From servant leader to feminist and ‘brighter grammarian’ | The YNaija Governors’ Ranking for February

Perhaps the most radical policy by a governor this month is the Okada and tricycle ban in Lagos, enforced by the Sanw0-Olu administration, which has unleashed hardship on Lagosians. No going back on the policy, according to him. In other places like insurgency-ravaged Borno, governor Babagana Zulum is dedicated to stamping out terrorist attacks in the state. Here’s the YNaija ranking of governors for February:

The worse:

10. Darius Ishaku (Taraba)

All is definitely not well in Taraba as the governor, Darius Ishaku recently joined the league of governors that run the affairs of their states from either the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or overseas, leading to lack of leadership in the state.

Having made his last public appearance on December 22, days after presenting the 2020 appropriation bill to the state legislature, it is both worrisome and insulting that the chief executive of the state will abandon his constitutional responsibilities without due process. He has also refused to hand over power to his deputy, Engineer Haruna Manu, in line with Section 190 Sub Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) thus bringing government activities to a standstill in the state.

There are also reports that the leadership of the state legislature hurriedly took the budget to him in Abuja to sign it into law; while other top government functionaries have also towed this path of spending taxpayers’ money on chartered flights in their shuttle between Taraba and Abuja to get files signed and memos approved by the Governor. While he wouldn’t be the first to do this, this action of his remains a total failure on his part.

Related: ‘Amotekun’ Apostles, Waste-Purveyors and Stand-Still Administrator | The YNaija Governors’ Ranking for January

9. Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun)

In spite of its inability to meet its obligations of paying retired civil servants pensions and gratuities for several years, the Osun State Government recently bought new Toyota Camry XLE 2019 cars for the 26 representatives at its House of Assembly to the tune of N266 million.

While Governor Oyetola’s media team has tried to justify this reckless spending, it remains a “misplacement of priority” for a “cash strapped’ state to be involved in such waste, regardless of its watery defence that it is a three-arm government and everybody must be taken care of.

8. Ben Ayade (Cross River)

Many residents of Cross River haven’t had nice things to say about Governor Ben Ayade, who stalled the state’s 2020 budget until close to deadline and named it ‘Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis.’ That said, Ayade seems to be have been interested in frivolities as creation of ministries that have no direct economic bearing on the people he leads.

Although, journalist and human rights activist Agba Jalingo who is editor-in-chief of Cross River Watch, has gained freedom after spending over 170 days in prison for exposing the disappearance of N500m meant for the establishment of Cross River State Microfinance Bank, Ayade had made a false claim that Jalingo had admitted the treason charges against him in court, which is false. And this still puts Ayade as one of our lowest-ranking governors this month.

The bad:

7. Godwin Obaseki (Edo)

With gubernatorial elections in Edo state scheduled for September, the polity in Edo has devolved into full-blown bickering between the incumbent governor Godwin Obaseki, and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, locked in a bitter battle for the control of the state, which is now protracted. Consequently, this has been a form of distraction to Obaseki, who should ordinarily be focused on governing the state and improving its affairs.

Worthy of commendation however is the massive upgrade of sports facilities across the state ahead of the National Sports Festival holding in the state. These facilities if maintained will go a long way in helping the youth better engaged and developing the sports sector in the state.

6. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos)

Aside Sanwo-Olu’s seeming inactivity in top sectors of the state since elected into office in 2019, the recent Okada and tricycle ban which was implemented without alternatives has deepened the disconnect between the governor and Lagosians, leading to protests in major parts of the state and with new hardship visited upon Lagosians who heavily rely on this means of transport for their daily commute. Although the government has stated that the ban is for safety reasons, given the record of Okada-related accidents, there are speculations that the ban is strategic, to become an entry point for other private transport businesses while competition is eliminated.

Commendably, the Lagos State Public Works has put in a lot of effort into the rehabilitation of most inner-city roads in the state ahead of the rainy season.

The good:

5. Seyi Makinde (Oy0)

It’s been since established that Seyi Makinde has set a good, enviable model of how to govern in Oyo, trying to transform every facet of the state and deliver dividends of democracy to the people. This time, Makinde has focused on education, declaring free quality education and that students in the state shouldn’t have to pay anything.

The state now has the biggest education spending allocation of 22.4% of the 2020 budget, topping the federal government’s 15%.

4. Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna)

Governor El-Rufai may be a controversial politician but he is largely a model-administrator. With less emphasis on public relations, he manages to go about his duties as governor without much noise. Last month, he went a step higher in improving the standard of living for pensioners in the state, as he increased their benefits from as low as N3,000 to N30,000, which he described as unacceptable.

His administration also performed at Damau in Kubau Local Government Area of the state, the groundbreaking of a 9,000-hectare Household Milk Farm will house 14,000 cows for milk, yoghurt and beef production under a Public-Private Partnership with the Danish dairies giant, Arla and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACABAN), while building about 89km road in Kubau Local Government Area to help farmers and residents alike transport their goods and farm produce efficiently.

The project is designed to unify and centralize the activities of herders under a single community and to transform the livestock value chain from subsistence to commercial animal husbandry while eradicating the perennial conflicts associated with these activities.

3. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti)

Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti was one of the Southwest governors vociferous about the establishment of security outfit Amotekun, and now Fayemi has approved six months (180 days) maternity leave for female workers in the state public service. This is in line with the administration’s determination to key into global best practices that will improve the quality of life of the citizens.

The new policy, which takes effect from February 1, 2020, encourages nursing mothers to observe the six months exclusive breastfeeding campaign of the United Nations Intervention Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) which is aimed at reducing to the barest minimum, infant and maternal mortality rate as well as facilitate work-life balance for female workers in the state.

2. Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo)

Governor Akerodolu is currently seeking a second term in Ondo Government House, and looking back on his achievements in the state so far, one can say it’s been decent. Akeredolu has increased the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from about N700m to a little above N2bn monthly while taking on rehabilitating infrastructural projects and establishing new ones like the Cassava to Ethanol Facility in Okeluse.

This week, President Buhari will be in the state to officially commission new projects like the Ore Industrial Hub and inspect the paper pulp manufacturing facility which will begin the production of cardboard and A4 paper in the second quarter of this year. These are giants strides aimed at moving the state, traditionally known as a ‘civil-servant state’ into an industrial city.

1. Babagana Zulum (Borno)

Professor Zulum’s experience as Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in the last administration may have propped him well for his current job as the ‘chief servant’ of the insurgency-ravaged Borno. He understands the problems of his people so well and hardly does any week pass without the Engineering Lecturer being in the news for something positive. He is extremely supportive of the fight against Boko Haram, by not only providing the necessary logistics and tools to the Nigerian armed forces, but to critical volunteers.

Notably, he knows that governance transcends sitting in a luxury quarter and so, he is either calling soldiers to order and accountability, inspecting schools as well as the regularly humanitarian and developmental tour of most Borno’s communities throughout 27 local government areas, including high-risk terrains, where he usually pass the night with the people to show leadership by example.

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