Senate President, represented by Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, Deputy Speaker Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuf, representative of the State Governor, Honourable Members of the Federal and State House, former minister, former commissioners, business tycoons, party stalwarts among other.
Also in attendance, apart from the host, Estu Patigi, were the royal fathers such as; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari (CFR); Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya; Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi; Etsu Tsaragi, Etsu Tsonga, Emir of Lafiagi, among many others.
At the square, party loyalists dressed in different uniformed attires mingle, while the troop of the Kwara State Council for Art and Culture, itinerant band dished out popular tunes at the slightest opportunity that presented itself.
In his welcome address, Hon. Aliyu Bahago stated: “I am grateful for the confidence the people of Edu/Pategi/Moro federal constituency reposed in me to represent them.
“As a way of identifying with you, the people of my constituency and to show my profound gratitude to God, I have today returned, as usual, to you more dividends of democracy, as many of you toiled night and day for my success at the polls. It is our collective success that is being celebrated today and I have come to render an account of my stewardship, by giving back to you.
“As many of you are aware, today’s ocassion is 3-in-1, with the Endowment Fund being the most tasking one. Hence, making this programme not a political jamboree but a project put in place to help others grow. I implore some of our youths who usually see this kind of programme as an avenue of extortion to please shelve such idea. I have not invited anybody here to come and share undue money, but to empower my people and raise an endowment fund for the generation yet unborn through my foundation.
We all have a role to play in this scheme, to contribute to the endowment fund in our little way to help the less privileged. Education to me is paramount and should not be taken with levity,” he stated.
“The people love him; they seek every opportunity to show him love and appreciation for what he has been doing for them. This is beyond the usual theatrics and pretensions that you often get in politics; Hon. Bahago Ahman Pategi is on ground and in touch with the grassroots and the people adore him for that,” his Media Aide told Kwara Lefro reporters.
In his address, Kwara South Senator, Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, who represented the Senate President, commended Honourable Ahman Pategi for staying in touch with his constituency and described empowerment initiative as a demonstration of love for the people of Kwara State in general and Edu/Pategi/Moro federal constituency in particular. He also enjoined other elected representatives to emulate Hon. Bahago and cultivate the culture of giving back to the society through similar gesture.
“This is why I commend you, Honourable Ahman-Pategi, for such remarkable ingenuity and courageous fit in a time of severe hardship as we see prevailing. I commend the foundation because it is fully in synch and recognizes that our greater problem as a people today is knowledge for development. And the states, local governments and countries that are able to leverage education will rule and empower their people and live in relative peace. We must therefore see the push towards education as a race against time but with initiatives like this we are on the verge of closing gaps and setting new paces.
“This is at the heart of the relevance of this foundation and hopefully many more to follow after this trailblazer in Pategi. I lend my support to this initiative and wish it all the successes it deserves.
“Hon. Ahman-Pategi, more grease to your elbow. I wish you more and more of this kind of initiatives. Please keep the flag flying for the good of Pategi.
“Permit me to use this opportunity to call on other elective representatives of the people to emulate Hon. Bahago. Let us not forget our people and where we come from because we will always go back there and to them,” he maintained.
The beneficiaries were drawn from zones and wards of the three local governments in the constituency, contrary to feelers from some quarters that the distributions were sectional and filled with favouritism of one local government at the detriment of another. Hon. Bahago is grassroot politician who understands the peculiarity of each local government and treat them fairly in accordance with their demand.
Speaking in an interview with Kwaralefro, Hon. Ahman Pategi explained that, “distributing empowerment items is one of the ways through which I extend the dividends of democracy to members of my constituency and we are taking it a step futher by establishing a world class university where people from my constituency will be greatly favoured in terms of tuition fee.
“I have been empowering my constituents, this is only coming in massive and the endowment fund makes it unique. I believe in human capital development as a way of guaranteeing a better future. There are other empowerment projects that we plan to embark on through the #AhmanPategiFoundation.
“We owe it to our people. It is part of our call and response slogan in APC. When we say APC, our party members reply change – oloooyeee. So, this is just part of the change that we have promised our people and the Olooyee we say, represents ‘Saraki’, whose political ideology is basically to take care of the people and ensure a better life for the governed.
“As we get any opportunity to do more, we will continue to do it. If we get it every month, we’ll do it every month. The idea is that as we progress, everybody will be progressing together with us. So, the prayer is that everything we do, we must always make sure that we remember where we are coming from and remember the people that we left at home and make sure that we are all happy at the same time. By God’s grace, we’ll continue to expand what we are doing and make sure that everybody in my constituency and the state at least has no reason to have poverty, has no reason not to have something economically empowering to do. That’s one of the reasons they vote for us, why we are there for them and we will continue by God’s grace to do more,” Bahago told Kwaralefro in an interview.
According to Benjamin Disreali, politician, writer and two-time British Prime Minister, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” If indeed this is true, the event was a very successful one as the beneficiaries had been shown how to be economically engaged, which is a step to show them their individual riches.
Also commending the Honourable, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari who attended the programme with many other royal fathers, told Hon. Bahago that, “building an institution of higher learning in Pategi will definitely develop Pategi and its environ. Ahman Pategi University will provide job opportunities for Kwarans and Nigeria at large. I have seen the little you have, and I have seen where you have put it. I am very proud of you. I will have to visit Pategi again and again.”
If this and his monumental constituency projects, to some myopic youths are not laudable achievements, if Bahago is not a good representative, what then is the definition of an achievement and good representation?
We commend Hon. Aliyu Bahago Ahman-Pategi for this initiative. This is an example of what the Nigerian electorates expect from all our politicians. We need people like Bahago in public office, who can think outbox, who can see the future from where they are standing and build people towards the future.