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The hurdles before new governors-elect

By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor –
Governance would  not likely be an easy task for some incoming governors  especially Owelle Rochas Okorocha , who had to pass through the valley of shadow of death to win the Imo State governorship election; Senator Abiola  Ajimobi of Oyo State and Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, amongst others.

Their biggest challenge may have thrown by the outgoing governors.

In Oyo State, for instance, the outgoing governor, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, is forging ahead with the implementation of the new N18,000 minimum wage for civil servants.

The governor claimed  the promise to pay the minimum wage, which he voluntarily made on March 29, 2011, 29 days before the governorship election, had become a covenant between him and the workers.

Abiola Ajimobi, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun

He dismissed allegations by Ajimobi that the action was a landmire for the incoming governor, saying that he gave the promise, convinced that he would be the one to implement it. But the governor-elect, Ajimobi thinks  it was morally wrong for Akala  to initiate a project that he would not implement.

This trend is not new in Oyo state. Just before he vacated office in 2003,  former Governor Lam Adesina sealed a N1.8bn contract for an International Market and Water Project while Senator Rashidi Ladoja increased workers’ salaries and allowances a few days before his departure.

Also in Oyo State, Governor Alao-Akala, a few days after losing his re-election bid signed a bill that provides for the rotation of the chairmanship of the State Council of Obas among the Alaafin of Oyo, Olubadan of Ibadan and Soun of Ogbomosho. The Alaafin used to be the permanent chairman.

In the old Oyo State, the chairmanship of the council of Obas was held permanently by the Ooni of Ife but the Alaafin wanted it to be rotated.

Besides, the Governor-elect,  Senator Ajimobi will face the hurdle of working with a House of Assembly that has a combination of majority of two opposition parties in the Accord Party and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Both Accord and PDP  have a total of 18 seats to ACN’s 14. The governor elect will also have to reposition  virtually every aspect of development including  infrastructure, empowerment, good image and  security.

In Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the Governor-elect’s  first hurdle would be to heel the damaged psyche of the people who do not seem to understand all the talk about democracy after minority members of the state Assembly, with the connivance of the executive and the police locked out the majority members making the Assembly unable to sit.

The out-going Governor Gbenga Daniels has also approved  the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage for workers and this is expected to take effect from 31 May just after Amosun has taken oath of office. Strangely also, Governor Daniel recently promoted 108 secondary school principals and to salary grade level 17, the highest grade in the civil service. He also approved that  2,000 university graduates be employed  as teachers in the state. He also approved the appointment of  four Headmasters General for primary schools in four zones across the state.

In Imo State, the Governor-elect, Rochas Okorocha has already made a name for himself as a philanthropist but governance is not about philanthropy. Imo people need  good governance whereby transparency and accountability would become key over the next four years.

Rochas Okorocha should end the celebration  dance  and start working out ways of  transforming the  State so that the people can become self reliant and the economy of the state would become one of the best in the entire country within the shortest possible time.

Okorocha has to rebuild the education, health, agricultural and environmental sectors of the state and transform Imo into an industrial hub of the South East by creating an enabling environment for genuine investors to come in and aggressively establish private manufacturing firms that would boost the productive sector of the state and engage the hundreds of thousands of graduates who have been compelled by circumstances of past and present political mal administration  to become petty transporters on tricycles or Keke NAPEP. The state of general infrastructure in the state must also be overhauled..

In Kwara State, the governor-elect  Abdulfatah Ahmed is from the South Senatorial District and by implication is first beneficiary of the agitation for power shift from Kwara Central which  produced the governor of the state since the commencement of the current political dispensation. While Rear Admiral Mohammed Alabi Lawal (rtd) ruled from 1999 to 2003, Dr Bukola Saraki, also from Kwara Central, has been governor of the state since 2003.

Ahmed may not have too much  challenge as he is the candidate by the out-going governor Bukola Saraki who would be going to the Senate.

What perhaps Kwara governor-elect should worry about is how to improve on the achievements of the incumbent governor and if possible, beat his records of achievement in the State. One area that he really requires to work on is to reconcile his predecessor Dr. Bukola Saraki  and his father, Dr. Olusola Saraki who appear to be in a frosty  relationship due to the governorship issues in the state.

In Kano State where former governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, is the govern elect,  the politics is sharply divided between the followers and sympathisers of the ANPP, the party of the out-going governor Shekarau and the PDP, the party of the governor-elect.

Kwakwanso’s   whose major hurdle should be to strike a  balance in  the polity to ensure a peaceful state for him to operate. He must also be prepared to deal with the challenge the opposition would pose so as to avoid the repeat of the 2003 experience whereby the PDP was booted out of power in the gubernatorial election..

In Nasarawa State, the CPC  governor-elect  Tanko Al-Makura’s major challenge would be how to work with a State House of Assembly that is predominantly PDP. His party has only two seats in the Assembly while the PDP has 22.
Moreover, Tanko Al-Makura would be the only governor on the platform of  the CPC. That means he would stand alone as the only  Governor of his party in the midst of the 36 governors of the federation.

In Zamfara State where  Abdulazeez Yari  Abubakar of ANPP defeated the incumbent Mahmud Shinkafi, Abubakar’s immediate problem would be how to manage the State House of Assembly where his party  ANPP got 13 and  the  PDP 12. He is a loyalist of former governor Ahmed Yerima and with him as governor, the Sharia law adopted during the time of the former governor remains firmly in place.


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