The recent award of “Best Governor in 100 Days in Office’’ conferred on Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state by An African group of democrats under the aegis of African Democracy Assessment Network (ADAN) based in Dakar, Senegal, is, indeed, well deserved. The award on Ganduje is quite significant, particularly that it came at a time when 19 of the 36 state governors were yet to form their cabinets or even chart a course for their administrations.
A statement signed by Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ganduje, and issued to journalists penultimate Sunday in Kano, said, “Barely 24 hours after the traditional 100 days in office for governors who were inaugurated on May 29, an African group of democrats, under the auspices of African Democracy Assessment Network (ADAN), has selected Kano state governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, for an award.
“After assessing what was achieved by all the governors in the last 100 days of their stewardship, Kano state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has been selected by the Group to be awarded “Best Governor In 100 Days,” he said.
Anwar said that the group, in a letter sent to the governor and signed by the West African Regional Coordinator, Mr Samson Theodore, looked at the major sectors that were likely to improve the living standards of the majority of people in the state as against the few individuals before selecting Ganduje for the award.
“We carefully selected these areas: education, health agriculture, security, economy, infrastructurel development and politics, with concentration on supremacy of political party or parties as the case may be”. Anwar quoted the group in the letter titled “Why Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, Picks First Position in 100 Days in Office” as saying that Ganduje was selected after the Mid-Year Democracy Review Meeting of the group.
“Your intention to establish College of Education, (Technical) for Women is considered by our panel of researchers, as genuine policy pronouncement. This will also go a long way in boosting girl-child education in the state. Ganduje made a clear pronouncement that both basic and secondary education will be free and compulsory. We are amazed that your policy pronouncement on free and compulsory basic and secondary education has become a reality.”
It is quite remarkable that Ganduje was in the twilight of his first term in October 2018 conferred with the award of ‘Best Governor in Infrastructure Development’ by LEAD Innovation. The award was presented to Ganduje at the 10th LEAD Innovation Festival at Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Receiving the award, Ganduje said, “In the last three years, we managed to make significant strides towards implementing our development agenda to ensuring that Kano people enjoy the dividends of change. Not only that, development programmes are evenly spread across the state in terms of infrastructure development in the areas of road construction/rehabilitation, education, health, water supply, environmental protection, agriculture, economy, etc.”
The selection of Ganduje for the best governor award, towering above his 35 state counterparts, underscores his sterling leadership qualities and outstanding achievements in the face of daunting challenges. Thus, the governor’s quest to ensure the success of his administration underpinned his inaugural speech.
He said, “Due process is one of the most essential ingredients for effective, purposeful and responsible governance in accordance with international best practices. Because of its linkage with probity and accountability, it is used as yardstick for measuring performance both in the public and private sectors worldwide. Consequently, a Due Process Bureau will be established, with a view to instituting due diligence and reform culture in the operation of government.”
Flowing from this policy of accountability, responsiveness, participation, transparency, the rule of law and government of equitability and inclusion, Ganduje swiftly swung into action by applying the spirit of due process in the art of governance even before the establishment of the bureau. The close-to-death Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission, in the office of the governor, resurfaced with clear and distinct idea of how to fight corruption in this dispensation. This anti-corruption policy thrust is paying off in the numerous completed and on-going project execution in all the nooks and crannies of Kano state.
In just 100 days or less, the Ganduje government had disbursed over N4 billion as assistance to local seed producers. It also trained 72 farmers and extension agents on safe and effective use of pesticides, environmental issues, and seed certification. The administration recruited 729 extension workers and trained them in partnership with national and international development agencies.
It also approved the distribution of motorcycles to the newly employed extension staff on 40 per cent loan discount. The government (re)constructed over 20 metropolitan and rural roads in areas like Yusuf, Bompai, Kwaranga, Dakata Bella, Kings Garden Tudunmurtala, Burumburum Siyasa, and Kibbiya Rano, among others.
These are no mean achievements, especially in an era when many state governors are unable to meet the basic obligation of the payment of salaries and pensions as well as settle petty overhead costs despite the series of bailout funds released to them by the federal government. While Blueprint congratulates Ganduje for the well deserved award, it is pertinent to advise the governor to see the recognition as a challenge to do more in raising the bar of good governance for the people of Kano state.