Twenty six out of the 29 governors sworn-in on May 29 are yet to form cabinet, a constitutional requirement for them to run the affairs of their states, reports from our correspondents reveal.
Twelve governors took the oath of office for the first time while 17 others were re-elected in the March 9 governorship elections.
But eight weeks after their inauguration, only Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) have inaugurated their cabinets.
Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) have sent names of their commissioner-nominees to their state houses of assembly, and are awaiting approval by the legislators.
Sanwo-Olu had on July 14 sent a list containing 25 names to the legislature, while Ortom had earlier forwarded the list of 15 commissioner nominees to the state’s House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.
In the case of Katsina State, Governor Aminu Bello Masari has appointed only one commissioner, while his Rivers State counterpart Nyesom Wike has appointed two.
Masari reappointed Barrister Ahmed El Marzuq as Commissioner for Justice; while Mustapha Inuwa was retained as Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He has also appointed many aides.
Governor Wike, on his part, appointed the former Minister of Sports, Dr Tammy Danagogo as the Secretary to the State Government and Chief Chukwuemeka Woke as his Chief of Staff.
The governor also appointed Mr Zacheaus Adangor as Commissioner for Justice and Mr Isaac Kamalu as the Commissioner for Finance, but he is yet to form a cabinet.
In Jigawa State, Governors Abubakar Badaru has not made a single appointment since his inauguration for a second term, just like his Plateau State counterpart Simon Bako Lalong.
Though the Secretary to the Jigawa State Government, Abdulkadiri Fanini, has purportedly been reappointed there was no formal announcement to that effect.
Most state governors have however appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief of Staff (CoS) and spokespersons, even as they are yet to form their State Executive Councils.
Govs who formed cabinet
Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom had on July 11 sworn-in 19 commissioners and two special advisers, and four permanent secretaries.
In Kaduna, commissioners were appointed for the 14 ministries even as 13 of them had been assigned portfolios.
The commissioners were inaugurated last week with the exception of Aliyu Jafar Abubakar from Kauru Local Government of the state whose nominations was rejected by the State House of Assembly for criticising el-Rufai’s administration. The commissioners have resumed and have started working.
In Sokoto State also, Governor Tambuwal had few days to the expiration of the tenure of last state sssembly submitted the list of 26 commissioner-nominees and the 8th Assembly confirmed the list Thursday, June 6, 2019. Governor Tambuwal subsequently swore in the new commissioners 10 days later. They were assigned portfolios on June 27.
States yet to have commissioners
Gombe State Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya has appointed an SSG, Chief of Staff and Principal Private Secretary, among others.
His spokesperson, Ismaila Misilli said the governor is yet to appoint commissioners because he needs time to “meticulously get the right people that will drive the administration change mantra.”
In Nasarawa State, Governor Abdullahi Sule has appointed aides but has not nominated commissioners.
In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello is yet to form his cabinet. Our correspondent reports that Bello had early last month appointed a new SSG, Chief of Staff and Head of Service. He had earlier approved media aides and others.
In Adamawa State, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri only appointed SSG, chief of staff and other aides.
In Kebbi State, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu made only two appointments: Chief of Staff and SSG.
The situation is the same in Oyo State where Governor Seyi Makinde only appointed SSG, Chief of Staff, and media aide, among others.
In Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun has also named an SSG and Chief of Staff, as well as media aide.
In Bauchi State, Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed is also yet to constitute his cabinet but has since appointed chief of staff and SSG, among others.
In Abia, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu only submitted the names of two commissioner nominees to the state House of Assembly and they have been confirmed. They are the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uche Ihediwa and Chief John Okiyi Kalu as Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
In Imo State, Governor Emeka Ihedioha has appointed SSG, Chief of Staff, media aides and some special advisers and senior special assistants but is yet to nominate commissioners.
Zamfara State Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle is also yet to form his cabinet.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa told Daily Trust that the appointment of the cabinet is in the pipeline.
In Enugu State, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for now, has only appointed a Special Assistant on Due Process, thereby keeping others in “a long waiting game.”
Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had few days after his inauguration appointed his Chief of Staff, SSG and CPS.
In Yobe State, Governor Mai Mala Buni is yet to submit list of commissioners to the State House of Assembly. He has however retained the former SSG, on acting capacity and made four other appointments.
These include the appointment of his Chief of staff; Director General, Press Affairs and Information; Executive Secretary, Yobe State Emergency management Agency and Executive Secretary, Agency for Mass Education.
‘Why there is delay’
Malam Isa Gusau, who is the spokesman of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, said the governor had so far announced some key government officials without whom government may not function effectively.
He said the governor “is still working with permanent secretaries who are in charge of ministries and agencies of government.”
Gusau recalled that, “Within just two days of his swearing-in, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum began tour of the 27 local government areas of Borno… He has so far visited more than 20 of the 27 local government areas and he has met various stakeholders to discuss priorities of each local government area.”
In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said he delayed the appointment of commissioners to be the last appoinment in order to make right choice of the people he would work with for the next four years.
Speaking through his Press Secretary, Alhaji Abba Anwar, said he was doing appointments in sequence so that he would not make wrong a choice.
There should be law on cabinet formation
Speaking on the development, Dr. Chile Daniel Ngusha, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Benue State University, said “I think there is systemic problem from top to bottom.”
“The ideal thing is that serious governance should start in earnest after swearing-in. The president and governors took the oath of office on May 29. But before then, they were elected in February and March; this is roughly five months, but here we are nothing is happening.
“It is sad that most of the governors are running the affairs of their states alone which is against the provision of the law. In fact, immediately after they were sworn-in, some of the governors travelled out of the country… Governance is a serious business and what they are doing portrays Nigeria in bad light. Any serious person should have an idea of the kind of people he will work with even before he wins an election. And before he is sworn-in, he should have the names in his diary,” Dr Ngusha said.
He said there was the need for the National Assembly to enact a law that will compel the president and governors to have a cabinet within certain period.
A political scientist, Malam Nuhu Mohammed, wondered how governors were giving approvals without a cabinet.
“It is an impeachable offence; state houses of assembly should wake up from their slumber and put their governors to task,” he said.