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Of Governors And Their One Year Score Cards

Posted: Jun 5, 2016 at 3:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Ambode’s Dazzling Performance In Lagos

“I am a proud Lagosian. From the inception of democracy, Lagosians have always been lucky. We lead and others follow. We commend the good work of Asiwaju Tinubu for getting a blueprint. If you bring anyone to manage the state, he will excel. Tinubu brought experts and gave us a blueprint of 50 years. He brought eminent Lagosians to do that. That was why Governor Fashola dazzled everyone.

“That is what Governor Ambode is keying into. The contract for the Fourth Mainland Bridge will be signed on May 29. Expansion of Ikorodu Road is going on. Look at the Badagry Road expansion. We are not bordered about Fifth Columnists. It is a ‘WE’ thing. We are determined to build a world-class city called Lagos and best of all nations called Nigeria.

“So, in the second year of Ambode, we are expecting a continuation of the New Town to decongest the city. During the campaign, we called him Mr. Consolidation. He has not disappointed us. We expect him to ‘Consolidate’ like he has been doing. I urge Nigerians to be a little patient with APC. Nigerians will beg APC to continue in 2019.”

This is how Hon. Abiodun Salami, All Progressives Congress (APC) Assistant Publicity Secretary, Lagos State chapter, summed up the achievements of the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi, when Independent sought his comments on the issue.

Several states may not be as lucky as Lagos. This is not only in terms of the type of governors they have, but also the resources available to them and how they are being utilised. Thus, while few states posted remarkable achievements within the first year of the governors’ tenure, in several others, it has been tales of woes.

For Amosun, It Is A Mixed Bag In Ogun

Just as the performance of the Lagos State government has become a yardstick to measure those of other states, Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s first year of his second term in office in Ogun State could be termed as a mixed bag. Chief Awodeyi Dasofunjo, a retired civil servant, who spoke on the governor’s achievements so far, stated: “The governor actually did well in the areas of urban renewal and road construction, especially in the capital city, Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode and Ota in his first term in office. Though, other areas have been neglected for reasons best known to the governor himself.

It is the general opinion of Ogun people that for the past one year, the state under Senator Amosun of APC is yet to witness the development promised during his campaign. The government has been plagued with issues of unremitted cooperative deductions of civil servants, while several capital projects in some parts of the state, had been stalled.

Dasofunjo expressed fears that with the current economic situation in the country, it was doubtful if the administration would achieve much in its next three years in the saddle.

Engr. Akande Owoade, on his own believed that Governor Amosun had done his best to re-invent the state to attract investors, stating that he would have continued his success run in second term but for the dwindling federal allocation. He added, however, that Amosun had laid a solid foundation for future development of Ogun State.

Moses Abidemi, an HND 2 Accounting student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, scored the governor low in the area of improving the tertiary institutions in the state, pointing out that bursary payment to the indigenes had become a thing of the past, even as the government expected the institutions to generate more revenue.

Gains, Challenges Of Lalong’s Plateau

Plateau State witnessed an administrative change from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) control to that of the APC, bringing into office Governor Simon Lalong after the 2015 election. The first year of Governor Lalong saw some actions in the area of returning the Plateau to peace, which had eluded it during the several years it was under the grip of PDP governors.

When Lalong took over, the workers were on strike having been owed backlog of salaries and had to source for loans to settle the arrears and bring the labour force back to work. He also got a N5 billion bailout fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to put more smiles on the faces of workers and attended to some uncompleted projects of the previous administrations.

In his report card, Lalong told newsmen recently: “I tell you that about 70-80 per cent of contracts that we are executing now were initiated by my predecessor, Senator Jang. The completion of these projects is important to the people of my state.”

While Lalong could be commended for completing some of the road projects within his first year in office, his associates who decamped from the PDP with him and helped him to get into power hoping to get political appointments, had been crying foul as they had been left in the cold. However, as the governor had to explain, certain positions had to be reserved for the core APC loyalists.

On the economic front, Lalong had been dreaming of tapping into the solid mineral wealth of Plateau State, as he had been making efforts to bring this dream to reality for the betterment of Plateau people. He had embarked on several trips to Abuja to consult with President Muhammadu Buhari and China to woo foreign investors for the purpose.

Although the opposition seems to be pessimistic over his foreign trips, Lalong claimed that in China he had met with investors who were interested in the state’s mineral resources, agriculture, tourism and other potentials. But, whether these efforts would yield the needed fruits soon, especially as Plateau had one of the best weathers in the African continent, only time would vindicate him.

As the Lalong administration entered its second year, ther are still challenges of salary arrears and payment of pensioners as well as the completion of several projects he met on ground. But he believes ”with God on our side we have hope of surmounting them.”

Emmanuel’s Need Of Accountability In Akwa Ibom

Barrister Clifford Thomas, Chairman, Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State chapter, in his assessment of the first year of the current administration in Akwa Ibom State under Governor Udom Emmanuel, stated that although the governor had been doing his best, he doubted that his efforts were good enough to bring the state out of its present predicament.

Thomas said to bring Akwa Ibom out of the present economic predicament, it was necessary for the governor to be open to the people by presenting to them the true financial situation of the state.

His words: “How much debt does Akwa Ibom State owe, and to who are such debts owed? How much debt did Governor Udom inherit on assumption of office? Where are the monies and projects arising from the borrowings? What were the conditions on the collection of the debt in terms of the interest rate, tenure, collateral and others?”

Continuing, he maintained that Governor Emmanuel must make conscious efforts to be transparent in his utilization of the state’s resources and the commonwealth entrusted into his care, even as he urged him to be more accountable to the people.

“For the month of April for instance, close to N9 billion was disbursed to the state as income for that month. How much is the actual wage bill of the state? How many persons do we have in the employ of the state presently? What is the distribution of project quotient in the state?” Clifford asked.

He, however, advised sycophants and critics to be constructive and moderate in their different roles to help the administration maintain focus, adding “immodest sycophancy could becloud ones’ sense of responsibility, and destructive criticisms will also not help the governor and the state.

“Moderation is required from all parts of the society. The interest of Akwa Ibom State remains uppermost, and this should be the direction.”

Okowa Building On Uduaghan’s Solid Foundation In Delta

Senator Ifeanyi Okowa administration in Delta State has been on course. Right from its inception, the government has been building on the solid foundation laid by its predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.

Mr. Johnson Agbeyegbe, Warri South PDP Chairman, put it succinctly when he stated that Okowa had been repositioning economic growth of Delta State, following the hardship that has bedeviled the nation.

Agbeyegbe said the very core of Okowa’s SMART Agenda is job and wealth creation, describing both as the only way to attain sustainable economic growth. He stressed that Okowa’s efforts towards diversification of the economy through the development of non-oil sectors and provision of the enabling environment is the only way for enterprises and industries to thrive.

He stated that Okowa has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to undertake projects with inbuilt employment generating capacity, even as he said that Okowa had been able to disburse the sum of N546 million to 3, 110 persons within the various micro, small and medium enterprises. These, he added, included 2, 052 females, representing 66 per cent of the loan recipients and 1, 058 males, representing 34 per cent, pointing out that this was not a mean feat in these crucial times.

“The governor has shown enough prudence and enhanced funding and strong corporate governance culture in the state by putting in place the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency that is poised for more effective and efficient service delivery to actualise the administration’s goal of bringing prosperity to all Deltans.”

He commended Okowa for the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme programmes that had 17,173 private sector jobs, while 6,800 were direct jobs and 10,373 were indirect jobs of both skilled and unskilled workers, and the remaining 9,651 were created through projects, programmes and initiatives implemented through the various MDAs.

Aregbesola Riding Rough In Osun

The last one year has not been rosy for the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration of APC in the State of Osun. Poor finance had been a major challenge of the government, the situation having forced it to adopt modalities to meet its obligations, especially to its workforce in terms of payment of salaries and pensions to retirees.

Despite the meagre resources accruing to the state, some infrastructural developmental projects were being undertaken by the government in the state. It would be recalled that most of the ongoing projects were funded through loans. There were understanding and agreements between the government and contractors handling the various projects across the state that they would be paid as work progressed.

Alhaji Waheed Lawal, the National Executive Secretary, Justice Now Foundation and chieftain of National Conscience Party (NCP) while commenting on Aregbesola’s performance in the last one year, said that the administration had tried its best in spite of its lean resources.

According to him, “we don’t want any abandonned project in the state by the time he must have left office in 2018. There is no critical sector that his administration has not touched; in the education sector and health he has performed excellently well.”

Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, APC Director of Publicity and Strategy in the state, noted that as at last count, the Aregbesola administration had completed 884km of road network across the state, while some were still ongoing.

He added that in the education sector, the administration had built new schools and rehabilitated existing ones, stressing, “So far, 18 model schools have been completed and put to use. We feed 250,000 elementary pupils every school day; engaged more than 40,000 youths in public works, giving them soft landing in various vocations, in an unprecedented move that wiped off unemployment and crashed crime rate in Osun.

But Hon. Bola Ajao, PDP State Secretary blasted the Aregbesola administration, describing it as a fraud as the achievements they claimed were made at the workers’ detriment. He explained that the workers’ welfare in the state had not been given prompt attention, even as he accused the administration of being reckless.

Ajao maintained that the administration had made life meaningless to public servants and the people in general, adding that it had plunged the state into huge debt.

Abubakar’s Good Report In Bauchi

Alhaji Uba Nana, the APC State Chairman in Bauchi, in his assessment of the Governor Mohammed Abubakar, noted that all the party’s governors across the country had performed well despite their dwindling resources. He commended Governor Abubakar for recovering looted properties carted away by officials of the  previous administration.

Nana in an interview with Independent expressed optimism that with the administration’s determination in fighting corruption, more funds and properties would be recovered.

He said, “with the two powerful committees set up by the governor, which will soon submit their reports, massive recovery of public funds and properties carted away by the previous administration will be recovered.

“Despite the economic meltdown facing Nigeria, our governors have performed up to expectation. In Bauchi State, Governor Abubakar has been able to construct three major roads in Bulkachua, Fadamamada and Federal Low Cost area, and these roads are of international standard.

“The governors also introduced five health-point agenda to revitalise the health sector. Women and under-five children enjoy free medical services in the state. Efforts are on the way to rehabilitate all schools across the state with supply of learning materials,” Nana said

He urged the citizens of the state to be patient with the administration, stressing the determination of Governor Abubakar to restore the state’s lost glory.

Mohammed Sani, former Assistant Secretary, Arewa Film Production Association of Nigeria, Bauchi State chapter, however, maintained that most of the state governors had not performed up to the people’s expectations in the last one year.

Sani rated Abubakar’s performance low, stressing that Bauchi has been unable to resolve the nagging issue of non-payment of workers’ salaries since he took over a year ago.


Wike’s Commendation By His PDP Colleagues

For Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, it has been what one may call a one-sided flow of encomiums from his PDP colleagues. Hon Abinye Blessing Pepple of the state’s House of Assembly started this by lauding his performance in the past one year.

He said: “This is a total departure from what we used to have in the past. Governor Nyesom Wike has delivered in every sector of the economy. He has laid a solid foundation for a new Rivers State of our dream. As a people, we are very satisfied with his achievements in just one year.”

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, added: “I can see people working together, I can see a state government in action. I can see a governor committed to the transformation of the state and a governor determined to use the opportunity given to him by the people of the state to the benefit of the people.

“I am happy to see that the governor has brought faith to government when people are losing faith in government.”

He urged the people to always support Governor Wike to deliver quality projects and programmes for the development of the state.

Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, maintained that the people who embezzled Rivers’ money had gone, noting that Governor Wike has enough energy which would help him to deliver on his promises.

“Those people who were squandering Rivers money are no longer in power in Rivers State. Of course, never again would APC rule Rivers State. Governor Wike is cleaning the mess of the past administration in the state. This is enough reason to continue to support Wike and PDP”.

The Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh stated: “His action (Wike’s Performance) will bring all-round fruitfulness. You will govern this state without strife and bloodshed. You have laid, not just the foundation of this edifice, but you have re-laid the foundation of a new Rivers State.”

But, Franklin Ntekim, a rights activist, maintained that Wike has not “done anything fantastic to deserve the people’s accolades. For one year? What has he done to deserve the praises people are busy pouring on him? I have not seen anything. He must wake up to his responsibilities.”

Tough Times For Ajimobi In Oyo

Senator Isiaka Ajimob’si administration in Oyo State has not been finding things easy with the residents of the state in term of governance.

Although the first term of the administration was said to have been impressive, earning the APC a second term in office, information at the disposal of independent revealed that Ajimobi has been having problem with labour unions in the state over poor performance.

It was gathered that government and the unions have been at loggerhead over nonpayment of salaries and pension to workers and retirees.

As at last count, the state was yet to pay workers and pensioners this year, a situation that has created tension and crisis between government and labour.

Also, the government was accused of abandoning all ongoing projects across the state in the last one year and disrupted the joint partnership with certain stakeholders in the education sector.

Mr. Waheed Olojede, the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some labour leaders were arrested for allegedly sponsoring the wild protest on the joint partnership of ownership of some educational institutions in the state.

The labour leaders argued that the government policy would no doubt make education inaccessible to the poor.

They also blasted the state government for introducing N1,000 levy per child in all public secondary schools, adding that the policy would make education difficult to the people.

Olojede condemned the new policy of the Ajimobi-led administration, saying that it was a ploy to impoverish the people, describing him as anti-people, hence labour had been standing against the administration.

Praises, Condemnation For Bello In Niger

For the APC administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in Niger State, it was both praises and condemnation. While a section of the people believe that Gov Bello has done well, others see his performance as abysmally poor. Indeed, not a few see the past 365 days of the administration as more confusing and lacking in clear cut direction, while others argue that Bello has been prudent with the meagre resources at his disposal to carry out repairs and beautification particularly at Minna, the state capital, while ensuring that contractors who were paid for projects not completed by the previous administration were compelled to complete them.

Yahuza Idris, an accountant, said that one year was not enough to measure the performances of a government that had three more years to go, but he was sure that Governor Bello had added value to what Minna metropolis used to be in recent past.

Idris however maintained that a lot needed to be done in terms of infrastructural development, improvement of other sectors such as health and education.

Mallam Emilugi Yahaya, a businessman and politician, maintained that the APC Change mantra had not given Nigerlites what they had expected compared with all the promises of the party during its campaigns. He maintained that the Change was supposed to be from bad to something good.

He lamented that in the case of Niger State, it appeared those who forced the people to vote for change were not in a hurry to show them the positive side of this administration.

Yahaya stated: “We have seen Minna metropolis being beautified and some projects that were started by the past administration being completed. But most importantly, some critical areas such as hospitals are in a very bad shape.

“Contractors are not paid even when they have completed the jobs. I mean, government should be a continuous one. But, to this government, because they were not the ones that awarded the contracts, they have refused to pay. It is sad.

“Again, they are not doing enough to keep the environment clean. I was at the Minna General Hospital and the whole place was stinking, no water. In fact, I heard that the government is yet to provide money to ensure that water is available to citizens.

“Our markets are fast becoming dumping ground with heaps of refuse everywhere, these were not there during the past administration. I can go on and on to mention areas that are not attended to and I can tell you that we are yet to see more of the change than envisaged.

“We want to see them in action; they should demonstrate that they are in for service to Nigerlites by carrying everybody along and not focusing on just beautification of cities. That is not what they were voted for.”

Commendation, Lashes For El-Rufai In Kaduna,

Mallam Adamu Suraj, a concerned stakeholder in Kaduna State, believed that the Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of APC  has been on the right track in repositioning the fortunes of the state.

He described el-Rufai as one of the top performing governors in this current administration, adding that although many might want to criticise the governor for his style, one must understand that to get things right, there was the need to step on the toes of many prominent personalities to “Make Kaduna Great Again”.

Suraj said: “An instance of his (El-Rufai’s) good intentions is the screening exercise which many civil servants in the state have described as successful. Staff salaries are paid promptly unlike in about 28 states of the federation where workers are owed salaries running into several months.”

Suraj stated that the governor had commenced the reconstruction of several roads projects within and outside the city metropolis, while the environmental clean-up in the state had been made popular by the administration.

“Governor el-Rufai has impacted on the lives of the people with many of his policies that are aimed at repositioning the fortunes of the state, especially at these very challenging times,” he added.

High points of El-Rufai’s achievement were the introduction of the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA) to check reckless driving and disorder in the state.

In terms of job creation, the administration had provided job opportunities for about 2,500 unemployed youths, with the capacity of further employing another about 2,000 more.

Another policy of the state governor that had continued to draw attention was the Anti-Religious Bill still before the State House of Assembly. The two major religious bodies had risen in stout opposition to the bill, although the government had emphasised that if passed it would regulate religious preaching and checkmate hate preaching, bring extremism and fanaticism to the barest minimum among adherents of different faiths.

However, Yunusa Sani, maintained that El-Rufai’s style of governance could be likened to that of a dictator. He said: “Imagine a leader who has refused to allow his party’s leadership and machinery to be put in place, just because he does not want any interference from the party itself in carrying out his anti-people policies, which is in exclusivity of party control and checks.

“There is no party chairman, no secretary and many other important officers needed to run the affairs of the APC in Kaduna are absent because he does not want anybody to apply party checks and control in the way and manner he believes will be in tandem with its manifestoes.“

Mustapha Abdulkadir, in his own assessment, said that Governor el-Rufai had been insensitive to the plights of the common man in the state, as he had consistently, without considerations, inflicted more pains on the people.

According to Mustapha, the governor banned street trading without providing alternatives for the unemployed youths and the people, even as he added, “Roads in the state are in deplorable situation and he is going about working on areas that his loyalists reside. Is that how to govern a people?”