“.. It may interest you to know that all the governors disagreed on how to manage the security of the country, but when it comes to autonomy for local government, they all come together to oppose it…”
I think that since 1999, state governors have remained the most powerful political bloc in Nigeria. What they condone is the only thing that comes to pass on our political landscape. Ask former President Obasanjo about his 2003 experience in the hands of governors led by James Ibori of Delta State. Nothing just happens without the stamp of “Their Excellencies”
In a piece titled “ A letter to Nigeria’s 36 Governors” published in The Punch last year, I pointed out as follows: “ A governor in Nigeria is the literal owner of his state. He has enormous financial resources to covert the support of all leaders, be they young or old. He is the unseen head of the state House of Assembly and wields considerable influence on the courts in his state. He mostly handpicks chairmen of local government areas and has them all at his beck and call. As surprising as it may sound, the governor is the concealed hand behind every move that is made by members of the National Assembly from his state. One can then imagine how impossible it would be for anyone to stand in the way of anything that Your Excellencies desire if you were all to come together as one…”
12 months on and just few weeks to general elections, absolutely nothing has changed. The fact has indeed become more obvious such that so many people, including President Goodluck Jonathan, have seen the light
A fortnight ago in Dutse, Jonathan said the following “…I always tell our party that until we change our delegate pattern, the governors must dictate what happens” You would think that is just about the PDP.
But No! Since the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC), there have been occasions on which governors were said to have forced the hand of the party. How else do we explain the ouster of foundation members who were at logger heads with governors in their states? This happened in Kano, where Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau was edged out, Sokoto where Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa was edged out and Kwara where the Mr. Dele Belgore group was edged out.
A more recent example is the situation in Ogun State which has seen Aremo Olusegun Osoba and his supporters, including senators and house of representative members, leaving the APC, while the governor is sitting tight. Reports this weekend also indicate that governors of the APC are insisting on getting the vice presidential slot and I assure you that nothing will stop that from happening.
However, I think governors in PDP states are more overbearing. Did you hear about the two-day protest by PDP Senators last week? They were protesting the connivance of their governors and Jonathan (who needs governors for his own political survival) to deny them of their individual return to the senate.
Most second term governors of the PDP are currently bent on moving on to the senate. In addition to that, the two remaining senatorial seats in their states would be filled by their candidates even as they impose their choice of successors. Governors have become the political tin gods in Nigeria!
The governor of your state or his godfather is the reason why you cannot determine who your local councillor is; he is the reason why you do not know your local government chairman or state house of assembly member. He is the reason why none of these elected representatives is accountable. He is their benefactor and to him only, they give account.
He decides every single delegate to party primaries on his bed and employs state resources to emasculate anyone who stands in his way.
He’s got the balls of the president in his hands, just like he runs your life in ways that you do not even imagine. He is the sacred cow from whom you cannot ask questions. So when he leaves office after eight years, you are mostly confused about whether he has moved your state forward or otherwise especially as he has left a stooge who will perpetuate his dictatorship for a few more years before he attains the courage to start building his own legacy.
Seriously, we do not elect these governors to serve us, we elect them to make servants of us and that will continue until we fight this over bearing system.
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