Goodbye, Profligate Governors


Maxwell James


The race for the nation’s plum job took a frenzy dimension when the ill-fated third term agenda crashed like a pack of card. Though it was one event that redefined and repositioned our body polity, the jubilation had a national outlook not because the principal character in the whole saga (President Obasanjo) has not tried as a leader to deserve tenure elongation, but the palpable fear was the grimy consequence of such an idea to the nation. The same political mandarins that saw nothing wrong in the whole scenario suddenly found themselves as capable hands to sustain Obasanjo’s reform agenda. These wuruwuru” politicians in a bazaar manner completely abandoned their duties as Chief Executives Officers of their various states in pursuit of this ego-induced political escapade thus collecting chieftaincy title from all corners of the country.


By this ego jaunt, the resources of their various states both human and material became ready tools for the master’s use in junketing from one state to another – making what they call “wide consultation”. But in actual sense, the whole exercise was used in dolling out state fund to traditional rulers who went about endorsing these presidential hopeful with reckless abandon. At the last count, all these largely failed Governors were effectively endorsed and given clean bill of health to occupy the coveted seat in Aso Villa.


In a particular state, the Governor’s consultation was in actual fact, wide following the availability of state owned jet to tour the length and breadth of the country with the state’s lawmakers, cabinet members, traditional rulers and council chairmen flying up and down with their supposedly awaiting President. It is most unfortunate that Nigerians and even the most articulate section of our society - the media saw this canonization of profligacy as normal except for few print media that cried blue murder. This unholy and gross misapplication of time and public fund no doubt left indelible mark in public reserves. It is also painful that the concept of governance in our clime is one’s ability to buy over all shades of opposition in order to have a jolly sweet ride as emperor with high capacity to pack-off the masses in the bottomless dungeon of poverty.


This Governor-Presidential aspirants and their band of sycophants and rented crowd kept on perplexing Nigerians that gave them audience with jaundiced stories and half truths on how they have transformed there various states into a land flowing with milk and honey. For an unsuspecting and undiscerning Nigerians that may only watched these dubious Governors on billboard, television sets, posters and what have you, the tendencies to believe them hook, line and sinker  was very high. It is also on record that the perpetuation of poverty in our dear country was deepened by act of squander mania-governance.


Despite the convincing fact that these Governors could not repair a single road in their various states, they kept on creating the impression that they would fix all Nigerian’s roads in a twinkle of an eye (more like abrakatabra). They found the media as the only viable means to showcase their achievement in the education sector, health sector, and other viable sector of our economy. They have even gone ahead to promise the whole country an uninterrupted power supply from a world class gas turbine despite the fact they have fail woefully in providing same at the state level. Their promises didn’t end there; they have told the whole country without mincing words that all cases of treatment abroad or the aphorism “dying in a London hospital” will come to an end. Meanwhile the common official language in their various state-owned hospitals is OS (out of stock).As reported recently by a popular newspaper, the state hospitals are now mere consulting clinic.


In fact another high point of their campaign of deceit is the immediate eradication of poverty and unemployment. They also told us that Nigeria has no business with joblessness and want. One may wonder if the states have! Can any falsehood be more gripping and intoxicating than these? The only relief that has come the way of Nigerians is the divine intervention that denied these “generous” Governors the chance of taking poverty, lack, want, and deprivation to the national level.


Nigeria has over the years continue to experience massive and excruciating poverty due to systemic collapse necessitated by poor leadership especially at state and local government levels. These miseries and paucity of everything would have been the lot of Nigerians. For example in one of the state of the federation that witnessed a tremendous sabatitical of governance over Ogas’s desire to extend his ruler ship, records have shown that no single roads was created in the state since 1999 when he assumed office as elected Governor. Rather the “patch patch” with which he went about transacting affairs of roads construction became open when a three day torrential rain washed off the veil used to hide the Governor’s monumental failure in roads construction and maintenance of the good roads he inherited from past administration. This state has even lost its social life value because of nightmarish hold-ups on several routes occasioned by

Gargantuan pot holes across the state


The scenario that played out at the Eagles Square, venue of the PDP National convention last Saturday night should serve as a huge lesson to these profligate Governors who bask in unabashed opulence of spending tax payer’s money. At the end of the exercise, though expected, a prudent Governor won the presidential ticket. While many Nigerians would attribute the Governor’s triumph to President Obasanjo, quite a number of Nigerians know that the victory is directly linked with parsimony of the man that took the day.


Another interesting aspect of the PDP convention was deeper search for another discreet Governor to serve as running mate. He never sought the job. He was not in the equation for it. Probably he never even imagined it because of the erroneous belief in several quarters that only Nigerians with heavy war chest of cash can emerge in a political contest. But as the drama suggests goodluck  just came the ways of prudent Governors in a most dramatic manner after the favourites for the job lost out at the eleventh hour because of reason we now all know; profligacy. How fluky can a man be! But the lesson of it all is that sometimes antecedents play more role than what we think while desperation for power and licentiousness could be counterproductive. .
Of course, the scant regard for accountability as evident in these Governors’ activities is definitely what haunted them at the end of the day. As identified by one columnist, when the chips were down, aside their strong personalities, what counted against them was there free disposition with money against conservative candidates like Yar’Adua and Jonathan. The pairing would definitely work for greater Nigeria. EFCC go ahead with the rest!

Maxwell James

Freelance Journalist

40, Lobito Crescent Wusell,