BREAKING: Ranking Nigerian Governors; June, 2024: Fubara’s desperate resort to lawlessness, Bago’s Saudi jamboree, Sanwo-Olu’s tepid cholera response - Reportgist

BREAKING: Ranking Nigerian Governors; June, 2024: Fubara’s desperate resort to lawlessness, Bago’s Saudi jamboree, Sanwo-Olu’s tepid cholera response

Reportgist
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Our Model

“Ranking Nigerian Governors” is a monthly publication by Ripples Nigeria dedicated to assessing the performance of Nigerian governors.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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Since its inception in August 2019, we have meticulously scrutinized the policy decisions, actions, and impacts — both positive and negative — of state governors on their residents. Initially, we employed a ranking system highlighting the Top 5 and Bottom 5 governors each month.

However, in response to declining governance standards nationwide, we refined our approach. Our new methodology focuses on identifying notable achievements or shortcomings of governors, and offering a comprehensive assessment of governance quality.

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Despite acknowledging the challenges faced by governors, such as limited resources amid growing financial obligations, we maintain that effective leadership can leverage Nigeria’s abundant natural and human resources to foster development.

A Look Back

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In the last issue that coincided with the first anniversary of most first-term governors, we examined their performances and assessed their contributions to governance in their respective states.

We observe that many of these governors faced significant challenges and faltered, largely attributed to a lack of strategic foresight and proactive governance practices.

Across Nigeria, citizens are increasingly skeptical about the trajectory of state governance, with many wondering whether progress is being made or lost. Regrettably, the prevailing sentiment suggests a decline rather than improvement.

In Focus

In the current publication, we are taking a closer look at the happenings in Rivers State and Governor Siminialayi Fubara‘s response and actions which we deem off the mark in relation to the crisis that engulfed the state over the expiration of the tenure of local government council chairmen.

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We are also beaming our searchlight on Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umar Bago, and the unwise Saudi Arabia Sallah jamboree. Finally, we take a second look at the response of the Lagos State Government under Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the cholera outbreak in the state that has claimed scores of lives.

Siminialayi Fubara— Rivers

Governor Siminialayi Fubara’s handling of the local government chairmen crisis in Rivers State and his support for weapons-wielding backers raises serious concerns about governance and rule of law.

We reckon that resorting to armed supporters to dislodge council chairmen sets a dangerous precedent, undermining democratic processes and the rule of law. Governance should be based on legality and due process, not on the strength of armed supporters.

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We also contend that the crisis itself points to deeper institutional issues within the state’s governance framework. A governor’s role should be to uphold the constitution and ensure that conflicts are resolved through legal and peaceful means, fostering stability and trust in government.

The use of violence or the threat thereof in political disputes, we dare say, sets a negative example for citizens and undermines efforts towards peacebuilding and sustainable development. Leaders have a responsibility to promote dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution.

We note Fubara’s alarm that his supporters— the same that appeared in viral videos brandishing guns— were marked for arrests, and his vow to lead the way in forestalling such lawful arrests. This speaks volumes of the governor’s understanding of his role as the chief security officer of Rivers State and his constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order.

On the whole, Fubara’s approach to the local government chairmen crisis, particularly his endorsement of armed intervention, raises significant ethical and legal concerns. It is imperative for leaders to prioritize lawful and peaceful means of conflict resolution to uphold democratic values and ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens.

Mohammed Umar Bago— Niger

Governor Mohammed Umar Bago’s trip to Saudi Arabia with state government officials to celebrate Sallah invites critical scrutiny on several fronts.

We contend that the timing of the trip makes it out-of-touch and extravagant, considering the economic challenges facing Niger State and Nigeria as a whole.

Leaders are expected to prioritize prudent use of public funds, particularly in contexts where resources are scarce and competing needs abound.

We also acknowledge the fact that travelling abroad with government officials for a religious celebration raises questions about priorities and the allocation of state resources. There is no doubt that such trips, which involved all female Permanent Secretaries in the state, among others, should be evaluated against the backdrop of pressing local issues that require immediate attention and resource allocation.

Moreover, the accountability and transparency surrounding the funding and logistics of the trip should be made clear to the public. Taxpayers deserve assurance that public funds are used judiciously and in alignment with the public interest, particularly when public officials travel internationally.

While we acknowledge the cultural and religious significance of celebrating Sallah, Governor Mohammed Umar Bago’s trip to Saudi Arabia with state officials warrants careful consideration of its necessity, financial implications, and the message it sends to constituents about governance priorities and fiscal responsibility.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu— Lagos

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s handling of the cholera outbreak in Lagos, especially when compared to the response to COVID-19, presents a seeming decline from the gains made in the past.

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In contrast to the swift and proactive measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to the cholera outbreak appeared less coordinated and timely. There seemed to be a delay in the recognition and initial response to the outbreak, which could have potentially mitigated its impact.

Furthermore, effective communication and public awareness campaigns, which were pivotal during the COVID-19 crisis, were not as robust for the cholera outbreak. Greater efforts in disseminating information about prevention, symptoms, and seeking medical care early could have helped minimize casualties and spread.

Moreover, infrastructure improvements to promote better sanitation, especially in the area of access to clean water, are critical in preventing cholera outbreaks. Investments in these areas could have potentially averted the outbreak or reduced its severity. Long-term strategies for improving water and sanitation infrastructure are essential for preventing future outbreaks.

While Governor Sanwo-Olu‘s administration demonstrated capability in managing public health emergencies during COVID-19, the response to the cholera outbreak highlights the need for enhanced preparedness, timely intervention, and sustained investment in public health infrastructure to prevent and manage such crises effectively in Lagos State.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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