Seven State Governors That May Not Win 2019 Elections
We should not be carried away with the way the situation is now, 2019 is almost here – when Nigerians will go to the polls again to decide who will govern them. Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the entrance of some governors in several states last year, some states have witnessed great transformation with several developmental programmes, while some others are embroiled in controversies and failures that may hurt their second term chances at the 2019 polls. Here is a look at some of these governors.
1. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State: Dissing the party crisis that eventually had Yahaya Bello emerge as the governor of Kogi state, the governor has done well in respect to civil service reforms but the state still lacks infrastructural development. Also, the state’s assembly is not at peace with him. Recently, the state’s chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) passed a vote of no confidence on Yahaya Bello, accusing him of sidelining members of the state executive council and other organs of the party in the affairs of the state. Also stakeholders of the party in the state recently called for the probe of Yahaya Bello over alleged anti-party activities at the party’s national secretariat. All these things may hinder Bello’s re-emergence at the 2019 polls.
2. Nyesome Wike, of Rivers State: Governor Wike, a major force in Nigerian politics. He battled a sitting governor, APC led state government and the federal might at various courts. Elections under Governor Nyesom Wike have been a nightmare, either ends inconclusive or the Election Umpire, attacked or the state is tense due to hoodlums’ activities. Insecurity is on the rise in Rivers state. Roads are bad. Kidnappings are on the increase. Tax force also extort youths in the state. His government is not attracting investors to the state.
3. Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State: Benue has not been a peaceful state since Ortom took over power from Gabriel Suswam, of the PDP who steered the affairs of the state for 8 years. Suswam’s administration was marred with gross embezzlement and misappropriation of state funds. Ortom, of the All Progressives Congress slugged it out with Tehermen Tarzoor to emerge as the state’s chief executive. Ever since then, Benue state has witnessed series of Commnunal clashes and displacement, especially from the marauding Fulani herdsmen who have brazenly killed residents in their numbers leading to Desertation of homes and villages. Ortom has done nothing concrete as the governor in securing his people against the killers. Ortom recently confessed that the herders invasion in the state is beyond his powers as the Governor.
4. El-Rufai of Kaduna State: El-Rufai’s chances of returning as the governor of Kaduna state are slim even if he has intentions to. The governor has been faced with lot of criticisms among which are the Army-Shitte Massacre under his watch, though Nigerians and the Muslim community are keenly watching his moves and step towards resolving his crisis through the commission set up.
Elrufai’s number one enemy and political watchdog, Senator Shehu Sani is another factor that may stand as stumbling block against the former FCT minister, who was known for various demolition of structure at the Nation’s capital, which he is currently replicating as the helmsman in the Kaduna government office. All these factors may pose a greater challenge for El-rufai’s second coming into the office of the Executive Governor of Kaduna state in 2019.
As we wait to see how things fine-tune within the State, 2019 might be an interesting clip in the political corridor of Nigeria.
4. Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina: Masari’s adminsitration has not been without criticisms even with his developmental efforts. He has been attacked for spending huge funds on projects. Masari, an APC governor recently came under intense pressure in the state for painting a public school in the state with colours similar to his party’s flag. The decision by Masari to paint schools building with APC Color came under criticism by the public who believed the conventional public school colour should be maintained as an identity peculiar to the schools.
Also, others cautioned Governor Masari to give priority to enhancing teachers teaching capacity and also provide teaching materials to these schools before embarking on cosmetic painting of school that will not have any effect on the student understanding during learning periods. A few weeks ago, Masari was hit by Nigerian social media for his empowerment scheme of distributing 720 high breed of goats worth N104 million to 240 women. This is calculated to be N144, 000 for a goat. He said that each of the 240 women selected across the 34 local governments would be given two female goats and one male goat.
5. Darius Ishaku of Taraba state: Dairus Ishaku narrowly escaped removal due to the electoral petition tribunal instituted against him and his party, Peoples Democratic Party over irregularities in the 2015 election.
The outcome of the tribunal and various court judgement would have paved way for the first Female elected governor in the state and Nigeria at large.
The popular of the President Muhammadu Buhari among Northern states may be a huge hindering factor against Governor Ishaku’s second time in office as the All Progressives Congress may swing their broom to the state only if the Centre government performed optimally well within space of time.
6. David Umahi, Ebonyi State – All seems not well with David Umahi’s administration in Ebonyi state Recently, there was disagreement between him and his predecessor, Martin Elechi, with the two leaders exchanging barbs over a N29 million car gift. Umahi’s government had acquired four SUVs for former governors and a former senate president from the state at the cost of N29 million each. The SUV vehicles were intended for Mr. Elechi, ex-Governors Sam Egwu, OgbonnayaOnu( who is minister of science and technology), and ex-Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim. Another controversy that has enveloped his administration is the emergence of Governor Umahi’s elder brother, Chief Lazarus Umahi as the new traditional ruler-elect of the community of Uburu community, the hometown of Governor Umahi. It was gathered that though the emergence of Chief Umahi may have come as a result of village politics, most elders from the community have condemned the emergence of the ”Ezeogo’ not because he is from the same family with the Governor but on the ground that the community has already selected and adopted a candidate for the position. An elder of the community, Chief Aja Onu accused the governor’s elder brother of using his brother’s influence to change the tradition of Uburu community by trying to ascend the throne illegally.
7. Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State:
It took the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello almost four months to settle down to business after upon assumption of office last year. Even after the Executive Council was constituted, allotting portfolios to the members became an Herculean task primarily because of vested political interests.
One year after, the governor has not been able to appoint all the 15 special advisers he sought and got approval for from the State House of Assembly. Out of the seven appointed, only three were sworn in.
The administration was also weighed down by paucity of funds due largely to a serious reduction in the amount accruable to the state from the federation account. Between May 2015 and April this year, it is, however, to the credit of the administration that it has religiously paid salaries and allowances of civil servants and pensioners though the administration had to go borrowing to augment what it received from Abuja to do this.
A couple of months ago, a massive road construction programme in Minna, the state capital, and some other roads in the 25 local government headquarters began. Roads such as the Makera-Kwangila which has remained impassable for decades is now being reconstructed; ditto is the road from the NNPC mega station to the Brighter International School where residents have had to swim through ponds of water during raining season to get to other parts of the state capital. The construction of the Abdulkadir Kure Ultra Modern Market-Sabongari road which the last administration of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu commenced and terminated at Obasanjo Shopping Complex roundabout is also nearing completion.
In the health sector, some sort of transformation is being witnessed in the general hospitals as a result of the monthly release of funds for the day-to-day administration of the institutions which resulted in the improved physical structure of the Minna General Hospital and the IBB Specialist Hospital. But, the hospitals. These institutions have continued to grapple with the problem of inadequate manpower especially medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists.