Newly elected governors yesterday listed their areas of priority as they received certificates of return. While some pledged to tackle insecurity, poverty and unemployment, others said they would instil transparency and accountability in governance.
Daily Trust reports that the governorship elections were conducted in 28 of the country’s 36 states. While winners have been declared in 26 states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship elections in Adamawa and Kebbi states inconclusive.
The electoral body had fixed April 15 for the conduct of supplementary polls in the two states. The All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 15 states, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nine and Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) won one each.
APC had seven governors re-elected: Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara) and Babagana Zulum (Borno).
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The ruling party also secured wins for eight new candidates: Uba Sani (Kaduna), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto), Dikko Radda (Katsina), Hyacinth Alia (Benue), and Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi). Two PDP governors – Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) – secured re-election.
Seven first-term governors were elected on the platform of the PDP. They are: Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), Peter Mbah (Enugu), Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Siminialayi Fubara (Rivers) and Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta).
Also, PDP’s Dauda Lawal unseated Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, while Abba Kabir of the NNPP defeated Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, candidate of the APC in Kano State.
My family won’t have role in governance – Abba Gida-Gida
Kano State governor-elect, Abba Kabir Yusuf (popularly known as Abba Gida-Gida) of the NNPP, yesterday said his wives and children will not have any role in the governance of the state.
Yusuf, who spoke after receiving his certificate of return said, “My wives will not be part of the governance. My children will not be part of the governance. And I can tell you for sure that this is the same for my deputy governor”. He also said his election is a “no victor, no vanquished”, calling on the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir Yusuf Gawuna and other contestants in the March 18 election to join his administration in restoring the good fortunes of Kano State.
Hours after, Gawuna congratulated him in an audio message shared by his Chief Press Secretary. He said in confirmation of his earlier statement on the will of God prevailing that he is praying that God helps Yusuf to be a true leader for all, who will be just to all.
I’ll focus on security, education, agriculture—Taraba’s Kefas
On his part, Agbu Kefas, Taraba governor-elect pledged to pay attention to security, education and agriculture.
Shortly after receiving his certificate of return at INEC headquarters in Jalingo, Kefas said his administration will take the issue of security with the seriousness it deserved.
While noting that Taraba State had faced serious security challenges over the years, he promised to tackle insecurity in order to protect lives and properties of the citizens while also pledging to accord priority to the education and agricultural sectors in the state.
He said education if properly developed will bring the much needed development, adding that no society would attain greatness without education.
Kefas also promised to harness the agricultural potential of the state by providing basic inputs to farmers and adopting new framing technology to enhance productivity.
It’s a new dawn in Benue- Rev Fr Alia
In Benue, the governor-elect, Reverend Fr. Hyacinth Alia told journalists shortly after receiving his certificate of return that the event marked a great rest for citizens of the state.
“Today marks the beginning of a new Benue, which I believe is very possible. I am very confident that the members-elect will make a transition and work friendly enough and much beneficially for the great people of Benue.
“I remain hopeful in an assembly that will produce and create avenues for peace, economic growth by making all assertions meaningful for the state. We will apply this trust maximally, optimally to the benefit of the state.
“We will not take this trust of yours for granted. We remain indebted to all who make this day possible. We will remain loyal and patriotic to the tenets of our nation. We will remain faithful and great citizens of the state and nation,” he said.
Makinde: Time to take Oyo from poverty to prosperity
Speaking shortly after receiving his certificate of return, the re-elected governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said it was time to hit the ground running to redouble the efforts that would take Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.
Makinde, a member of the G-5 and one of the two PDP governors that secured his re-election said he dedicated the election victory to the people of the state.
Daily Trust reports that the certificate presentation held at the University of Ibadan conference centre, had in attendance wives of the governor and the deputy governor, heads of security agencies, political appointees and other stakeholders in the electoral process.
Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Dr Adeniran Tella, while appreciating relevant stakeholders for their support before, during and after the general elections, appealed to the elected leaders to use their renewed mandate to reawaken the confidence of the electorate on their voting exercise.
Fabura: I’ll be guided by transparency, accountability, good governance
Rivers State governor-elect, Sim Fubara pledged that they would do everything within their power to live up to expectations by delivering on the mandate.
He said, “Our administration will be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, and good governance. We will work tirelessly to create a better future for the people of Rivers State, regardless of their background or political affiliation.
“I want to assure Rivers people that I will be a governor for all, not just for those who voted for me. I will listen to your concerns and work with you to address the challenges that we face as a state,” Fabura said.
AbdulRazaq: I’ll continue ‘legacy projects’, reforms in Kwara
In Kwara, governor-elect AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has promised to continue his “legacy projects” and “reforms across all sectors” in the state. After receiving his certificate of return at the state INEC headquarters, AbdulRasaq assured that he would remain just, responsive and empathetic to the yearnings of the citizens.
“This certificate represents the collective decision of our people to push forward our agenda for sustainable development in Kwara State.
“It symbolises their trust in our efforts to build a state in which everyone has equal stakes. I do not take this trust for granted,” he said.
I’ll remain fair, transparent – Nasarawa gov
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State yesterday received his certificate of return with a pledge that his administration would remain fair and transparent, stressing that his re-election would spur him to continue delivering dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Sule received his certificate of return alongside his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Balarabe Abdullahi, and other members-elect. Sule, who acknowledged that elections in Nigeria are always accompanied by challenges, appealed to those who feel aggrieved to take their case to court, stressing that such challenges are not new across the country’s political landscape.
Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State also received his certificate of return yesterday with a call on politicians who contested against him to join hands to move the state forward.
Our expectations – Citizens
Some citizens have expressed their expectations of the incoming administrations of the governors-elect.
In Benue, they said Reverend Father Alia, should tackle unemployment headlong and also promptly clear unpaid salaries of civil servants. Sewe Anyin, said she expects the Alia’s government to create jobs for unemployed educated youths like herself while also engaging the uneducated ones with skills acquisition.
Anyin also wants the Alia government to ensure that all workers’ as well as pensioners’ unpaid salaries are settled and to continue to pay them as at when due.
“He must also ensure that insecurity becomes a thing of the past so that those in the IDPs camp would go back to their homes,” she added.
Also speaking with Daily Trust on citizens’ expectations, Prof Abdulrauf Ambali of Kwara State University, said the governor should “focus on provision of low cost housing for civil and non-civil servants.
“He should also consolidate on spreading of projects, provision of water and focus on tertiary institutions including KWASU. He has done a lot in his first term but these areas are germane”, he added.
Economic reality, indebtedness may hinder performance— Analyst
A renowned political analyst, Professor Kamilu Sani Fage of Bayero University, Kano (BUK) said based on the realities on ground, the state of the economy and the fact that all the states are highly indebted both internally and externally, it may not be possible for the governors-elect to deliver on all their campaign promises.
Fage said Nigerians must not expect too much so as not to be overly disappointed, adding, however, that this should not be misconstrued by the governors-elect as a licence to under-perform.
These unfavourable realities, Professor Fage said; do not mean the governors-elect should not put up formidable teams to tackle head-on the problems on ground with available resources.
From Clement A. Oloyede (Kano), Hope A. Emmanuel (Makurdi), Magaji I. Hunkuyi (Jalingo), Adenike Kaffi (Ibadan), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt), Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin), Umar Muhammed (Lafia) & Habibu I. Gimba (Damaturu)