By George Onmonya Daniel
How have the APC governors performed and helped the vision and mission of President Muhammadu Buhari? Most of the governors, especially in Northern Nigeria, rode on Mr. Buhari’s overwhelming popularity to win their election. Two years into this administration one could only ask how have they performed because it is by performance that they can help the vision and mission of the president.
How these governors have performed so far depends on who you are talking to as views are diverse. What areas have they really touched the people and in the final analysis what are their grand plan for their numerous states. What is quite lacking and almost everybody have agreed on, is a long term plan if there is any plan at all. And even if there is a plan is it sustainable?
I will start from my state of BENUE where workers are being owe seven months salary despite bailout money given by the federal to offset salaries of workers. How can a government that owe workers seven months salary have any plan? The Benue State government have not embarked on any meaningful projects that would benefit the people and most of what is happening are more of cosmetics to make people in government appear as if they are doing something. Benue State case is a clear case of government being far away from the people. Nothing has changed and is changing. Governor Ortom simply has no clue of where he is leading Benue like his predecessors George Akume and Gabriel Suswan. When you see road constructions in other states in the country despite the recession, nothing seems to be happening in Benue State.
The one news that has come out of Benue has been the Fulani herdsmen and farmer clashes that took a new dimension since President Muhammadu Buhari came into power two years ago and because the federal government isn’t saying much and doing much, the Benue State assembly have finally pass a law to halt open grazing in preference to ranching and they hold the position that ranching should be established by individuals and not government. No news seem to come out of Benue apart from this.
The excuse would be there isn’t enough money from Abuja to do much.
NASSARAWA STATE Governor Al-Makura is another struggling second term governor who didn’t do much as governor the first time and still not meeting up. Lucky for him he is not coming back for second term and may end up jeopardizing the chance of the APC wining the state.
On the other hand everyone seems to agree that ADAMAWA State Governor Jibrilla Bindow has done quite well if not remarkably well in Adamawa State. Governor Bindow’s achievement can be seen everywhere from Road Constructions to primary healthcare, agriculture and skill acquisition and even job creation. There has been good report from Adamawa State. One area Governor Bindow will be most lauded are both urban and rural road constructions.
Unlike Governor Bindow, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum hasn’t stepped up at all. This is a man who embarrassingly told the media that it was his people’s behavior being far away from God that resulted to the strain C meningitis epidemic, when we all know it was the unpreparedness of government and lack of simply thing as information to the people on prevention.
PLATEAU State Governor Michael Botmang has been able to pay salaries despite his colleagues not being able to pay. You may not believe it but this is nowadays an achievement in a Nigeria where his colleagues owe workers over six months of salaries or at least three months and above. There has been relative peace in Jos since he took over and he has been able to deal with ghost workers in the state civil service the minimal. Apart from that, not much seems to be going on in Plateau State.
The case of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in KADUNA State is quite peculiar. Most of Nasir El-Rufai’s hardcore supporters would tell you he has done well. Governor Nasir El-Rufai is one of the governor who is expected to do well. But apart Zaria Water Project that he has commissioned, Governor Nasir El-Rufai cannot be said to have done much. He has also been consistent in paying workers and this is a huge achievement as most of his colleagues have not been able to do so. Most of the things he is doing are cosmestics, typically what politicians do to get support, painting of schools, feeding of school students and all that which is just an avenue to give contracts to his supporters. Not even Governor Nasir El-Rufai has a clear cut plan for Kaduna State.
Recently he has tried to tackle the Fulani herdsmen conflict after failing woefully in handling the matter that has claimed the lives of hundreds all over Southern Kaduna in the last two years. The people who see his as insensitive or taking side stone his convoy on one occasion when he went to Southern Kaduna after one of the numerous Fulani herdsmen attacks. But lately the problem has calmed down after backlash from the whole country. Governor Nasir El-Rufai is also being criticized by his handling of the Shiite problem which led to the attack of Shiites in Kaduna city.
BAUCHI State Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar was once the most disliked governor in the north by his own citizens mostly becayze of power tussle between him and his senators and House of Representative members in Abuja who he doesn’t get along with. In fact led by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who is from Bauchi, the Abuja indeginous politicians working with the federal government took his case to President Muhammadu Buhari, but then President Buhari has insurmountable problems too handling Nigeria. But over this two year Governor MA Abubakar has been able to turn things around. Once accused of not being able to pay salaries, today MA Abubakar has put all that behind him and has been up to date. He has also embarked on road constructions both in Bauchi and some rural areas. Through some of his work he has been able to change some of the people’s perception.
The rehabilitation of Yamkari game reserve is also another notable achievement but the inability of the Bauchi State Governor to attract tourist and promote tourism make it such a huge waste.
BORNO State Governor Kashim Shettima already has a daunting challenge as his state as you all know is the epicenter of terror group Boko Haram. I have talked to a lot of people on Mr. Shettima and what they say as the others is that it depends on what you want to see as achievement. Boko Haram have over the years pummeled the state so much and caught in-between them and the Nigerian army a lot has been destroyed.