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Assessing the performance of govs and presidents – My way (2)

By Dele Sobowale

“The endless variety of the human mind prevents any truth from presenting itself in the same way to any two persons.” Leo Tolstoy,1828-1910, VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS  p 255.

Permit me to try my hands at some elementary philosophy borrowed from Philosophy 1a, which I read as an undergraduate in 1964. It goes like this “Facts and truth are not always synonymous; but, anything claiming to be the truth must contain elements of fact(s) which are indisputable.”

To assess the performance of Presidents and governors, especially governors, let me present some facts which might help us; even if our emotions forbid us from accepting them.
First fact, what a governor can achieve is heavily influenced by the resources available to him/her. To that extent all our governors are not operating with the same quantum of resources made available to them.

The state with the largest revenue allocation, Rivers, receives three times what Yobe, Abia and Taraba collect and over four times the amount sent to the poorest state in Nigeria, Nassarawa. Yet, because of our constitution, they all pay the same salaries to their workers at various levels.

Clearly, it makes no sense to compare the richest states with the poorest and proclaim someone THE GOVERNOR OF THE YEAR simply because he has the funds to construct fly-overs which might not even be needed by his people. So, for the sake of those who might be following the accusations and claims of those with political vested interests, which induce them to deliberately mislead others, permit me to classify the 36 states into seven leagues.

The first league has only one state – Lagos. Even  though it does not reveive the largest allocation from the Federation Account, the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, is so huge, it actually collects about ten times what Nassarawa receives every month. Obvious;ly, nobody can seriously compare Fashola with Al-Makura based on projects completed.

Abia State is lodged between Akwa Ibom and Rivers – each of which receives more than four times what accrues to God’s Own State. Every Abia State governor can only look with envy as his neighbours complete in one year projects for which his state must save four years to undertake. Below is the table.

1. Lagos State; 2, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa and Kano; 3, Katsina, Oyo, Kaduna, Borno, Ondo, and Niger; 4, Imo, Jigawa, Benue, Bauchi, Sokoto and Osun; 5, Adamawa, Kebbi, Ogun, Edo, Kogi and Anambra; 6, Cross River, Zamfara, Yobe, Abia, Taraba and Enugu, 7; Kwara, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Plateau, Gombe and Nasarawa.

Obviously, an objective analyst and commentator, embarking on appraising a governor, must consult this table and find where the state stands in comparison with any other state. In my travels throughout Nigeria, I have reached the conclusion that the governors who have been most prudent in their use of financial resources are, invariably, those in lower half of categories two to seven.

And, they belong to all the political parties – APC, APGA, Labour and PDP. Over time, I will present those governors who, in my opinion, had performed best, based on the criteria of food first, health next, education third and infrastructure a distant fourth.

“History does not repeat itself; man does.” Professor Barbara Tuchmann.
David versus Goliath is a story familiar to all of us – Christians and Muslims alike. And, it had endeared most of us to vastly underrated underdogs who dare to step into the arena to do battle with established champions.

Many of us old enough to remember, would recollect how The Greatest, legendary Mohammed Ali, became the world heavyweight champion by taking on the dreaded Sonny Liston – who dispatched his opponents in less than five rounds.
Nobody gave Ali, then Cassius Clay, a chance. But, the rest is history.  In politics, nobody also gave Jimmy Carter, the peanut farmer and Governor of Georgia State a chance to become President of the USA. Well, he did.

Sam Nda-Isaiah, Publisher and former Chairman of the LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNMENT newspapers. He is also the Kakaki Nupe of Nupeland. In his first ever foray into politics, as a candidate, the “David” from Nupeland is taking on, not only one but, several “Goliaths” – both within the All Progressive Congress, APC, and the only “Goliath” in the PDP (let’s face it PDP has only one candidate) – all at once.

Some of his supporters had mounted billboards on his behalf in strategic places in Abuja. Be on the lookout for them at the following places:
Personally, I love under dogs – those who, against all odds and the dictates of conventional wisdom, have the guts to challenge society with new and big ideas. Trust me; I have a ring side seat for this contest, as long as it lasts. You will read the truth, and the whole truth, about it here. Area boys love fights, and the President, I know this is great.
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