The journey in 2016 has not been smooth for many Nigerian governors. Problem ranging from internal wars, non-payment of salaries, personality clashes among others have threatened to pull down some governments. However, they stood.
Below is a compilation of 8 Governors starting their 2017 with big problems they battered with in 2016.
1. Nasir El-Rufai - Kaduna
In Kaduna State, there are quite a number of unresolved issues that would accompany the governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai to 2017.For instance, the state has not had elected officials in the local governments.
The bill for the regulation of religious activities, especially preaching in the state, is another issue that sparked so much controversy when it passed Second Reading in the House of Assembly. The matter between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Kaduna State government is also bound to continue in the New Year.
The political rivalry between Senator Shehu Sani and Governor El-Rufai, as well as some of the governor’s aides, is also bound to linger as also the planned demolition of certain structures like the ones in Gabgyi Villa, which has been put on hold.
2. Senator Umar Jibrila Bindow - Adamawa
Adamawa State is currently faced with multiple crises, including Boko Haram insurgency, herders/farmers conflicts, armed robbery and salary crisis in the primary education sector, among others, which are unlikely to end this year.
3. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje - Kano
In Kano, crimes like cattle rustling and kidnapping may not be the major task before the state government in the coming year. This is because such crimes have drastically reduced in the state following combined efforts by the government and law enforcement agencies.
However, the ability of the Ganduje-led administration to complete the numerous uncompleted projects would be its major task next year. With the dwindling economy affecting the country, the state government would find it difficult to finance the multi-billion naira projects like the Murtala Muhammad flyover, Kofar Ruwa-Bukavu Barracks underpass, Madobi junction underpass, million 73km Kano light rail and Kanawa economic city, among others.
Another issue that he will have to deal with in the New Year is his disagreement with Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. The crisis may deepen as 2019 approaches.
4. Alhaji Kashim Shettima - Borno
Most residents of Borno State who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday were of the view that despite assurances by the military high command in the state, that the war with Boko Haram may end this year, obviously, it will extend to 2017.
In the new year, the governor will continue to grapple with the issue of IDPs that has been eating the pockets of the state.
5. Rauf Aregbesola
Some of the major problems the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, would carry over to 2017 include the inability of the state government to pay the salaries of workers.
Workers in the state last received August salaries and are still expecting those of September and October, even as there is no sign that they would get their salaries for November and December this year. Also, the non-payment of pensions of retired civil servants is another problem that would spill into 2017 in Osun.
6. Nyesom Wike - Rivers
Although the Rivers State government recently granted amnesty to about 22,000 repentant cultists, the governor may likely face the re-emergence of cultism in 2017 if the recipients of that gesture are not fully reintegrated and rehabilitated.
Another major problem that will confront Governor Wike next year is the outcome of the December 10 legislative rerun election, where both the PDP and the APC are trading blames on alleged electoral fraud.
Both parties have refused to concede defeat in areas they lost and have threatened to settle the matter in court. There is likely to be a long drawn legal battle between both parties over the outcome of the rerun election. This may be another major issue that would distract the governor in 2017.
7. Rochas Okorocha
With few weeks to the end of 2016, workers and pensioners in Imo State are yet to receive their two months salaries and 40 months pension arrears.
Another issue generating heat is the nonpayment of 100 per cent of salaries to workers since the beginning of the year. In October, the state government paid only 80 per cent of salaries to workers.
Another problem being faced by Imo citizens is the difficulties faced on roads as a result of non-completion of the two tunnels.
8. Samuel Ortom - Benue
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State will no doubt step into 2017 with several challenges, which have bedeviled his administration all through this year.
One of such big challenges is the inability of the administration to pay workers’ salaries up-to-date despite the relief granted it recently by the Paris and London clubs, to the tune of N12. 7 billion.
Ortom will also grapple with pending murder allegations against some of his commissioners and aides.
While kidnapping, armed robbery, other forms of insecurity and cultism remain a source of worry to Ortom’s government, parents whose children are yet to be recovered besiege the Government House in Makurdi, urging government intervention.
The governor would also have to contend with the recurring herders/farmers perennial crisis in the New Year, especially at the commencement of the dry season.