Will the Governors Walk Their Talk?


Twenty-nine governors took their oaths of office last Wednesday across the federation, either for their second term in office or as first-timers. Sadly, however, not a few of the governors often reckon they are accountable to the electorate to whom they owe their electoral successes the moment they assume office. But just in case they forget, these highlights should serve as a reminder of some of their promises at inauguration, writes Shola Oyeyipo


Finally, the journey from 2019 has begun in earnest. Twenty-nine of the 36 governors, who took part in this year’s general election were sworn in last Wednesday, May 29, and have started work almost immediately with the various appointments so far announced.

It is worthy of mention that some of the 29 governors had returned to office for their second terms, some took over from those, who had either finished off their constitutional two terms or from those governors who were denied re-election by the people at the ballot or by their political parties for exigencies other than performance.

But beyond their pre-election promises, their inaugural speeches had further given fillip to such promises, believed to have made their mandates possible. Curiously, however, some governors often get carried away in office and thus consider accountability a responsibility not binding. Unfortunately too, the people hardly track these promises sometimes due to the high-wire political intrigues that fraught the business of governance.

For the record, therefore, and in no particular order, below are some of the highlights of the promises the governors made at inauguration – a handy notebook, perhaps – to help the electorate track development and progress across states.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos

It was a truck load of promises from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State. He did not just promised to fix all the potholes and maintain Lagos roads all year round, he vowed to complete existing road projects, address inner city roads, complete the ongoing Blue Line rail project and begin the Red Line from Agbado to Marina.

He also assured Lagosians that he would build a 5000-capacity trailer park, in partnership with the federal government, and also work with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to develop an on-call system that notifies trailers when to pick-up containers as a way to address traffic gridlock on Apapa road.

He said the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme would be expanded to accommodate 500,000 households by the fourth quarter of 2019, and the health budget would be increased from 8.6 per cent to 15 per cent, by 2021, all the 345 Primary Health Centres in the state will have a minimum of three doctors, three nurses and five community health workers, while ambulance points in the state would be increased by 50 per cent.

He said his government would ensure sustainable management of water and sanitation and that the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) would be empowered to effectively drive the elimination of waste accumulation.

He promised to create 100,000 jobs for youths in his first year in office, increase budgetary allocation for education to 18 per cent from 12. 07 per cent, recruitment of additional 5,000 officers into the Neighbourhood Watch, deployment of additional 2,000 stand-alone and integrated CCTV cameras to cover strategic areas of activity state-wide and the promise to commit N60bn in his first four years in office to support small and medium enterprise and innovation-driven enterprises. These are beautiful promises to watch out for in the Sanwo-Olu administration.

Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s 10-point second term agenda were clearly stated out during his meeting with some Abia State indigenes shortly after winning his re-election in Abuja. He promised to complete all ongoing road projects started by him, to construct 500km of new roads, systematic clearance of all salaries and pension outstanding, to rejig some parastatals and make them self-sustaining and be able to pay their workers.

He promised to strengthen the free home care service programme to take better care of the aged, start work on two new flyovers in Aba and Umuahia and develop Ohafia into a modern city. He said the Hospital Management Board would be rejigged too for greater efficiency and a lot of focus would be given to Abia State Teaching Hospital, Aba; that Enyimba Economic City project would be accelerated to create 700,000 jobs for young graduates and others.

He said the Nibra Leather City at Obuaku would be ready to commence automated shoe making in December 2019, a new automated shoemaking factory would also roll off with the 30 shoe-making Argonauts, who returned from training in China as the pivot; new sanitation regime would be launched, new order would come into Abia with young and vibrant persons driving the leadership agenda and that the era of touts collecting and diverting state revenue would soon be history.

Babagana Zulum, Borno

Professor Babagana Zulum took over the mantle of leadership in Boko Haram ravaged North-eastern state of Borno and immediately reeled off his area of concentrations, promising in his maiden address, to implement a 10-point agenda to fast track rapid social and economic development of the state.

Expectedly, he said his government would accord priority attention to security of lives and property; establish a ministry of science and technology; adopt practical measures to address youth restiveness, thuggery and idleness. He pledged to reinvigorate agriculture, health and the education sectors of the state.

Emmanuel Udom, Akwa-Ibom

Governor Emmanuel Udom has an 8-point agenda and they are well-articulated in his 172-page manifesto tagged ‘Completion Agenda 2019-2023’, where he priortised industrialisation, aviation development, rural and riverine area development, agriculture, human capacity development, security, infrastructure, small and medium scale enterprises.

He promised to establish at least one petroleum refinery, one thermal power plant, one petrochemical plant, and one steel plant in the state before the end of his second term in 2023.

He also hopes to actualise the Ibom Industrial City and Ibom Deep Seaport, develop entrepreneurial skills of Akwa Ibom indigenes; facilitate easy access to capital for startups or financial support and generate employment opportunities.

Also, part of his plan is to establish Search and Rescue Centre, flight training school and construction of power station to supply electricity to the airport to boost the aviation industry.

Bala Muhammed, Bauchi

From all indications, top most on the agenda of the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed is his decision to reverse ill-advised decisions of the former government. The Head of the Bauchi State Transition Media Team, Mr. Ladan Saliu, had said the activities of the immediate past Bauchi State governor is of serious concern to the new administration of Governor Mohammed.

Apart from that, Mohammed has also said his core mandate is to give Bauchi citizens a better prospect and greater opportunity for a prosperous life. He promised to reduce poverty and encourage the people in the area of agriculture, education, urban and rural infrastructure.

Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe

Before and even after his electoral victory in Gombe State, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has continued to highlight areas of interest, where he made a pact with the people of the state to bring about noticeable changes and such areas are agriculture and livestock; civil and public service, communication technology; culture and tourism.

Others are education, finance, economic development and revenue generation, health, lands and survey, information and social media, local government and chieftaincy affairs, extra-ministerial department, works, legislature, security, urban and rural development, water, mineral resources and environment, justice, youths and sports development.

A committee headed by Malam Mohammed Kabir Ahmad had been set up by the governor and the committee had engaged in appraisals and extensive consultations with various stakeholders within the social, economic, political and cultural spheres of the state to evaluate how the new government could actualise its set goals.

Emeka Ihedioha, Imo

The Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, perhaps, has one of the best manifestos around. It contains well-specified vision and mission statements subdivided under various broad headlines that cover practically every aspect of lives of the citizenry.

His agenda cover aspects of good governance, education, industrialisation, job creation, wealth creation, healthcare, integrated infrastructure development and public transportation, agricultural revolution, adherence to public service rules, women and youth development and empowerment and to maintain zero tolerance for crime and criminality.

He also seeks affirmative actions for physically challenged persons in Imo State, to boost tourism, culture and entertainment, float an Imo Diaspora Bond to attract funds for infrastructure development; to support business men and women with revolving loans and credits, to rehabilitate and modernise the Dan Anyiam and Grasshopper Stadia in Owerri, Sam Okwaraji Stadium in Orlu and the Okigwe Township stadium and to expand internally generated revenue (IGR) sources by growing the economic base of the state.

Abudlraham Abdulrazaq, Kwara

Governor Abdulrazaq of Kwara State achieved what some thought was unthinkable. He defeated the Senator Bukola Saraki political structure and has promised Kwarans open, transparent people-oriented leadership, involvement of women and vibrant participatory democracy, productive youth and sports development, infrastructure development, boost mining activities as a way to empower Kwarans, to construct or rehabilitate at least one road in each local government, to invest in electricity production, improve the existing water damage and facilitate availability of potable water.

He assured the people that his government won’t discriminate against any section of Kwara, but open up the rural areas for development to boost investments in agriculture, agro-processing factories, provide employment for the youths, rebuild public schools and hospitals; strengthen entrepreneurship and small scale businesses in a bid to boost internally generated revenues.

He said the government would interface with the police to address the challenge of insecurity. He also pledged to accord utmost respect to the traditional institutions and ensure that local government areas are allowed to serve the grassroots.

Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa

The main thrust of Governor Abdullahi Sule’s campaign manifesto is a promise to industrialise the state and make it the economic hub of the North-central zone. He is optimistic that it would address the challenges of unemployment of youth and women, wealth creation and boost economic activities in the state.

As the immediate past Group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery, he promised to sustain the already existing partnership of the state government with Agri-business Company, Olam Nigeria Ltd and Dangote Group to establish the integrated sugar refinery in Tunga area of Awe local government.

His other areas of focus are economic development, agriculture, education, tertiary education, health, security, water, electricity, infrastructural and rural development, youths and women, traditional institutions as well as civil service and labour relations.

Dapo Abiodun, Ogun

Governor Dapo Abiodun promised to give Ogun State focused and qualitative governance that would be responsive, open and accountable to the people. He promised industrialisation and infrastructure development, by creating and promoting the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership.

He assured the people that the administration would focus on the development of agriculture and rural roads to increase the output of food and cash crops; create wealth for real farmers and ease the movement of farm produce to the markets within and outside the state while generating revenue. He also promised to return relevance to local government administrations in the state.

Seyi Makinde, Oyo

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has promised to put in place policies that would improve the productivity of farmers and ensure market for products of young farmers. He said his administration designed policies to improve the functioning and performance of the sector, make Oyo State system of education among the top in Nigeria through the provision of qualitative basic, secondary, non-formal and tertiary education.

He also hopes to spur infrastructure development through alternative ways such as Independent Power Project (IPP), make the transport sector in Oyo State evolve as the best integrated transport system over the next four years, develop, construct and maintain all water and sanitation facilities in the state.

Part of his plan is also to boost technological and industrial development, introduce innovative and purposeful modes of revenue collection and utilisation, ensure a regulatory environment that will ease doing business and empower the youths through various measures such as education, skills acquisitions, entrepreneurship training and poverty eradication programmes.

He promised to provide equal opportunities for men and women, work with communities and stakeholders, develop very effective and efficient strategies to ensure secur

Bello Matawalle, Zamfara

Since the period of electioneering campaigns, the Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle had told the electorate that he would focus attention on three key issues: security, education and health. By his calculation, the state will only move forward if the three sectors get adequate attention. He actually promised to offer free education at all levels.

Aside the three areas, Matawalle assured the people that he would address the social welfare needs of poor people by providing them with supports, to run an open administration that would accommodate inputs from all segments of the population, particularly on how to address insecurity and to pay special attention to rural development so as to improve the living standards of the people.ity.

Samuel Ortom, Benue

The situation in Benue State is rather peculiar. The state witnessed vicious attacks by rampaging herdsmen between January 2018 and now and these have left no fewer than 700 people dead with hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Governor Samuel Ortom has said his main challenge is to get the displaced persons back to their ancestral homes. Also considering that there are still sporadic attacks by the herdsmen, a situation that poses threat to food security, the governor promised to provide new security measures to allow the administration cater to all other critical needs of the citizenry. Such areas include the educational, healthcare, human capital development intertwined with poverty eradication and provision of basic needs across the state.

Ben Ayade, Cross River

The people of Cross Rivers State should simply evaluate Governor Ben Ayade on the basis of his ability to bring about industrialisation. Of all his other policy thrusts, Ayade declared that his administration this second term would be to oversee the completion of his industrialisation projects across the three senatorial districts of the state.

In fact, Governor Ayade told the people of his state that his casual dress code at the inauguration was a reflection of his desire to spend more time outside the office inspecting projects. Since industrialisation encapsulates education, infrastructure development, healthcare delivery, security and all other social variables, it is therefore easy to rate Ayade as a success or failure if his industrialisation policy does not translate into obvious development in his state.

Mai-Mala Buni, Yobe

Mai-Mala Buni promised to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and assured the youths of political inclusion and empowerment opportunities. He said repeatedly that if elected, he would copy and domesticate federal government’s social empowerment programmes to tackle poverty and unemployment through agriculture and entrepreneurship.

He said the anchor borrower scheme would be replicated in the state to empower the people and expand their farming activities. He also promised to consolidate on the achievements of the past administration in the areas of roads construction, health, education, and water supply among others.

Shortly after taking the oath of office, Governor Buni has declared a state of emergency in the education sector.

Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State’s campaign promise has been that he would consolidate on the achievements of his first term in office. He assured the people that he would strengthen and upscale his administration’s wealth creation progmamme. His plan is to unleash the entrepreneur capacity of the people through skills acquisitions by establishing additional 19 new technical colleges in the state.

He also said road and physical infrastructure development would continue to receive priority attention from his administration. Okowa said his administration would partner relevant stakeholders and investors to attract infrastructure funding, connect communities with network of roads, provide recreation opportunities, youth empowerment and also build nine more technical colleges to make it one for each local governments and a fully functional vocational centre in each of the 25 local government areas in the state.

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu

In his inaugural speech, Governor Ugwuanyi assured the people of the state that his second term in office will witness massive infrastructure development in the state with security taking the centrestage. Acknowledged as one of the best governors, not only from the South-east but across the country, he promised that the next four years would witness massive deployment of resources to further engender development in the urban and rural areas.


Muhammad Badaru, Jigawa

In Jigawa State, Governor Muhammad Badaru dwelled entirely on the previous achievements of his administration which he promised to consolidate upon. Some of such areas are the agricultural sector, which is the basic aspect of his economic recovery policy. He said his government has developed an agricultural masterplan from the medium to long term with a bias for private sector participation to attract the much needed investment.

Flood and erosion control, provision of Primary Healthcare Centres and specialist hospitals being constructed at the cost of over N3bn, revamping of the educational sector, careful financial planning, value for money principles, water supply, solar power provision, cash transfer scheme and home grown school feeding programme.

Road, transportation and security were some of the sectors he said his government was mapping out programmes and policies that would sustain growth and encourage the citizenry to participate fully in how the state is being run by offering suggestions and advice at all levels of governance. He promised that his would be a listening government.

Nasiru El-Rufai, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai promised to sustain the improvement in the education sector if re-elected. He assured the people of social justice and that he would consolidate on his achievements in the first four years.

The governor’s campaign organisation and the APC chairman in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Jekada assured the people that the party would continue with development projects across the state for the betterment of its indigenes and residents.

Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, did not leave all his agenda on a promissory note, but declared free primary and secondary education for school age children in the state in his acceptance speech, and also assured the people that tertiary education would also be subsidised for Kano indigenes.

Like most other second term governors, Ganduje said his government would consolidate on the achievements so far recorded in healthcare delivery and other sectors. He also said his administration would establish a new company to be known as ‘Kano State Small Town Water Supply Agency’ to address the water needs of communities in rural areas, to boost agriculture and maintain the policy of zero tolerance to corruption.

Aminu Masari, Katsina

Shortly after he was sworn-in for second term, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State unveiled a new 8-point pledge with which he hopes to consolidate on the gains of the past four years.

He vowed to sustain investment in education, increase investment in agriculture, consolidate the gains of the health sector, increase investment in water resources, facilitate wider political inclusion and youth engagement, entrench good governance, political accountability and transparency, promote greater public-private collaboration, and bequeath secure and prosperous Katsina State. He also promised that persons of integrity that would add great value to his administration’s agenda for security and development would be appointed into his next cabinet.

Abubakar Bagudu, Kebbi

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State made a major promise to the people of the state in his inaugural speech, when he told the people that the state would soon join oil-producing states in the country. He told the people that the state government has partnered Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), and that ethanol programme has started in Danko/Wasagu local government area and other local government areas would soon join.

Noting that all the 21 local government areas in the state felt the impact of the government in the area of infrastructure development, he cited 410 kilometres of new roads and the rehabilitation of about 500 kilometres of existing roads; successes recorded in the health, education, electricity, infrastructure and agriculture sectors, the governor stated that his next four years would see to the improvement on the previous achievements of his administration.

Abubakar Bello, Niger

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello said he did not make any promise while campaigning in 2015 and this time around he has not made much either. When he was sworn-in as others last Wednesday, he promised to consolidate on the achievements of his administration in the last four years, saying the government would prioritise agriculture, security and welfare of the civil servants in the next four years.

Simon Lalong, Plateau

After taking his oath of office a second time at the Rwang Pam stadium Wednesday, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State said he would unveil his second term programmes through a town hall meeting on June 12, promising that the state government would celebrate the June 12 Democracy Day in a ‘special way’.

He said his administration hopes to consolidate on past gains and achievements in the light of increasing demands and development priorities amidst resource challenges.

Nyesom Wike, Rivers

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike has assured the people that his government would continue to stand up for Rivers State and defend her interest, no matter the challenges or what comes at her, stressing that the government would not accept to be subjugated to a “headmaster and pupil power relationship” and that she would neither abandon the collective interest of Rivers State for the sake of political expediency.

On the direction of his administration in the next four years, Wike told Rivers people that he would consolidate on his first term achievements and make Rivers State, the greatest state in the country. He said he would continue to grow the economy, expand the tax base, provide a friendly business environment and attract foreign and local investments to create more jobs and empower the people.

He said his government would continue with fiscal discipline, prudence, prioritisation of capital projects over recurrent and give value for money spent in the delivery of services.

Aminu Tambuwal , Sokoto

Former Speaker and Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, promised to complete all ongoing projects in the state before embarking on new ones. Reckoning that his administration had embarked on projects and laid the foundation for infrastructure and human development of the state, the governor has said repeatedly to his people that his government would focus more on improvement of education, security, agriculture and health sectors.

Other areas of concentration are improvement of water supply and electricity, as well as provision of support for orphans and other vulnerable groups in the state.

Darius Ishiaku, Taraba

Describing his first term as “a foundation laying stage,” Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, said he would consolidate on the successes of his administration in the first four years.

In line with his campaign promises to embark on an aggressive and deliberate measure to cut the rate of unemployment among the teeming youths of the state, he promised the youths to empower them to be millionaires, saying they would be exporting milk and meat; and will be driving Mercedes Benz, instead of Keke NAPEP.

Ishaku promised to create more chiefdoms and assured the people of Taraba, particularly the youths of his administration’s will to continue to explore possible ways of creating job opportunities including more skills acquisition programmes to cut over-dependence on government.

He said after experimenting with rice farming in Karim Lamido and with the result encouraging, the government would extend it to the River Donga and River Taraba plains in the southern and central parts of the state.

Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa

With a clear 11-point agenda, the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has said there would be no quick fixes, short-cuts or actions inspired by fiat but knowledge-driven socially accountable governance akin to global best practices. As a government of popular consent, he said he was mindful of the honour and the responsibility this bestowed on him and as such, affirmed and declared that hope has been restored, and true change has come to Adamawa State.

He pledged to provide the required leadership that would make the desired change possible for the good of all, saying it would be the kind of change that would balance policy and politics; change that would eschew might over right and treat all citizens as equals; transformational change that would harness the vast human potential of the people into attaining and enjoying the dividends of Democracy, which have so far eluded them.

Under his watch, he promised to pay attention to such areas as youth empowerment, employment, health, education and security, noting that the security of lives and prosperity would be the primary responsibility of his government, while the rights of citizens, justice, equity, merit, competence and diligence would prevail.