The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum and Chief Nwodo discuss the reasons behind “Nigeria’s dysfunction” at the 17th Gani Fawehinmi’s lecture in Lagos earlier today.
Professor Zulum was one of the two guest speakers at the 17th Gani Fawehinmi’s lecture organized by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, which held on Friday in Lagos.
Zulum, who reminded audience that he was not a constitutional lawyer but an engineer, was in Lagos in honour of an invitation by the NBA, to honour late Fawahinmi, who he respects for his courage and selfless contributions as a defender of underprivileged masses.
Governor Zulum, alongside Chief John Nnia Nwodo, presented papers on the theme, “constitutional history of Nigeria’s dysfunction: Any pathway to indivisibility and common progress?”.
The two speakers analyzed historic developments and complexities of the Nigerian constitution, highlighting serious challenges facing the country and its citizens. They challenged both leaders and citizens to do their separate paths in making Nigeria great.
Governor Zulum, in his presentation, argued that the constitution has concentrated too much powers on the federal government, noting also, that the constitution needs to be amended in ways that will reflect present realities and for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Zulum also challenged journalists to remain firm In holding political leaders to the promises they make during electioneering campaigns.
Zulum, who will be using his time in Lagos to hold some developmental activities in the interest of Borno people, travelled with his chief of staff, commissioners of justice, information and local government and emirate affairs.
Speakers at the lecture made far reaching contributions all of which point to many issues with Nigerian constitution that need to be seriously addressed.
This is an attempt to rate or rank all the 36 states governors in Nigeria considering only the top 5 and bottom 5 as ranked by Ripples Nigeria best on random indixes or yardsticks.
With enormous power and resources at their disposal, governors have so much expectations placed on their shoulders. These range from policy formulations to execution of sustainable projects targeted at improving the lives of citizens.
The July, 2020 report features the traditional scan of the political space and focuses, this time, on the select few on either side of the performance divide, judging by policy initiatives and execution.
1. Babajide Sanwo-Olu —Lagos
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu makes the Top 5 for the month of July, 2020 on account of his commitment to the vision of building a Smart City, principally through urban renewal and rural development.
We acknowledge his pursuit of this vision, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has preoccupied governments across the world.
We note the progressive work being done on the Ojota, Mile 12, Agege and Lekki-Epe axis of the city.
Though the urban renewal projects have come with attendant hardship, we are, however, convinced that they are necessary sacrifices to ensure better service delivery.
2. Seyi Makinde —Oyo
Governor Seyi Makinde earns a Top 5 mention having shown a steady commitment to education, with several remarkable interventions in that sector. These include schools upgrade, and access to free education.
In dealing with the COVID-19 challenge, we admit the clarity of purpose in his efforts to ensure that schools are not just re-opened but that these were done with a clear cut direction, as exemplified in the full year school timetable released for the state.
The responsiveness of the Makinde administration to the challenges faced by some female citizens of the state who were reportedly trafficked to Lebanon caught our attention in July. We note that the timely rescue is exemplary and capable of restoring the confidence of citizens in government.
3. Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman —Kwara
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, makes the top 5 for initiating an intervention programme to lift some of the burdens confronting stakeholders in the educational sector, especially proprietors and teachers in private schools
We acknowledge that his plan to extend grants and interest free loans to private schools is capable of preventing job losses and reviving a sector badly hit by COVID-19. We encourage the governor to fully discharge this plan as the Board shall track and review his performance in that regard.
4. Dapo Abiodun —Ogun
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State scores highly for his commitment to lifting the quality of life in the border towns through road infrastructures which had suffered neglect over the years.
We note the current remedial works in communities bordering Lagos, especially in the Sango, Agbado, Akute, Denro-Ishasi- Ojodu Abidoun axis. It is our belief that the attention given to roads in these and other communities will impact the economy positively as gains are made in man-hour originally lost to traffic, and low productivity.
5. Babagana Zulum —Borno
Governor Babagana Zulum makes a return to top 5 on account of his continuous sacrifice, sometimes at personal risk, to see to the restoration of peace in the insurgency-ravaged state.
We note his courage in undertaking obvious life-threatening trips across the state as he identifies with troubled communities, commissioning projects and leading from the front in efforts to impact the lives of citizens stranded in Internally Displaced Persons camps. We also acknowledge Zulum’s daring attempts at speaking truth to power, and aiming to decisively deal with alleged sabotage and failings of the military in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in the Northeast.
1. Nasir el-Rufai —Kaduna
Governor Nasir el-Rufai gets a mention in the Bottom 5 due largely to the unabated security challenges in the state.
We are disturbed by the continued killings and destruction of property in the Southern part of the state, allegedly by bandits and militias who have proven either too tough or slippery for the government and security agencies to contain.
While we acknowledge that El-Rufai is largely a Chief Security Officer without powers of coercion, the governor gets our knock for his repeated commentaries that tend to further stoke the crisis and diminish hope, confidence and faith in his administration to effectively deal with the challenge of Southern Kaduna.
2. Udom Emmanuel —Akwa Ibom
Governor Udom Emmanuel gets a Bottom 5 mention over the decision of the Akwa Ibom State Government to breach the accountability process by locking out media men out of state functions on the pretext that some of them had contracted the COVID-19 disease.
While we note the frosty atmosphere existing in the state between the government and media practitioners over claims of lack of transparency in the reportage of COVID-19, it is regrettable that the governor will allow his action to be tainted by unwholesome intentions that query his patriotism and commitment to transparency.
3. Aminu Masari —Katsina
Katsina is, no doubt, a State in turmoil. Reports of killings and abductions have become very rampant, leading the populace to embark on protests over the lack of appropriate action by government and security agencies.
The near free reign of bandits and Governor Aminu Masari’s lack of grip of the challenge earns him several minuses.
We are amazed that despite the presence of various arms of the nation’s security forces in the state, the governor has been unable to manage the situation.
We hold that the prevailing banditry in the state is a reflection of years of mis-governance and the failure of government to consciously connect with its citizens, especially the youth population.
4. Bello Matawalle —Zamfara
Governor Bello Matawalle gets a mention in the Bottom 5 for his prodigal spending of N100 million on a private university in the state, an action we consider not well thought out.
A private university, in our reckoning, is a private business, an investment that should be borne by its promoters. Though the state had argued that it was done to promote education in the state, we reckon that such a gesture could have lifted the sector better if it had been channelled to the many public institutions requiring urgent intervention in upgrade of facilities and faculties.
We are appalled that Governor Matawalle might not have considered that his action could open the floodgates to several other requests from private and religious institutions who maybe tempted to see him as a profligate father Christmas.
5. Okezie Ikpeazu —Abia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State gets a mention in the Bottom 5 ranking for July 2020 for his unilateral sacking and suspension of three local government council chiefs in the state.
We condemn the sacking of the Chairman of Umenneochi Council, Mathew One, and the indefinite suspension of Aba South and Aba North chairmen, Cherechi Nwogu and Victor Ubani, as tantamount to trampling on the principles of the rule of law, due process and fair hearing in a constitutional democracy.
We are concerned that with such actions, as taken by Governor Ikpeazu, our democracy faces stunted growth, especially as state govenors see local government administrations as mere apendages of their offices.
The Third Mainland Bridge will temporarily be closed for maintenance work in the bridge.
“Traffic will be diverted to make way for the maintenance work on the bridge.
“The expected diversion for Phase A in the morning – from 12.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – motorists plying from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island traffic will only be on the Lagos island-bound lane.
“In the afternoon from 1.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m., motorists travelling from Lagos Island to Oworonshoki, traffic will only be on the Lagos island-bound lane,’’ he said.
The FRSC boss said alternative routes had been identified for motorists plying from Ikoyi, through Osborne as a result of the closure.
The Corps Marshal further said that motorists from Obalende on Lagos Island intending to use the bridge “are advised to navigate through Carter Bridge-Iddo-Oyingbo-Adekunle-Herbert Macaulay way-Jibowu-Ikorodu road and connect their destination’’.
Alternatively, he said, they should pass through Carter Bridge-Ijora Causeway – (Ijora Olopa by LAWMA Office) Eko Bridge through Funsho Williams Avenue-Ikorodu Road for further transit.
“Motorists from Lekki/Victoria Island intending to use the third mainland bridge are advised to use the Ozumba Mbadiwe road or Ahmadu Bello Way-Bonny Camp Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) – Onikan (by Zone 2 Police Zonal Headquarters) – Marina Bridge-Apongbon-Eko Bridge-Funsho Williams Avenue to Ikorodu and so forth.
“For road users driving inwards Adekunle from Adeniji and from Lekki/Ikoyi/Obalende/Lagos Island, they are advised to Link Cater Bridge-Iddo-Oyingbo-Ebute Metta-Adekunle to advance further.’’
Mr Oyeyemi advised motorists intending to use the bridge during the maintenance period to endeavour to go through the alternative routes identified.
He also urged them to comply with traffic rules and regulations as the Corps Personnel and other law enforcement agents will be on the ground to ensure ease of movement on all routes.
“In case of any emergency, do not hesitate to call the FRSC Toll free numbers 122 or the National Traffic Radio on 0805 299 8090,’’ Mr Oyeyemi said.
Since coming to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to, among other things, rehabilitate the railway subsector. The advantages of such a move are staggering. It would ease transportation, reduce destruction of roads, reduce accidents, reduce cost of production, create more jobs, enhance informal businesses along the rail’s numerous stations, and many more.
When the project was finally started, many of us cried foul due to the nomenclature used: Lagos-Kano project. That means the work was to commence from Lagos end. In many cases when government starts such project and leaves without completing it, the project is abandoned. For that reason we called on our leaders including Senators and Members of the National Assembly to intervene and ensure that the project is started on both sides. After all the length of rail is over 1000km. We didn’t succeed and the project commenced from one end: Lagos.
The initial plan was for the Lagos-Kano project to be completed in 2019. So far, in June 2020, only 156km (Lagos to Ibadan) has been completed. And just last week we read in the papers that the FGN has approved #123b for the Ibadan-Kano railway project.
It took them 5 years to complete 156km. The Ibadan- Kano rail would consist of 4 sections: Ibadan-Ilorin 200km Ilorin-Minna 270km Minna-Kaduna-Kano 300km Total 870km.
If they maintain the same speed (32km per year), it would take them 30years to reach Kano.
For this reason, our leaders need to raise up to their responsibilities. This project should be renamed Kano-Ibadan railway. If we are lucky by 2023 we may reach Zaria and if we get to Kaduna at least we would succeed in reducing the risk associated with Kano-Abuja road.
By: Mustapha Muhammad Maihadis, from Kano, Kano State, Nigeria.
A lesson to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. By: Billy Oghenebrume Egbe
Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode celebrated his 57th birthday four days ago. There were no newspaper articles to sing his praise by contract-seeking Businessmen, fair-weather friends and other Top Government functionaries.
I’m sure that you who is reading this information right now is just getting to know that Mr. Ambode’s birthday was June 14, 2020 (Four days ago). But if he had won his second term, his pictures would have flooded all the major newspapers with congratulatory messages on his 57th birthday.
Lesson: Most People are not loyal to you. They are only loyal to what they stand to gain from you. Once you are no longer in a position to give them what they want, they withdraw their loyalty and give it to your successor. So be careful with power because it is transient.
Meanwhile, let’s wish our amiable former Governor of Lagos State a happy birthday. Congratulations, your Excellency.
This is coming at a time when the APC leadership in Lagos State are just calling on Mr. Akinwumi Ambode to contest the Lagos East Senatorial seat which is now vacant and I believe with time he will rise again in the political equation of not only Lagos State, but that of the South West.
A statement credited to Tunde Rahman, frim Tinubu Media Office, yesterday 9th June, 2020, titled; “No Cold War Between Asiwaju Tinubu, Ogbeni Aregbesola,” clear the air on an alleged feud in Lagos APC, the Statement reads:
“Today, the Governor’s Advisory Council, the highest decision-making body within the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, passed a resolution calling for the disbandment of all factional groups within the party.
This was to promote discipline, harmony and cohesion and engender party supremacy. The APC is one united political family in Lagos. Our attention has, however, been drawn to a report in an online newspaper alleging that the GAC’s appropriate and candid resolution had worsened a phantom cold war between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.”
Mr. Rahman further states that the alleged feud was only a figment of imagination of the media, as there is no nothing of sort, where he said that:
“This is a figment of the imagination of the news organization that authored the report. Asiwaju Tinubu remains Ogbeni Aregbesola’s leader. The former governor of Osun State has been unswervingly and wholly committed to the progressive ideology of the Tinubu political family.
There is no war, cold or hot, between them. There has never been and there will never be. Asiwaju believes in him and he believes in the APC leader.
Our political family remains strong. And we are staying focused in our commitment to building and maintaining a cohesive political party. The GAC is a very strong body within the APC leadership structure in Lagos. Its resolution is not targeted at any particular individual or collection of individuals.”
“The resolution was to restate the often-stated position that the only group known to us is APC and not any of the factional groups. It was to renew the commitment to APC and its unity. Ogbeni Aregbesola is a strong member of the political family. The GAC position does not imply any division within the group. The resolution is well-meaning and should not be misinterpreted.
To do so impulsively as the authors of the report has done is to take the frontier of reporting away from facts to the realm of groundless speculations.” He concluded.
I started developing my writing skills in Class IV in Secondary School, OMGS Nnewi in 1978 when I became the President of the Current Affairs Society. We produced the School Magazine then called ‘The Third Eye’ When I got to the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1980 to read Mechanical Engineering, the zeal and the flair for writing continued. I used this skill to mirror the problems students face on a daily basis and also to promote our culture In Mbanefo Hall during the cultural week. My Hall Mbanefo complex was very popular then for its disposition to Igbo culture and tradition.
UNN also exposed me further in the art of writing via General Studies( GS 101 and GS 105) Engineering Students take Courses Humanities and Social Sciences in order to make them all rounders anywhere they find themselves. You are bound to write what is called Term Paper or call it Thesis on both Courses. I have remained eternally grateful to the University of Nigeria for unequalled exposure to Social Sciences, Humanities and Engineering.
In the NYSC Orientation Camp In Shagamu In 1985 the urge to continue to develop my writing skills continued. I started writing letters to the Editors of Magazines and Newspapers. This made me very popular in the media houses in Nigeria. In 1995 I wrote my first Book: Igbo: 25 YEARS AFTER BIAFRA. In 1999 when we chased the Military away I celebrated heroes of democracy and wrote HEROES OF DEMOCRACY. It was followed with another book I wrote with a friend, Peter Claver in 2004 titled 2007: THE IBB OPTION.
Between 1985 and now I have written thousands of articles and essays that have brought applause as well as hate. I have also made Hundreds of appearances on TV and Radio Stations to deepen the debate on project Nigeria. Since 2007 I have been the Spokesperson of AC, ACN and APC Lagos State.
I have also been a publisher of National Vision Newspapers for close 17 years. I have also read countless number of books that helped to build my diction and public speaking . All these works have in no uncertain terms improved further my skills in writing and publications.
I have been doing all this because I read about how Voltaire and Rousseau caused the French Revolution through writings and publications. I also read about Thomas Paine who wrote a 50 page Book called COMMON SENSE that kick started the American Independence.
I have also followed wonderful writers in Nigeria and the world to improve my power of elocution and expression. It has paid handsomely all these years and I appreciate God for all this.
Today I write to make people pay attention, i write to contribute to national debate and I write to educate others. I write to deepen the debate in the land, I write to remind us about our history and I write to make a point. I write to teach, I write to share ideas and I write to indict and to correct others. I write because I know that when a writer is silent he is lying, I write because I know that a story that must be told never forgives silence and I write because evil triumph in any society when good men do nothing.
I write because I know that the hottest part of hell will reserved for those who maintain neutrality in times of great moral crisis and I write because history will forgive us for taking wrong decisions but history will not forgive us for not taking decisions at all. I write because If you do not know your history you know nothing.
Finally let me leave you with this unputdownable from my leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: “I set my goals and objectives in accordance with my vision. I study them and strategically execute them, my detractors discuss my successes and failure because they have nothing to execute. I am in the news more because I’m working, Nigerians discuss active men in the field. Mentoring any negative news about me will double the wealth of any news media that published it.
My name today is a financial market for journalists, not even elected politicians get the publicity l am enjoying. Go and work till mentioning your name becomes a source of increased wealth for someone. Even my weakness create wealth for vendors…”