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Beyond imperial governors

FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory  (FCT), Dr. Aliyu Modibbo thinks governors have become emperors because state houses of assembly were not strong enough to control them.

“We must reposition the state houses of assembly in order to check the excesses of some of the governors. That is why some of us are thinking we should have a movement this coming election.

The best people should be in the state assemblies because governors have become emperors,” Dr. Modibbo said while receiving a WHO award for his anti-tobacco stance when he was FCT minister.

“If we want good governance, it should start at the lower level, not at the federal level. More experienced people that have been endowed should go back to their states and run for the state assemblies where they can look their governors in the face and tell them no, this money will not be spent in this way,” he said in an address that was fresh and hit a contemporary issue.

Dr. Modibbo said he was setting up an NGO to assist those interested in improving the quality of state houses of assembly. His type of people for the assemblies should be retired permanent secretaries, directors, but they must be people of integrity.

If he realised the damage civil servants have done to this country, his prescription should have lent more on integrity, undiluted passion for improving the lives of Nigerians, fecund knowledge of issues, curtailed greed, people-oriented politics and personal deep pockets that would place legislators above the reach of god-fathers and mothers.

Examples are also important. There are no substitutes for great examples. What stops Dr. Modibbo for running for a state house of assembly seat to make the type of impact he craves? Why should he waste his resources on an NGO? Dr. Modibbo eminently meets the qualities he enunciated. He has friends all over the country, who also meet these criteria. If he, with his friends, contest state seats as change agents, Nigerians would see the difference in the next few
years.

Governors have been imperial for years. Only a few of them have seen public office as a call to service. Service to them remained meeting their expectations and those of their cronies. State assemblies are replete with those governors carefully choose to perpetrate their evils.

Leadership of state assemblies is change once there is any doubt about their loyalty. Some governors either ignore their legislators or stop financial allocations to them to check their ability to execute their duties.

With the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in choking dominance of the country, the complaints Dr. Modibbo made is an indictment of his party which disagrees only over the formula for sharing the spoils of plundering Nigeria.

Other parties are not different. They are so jealous of PDP’s bad examples that their elected members are falling over themselves to join PDP.

Dr. Modibbo should become a state legislator — to initiate these changes he preaches.


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