20 days in office: Key decisions by new governors

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the 2023 general elections, new governors were sworn in in eighteen states across the country.

Saturday, June 17, makes it 20 days since the inauguration. Here is a look at their activities.

Benue, Plateau, Sokoto governors revoke appointments

Upon assumption of office, Benue state governor Hyacinth Alia and his counterpart in Plateau Caleb Mutfwang revoked last-minute appointments by their predecessors.

A few weeks to the end of his tenure, former Benue governor Samuel Ortom appointed five new Permanent Secretaries in addition to previous appointments he made recently, which Alia revoked on Wednesday, June 7.

Former governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, also made some last-minute appointments of permanent secretaries and employment of civil servants.

Barely 48 hours before the end of his tenure, he appointed Rauta Dakok as the new Head of Service of the state.

However, Mutfwang reversed all appointments made into the state civil service from October 1, 2022.

Alia and Mutfwang also ordered retired civil servants who are yet to vacate office to exit their duty posts, while those due for retirement to proceed on retirement immediately.

Similarly, the first directive from Sokoto governor Ahmed Aliyu after his inauguration was to nullify last-minute appointments made by the last administration of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal after March 19, 2023.

Aliyu issued the directive on May 31, hours after his inauguration.

He nullified the appointments of 23 permanent secretaries and 15 directors general and suspended 14 traditional rulers, 13 district heads and the Magajin Garin Sokoto, Sama’ila Abdulkadir Mujeli,  who was recently appointed.

Although the new administration did not state the reason for this directive, the spokesperson to the governor, Abubakar Bawa, assured that the appointments would be reviewed to fit public interest.

The governor has also ordered the review of auctions by the last administration.

To this effect, Aliyu set up a committee to probe all auctions and sales of Government assets by the former governor.

An illustration of key decisions by news.
An illustration of key decisions by new governors.

Cross River directs verification of civil servants

Cross River governor Bassey Otu directed that a re-verification exercise of civil servants in the state be carried out, and workers were ordered to present themselves for screening and documentation at the office of the Secretary to the State Government.

He also ordered the immediate suspension of ongoing recruitment of workers into the civil service till further notice.

No more sit-at-home –Enugu governor

Enugu state governor Peter Mbah banned sit-at-home in the state on June 1, saying it was restricting entrepreneurship and productivity in the state.

Mbah, however, said his administration was ready “to engage in dialogue with people, who have genuine grievances towards bringing lasting peace and security to Enugu State.”

He also called on Nigerian President Bola Tinubu to release the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to quicken the healing process in the region.

However, residents defied the governor’s directive due to previous cases of killing people who defied the unauthorised sit-at-home order.

Demolitions in Kano, Niger

The first 20 days in office of the new Governor of Kano state, Abba Yusuf, have been marked by various activities ranging from demolishing several buildings, revoking sales of Government properties and sacking all government officials appointed by his predecessor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

The Governor gave an executive order sacking all political appointees heading government MDAs and companies while also dissolving all boards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), companies and institutions of higher learning with immediate effect.

Yusuf also vowed to ensure that all perpetrators and those that aided them are brought to justice through the institution of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

On Wednesday, June 14, Yusuf ordered the demolition of the popular Tumbin Giwa roundabout constructed by the previous administration.

Secretary to the State Government of the State (SSG), Baffa Bichi, said the demolition was a result of the presence of a cross sign on the roundabout which he described as anti-Islamic.

In Niger state, Governor Umar Bago, aside from appointing key officers, ordered the demolition of the Chanchaga Police Station in Minna, the state capital. Bago stressed that the police station was illegally constructed on a major water pipeline.

Under Bago’s administration, the state government has also warned that organisations, institutions and individuals must obtain approval from constituted relevant authorities in the state before erecting any building.

Rivers revokes road construction award

On Saturday, June 10, Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara said his government would revoke the contract for the Andoni section of the Ogoni/Opobo/Nkoro/Andoni Unity Road construction project.

He said the contract would be re-awarded, as the contractor in charge of the project has failed to deliver after several years.

Ebonyi appoints first female SSG

Ebonyi Governor Francis Nwifuru appointed the first female SSG in the history of the state.

Nwaifuru appointed Grace Umezurike, Umezuruike, a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Ebonyi State University, Abakiliki, as the SSG on Friday, June 9.

A day after he was sworn in, Nwaifuru ordered the freezing of all bank accounts operated by the state government.

He made certain other appointments since he assumed office, including 21 special assistants on internal security, new media and other focused areas of his administration.

State of emergency on refuse declared in Abia

Abia State Governor Alex Otti, in his inaugural speech on May 29, declared a state of emergency on refuse disposal in Umuhaia, the state capital and Aba, the commercial nerve of the state.

On June 1, he appointed one Ogbonnia Okereke as the head of the task force to implement the refuse disposal emergency. The governor participated and supervised in the flag-off of the exercise in both Aba and Umuahia.

“I wish to thank all those working pro-bono to ensure that our towns are clean and all who braved the rain to give effect to the directive we gave two days ago, declaring an emergency on the cleanup of Aba and Umuahia.

“I wish to thank all those working pro-bono to ensure that our towns are clean and all who braved the rain to give effect to the directive we gave two days ago,” Otti said during the occasion.

In his first 20 days in office, the governor had met with the permanent secretaries of different ministries and agencies in the state.

Otti, in a statement by his spokesperson, Kazie Uko, directed them to take charge of the various ministries until a new set of commissioners are appointed by the new government but warned them against undermining the new government.

Otti also froze all bank accounts belonging to the government and its agencies and directed that banks desist from honouring cheques, documents, or other instruments expressly approved by or emanating from him.

He also dissolved all boards of agencies and parastatals of the state government.

Kebbi inaugurates 10th Assembly, clears outstanding allowances for security personnel

In Kebbi, State Governor Nasir Idris dissolved the 9th assembly and inaugurated the 10th assembly within his first 20 days.

He ordered heads of security agencies to clear all outstanding allowances to security personnel in the state.

The governor also appointed 30 special advisers.

Zamfara probes ex-Governor

Under the administration of Dauda Lawal, the former governor, Bello Matawalle, is being probed.

Lawal accused his predecessor Bello Matrawalle of stealing official vehicles from the Government house before handing over the state’s leadership.

Under his administration, the state police raided Matawalle’s residence and recovered 40 government-owned vehicles.

He also ordered the state water board to commence water pumping to residents of Gusau, the capital. He issued this directive one week after his inauguration.

The governor has also prohibited the re-emergence and unlawful display of billboards bearing his pictures in the state capital and local government headquarters.

Katsina revokes land allocations

Since the inauguration of the new administration under Zamfara Governor Dikko Radda, the state has revoked all lands illegally allocated to individuals by government officials in MDAs within the state.

The government also approved N80 million to compensate musicians whose homes were attacked and destroyed by political thugs during the electioneering period.

Kastina is set to partner with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund  (UNICEF) to end hunger across the 34 LGAs.

Taraba declares state of emergency on education

Taraba Governor Kefas Agbu declared a state of emergency on primary and secondary education and said his administration would turn the sector around within 100 days.

He described the conditions of basic schools in the state as pathetic and promised to focus on infrastructural development and welfare of teachers.

He also ordered the immediate closure of the Government Science Secondary School, Jalingo, over the dilapidated condition of the building.

Minimal activities in Kaduna, Jigawa, Akwa-Ibom, Delta

Meanwhile, Kaduna State governor, Uba Sani, has not made any major decisions since he took over the affairs of the state two weeks ago. However, days after taking his oath of office, the governor chaired ministerial briefings to receive reports from various ministries and agencies in the state.

Uba Sani was the candidate anointed by the immediate former governor, Nasir El Rufai.

Beyond that, Governor Sani promised to work with other governors in Nigeria to make state police a reality and also restated his administration’s commitment to ensuring the spread of development projects to rural areas of the State.

Akwa-Ibom state governor, Umo Eno, said his administration will focus on economic development, education, healthcare, infrastructure, and good governance through accountability and transparent leadership.






     

     

    Apart from a few appointments, the governor has not achieved any policy milestones since he assumed office.

    The new Jigawa state Governor Umar Namadi, in the same vein, has not yet publicly taken any significant decision apart from appointing top government officials.

    Similarly, Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has also not undertaken any policy milestone apart from appointing the Secretary to the State Government and his Chief of Staff.

    Oborevwori, however, pledged to continue the economic development of Delta State. He also promised to focus on education, healthcare and good governance.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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