If anything, the month of September has been a political compass in showing where respective state governance might possibly be headed. The governors have since settled into offices, and learning anything from last month’s ranking, it is that some elected governors are eager to fulfill their campaign promises and bring desired progress to their constituents.
Furthermore, this month has put their 100 days into proper perspective. However, there are a number of governors who have grossly underperformed, and those who have put their states on auto-pilot.
Seyi Makinde (Oyo)
Since his inauguration, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo has made it clear that providing good governance is non-negotiable, stating that he was of the strong belief that it is only through improved governance that the benefits of democratic development can directly impact the lives of its people.
In just 100 days, Makinde’s people-oriented politics speaks for itself and this month, he inaugurated a seven-man committee led by Justice Laoye Pooola to probe the accounts of the 33 local government areas and the 35 local council development areas of the state from January 2018 to May 2019.
Most worthy of note is his administration’s plan to launch a 20-year development agenda to save the state from underwhelming performance as revealed during the close of a two-day retreat for members of the State Executive Council and senior aides. This is indeed thinking outside of the box and such commitment to long-term planning should be embraced by leaders at all strata of governance in the country.
Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman (Kwara)
Courtesy of Governor Abdulrazaq, Joana Nnazua Kolo, a 26-year-old National Youth Service Corps member, currently serving in Jigawa is on her way to becoming Nigeria’s youngest commissioner, taking the trophy from Oyo State’s 27-year-old Oluwaseun Fakorede.
This feat by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is indeed laudable and shows that the Kwara state chief executive is in tune with modern trends in governance, especially if we consider that Joana was among a list of four women whose names were forwarded to the State House of Assembly as commissioner-nominees.
Miss Kolo, a grassroot mobiliser and 2018 graduate of Library Science from the Kwara State University (KWASU) hails from Edu local government area of the state and is of course, in good stead to contribute immensely to policies that would uplift the state while sitting in State Executive Council meetings.
Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti)
The killing of two Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) students by the police during a protest allegedly attacking the convoy of Bisi Fayemi, the wife of the state governor caused negative buzz. Governor Kayode Fayemi who is known to have joined the crusaders for democracy during the dark days of the military intervention in Nigerian politics, most recently swore an oath to protect citizens of the state and as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), this happened under his watch. It does not in any way show that he is modeling acceptable leadership to other governors in the country leading millions of citizens.
Annoyingly, it took a while inspite of outrage on social media for Fayemi to give an official comment on the death of these unarmed FUOYE students, and although he has ordered the Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) to fish out the killer policemen responsible, the fact that they are yet to be apprehended is still an issue.
Furthermore, the incident has to a large extent bred an atmosphere of fear, police intimidation, and lack of safety in the state.
Godwin Obaseki (Edo)
While the bickering and squabble between Adams Oshimhole and present Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki over the 2020 governorship ticket is still ongoing, flooding is fast becoming a menace in the state. This is due to the sheer neglect of the N30billion naira storm master plan project.
The way and manner the ‘technocrat-governor’ has left this project designed by the administration of his predecessor and political mentor to arrest the issue of perennial issue of flooding in the state is highly condemnable. Regardless of the political differences anyone who has taken an oath to make life better for a group may have, the people must come first as they are the reason you were elected to office in the first place.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos)
For the first time in the history of democratic governance in the centre of excellence, much is been said about the anonymity of the man at the helm of affairs. The case of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is also unique given the circumstances surrounding his election into office and the hyper-visibility of his gubernatorial campaigns which utilised every available form of media.
Assessing his 100 days in office, beyond launching the State Blue Box Recycling at Simpson Transfer Loading Station, Lagos Island, commissioning the Olusosun Dumpsite Building, commissioning a Maternal and Child Care (MCC) in Ajah and at Alimosho, completion of a Healthy Bee Initiative wherein 25,000 residents received free treatment and surgery and the promise of waste bags to residents to enable them properly bag their wastes, nothing remarkable has happened in the governance of the state.
The promise of THEMES (Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century state; Security and Governance) as part of his six-point agenda in transforming Lagos is yet to be tangibly felt, given the perpetual issues of insecurity and harrowing experience with traffic gridlock in the state.
That said, being the 5th largest economy on the continent, Lagos is too strategic both as a ‘mini-Nigeria’ and the nation’s commercial capital for its political administration to be lukewarm. Over 21 million persons live in the city and the right policies will go a long way in inspiring them to prosper.
Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna)
The new Nasir El-Rufai-led dispensation in Kaduna has honoured many of its campaign promises, including enrolling his children in public school in Kaduna, bringing infrastructural and economic development through a new partnership with global diary giant Arla worth 100 million dollars and the ongoing construction of the new shopping mall rumoured to run into billions but the biggest criticism of governor El-Rufai this month revolves around the silence of the Kaduna state government over the disappearance of social media critic and activist, Abubakar Idris popularly known as Dadiyata. The activist went missing since last month and there are reports he was abducted by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) while driving into his residence at Barnawa, Kaduna.
Arguably the most vociferous opposition figure in Kaduna, Dadiyata has been critical of El-Rufai and the All Progressive Congress (APC). If the governor is going to keep attracting foreign revenue to the state, then the state cannot be seen as indifferent to the plight of its citizens.
Emeka Ihedioha (Imo)
Emeka Ihedioha taking over the reins in Imo was eclipsed by squabbles and bickering between him and the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha. That said, he recently approved some major roads in Owerri, the state capital for rehabilitation and reconstruction, and has as well carried out repairs at the Otammiri water scheme.
Most worrisome, however, is the fact that all we’ve seen appears to be a political vendetta. From one revelation of alleged corrupt practice in the previous administration and setting up of probe panel to the other, over 100 days have been spent and he is yet to settle down to actual governance beyond chasing the shadows of previous administration.
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano)
Nazir Ahmed, otherwise known by his stage name Sarkin Waka was arrested by the Kano Police command on the order of the Kano State Censors board. Despite Ahmed’s status in Kano (for his prominent career in the Kano film industry and widely liked music) he was singled out as a dissident for criticizing the recently re-elected Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and used as an example.
Reports suggest that Sarkin Waka’s arrest was a directive from the governor himself, filtered through the Kano Courts and Police command. This act is one of many violations of the national constitution that has happened across the country. Critics of Kaduna state government like the journalist, Dadiyata have been arrested by the DSS and yet to be formally charged, as well as Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state who also arrested a journalist and accused him of dissent.
Freedom of speech protects the rights of private citizens to criticize actions they consider detrimental to the welfare of citizens, and Ahmed’s arrest strongly indicate Ganduje’s gross disrespect and violation for democratic press freedom, despite being a democratically-elected governor.
Muhammad Badaru (Jigawa)
Badaru promised to construct 40 housing units across 27 local government areas at the inception of his administration and take over the Independent Power Project (IPP) to ensure steady supply of power in the state capital. Till date, none of these have been done while the state capital, Dutse is littered with heaps of refuse as most residents now pay private refuse collectors to clear their waste.
Structures such as the state secretariat, Dutse International Airport among others are in various state of dilapidation, also not forgetting Badaru’s incessant trips to China where an MOU was signed in the area of commerce, agriculture, health and other sectors, but there are no dividends to show.
Simon Lalong (Plateau)
One of the things that characterized Simon Lalong’s first 100 days when he was first elected as governor in 2015, was the rehabilitation of roads across the state, especially in areas like Nassara Gwong, Tudun Wada, Dilimi, amongst others.
However, he major source of worry in this new administration is that aside signing two bills and appointing a Director of Press Affairs, nothing has happened. He’s also yet to constitute his cabinet and for one who is chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, we hope he realises early enough that he is supposed to lead by example.