Twenty –Eight Governors On The saddle

By Victor Ugborgu
In all, 28 new and second term governors and their deputies were inaugurated May 29, 2023 in different parts of the country.

In the South East geo-political zone, three new governors were sworn-in three states of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi.
In Enugu State, Peter Mbah, a barrister and Oil magnate was sworn-in as the fourth civilian Governor of the State since 1999.  Mbah took his oath of office at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, at exactly 12:48 pm,  administered by Justice Raymond Ozoemena,  Chief Judge of Enugu State. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the immediate past governor officially handed the reins of power to Mbah at exactly 12:52pm. In his acceptance speech, Mbah left no one in doubt about his vision to turn
the state into modern cities like Dubai and Singapore.  “There is no doubting Enugu’s capacity to recreate the iconic wonderment of economic prosperity and phenomenal growth witnessed in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Our will is strong and unshakable. We are also acutely aware that where there is a will;, there is always a way.

When their forebears conceived the models of Dubai and Singapore some few decades ago, they too began to sow their tomorrow like tiny seed as we are doing today.”
A few minutes after his inauguration, and in fulfillment of  his
earlier promise to hit the ground running, Mbah, performed his first function by signing three executive orders, in line with the promise he made to the Enugu people. Mbah who was inaugurated alongside his deputy, Ifeanyi Ossai explained that “the citizen’s charter mandates us to provide detailed information on our public financial management
system, report our revenue to you in detail and ensure we adequately capture our expenditure,” he said.

Verbatim gathered that the first order demanded that he manages the people’s money in their best interest and hold him and members of his team accountable for the funds.

The Order 002 of 2023, was for the removal of street barriers before our first 100 days in office, the order is ‘the the removal of illegal structures that block streets and other areas in the state. “We urge the owners to remove them before our 100 days in office so that Enugu people will see what we are doing to guarantee their safety and security. The Order 003 of 2023 is our mission to make Enugu the best destination for investment by creating an environment for businesses to thrive and making policies that are business-friendly,”
Mbah said.

Later the same day, he appointed Chidiebere Onyia, a professor, as Secretary to the State Government, SSG. He had earlier declared his assets ahead of the inauguration.

In Abia state, Alex Otti, former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc took over from Okezie Ikpeazu. For Otti, it was a long journey to the government house in Umuahia. After losing to Ikpeazu of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the 2015 and 2019 elections, Otti won by a landslide the 2023 governorship election as thecandidate of the Labour Party. Otti promised to right the wrongs of the past and put Abia on the path of progressive trajectory, noting that his major responsibility would be ensuring that the people of Abia fully enjoy their freedom from bondage.

Francis Nwifuru is now the new governor of Ebonyi state.  This
two-term speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly  hails from Oferekpe Agbaja in the Izzi LGA of the State. The 48-year-old took over from Dave Umahi, now senator-elect, who was adjudged to have performed well as governor.

In the South-South zone, four new governors were sworn-in on May 29. They include Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers state, who until his emergence as the Rivers PDP governorship candidate in 2022, was the former accountant general of the state. He is a native of Opobo Town in Opobo/Nkoro LGA of the  State.

He enjoyed the support of Nyesom Wike, former governor which aided his victory at the pools. Fubara assured that his administration would provide a purposeful leadership in the state, while consolidating on the achievements of the past

The new governor he and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu understood the plight of the people in the state and hoped to attend to their challenges. “Together, we will grow a prosperous Rivers State. A state where we will provide opportunity for all. A strong state that is compassionate, progressive. We shall govern with the fear of God and
remain focused to our Christian values of trust, faith, love, care and sacrifice”.

In Akwa Ibom,  Bassey Eno and his Deputy, Senator Eyakenyi, took the oath of office which was administered by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ekaette Obot before a mammoth crowd at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium, Uyo.
In his inaugural address, Eno who is the fifth democratically elected governor of the state since its creation said his government would usher a new era of peace and security for the people. “As we begin this government, we will invite all Akwa Ibomites to arise to the feat of greatness with our ARISE agenda from investment in agriculture, healthcare services and education. We will ensure that we continue changing the narratives of our state.

“We will continue to support our state’s civil servants, and we will ensure that their welfare becomes paramount. We will continue to build on the successes of the Udom Emmanuel’s administration,” he pledged.

In Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, took his oath of office and oath of allegiance as the new Governor of the State. Oborevwori, with his Deputy, Monday Onyeme, formally took over from former governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who was governor from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023, after  two terms of four years. He promised to tackle the various challenges confronting the state “I have learnt the importance of setting the priorities of government, communicating the goals and outcomes of policies and programmes, and partnering with the executive for their successful implementation. I am therefore, well positioned to deliver good governance to our people.
 “The issues that confront this administration are not new. They are about improving the quality of life of our people, about building bridges of social cohesion, about giving our people the hope of a better tomorrow, and about accelerated development,” he said.

In Cross River State, Bassey Otu is at the helm of affairs as
governor. Since 2003, he has been at the national assembly
representing Calabar Municipal/Odukpani federal constituency and Cross River South zone in the senate. He defected from the PDP to the APC in 2016 before joining the gubernatorial race. He replaced John Ayede who failed to secure a senatorial seat in the 2023 National assembly election.

In the South West geo-political zone, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, took the oath of office for a second term, promising the people of Lagos to expect a lot more from their administration in several areas. Describing the first four years as fulfilling, Sanwo-olu stated that lessons had been learnt, mistakes had been made, while many transformational policies and programmes were implemented.
“We assure you that the progress we have made will not be reversed. We will remain steadfast in our mission to make Lagos State a model of good governance, a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.  Our path is clear, and our resolve is unshakeable.”

In Ogun State,  Dapo Abiodun took his oath of office administered by the Chief Judge of Ogun State, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu despite the heavy downpour that nearly disrupted the ceremony at the M.K.O Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta.  His Deputy, Noinmat Salako-Oyedele
had earlier been sworn-in.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State after his swearing-in for a second term, promised to redouble efforts , especially with the provision of qualitative education by returning over 50,000 out-of-school children to classrooms through targeted interventions in the next four years. The decision, he said, was hinged on the blueprint for Oyo State Roadmap for Sustainable Development 2023–2027, with focus on four pillars of the economy, education, healthcare and security.

In the North Central, Caleb Mutfwang is the new governor of Plateau State. He promised to unite the state, warning that those thriving on crisis and division will henceforth not have a place amongst the people. The governor also lamented the huge debt burden of over N200 billion he was inheriting from predecessor.

In Benue, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia replaced Samuel Ortom as the new governor of the state.

In North West,  Dikko Radda is the new governor of Katsina state. He vowed to establish a Treasury Single Account (TSA) in order to check financial loopholes in the state.

He said the introduction of the TSA would enable his government to consolidate the state finances, strengthen accountability and close all financial linkages in the state.

The new governor of Kaduna state, Senator Uba Sani, said that his administration would be guided by the principles of inclusiveness, fairness, justice and equity.

In his address shortly after taking the oath of office at the Murtala Square, Kaduna, Sani said he was prepared, determined and imbued with a clear vision for the continued progress of the state.

In North East, Senator Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State Governor, was sworn in by the Chief Judge of State, Justice Rabi Umar for a second term of four years.

The governor alongside his Deputy, Muhammad Jatau, shortly after taking oaths of allegiance and office, stressed that he understood the overwhelming significance of the moment.

Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe State and his Deputy, Daniel Jatau, were sworn in for a second term in office at the Pantami Township Stadium. The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Halima Mohammed, administered the oath of office on both the governor and his deputy at a colourful ceremony that attracted thousands of people from within and outside the state.
Agbu Kefas is the new governor of Taraba State.  He assured the people of the state that he would tackle the persistent insecurity challenges bedeviling the state.
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, was sworn in by the Chief Judge of State, Justice Rabi Umar for a second term of four years.

The governor alongside his Deputy, Muhammad Jatau, shortly after taking oaths of allegiance and office, stressed that he understood the overwhelming significance of the moment.
“Our primary focus remains peace and security and the welfare of our people and everybody living in Bauchi State. In sectoral terms, we shall not only prioritize education and agriculture as critical areas with inestimable value chains that will impact on all our plans.

Also, Prof. Babagana Zulum was sworn-in for a second term as governor of Borno state.  He promised to continue to sustain the current peace and reopen more displaced communities to boost economic development in Borno State.

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