According to Ripples Nigeria, The basis for the monthly appraisal has been how the policy initiatives or executed programmes of any state governor in the country have impacted on the state and its residents in the course of the month under review.
There is no doubting the fact that governance is a daunting task, and that, the Board of Ripples Nigeria is mindful of. However, we equally believe that the numerous challenges facing the Nigerian nation and especially each state of the Federation, are enough motivation for state helmsmen to seek proactive ways of harnessing the resources at their disposal for the good of all, even if only to justify the confidence reposed in them by the electorate.
Since the beginning of these series in August 2019, some state chief executives have shown commendable capacity while others have simply struggled with the mandate thrust upon them.
The Ripples Nigeria ‘Ranking Nigerian Governors’ made a detour in the month of September, 2020, when the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, was singled out as a lone star, basically because of his exemplary performance and how he stood out among all other governors.
However, in the month of October, 2020, in the Ranking Nigerian Governors publication titled ‘Not Outstanding: How Nigerian Governors Ranked in October, 2020’, we noted that the month, then under review, was dominated by lackluster showing by the governors, with virtually no impressive policy initiative or programme to their names.
For the month of November, 2020, we are sad to report that the lackluster pattern reported in the proceeding month persisted, with barely nothing outstanding to report.
The month under review, more than any other in recent times, exposed the precarious situation the nation is currently in when it comes to the security of lives and property! The month witnessed increased insurgent activities in the North-East, daredevil bandit raids in several areas in the North-West, growing banditry and kidnapping in the North-Central, and armed robbery/kidnapping in the Southern parts of the country.
We note, though sadly, that state governors, who constitutionally are the chief security officers of the states, have continued to look on helplessly, without being able to provide necessary answers to the security challenges.
Though we acknowledge the argument that Nigerian governors are mostly toothless bulldogs and are somewhat merely CSOs by title only, their inability to provide the necessary leadership nonetheless has seriously dampened the spirit of the citizenry. They must do more by collaborating with the federal government to secure their territories, while also leading local efforts to support federal security agencies. They must justify the humongous security votes they receive!
We also find it appalling that governors, who are expected to speak out to the almighty Federal Government, symbolized by President Muhammadu Buhari, have continued to play politics with the issue of security and its handling by the government at the centre!
We painfully note the troubling silence of these state executives in the now very loud calls for the sacking of the nation’s service chiefs for their inability to secure the lives and property of Nigerians, and the admonition that the nation’s security architecture be overhauled.
It is, for us, disheartening that governors, who swore to secure the lives and property of the residents of their states, have instead continued in their usual praise-singing of the president, without an appropriate appraisal of the situation in order to offer critical advice on the way forward.
We recall the comment credited to Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State —the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency and the unfortunate location of the massacre of 43 rice farmers who were harvesting their produce in Zabarmari, Askira Uba area of the state —that security in the country was far better than it was seven years ago.
For many, this comment was unfortunate, especially coming from a governor many had thought was different from the lot. But we see it for what it is, a political statement, which we consider unfortunate and a disservice to the memory of the 43 massacred rice farmers.
Their death and the security of the people of Borno and Nigerians in general do not deserve any form of politicization!
Without mincing words, we found no Nigerian governor outstanding in the month of November, 2020.