A VISTA of hope swept across the land yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari and 29 governors took the oath for a term of four years.
There were promises from the 12 governors who received batons from their predecessors and the 17 returning governors.
The new governors are: Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Emeka Ihedioha (Imo); Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara); Prof Babagana Zullum (Borno); Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe); Mai Mala Buni (Yobe); Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa) and Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa)
As announced by former Information Minister Lai Mohammed, the inauguration of President Buhari at the Eagle Square, Abuja, was low-key.
Muslim and Christian clerics prayed for the President and the nation.
The oaths were administered on Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mohammed Tanko.
At the brief ceremony, there was lowering and hoisting of the National and Defence flags, signifying the end of a dispensation and the beginning of another.
Apart from the traditional 21-gun salute, the military also displayed advance movements in review order and President Buhari inspected the guard of honour, acknowledging cheers from guests before departing the venue.
There were no speeches as it had earlier been announced that yesterday would only be for signing of oaths and inauguration for a new term.
It is believed that the President would unfold his agenda for the new term on June 12, which has been designated as the National Democracy Day.
A Presidency source explained why the President did not deliver a speech at his inauguration.
The source said: “The President has said it. Today (yesterday) is for oath taking. It (inauguration) has to take place today (yesterday) because it is constitutional.
“Every other thing, including the inauguration speech, is moved to June 12.”
The various military formations – Army, Navy, Air Force and the Police – put up spectacular performances during the Guard of Honour Parade to entertain guests.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart and Co-Chairman of the 2019 Presidential Campaign Council Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Interim National Chairman of the party Chief Bisi Akande; former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Nuhu Ribadu.
Also at the ceremony were: former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon; President Buahri’s wife Aisha; Prof Osinbajo’s wife Dolapo; APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and some members of the immediate past Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Governors Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), former governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); Rauf Aragbesola (Osun); Senator Goodwill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and members of the Diplomatic Corps also graced the occasion.
Security was tight around the Eagle Square venue of the inauguration.
All entrances leading into Abuja were manned by soldiers, who screened vehicles and passengers entering the FCT.
The Nigerian Army had on May 4 raised the alarm that some elements, including foreign collaborators, planned to disrupt the swearing-in.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje declared free education at all levels for the physically challenged and other vulnerable persons. He promised not to let the people down.
In his remarks after being sworn in by the Chief Judge of Kano state, Justice Nuruddeen Sagir Umar, alongside his deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, Ganduje also promised free and compulsory basic education for all school age children in the state.
According to him, tertiary education for Kano indigenes would also be highly subsidised. The achievements on healthcare delivery will be consolidated, he said.
Ganduje promised to overhaul some state-run agencies to reposition them for efficiency.
He reiterated his administration’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption, promising to re-invigorate the state’s anti-corruption agency for better performance.
Promising to run an all-inclusive government, the governor pointed out that the era of politicking was over; he said he has forgiven all who offended him and all should join hands with him to develop the state.
Governor Abdullahi Sule identified security, education and workers’ welfare as top priorities.
Speaking after taking the oath of office at the Lafia Square in Lafia, the state capital, Sule lamented that over the years, there had been security breaches in some parts of the state, a situation that has undermined progress.
He said: “It must be emphasised that security and peace constitute the very basic pre-requisite for overall socio economic development.
“In the absence of a secured environment, there will be no investment inflow, locally or internationally, very much needed for the establishment of industries. Industrial growth is a valuable vista for overall human development.”
On civil servants’ welfare, the governor said: “We would put in place a robust staff welfare scheme for civil servants and a sustainable reward system for those who excel in service. In addition, training and retraining of civil servants would be accorded high priority for efficient and effective service delivery.”
The Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, the Imo State capital was filled up by residents who thronged the complex for the inauguration of Mr. Emeka Ihedioha as the state’s sixth civilian governor.
Ihedioha, alongside his Deputy, Gerald Irona, were sworn-in by the Chief Judge Justice Pashal Nnadi.
Ihedioha promised to run an all-inclusive government that will not discriminate against any Imo indigene, irrespective of religious and political inclinations.
He said: “We are going to take immediate and appropriate measures to restore faith in governance. I will be the governor of every Imo indigene, irrespective of religious and political inclinations.”
The governor also promised to reform the state’s justice system by domesticating the Criminal Justice Act which he said, would strengthen the wheel of justice.
Besides, he promised to ensure autonomy for the House of Assembly and the local government areas.
Prof Ben Ayade, who was sworn in for another term, promised to pursue the industrialisation agenda he started during his first term.
According to him, nothing will stop him from completing all the legacy projects initiated by his administration, with at least an industry in each of the local government areas.
Ayade said: “Cross River State will be an industrialised state under my watch. In this my second tenure, I will no longer be the governor. My deputy will be the acting governor while I will become the project manager of state.
“This tenure will be food on the table, hands in the plough. No amount of investment in infrastructure will be equivalent to taking care of the well-being of the people; paying salaries and employing them. We must understand that anytime our problems can only be solved by money then our intellect has failed us.”
The governor lamented the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon and the subsequent loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State.
Ayade said: “The ceding of Bakassi and our oil well is unacceptable where a country took our oil wells and gave to a state that has more. Cross River feels highly hurt. We have been abused and reduced in body and soul but we are on a voyage of self actualisation as a state.”
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel spoke of plans elevate the state to the same pedestal with Lagos in terms of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
After taking the oath before Chief Justice Godwin Abraham at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, the governor boasted that the state was already occupying the second position after Lagos in terms of FDI.
On his second term agenda, christened: “Completion Agenda”, the governor promised to surpass the feats he recorded in industrialisation, aviation development, agriculture and human capacity development.
He listed Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, human capacity development, agriculture, education, rural and riverine areas development, among others, as areas of focus.
Emmanuel said: “One of the key drivers of economy the world over is the provision of modern infrastructural facilities. We will pursue this policy with messianic zeal. In my first term, we were able to construct over 1000 kilometres of roads across the state and opened up the hinterlands for free flow of goods and services.
“We will surpass this achievement with emphasis on commercially- viable roads. We will continue to invest heavily in the power sector, well aware of the importance of having steady electricity supply in our industrialisation agenda. We hope to work towards having power for all in our ‘Completion Agenda’.
“Education, agriculture and human capacity development will receive the needed boost in my Second Term. The reason developed world keeps inventing the wheels of their development lies in the huge resources they spend on human capacity development.”
Governor Simon Lalong promised to inject new ideas during his second term administration for the benefit of people in Plateau State.
In his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office and oath of allegiance at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos, Lalong said: “We shall strive to inject new ideas and philosophical paradigm into our governance efforts. This paradigm will hopefully find expression in Religious Humanism.
“Governance is a two-way traffic, involving a social contract of duties and obligations between the government and the governed. Good governance presupposes loyalty, hard work, effective service delivery, and leaving behind a legacy worthy of emulation by subsequent generations.
“Our humanism will be based on the principles that people need freedom and self-determination; that people should be respected and held in high esteem, rather than means of negative governmental action; that people are fundamentally social in nature and therefore value or cherish community life; and that people have a right to seek truth and oppose authoritarian rule.
“These ideas of liberty, human rights, democracy, and public scrutiny of opinion and governmental actions are essential to the smooth functioning of society. We must therefore learn to form communities that respect human life and tolerate differences to avert the embers of hate and fanaticism.”
On his plan for the state, the governor said: ”Our vision for the new Plateau State promises to leave behind legacies of our commonality, human dignity and welfare. While as a Government we shall strive to meet our own side of the social bargain, we equally expect the good people of Plate State to reciprocate Government gesture, not only by giving their unalloyed support, but, more importantly, by learning to live in peace with one another so that together we can achieve the much-desired development.”
After taking the oaths at the Ribadu Square, Yola, the Adamawa State capital, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri pledged to prioritise payment of salaries and ensure annual increment of same, assuring that the Northeast state would soon be launched to prominence.
He said: “Payment of salaries, pension and gratuity on time shall be my priority, as well as yearly salary increment and promotion. We shall strive to build a robust government-labour relationship.”
On his desire to make Adamawa a model state, Fintiri said: “True change has come to Adamawa State. I pledge to provide leadership that is required to make things work for the good of all.
“My aspiration for Adamawa is for it to be listed among the committee of respected states not only in Nigeria but in the world as a whole. The central message is that we will bring development and make Adamawa State a standard to copy.”
Admitting that that the task would be daunting, he said “it is achievable”, adding: “It is not what resources you have but how you manage them.”
He assured that lives and properties would be secured, warning Shilla Boys, a group of youths specialising in stealing and abducting for ransom in Yola, would not be condoned.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi identified security of lives and property as his topmost priorities as he was inaugurated for another term.
He expressed gratitude to the farmers, artisans, traders, palm wine tapers, civil servants, drivers, professionals, teachers, students and religious organisations who who ensured his victory at the poll.
Reviewing his first term, Ugwuanyi said they committed themselves to employment generation, social service and good governance to every citizen to make a living, adding that children enjoyed life in the peaceful and secured environment.
He said his administration impacted so much on human capital development, job creation, skill acquisition and provision of physical infrastructure.
Recounting how his administration navigated Enugu through the challenges of its lean resources and the national economic recession, the governor noted that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has hit the highest ever since its creation in 1999.
Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq said his administration would be a departure from the old order in Kwara State.
Speaking in Ilorin after the oaths were administered on him and his deputy, Kayode Alabi, by Chief Justice Suleiman Kawu, the governor said: “What we have lacked before now are dependable and sustainable development plans, credible policies and policy discipline, accountability and transparency, a good sense of social justice and ability to expand social and political spaces that will promote tolerance, equality and innovation.
“These are areas where our government will make a difference.”
AbdulRazaq also said that his administration would look into how public resources have been deployed in the past as part of ways to move the state forward.
He said: “We are confident that we shall, together, make Kwara great again through prudent deployment of resources, involving the people in policy making, interrogating past decisions only to the extent that they enable us to move forward.”
He promised to welcome constructive criticism, calling on the people to own the government and look forward to a new dawn that ushers in economic growth and equal opportunities for everyone.
The governor said: “In all our policies, programmes and actions, the people of Kwara shall always come first. “Today, I invite you all to join hands with us in Government to repair and rebuild Kwara. I invite constructive criticism and urge you all to utilise our open door policy to communicate ideas and suggestions to us.
“What we stand for is to empower our people. Make society and life better. Strengthen family values. Improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services. Revamp our education to produce the best minds that will in turn make Kwara second to none. Promote industry, agriculture, technology and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.”
Governor Bala Mohammed yesterday reversed the last-minute appointments made by his predecessor Mohammed Abubakar.
He declared such appointments null and void immediately after taking the oath of office administered by the acting Chief Judge of the State, Hajiya Rabi Umar.
Mohammed, who said due processes were not followed in the appointments, had earlier vowed to sue the former governor for the eleventh hour recruitment into the civil service, reinstatement of district heads and awards of contracts.
He said: “It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nothing defines this as the various actions of policy somersault, reversals and impulse capitalization of Government.
“Some of the issues are too sordid to enumerate. I want to state categorically that all appointments, promotions, transfers and postings, including those that are meant to create friction and division along traditional institutions, from the day i was declared by INEC as the winner of the gubernatorial elections to my swearing- in today, are hereby declared null and void.”
Bala also directed the cancellation of all approvals given on land allocations, sale of government vehicles and houses, as well as alleged contracts awarded in the dying minutes of the last administration.
“In cases where the instrumentality of Kangaroo legislation was used as a mask, we shall use the instrumentality of credible legislations to consign the absurdity to the scrap heaps of history.”
With a pledge not to personalise office and not to abuse it, Prince Dapo Abiodun was yesterday inaugurated as Ogun State governor at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta.
The Chief Justice of Ogun State, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, administered the oath on him at about 11:53am, after the oath had been administered on his deputy, Mrs. Noimot Salako -Oyedele, at 11.40am.
It was double joy for Abiodun, his wife; Bamidele, children and octogenerian parents – Prof. Emmanuel and Dr. Victoria Abiodun, as yesterday coincided with the governor’s 59th birthday.
In his inauguration remarks, Abiodun noted that the political journey has been “bumpy,” but assured that with his swearing in as the governor of the Gateway State, Ogun people now stand on the “threshold of a new dawn and a new beginning.”
He equally assured that he would not turn the government into that of cronies or family affairs.
“You will always find in me conduct of Omoluabi expected of Omo Teacher (a teacher’s son)! I will govern with character! I will serve you diligently and sincerely! I will make your interests the core of governance!
I will neither personalise nor abuse the mandate! I will not betray your trust,”
He promised to create an enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which according to him, is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has declared state of emergency on the environment.
He made the declaration after his inauguration for second term in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Wike spoke of his administration’s commitment protect the environment, frowning at indiscriminate dumping of refuse by household and the ejection of hazardous emission into the water bodies and air.
He said the government would no longer tolerate such practices.
Wike said: “Our environment is our life and we all bear a duty to protect and manage it in the most responsible and sustainable way for the present and future generations.
“Also, our environment is our life and we all bear a duty to protect and manage it in the most responsible and sustainable way for the present and future generations.
“Therefore, I wish to emphasize that we will no longer tolerate those who continue to degrade and undermine our rights to live in a clean, healthy and safe environment.
“We are therefore minded to declare a state of emergency on the environment and tackle all forms of degradation, nuisance and irresponsible behavior occasioned by individuals, companies and other agencies, both public and private.
“We will not fold our arms anymore while oil and gas companies continue to the environmental rights of our people with be reckless and unaccountable to our environment.
“In the same vein we will no longer tolerate the indiscriminate dumping of household and industrial refuse on unauthorised sites, including open lands, road/street corners, medians and drains.”
The governor also declared ban on all forms of street trading and arbitrary creation of illegal motor parks and taxi ranks across the state.
“We will sanitise the transport sector and ensure that all commercial taxi and bus operators are duly registered with the State’s Ministry of Transport to safeguard the comfort, safety and security of commuters.
“We recognise the correlation between adequate security and the well-being of our people. We all therefore deserve to be safe and secure in our homes, offices, business places, along our roads and in our neighbourhoods and inn our communities.”
On development, Wike noted that education and health development would be given priority attention.
The governor said: “I wish to assure us that we are determined to change this narrative for the better. We will continue to equip our public schools and ensure our children have access to quality learning experience; empower our teachers with modern teaching skills to deliver better outcomes in the classrooms, and advance our universities to equip and prepare our graduates to be competitive and strive for creativity, self-reliance and service.
“We believe that quality healthcare should be available and affordable to every citizen as of right and this is what we are working hard to achieve with our efforts and commitment to fix the existing shortcomings in the State’s healthcare system.”