‘There is still a lot that needs to be done’ Governors elected into office in the 2019 general elections clocked 100 days in office on Friday, September 5, amidst increasing expectations from the electorate. ABDULRAHMAN ZAKARIYAU takes a look at the performance of these governors since they assumed office on May 29.
The 2019 general elections were won and lost across party lines and affiliation, however, expectation of the electorate exceeds these boundaries. For most Nigerians, availability of affordable health care and education, employment opportunities, provision of other basic amenities as well as security of lives and property top the list of expectation from elected official.
While some of the governors were elected for a first term in office, others were re-elected for a second term, the common denominator; however, is the fact that most are yet to find their footing 100 days after their inauguration for the four-year term. This is as Blueprint Weekend checks revealed that 19 governors were yet to constitute their cabinet there by slowing down the pace of development in the states.
Ganduje waiting on tribunal
The second term governor of Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who was elected in a controversial poll which ended in a run-off, appears to be distracted by uncertainty of the outcome of the proceedings of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. Ganduje’s election victory is being challenged by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor, who is largely credited to have done well in his first term, is yet to constitute his cabinet. Ganduje in a recent interview with Blueprint Weekend refused to give a timeline on when would be in place, stating: “It will come when it will come.”
The governor had appointed a chief of staff but has not made any appointment that required legislative approval.
Imo gov, chasing shadow?
Surprisingly, the Imo state Governor Emeka Ihedioha has practically spent the last 100 days chasing his predecessor Rochas Okorocha, who is now a Senator of the federal republic.
The incumbent has been in the news talking, mostly, about what Okorocha did and failed to do, even as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is already probing the erstwhile governor’s tenure in office, prompting queries on whether Governor Ihedioha would rather work for the commission than the people of Imo state who elected him to ‘deliver’ the state.
Political pundits have also observed that, though the governor made some intelligent decisions with regard to those he appointed, he has spent more time and resources in the last 100 days fighting the immediate Okorocha.
Oyetola yet to find his bearing in Osun
In Osun state, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is obviously yet to find his bearings and may not be unconnected to the governors inability to put a cabinet in place, that will help him male meaningful impact in the state, after 100 days in office.
Interestingly, the governor served as the Secretary to State Government under the immediate past governor of the state Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is now the minister of interior, however, he was yet constitute his cabinet and relying on supervisors to run the ministries and agencies.
A resident of Osun state Emmanuel Tade, in a phone interview with Blueprint Weekend said the in ability of the governor to constitute is cabinet after 100 days in office is affecting governance.
He said, “It seems governor Adegboyega Oyetola is yet to understand how want to govern the state, considering how indebted his former boss left the state. However, the governor should not say because of finance he will not appoint commissioners, no he must carry out that constitutional duty.
“His inability to appoint commissioners, in the last 100 days, has in a slowed down and affect the growth of the state. For any meaningful impact, the governor needs to appoint competent persons that will give his administration focus,” he maintained.
Niger state no different
The governor of Niger State Abubakar Sani Bello is considered one of the youngest state governors in Nigeria. However, since his election in 2015 and subsequent his re-election in 2019 his administration is administration is said not have made much meaningful progress.
Notably, like his Osun state counterpart, the governor of Niger state is yet to constitute his cabinet.
According to political analysts that are familiar with Niger state politics, Bello is not in the news for either good or bad reasons, perhaps because his not doing badly and neither is he doing well.
A resident of Niger state, Ibrahim Ndagi said even before his re-election Niger state under Bello has been static, adding that the state has remained the way the immediate past governor, Babangida Aliyu left it in 2015.
He said, “100 days in office, no let even talk about Bello’s over four years in office. The governor spends most of the time in Kaduna, Abuja and travelling, that is why he is referred to as the flying governor.
“Apart from a few schools he renovated, his administration has not done any meaningful projects since he was elected in 2015 and in the last 100 days. Under Bello, Niger state is just static.”
Makinde setting the pace in Oyo
The governor of Oyo state Seyi Makinde upon taking over from the former Governor Abiola Ajumobi had since been putting all is best to set the pacesetter state back on track. Interestingly, Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who defeated candidate of the then ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) Adebayo Adelabu, after contesting the position in three consecutive elections.
When asked what his administration’s focus upon assuming office, Governor Makinde said, “We will be a progressive administration, building on the progress of past administrations that were structured properly and have been beneficial to the masses.”
Like a man we met every part of his words, the members of the National Union of Road Transportation Workers (NURTW), who before now, had constituted themselves into an authority were immediately disbanded from the parts, this singular act help to restore peace to the state.
“The governor also abolished 3,000 naira in the state-owned secondary schools, he gave free notebooks to pupils, rehabilitated some dilapidated structures in the schools as part of his education sector reforms.”
Also, he publicly declared his over 40 billion naira worth of assets, supported the appointment of youths and women into his cabinet, bring about peace in the Ibadan Oba tussle, among other things, the governor also hosted the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission Security Summit to advocate a regional alternative means to solve security challenges in South-west Nigeria; procurement of 100 vehicles for use by the security agencies in Oyo state.
An incident and a resident of Oyo state, Oyewumi Oyetunji in a phone interview with Blueprint Weekend described Governor Makinde as a nobleman who promises and works towards the fulfilment of his promises.
“ Governor Seyi Makinde is a nobleman, when he was elected he promised to in 100 days address the educational challenges, run a transparent and accountable administration, improve the welfare of the people by providing adequate security and ensuring that the state civil servants and retirees are timely paid their entitlements.
“All these he has done in the last hundred days. GSM as started well, but our fear and prayer that he continues like that for next for years. If he does, Oyo state will certainly be returned back to the part of glory.”
Sanwo- Olu taking Lagos to next level
The Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appears determined to build on the legacies of the former governors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Raji Babatunde Fashola. Notably, Sanwo- Olu seems to be addressing the issues his predecessor, Akinwumi Ambode was accused of not doing. In the last 100 days, the Lagos state governor in an effort to keep the state clean commissioned the Olusosun Dumpsite Building a facility meant for the training and re-training of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) also launched the State Blue Box Recycling at Simpson Transfer Loading Station.
On traffic, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) was directed by the governor to operate a minimum of two shifts until 11pm daily to ease traffic flow. Also, many bad roads and even schools have been rehabilitated. Significantly, Sanwo – Olu mobilized security agencies to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of security, curtail or prevent cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping and pipeline vandalism in the state. All these jas made some Lagosians believe that indeed the greater Lagos is possible with Governor Sanwo-olu.
A Lagosian, Sulieman Adebayo said indeed the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has started well, but they’re still a lot that needed to be done to achieve the greater Lagos set objectives.
“Even though many of us doubted is ability, in the last 100 days, the governor has proved us wrong. He has made it known to whoever cares that his capable and focus to bring about the greater Lagos.
“He has done some few projects, programs and policies, but this is Lagos there are still many things for him to work on. He needs to work more, sustain the level and ensure that the state is more economically viable and safer than he met it.”
Zamfara’s successful fight against banditry
Before Governor Bello Matawallen Maradun was elected and assumed office as the 4th democratically elected governor of Zamfara state governor the state was not safe for anyone. Matawallen elected on the platform of the PDP has doubts achieved a lot in the fight against banditry in Zamfara state.
Speaking on the successes his administration has recorded in the last 100 days, the governors said “When I was sworn in, I promised to make sure that insecurity becomes history. I’m now happy to face the people of Zamfara state, Nigeria and the International community that, I have been able to quelled insecurity within 59 days in the office.”
He added that “Provision of potable water supply, construction of township roads in Gusau, providing state of the art equipment to both Radio and television stations in the state, awarding of five billion naira contract for the rehabilitation and construction of primary schools are among the major achievements the government will celebrate.
Political pundits are of the view that the attainment of peace in Zamfara state would bring about meaningful development to the state.
They argue that with peaceful atmosphere businesses will thrive, more frame produce will be available for the state and its neighbours. They however charged the governor to do more on education, so has to reduce the number of out school children in the state.
Umahi consolidating in Ebonyi
In Ebonyi state, Governor David Umahi is consolidating on his first term successes. In the South-east, the state governor has no doubt justified his re-election.
The major focus of his administration are; beautification of state capital, education, and health enhancement, infrastructural development, human capital empowerment among others.
Interestingly, the governor has in the last 100 days of his re-election completed must of the beautification projects he started.
Observers confirmed that the state governor ensured that construction work on numerous roads and other projects both new and ongoing ones did not stop. Some of the projects include the Ebonyi Glass Tunnel, said to be the first of its kind in the state, the Ebonyi Shopping mall, the Eguhuo bridge in Ishielu Local government, the Author Eze flyover named after the popular Anambra Businessman which will go and down on record as the fastest fly over to be completed in the country.
100 days of restoration in Kwara
For Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state it’s been 100 days of hope, prudence and restoration according to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye,
He said the governor on his first day in office gave a clear signal his administration would be a departure from a past laced with profligacy and fanfare that had crippled the state.
Ajakaye said the governor had insisted on a lean inauguration ceremony on the grounds that Kwara didn’t have the resources to waste. “No partying, no merriment,” the governor had insisted.
He said Governor AbdulRazaq backed that up with a no-private-jet policy and has kept a very lean entourage that often comprised him, with his signature backpack, and a few aides.
According to him, three months on, the governor has continued to ride his personal vehicle as a mark of disciplin
In July, the governor had directed that the 2019 Budget review sessions be held at the Special Needs School at Apata Yakuba, away from the air-conditioned conference rooms at Government Secretariat.
The Governor said holding budget review sessions in an environment as deprived as that school was his way of redirecting the focus of the technocrats to the plights of the poor.
According to the governor’s aide, what no one can deny was that Kwara was no longer the stagnant state it was a few months ago.
“People can point at sincere efforts to build a state that works for everyone, whether rich or poor, young or old,” he declared.