The Day After… Reminiscing on Memories That Would Last Me a Lifetime; By Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu

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IT’s the first working day, after my resignation. At 7:48am, I thought, I would have been preparing to go to work, at this time, or would already be on the field, if my plan for that day, was to visit schools. That’s life! No matter how long it takes, it ends someday.

I truly enjoyed every bit of my stay in office, and was so happy doing what I had started in my private life: working to advance children’s lives, and especially, to secure their future. I thank everyone for the support and encouragement.

My team and I started visiting public schools and orphanages, in Ilorin every year, since 2012 (except for year 2020, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic). We do this, in commemoration of Children’s Day. We donate school supplies and story books; read to the students, and also, listen to them read.

It was during one of such visits, years ago, that it struck me that education, in my dear state, was far behind. Those various visits, took me to public schools, like Karuma LGEA; Fate LGEA primary school; Ti O’mo re school, Tanke; Shamsudeen; and the School for Special Needs.

My relationship with the schools continued, and the present Principal of the School for Special Needs, and her students, were super-excited, the first day I visited them, as the new Commissioner for Education. This is because I was a known face, being a close friend of the school. I had attended their sporting activities, mentored the students, stayed with them during feeding times, etc., in the past.

When all manner of people tell me how I have achieved so much, in the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Science and Technology, as well as the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, my prayer is that the sector continues to be served by dutiful Kwarans, passionate about the sector, for the sake of our children; and who would achieve much more than I did,within my short tour of duty.

Education, for me, is the most important form of empowerment, and the bedrock of development, of any society. But the foundation must be well-grounded; and that’s why I’m glad that the KwaraLearn program has kick-started, with the training of our teachers, today, Tuesday, 19th April, 2022.

Why am I leaving now, when the KwaraLearn program is just starting? A program that is set to transform the sector, that I’m most passionate about. In the course of my past interventions in public schools, I knew that to be able to fill the gaps, as seen during my visits, calls for political action. I needed to vie to represent my people, to be able to attract sustainable growth and development.

In February 2018, exactly four years ago, I sought my husband’s permission to join active politics, and contest for the House of Representatives, but he refused at the time.

Four years after, I revisited this, and he permitted me. That’s the reason I am an aspirant today, and had to resign, to pursue becoming a representative of my people.

In the course and cause of my work, as Commissioner for Education, I visited rural communities, in 15 of the 16 local government areas, of Kwara State. In the two local governments of the constituency, I hope to represent, Ilorin East and South, I know what the needs are. I have been on ground, working with my people, even when I wasn’t in office, from January to July 2021. Doing the little I can, for our women and youths.

I have been mentoring our youths, and touching lives in a modest manner; and I ensure that my people, are also advancing their lives positively, under my tutelage. Presently, in BF 1, Ilorin South LG for instance, I met Kayode Olowo, in 2018, as a fashion designer, with an OND. Olowo is an active ward member; while I still patronize him, he has been able to complete his HND, and has just been posted to commence his national youth service. This is same with Olaitan Shuaib, in my ward, Okaka 1. I also met him about the same time; and between then and now, he has completed his Tertiary Education, and he’s also serving at the moment.

These are just a few of many. I have also been able to secure a few appointments for our people, even at the federal level; I gave out education scholarships; empowered our youths and women; gave a few artisans hope; and generally, opened my doors to those who truly needed succour. The fond memories of my time in office, I’ll cherish forever.

I thank Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, most sincerely, for the opportunity, and the confidence reposed in me, to add to the growth of the education sector, and also thank my family for donating me to the state, while it lasted.

Touching lives; building hope; connecting with communities; understanding the felt needs of the old and young, are what my life in public service, has been about. The House of Representatives will offer me a newer and higher level, to do even more, for our people. That’s why I’m in the race.

Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu, recently resigned as the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development in Kwara State.

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