SUNDAY SPECIAL REPORT
How time flies! Elected on March 9 and sworn in on May 29, governors across the 29 states, where elections held are already ticking the 100 days box in their respective states, not forgetting though that elections were rescheduled in a few states for different reasons including but not limited to the inconclusive bug. However, in just 100 days, it’s been different strokes for different states. While some governors have already hit the ground running in what typifies the assertion that they came prepared, some are still struggling to settle down and others, although a function of choice as it has turned out, have chosen to take their time. Conversely, 100 days might seem somewhat insignificant a yardstick to measure the prospect of any state under the current leadership at different levels, it also cannot be glossed over as a gathering storm that could ultimately be used to score the states at the end of four years if they sustain the current pace. Thus, from the South to the East, West and North of the different geo-political zones, reports from the states differ. It is either such reports are determined by the capacity of the governor, who has a clear idea, where he is headed or a function of the state of the state on assumption of office. But on the whole, excuses may not suffice as examiners are marking the scripts only on the basis of evidenced performances. This is why the 100 days report cards as filed from some of the states below cannot be either overemphasised or underemphasised at this stage
For Buhari, It’s a Precautionary Takeoff
How time flies! Elected on March 9 and sworn in on May 29, governors across the 29 states, where elections held are already ticking the 100 days box in their respective states, not forgetting though that elections were rescheduled in a few states for different reasons including but not limited to the inconclusive bug.
However, in just 100 days, it’s been different strokes for different states. While some governors have already hit the ground running in what typifies the assertion that they came prepared, some are still struggling to settle down and others, although a function of choice as it has turned out, have chosen to take their time.
Conversely, 100 days might seem somewhat insignificant a yardstick to measure the prospect of any state under the current leadership at different levels, it also cannot be glossed over as a gathering storm that could ultimately be used to score the states at the end of four years if they sustain the current pace.
Thus, from the South to the East, West and North of the different geo-political zones, reports from the states differ. It is either such reports are determined by the capacity of the governor, who has a clear idea, where he is headed or a function of the state of the state on assumption of office.
But on the whole, excuses may not suffice as examiners are marking the scripts only on the basis of evidenced performances. This is why the 100 days report cards as filed from some of the states below cannot be either overemphasised or underemphasised at this stage.
Lagos: Sanwo-Olu Embraces ‘Slow and Steady’ Push
The first 100 days is always epochal in the political annals of Lagos state, because it is within the period that a governor of the state earns the moniker: Action Governor.
Since coming to office, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ensured that work on various projects inherited from the previous administration of Akinwunmi Ambode continue without hitches, although some new projects have also been initiated within the same period.
While briefing newsmen on the epochal 100 days of the government, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, said although 100 days should not be the ideal yardstick to establish the success or otherwise of a leader or government, he still regarded it as a functional device for measuring effectiveness.
According to him, “the most visible impact of the course of action this administration has taken so far in respect of the environment is the disappearance of heaps of garbage on major streets and highways across the State.
In terms of empowerment, the State government has set aside a sum of N4 billion as a grant under the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) W-Initiative to empower more Lagosians with ingenious business ideas. 600 people have already benefited from this initiative, which is in collaboration with Access Bank Plc. In line with its philosophy of giving opportunities to women, 50% of beneficiaries of the initiative are women!
Also, about 1,700 people have been shortlisted to benefit from a World Bank assisted Agricultural programme with each of the beneficiaries receiving the sum of N2 million, while a newly rehabilitated Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) at Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government has been commissioned. As part of strategic efforts to frontally address the huge challenge of housing in the state, Sanwo-Olu also commissioned the Alhaji Lateef Jakande Garden, a major housing project in Igando. He is though taking it slow and steady; he remains focused on delivering his promises.
Enugu: Ugwuanyi as Positive Measure for Peer Review
Since he was sworn in for a second term as Governor of Enugu State on May 29, 2019, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has continued to battle the deteriorating security in the state, which once prided itself as one of the safest states in the country.
The situation is however a huge departure from the situation he met, when he assumed office the first time as governor of the state in 2015.
Though he has substantially confronted the situation with the engagement of about 1700 Forest Guards, who have taken over the many forests in the state with the sole aim of ridding the state of hoodlums that have continued to unleash mayhem on hapless residents, the security situation is yet to fully return to normalcy.
But beyond the security challenge, the Governor has in the last 100 Days of his second coming tried to consolidate on his array of achievements in the first term, a situation which earned him the most outstanding governor from the eastern part of the country.
For instance, he immediately after swearing-in set up sectoral committees to review the state of affairs in the state and proffer better approaches that would help his administration leave lasting legacies on the sands of time.
He is though yet to constitute his cabinet this second term, the governor has sustained the pace of his institutional development and progress like the prompt payment of workers’ salaries, effectively utilising the Enugu State Ware Management Agency saddled with the responsibility of keeping the state clean and also continued with the state’s international scholarships. Road construction and rehabilitation have also continued, while the renovation of several primary and secondary schools have been sustained.
No doubt, the coming days appear promising in view of the administration’s avowed commitment to make appreciable impact on the lives of the people of the Coal City State.
Nasarawa: Sule Gasps for Breath ‘Slow and Steady’ Push
The emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in Kwara State remains a surprise in the political annals of the state.The development borne out of sheer resentment against former Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Saraki political dynasty has yet to translate into positive results.
This is based on the fact that the Governor Abdulrasak Abdulrahman government has not been able to embark on any programmes that could change the condition of the people. With increasing poverty and unemployment as major concerns, cases of social vices among the teeming youths have continued to dominate public domain in the state.
Expectations are already high to the extent that residents expect some magic overnight. But the narrative in the state remains the same. The blame game has continued to characterize the administration.
But those in government have a different telltale. Ask them about 100 days in office and they’ll be quick to point to the payment of counterpart funds that cut across education, health and roads development, which hitherto will lead to the new socio-economic order in the state.
However, with the cabinet yet to be formed and the seemingly slow disposition of the administration in 100 days, the outlook of the government in 100 days is not in sync with its promising, both during the campaigns and at inauguration.
Abia: Ikpeazu Studying the Compass
Asecond term governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is not new to the traditional celebration of first 100 days in office. But it would have been preposterous to expect any eye-catching achievements in the first 100 days of his second tenure, which commenced on May 29, 2019.
There was no indication to that effect when he addressed Abians on the day of his inauguration. He did said “The primary focus of our administration for the next four years will be consolidating on the achievements of our first tenure, completing all our ongoing projects . . .”Riding on the crest of that assurance amidst the second tenure euphoria, commissioner for information, John Okiyi Kalu told journalists that some of the ongoing projects would be completed and inaugurated within the first 100 days. The days have rolled in with no major thing to mark it.
Much of the 100-day period the Ikpeazu administration was akin to a foetus in its embryonic stage. The governor only managed to name the secretary to the state government, some media aides and two commissioners within the month of June. Apparently the governor is still studying the compass, unsure of the direction to go.
Thus the waiting game commenced for Ikpeazu to fully constitute his second term cabinet. It was not until September 2, 2019 that a list of 24 commissioner nominees was released. The governor’s media adviser, Enyinnaya Appolos had earlier attributed the delay in forming the cabinet to the absence of the state lawmakers, who went on recess on July 16 to reconvene on September 23.
By and large, Ikpeazu had within the period in review taken steps to tackle the nagging problems confronting his administration. He believes he could come round the problems by setting up committees hence the formation of committee on payment of salary and pension, committee on installation of street lights and committee on tax payment. He also appointed councillors and education secretaries into the caretaker administrations of the 17 local governments as well reviving the state scholarship board. The street light committee has posted some visible achievements in its mandate. The governor can perhaps point to some streets of Umuahia that have finally been illuminated as part of his first 100 days achievement.
Sokoto: Tambuwal Counts the Days in Tangibles
In just 100 days of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of SokotoState, a lot has been achieved in literally all sectors.At his inauguration on May 29, 2019, Tambuwal assured the people ofthe state that he would consolidate on the achievements of his firstterm.
And in his determination to confront the problems facing the state,the government has hastened the completion of the Shagari waterproject to alleviate the suffering often encountered by the people of thearea.The water problem in the area is perennial, but with thecompletion of the project, the Shagari residents could now heave a sigh of relief.
The mega water projects will not only service Shagari but theneighboring local governments of Yabo, Bodinga and Tambuwal will alsobenefit.
In its commitment to reposition the education sector, the state governmenthas declared emergency, reiteratingits commitments to turn around the fortune of the sector. To achieve this, the state is constructing megainternational school at Balle in Gudu local government and hasimproved in enrollments at basic, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Recently, primary school teachers were retrained, a development the governmentsaid was to improve human capital capacity and radicallyimprove numeracy and literacy.
About 50 students were sent to Ukraine to study medicine and other 200 to India, also studying medicine and other science courses.
There is significant improvement in the performance of students inWAEC and NECO exams, which experts attributed to the governor’scommitment in reinvigorating the sector.Only two months ago, interviews were conducted for the recruitment of2000 teachers in the state to caution the effect in the shortage of manpower.
In Agricultural sector, the administration has provided 5000 tones offertilizers, amounting to N2.2billions to be sold to farmers at thew subsidized rate of N3000, which the governor flagged in June this year.Government has also rendered emergency assistance in the region of 20,000 rice, onions, wheat and tomatoes farmers to mitigate the effect of the last season.
Cross River: Still Hazy for Ayade
The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, a second term governor, is yet to hit the ground running in 100 days. He is still jogging with a handful of about a hundred aides, mainly appointed as members of committees to support his administration. He is yet to appoint a substantive cabinet. Facts on the ground indicate that not much has changed in terms of execution of policies and programmes as against what obtained in his first term.
But industrialisation programme appears to be on course, especially in the agricultural sector were rice, and cocoa cultivation and processing occupy a prime position. This, perhaps, explains why significant progress has been recorded in the construction of the rice-processing mill in Ogoja, and the cocoa processing plant in Ikom.
One of the significant achievements in the rice production is the N3billion facility for the supply of seedlings to rice farmers in the South-south region from the rice seedlings factory in Calabar.
In the area of infrastructure development, the Ayade administration commissioned the 23 Megawatts Power Plant in Calabar for the supply of energy to some sections of the state capital and the Ayade industrial park.
Though not much has been recorded in the aspect of road construction, especially with the slow pace of work towards the dualisation of the Tinapa to Odukpani Junction, and the proposed Super Highway and the proposed Bakassi Deep seaport, there is slight improvement in the construction of the mini Super Highway in the northern senatorial district of the state.
Some sections of the road within Yala local government area, and Obudu town have been completed, with streetlights. A lot is still desired in terms of provision of additional socio-economic infrastructure, and the maintenance of old ones such as the Tinapa Business Resort, and the Obudu Ranch Resort, both of which are currently not functioning.
Unlike his first term, when there were no issues with the payment of workers’ salaries, the NFIU propelled financial autonomy for the local government areas seemed to have altered the prompt, and unhindered payment of monthly wages to sections of workers in the state judiciary, and the local government system.
Kano: Ganduje Is Result-driven
Tobe State Governor, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni’s campaign mantra was “continuity and consolidation.” He promised to sustain and build on the legacy of his predecessor, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam. Though 100 days might appear too earlier to measure if he had faired well enough, embracing the continuity initiative has made it easier for him.
The governor set out on the right path as few weeks into his administration, he declared a state of emergency on primary and secondary education, which he believed could shape the education sector and its products.
A month after the declaration, he convoked an education summit, where education experts, parents, traditional rulers, administrators, educators, and other concerned professionals assembled to brainstorm on the state of education in the state and proffered solutions to the ailing education industry.
The summit gave birth to a committee called the Technical Committee to breathe life into the education sector. After working for weeks and visiting many schools as well as talking to relevant stakeholders, the committee came up with recommendations that the governor has already approved.
The governor, in many of the other equally important sectors did not want to leap before he looked and so, he has dedicated a large part of his first 100 days in office to planning, strategising and soliciting counsel on crucial policies.
That said, he has continued at an encouraging pace in other areas. For example, he has ordered the sale of truckloads of fertilizer to farmers at very affordable rates, in conjunction with the local government councils to allow bountiful harvest and as well procured 100 tractors for use by farmers across the state.
He has also entered into partnership with a housing finance firm called Family Homes Funds Ltd to build 3,600 low-income housing units across all the 17 local governments of the state. Having struck the deal, the foundation of the houses has been laid. Apart from providing shelter, the construction is expected to create thousands of jobs.
The governor, in another partnership with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, has embarked on the building of a Modern Trailer Park in Potiskum. Allotted some 50 hectares of land in Potiskum, the park will be built under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Governor Buni is also exploring a partnership with the Sukuk Fund to build the very first modern market in Damaturu, with the ambition of replicating this in Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Gaidam, and Buni-Yadi towns.
He is currently collaborating with the Kingdom of Morocco and entities for youth empowerment. He plans to bring the wealth of the North African country in embroidery, and traditional wears. The plan is to train Yobe youths in arts and crafts to support them to become self-reliant.
Many of the governor’s plans might be at incubator stage; things are definitely looking up.
Adamawa: Fintiri Makes Security His Focus
In his 100 days in office, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has scored good marks in a few areas especially, security by checkmating the criminal activities of Shilla Cult, kidnappers and cattle rustlers, who have been terrorising the state. Hundreds of those criminals are behind bars now, even as he put in place certain security measures to reduce incidences of Farmers/Herders clashes.
Governor Fintiri is of the view that for Adamawa to come out of its present deplorable state, it needs to strengthen its educational systems, small wonder, his coming has reintroduced the feeding programme in public boarding secondary schools, free education for primary to secondary schools, free WAEC and NECO fees and the rehabilitation of five thousands class rooms. At swearing-in, the governor vowed to step on toes and he did step on toes by reclaiming all illegal allocation of government lands in schools and other places like the Jimeta Modern Market and German Cemetery. He has also directed the screening of those employed at the end of the administration of former Governor Bindow.
Fintiri has begun to settle salaries arrears of the civil servants inherited from the previous administration. He has also paid leave allowances, pension and gratuity from 2012 to date and has approved the building of two thousand housing units for civil servants in the state.
After a few days in office, he connected Toungo Local Government Area to national grid, powering the state capital with streets lights, installation of new streets lights and traffic lights to improve security at night and to ease traffic in the state.
Although bogged down by the huge debt profile of about N150 billion inherited from the previous administration, the colossal humanitarian crises caused by the Boko Haram sect and Farmers/Herders clashes including a recent flood crisis, the governor has remained focused.
Ogun: Abiodun Strives to Walk His Talk
In 100 days of his administration, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, is striving to walk his talk about giving the state focused and qualitative governance by creating an enduring economic development and individual prosperity for the people of the state.
To achieve this, the governor has made security a priority issue, explaining that he has a covenant to protect the good people of Ogun State. Thus, he procured 100 patrol vehicles and 200 bikes for security personnel.
And with the passage of the Security Trust Fund Bill, the governor has inaugurated the Fund’s Board under the leadership of Mr. Bolaji Balogun. This was in addition to his intervention to source for helicopter from the Presidency for aerial surveillance to enable the state fight insecurity.
In the area of education, Abiodun has embarked on rehabilitation of 236 primary schools – one per ward across the 236 wards in the state.
To his credit, the re-accreditation of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), which hitherto only existed in name for two years, because its assets were transferred to the controversial Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) became operational. The administration has been able to also resolve the lingering crisis in Tai Solarin College of Education.
Abiodun, in 100 days, gave approval for immediate recruitment at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) of all categories and cadres of healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. He has since commenced the rehabilitation of the State Hospital in Ilaro; set framework for rehabilitation of 236 Primary Health Centres; and carried out a Medical Outreach at Ilishan.
The governor has also given attention to infrastructure, approving road reconstruction projects in all senatorial districts. He has also established the Ogun State Public Works Agency and the Ogun State Waste Management Agency.
On economy and ease of doing business, Abiodun facilitated Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)/Ogun Invest Bill; issued Executive Orders for the establishment of Ogun State Enabling Business Environment Council; the establishment of the Enterprise Development Agency (EDA); and the Ogun State Economic Transformation.
The governor has also sent the followings to the state House of Assembly for consideration: the Public Private Partnership Bill; and the Staff Biometrics & Payroll Audit. Other initiatives include: Financial Sustainability Assessment; interactive sessions with key captains of industry; the Bureau of Public Procurement Council start up; and Informal Sector Enumeration & Resident Registration.
Housing project is not left out. The governor has approved the construction of Kings Court Estate, 51 units of 5 bedroom Villas to be developed by OPIC at Hilltop Extension in Abeokuta; Prince’s Court Estate, a low income mass housing scheme of over 500 units of 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom bungalows to be developed by Ogun State Housing Corporation at Kemta in Idi Aba, Abeokuta; and commenced a mass housing stock. Mortgage is to be provided by the Federal Mortgage Bank through Gateway Savings & Loans.
Other areas the governor has devoted attention include employment opportunities and youth empowerment programme like launch of Job Portal; Tech Hubs; Agric Anchor Borrowers Programme; and the Digital Training. Others are social welfare programmes like 1000 widows empowered by the First Lady, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun and the launch of ‘Okowo Dapo’ loan Scheme for Market Women.
Rivers: Wike Still the ‘Mr. Projects’
As Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State marks his 100 days in office in his second term, there is a mixed feeling among residents about his performance, especially when compared to same period in his first term. While some believe that Wike is still “Mr. Projects”, others feel there is lethargy in projects conceptualisation and execution.
In his second tenure, Wike has concentrated on the fight against insecurity. While launching “Operation Sting”, the state’s security outfit to secure lives and property, he equipped security agencies to fight crime. The equipment included 76 patrol/operational vehicles fitted with communication gadgets; eight armoured fitted gunboats to tighten coastal security and protect the waterways from the activities of criminals; two armoured personnel carriers for police swift response actions; 450 hand-held mobile radios to enhance communication among the security operatives and overcome the current wide gaps in intelligence gathering.
Wike has also lined up for inauguration, several projects completed within his 100 days in office. They include the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park Cinema, Rumuokwurusi-Elelenwo-Akpajo Road, Real Madrid Football Academy, Rumuwoji (Mile 1) Market, Fruit Garden Market, Nigerian Labour Congress House, Dualised Birabi Street Road, among others.
But while the governor is doing well in most areas, he has not been able to reconstitute the State Executive Council. He only appointed the Commissioner for Finance, and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice as well as secretary to the state government. Critics believe the governor is bearing more loads than he ordinarily should, which they reckon accounts for the slow pace in activities.
Wike has also embarked on a mission to return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status. This has pitted many residents against the government as a task force has been set up to rid the state capital of illegal trading, unauthorised motor parks and also enforce sanitation laws.
While these efforts have enhanced the beauty of the city, many residents complain of harsh treatment from the task force, which has been infiltrated by hoodlums and fake officials that now fleece residents of their possessions.
Jigawa: Badaru Battles Overwhelming Challenges
Although the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar promised to focus more on human development, social services and youth empowerment, he is yet to map out the road to these promises.
Whilst also promising to continue to apply prudence and fiscal discipline in handling the finances of state, he’s urged civil servants in the state to reciprocate the implementation of the new minimum wage with renewed dedication to duty and the selfless discharge of their primary responsibilities.
But he’s not shied away from the fact that the next four years of his government would be full of challenges especially, with the implementation of the new minimum wage where disproportionate percentage of total state resources is going to be expended on civil servants.
Suffice it to say however that the state did well in the last four years and in key sectors like health, infrastructure, education and economic development.
The state has also improved her internally generated revenue by over 400 per cent since 2015 and has been the best tax-paying state in the FIRS rankings for four consecutive years.
It is however yet to fully takeoff in the current dispensation, largely bogged down by challenges of governance especially, in the area of security, coupled with the fact that the governor has yet to set up his cabinet for this second term.
Delta: Okowa Boasts a Patterned Development Agenda
Delta State has packed so much in terms visible achievements in key sectors of the local economy, since Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s second term that space cannot do justice to.
The outpouring of encomium on Okowa Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo could suffice as a fair assessment.
Osinbajo was in Delta State on July 12th to commission several road projects in the coastal or riverside (mainly oil producing) communities, executed by the Okowa administration.
These included the 19km Sokebolou, Obotobo 1, Obotobo 2 and Yokri community roads in Ogulaha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area. He also commissioned a federal/state government low housing estate in Issele-Azagba, a suburb of Asaba.
On Sunday, September 1, 2019 the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, after inspecting facilities at the Asaba International Airport, commended Okowa for the quality of facilities at the airport, saying they are of international standards, and that it would serve as an economic tonic.
Other infrastructure projects so far executed by the government include the ongoing construction of the N19.1 billion ‘Section A’ of the Ughelli-Kwale-Asaba (federal) Road, and commencement of reconstruction of the failed portion of the Warri-Sapele-Benin-City (federal) express road.
In Asaba, the multi-billion naira storm water multi-drainage projects to address perennial flooding in the metropolis are continuing alongside several urban road projects.
After constituting a new state executive committee, a process accelerated by continuing convivial relationship with the Delta State House of Assembly, Okowa has inaugurated the maiden Warri-Effurun and Environs Development Agency as well new boards for Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency (DSCTDA).
In the area of education, particularly the need to promote vocational education, Okowa announced the establishment of 19 new technical colleges, such that there is at least one technical college in each of the 25 local government areas of the state. The government has recently employed 1,000 new teachers, and declared war on Illegal fees collection in state public schools.
The government’s efforts in healthcare delivery through the state contributory health insurance scheme has been complemented by the activities of the ‘O5 Initiative’ of the wife of the governor, Dame Edith Okowa, especially, through free medicare outreach. Sports and security are also areas the Okowa administration has not lowered standards, in terms of financial logistical support, with the world footballing authority, FIFA, approving of Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba as potential host of the next Women Football World Cup.
Okowa has insisted on regular and timely payment of salaries of the civil servants, assisted local government councils to pay salaries and agreed to pay the new national monthly minimum wage of N30,000.
Nonetheless, there have been some low points too.Despite his open apologies, and a promise to make amends, during the inauguration of the new state EXCO and major development agencies, the fact that only one woman is a commissioner and member of the EXCO remains a dismal commentary on Okowa’s first 100 days into his second term.
The situation is the same at the state legislature and the local government executive councils. The hushed-up manner the state government and police treated the reported kidnap in Asaba about a week ago (and eventual release) of the younger sister of the governor’s wife also pointed to recalcitrant insecurity in the state, even though this is a national concern.
Shall All Hail the No-cabinet Regimes?
The culture of delayed cabinet composition amongst governors is a new but disturbing trend, writes Olawale Olaleye
Either for the good or the bad reviews, one hundred days of a new political dispensation have already gone by as everyone of the current public office holders are still picking up the pieces of what they either left behind after a four-year run or reknitting the debris of what they allegedly inherited from the administrations they succeeded.
Even then, it is still one hundred days – just some tiny but significant cut from another four years run. This, of course, explains why some see and appreciate the need to push out their feats in those 100 days, while some hide behind the fact that they are not sufficient to assess the failure or success of a new administration.
There is, however, a growing but unsavoury trend amongst some of the governors, which is their newly found penchant for delaying the constitution of their cabinets for a proper takeoff of their administrations.
So far, states that have not set up their cabinets since inaugurated on May 29, include Enugu, Abia, Kwara, Cross River, Ogun, Rivers (partial), Gombe, Nasarawa, Kano, Taraba and Jigawa
Suffices it to assume that the tendency for a president or governor to taking his time in constituting his cabinet is not totally bad or alien to governance in this part of the world for as long as such a time is intelligibly measured. But the trend soon assumed a rather notorious slant, when the current Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola took over as the governor of Osun State, some nine years ago.
In his first time, it took him over two years to put a team together, alluding to the need to raise and save money. Unknown to many, the experience of his first term only turned out a child’s play. By the time he returned to office for his second term, it was almost into his third year before he put down a cabinet. Aside some extant constitutional infractions that are tied to council’s approval, which in his case was deliberate since he belongs to the class that calls considerable shots in the body polity, his no-cabinet embrace for that long failed to yield significantly as he left the state in outright mess – typified by crass maladministration, save for their avowed grandstanding as self-styled progressives.
Interestingly, if anyone had thought that was a style peculiar to Aregbesola – wait for it – his successor, Gboyega Oyetola, whose election was only recently upheld by the Supreme Court, which alluded to some scandalous technicality after what was generally agreed was a daylight robbery, is not even ready to consider a cabinet.
Oyetola came into office a year before the 2015 general election and is still struggling with his choice of who picks what cabinet position. How more unfortunate can a state be gifted! His Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi cannot even recall when he put his team together. The difference between their elections was just two months. Sad!
But if you think Aregbesola and his successor, Oyetola, why would you not think President Muhammadu Buhari, who in 2015, wasted for no administratively constructive reasons, some otherwise productive five months before putting a cabinet together. If you added the time between his election and inauguration, it would be seven months altogether.
Again, if you thought that he would have learnt anything following the public outcry that trailed his attitude the first time, he still took his time again this second term, costing the nation another three months before the president could set up his cabinet of angels he wanted to work with, whether or not on merit. Why would you therefore not forgive the leaners, who came into office just in May and are still prancing around in search of angels from Mars to work with them? Why suddenly is this shameful disposition the in-thing amongst the new age leaders, majority of whom are habitual failures?
The truth is that the only explanation that can be adduced to this trend is the ineptitude of some of these gladiators, who cannot figure the starting point let alone address the nitty-gritty of good governance.
Although this assumption cannot be totally sweeping as a few of the returnee-governors had shown capacity during their first terms, many other, who fall into this category are simply clueless and therefore could not navigate the complexity around exemplary governance especially, at the state level.
Unfortunately, the civil society, which is a critical part of the voting masses has failed in its role of keeping public office holders in critical check particularly, pointing out the infractions inherent in delayed cabinet composition, when in fact, the governors often single-handedly assume the role of the state executive committee – proposing, approving and executing projects.
Even worse are the state houses of assembly that have refused to change their status from the rubber stamp legislature that they are known to be to independent arms of government, required to keep the executive in good check without resort to needless politics of personal interests.
Thus, with 100 days gone by, it is still shocking the number of states that have yet to set up a team, even when they promised heaven and earth. It is even the more disturbing that they haven’t seen this trend in the light that it is – a sign of palpable incompetence.
In the final analysis, not only are the days counting down, the time wasted can never be recovered especially, if you must understand that certain projects can only fly within a certain season, without which they would have to wait for the next time or season.
All of these combined determine their scorecards at the end of the day, the result of which never goes down with them, even when they seemed to have been honestly assessed.
This is why those governors, who fall into this category should stop gallivanting about places and settle down to do the work for which they were elected by quickly setting up their cabinets rather than exposing too early, their characteristic inanity and obvious ineptitude.