…As they are sworn-in tomorrow
• The promises they made to their people
From Paul Osuyi (Asaba), Scholastica Onyeka (Makurdi), Noah Ebije (Kaduna), Judex Okoro (Calabar), Geoffrey Anyanwu (Enugu), Chijioke Agwu (Abakaliki), Okey Sampson (Umuahia), Gyang Bere and Jude Dangwam (Jos), Joe Effiong (Uyo), Olanrewaju Lawal (Birnin Kebbi), John Adams (Minna), Tony John (Port Harcourt) and Desmond Mgbo (Kano)
Every election cycle usually throws up new state actors, some of them neophytes, who pushed to replace the old folks. For the just concluded general elections, the swirling tide of the Obidient Movement was so spectacularly phenomenal that the change of status quo saw the political bigwigs and the mighty falling.
The result is the emergence of new faces that are waiting for inauguration as governors in the affected states tomorrow.
In others where the establishment remained strong and unbeatable, the ruling parties managed to sustain their holds on them.
In this edition, our reporters bring the faces of the new governors-elect, who would be sworn-in tomorrow and the core promises they made during their electioneering in the various states.
Though the Labour Party recorded an overwhelming victory in Delta State during the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) survived the onslaught and won the gubernatorial election for its candidate, Sheriff Francis Orohwedor Oborevwori.
Part of his success story is his widely acclaimed excessive local content. He anchored his campaign promises on consolidating the successes of the outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
He christened his four-point agenda M.O.R.E, an acronym for Meaningful development; Opportunities for all; Realistic reforms; and Enhanced peace and security.
Among other things, he promised to stimulate the various socio-economic sectors, complete the ongoing projects, and initiate new ones that would impact positively on the lives of the Delta people.
Taking by his words of honour, Oborevwori has an enormous responsibility to make the situation better than it is currently.
He must, therefore, justify the confidence reposed in him by the electorate as a seasoned politician and grassroots mobilizer. According to his profile, Oborevwori began his political career as a Councilor/Supervisory Councilor for Works in 1996 under the old Okpe Local Government Area.
He had also held various other appointive positions during the administrations of James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan before 2015 when he won the election to represent Okpe at the state House of Assembly.
A two-term member of the House representing Okpe constituency, Oborevwori was elected Speaker on May 11, 2017, following the ouster of the previous Speaker, Monday Igbuya.
He is the longest-serving Speaker of the Delta legislature, a development that also shot him into the national limelight as the deputy national chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria.
Oborevwori, who hails from Osubi, had his early education at Alegbo Primary School, Effurun and later obtained his WASSC at Oghareki Grammar School, Oghareki.
Thereafter, he proceeded to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in Edo State where he bagged a B.Sc. in Political Science and subsequently an M.Sc. Political Science from Delta State University, Abraka.
The new governor, beginning from tomorrow, also obtained certificates in leadership and management training from global institutions. His combined experience and educational background prepared him for the job. He will be judged in the next four years by his promise to make life better for his people.
Abia State governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, a renowned banker, has reached the zenith of his profession as a former Managing Director/CEO of the defunct Diamond Bank before began his voyage into political adventurism in 2015.
He voluntarily resigned from Diamond Bank Plc in October 2014 to contest the Abia State governorship election on April 11, 2015 and March 09, 2019 as the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
Having failed twice to actualize his dream on the platform of the APGA, he joined the LP in the run-up to the March 18 governorship election, ran again and won.
During the electioneering, he listed regular payment of workers’ salaries and pension arrears, provision of infrastructure, especially in the commercial city of Aba, as some of his main agenda.
Otti graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a First class honours degree in Economics in 1988. While at the University of Port Harcourt, he won the prize of the best-graduating student in the Department of Economics, as well as the overall best-graduating student for the year. He later got his MBA from the University of Lagos.
Subsequently, he began his banking career with Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank N.Y. in 1989. His career progression saw him playing executive roles in the United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria, among others, all of which climaxed in his appointment as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc in 2011.
The cerebral banker who is a holder of the national award of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) has enough experience and the capacity to deliver on his electoral promises.
All things being equal, optimism is high that he would make a difference in terms of good governance in Abia State in his four-year tenure.
The Benue State governor-elect, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He defeated the candidate of the ruling PDP in the state.
His developmental agenda tagged: Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue with the acronym SACHIIP centres around seven priority pillars. These include Security of lives and property, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce and Industry, Human Capital and Social Development, Infrastructure and Environment, Information and Communications Technology, (ICT), as well as Political and Economic Governance.
According to him, every sector of the Benue State economy requires a peculiar intervention, but the selected sectors; especially security, agriculture, health, education, revenue generation, debt management, civil service, youth and women empowerment, are prioritized based on their relative importance and overbearing influence on other economic sectors.
He promised to establish permanent integrated force operation bases for security men at all the flashpoints where there had been traces of armed attacks and displacement of people.
He also pledged the rehabilitation and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) back to their ancestral homes and establish emergency toll-free call centres and shortcodes to ease reaction from security outfits in the state.
This is even as he debunked insinuations that he wanted to repeal the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, promising that his administration would rather strengthen the implementation of the law for enhanced security, economic growth and the development of Benue State.
He also said he would offer the “most comprehensive and reliable amnesty programmes across the state by facilitating employment, training, grant of scholarship and entrepreneurship among militia converts in the state.
For the health sector, the governor-elect pledged to upgrade and equip all primary health centres via the Primary Health Care Board in the council wards, establish a functional diagnostic laboratory in each senatorial district of the state, facilitate the installation of functional ventilators in all health institutions especially the general hospitals, among others.
All these, he said, he would do with active youth participation in governance at all levels, as well as adequate women representation in appointments at all levels to combat the menace of gender-based violence in the state and encourage girl child education.
Rev. Fr. Alia, a Catholic priest, was born on May 15, 1966 in Mbangur, Mbadede in Vandeikya Local Government Area, (LGA), of Benue State.
He began his educational career at St. Francis Primary School Agidi, Mbatiav in Gboko LGA, St James Minor Seminary Makurdi, and proceeded to St. Augustine’s Major Seminary Jos. He holds a diploma in Religious Studies in 1987, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sacred Theology in 1990 as well as a Doctorate Degree in Biomedical Ethics from Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, among others.
Fr Alia has worked in many places both at home and outside the country where he served as Director of Pastoral Services, Catholic Health Services, North Campus Lauderdale Lakes, Florida USA and Parish Priest St Thomas Parish Anum Makurdi, and others.
Uba Sani, a mechanical engineer and politician, was elected as the governor of Kaduna State during the March 28, gubernatorial election.
The 52-year-old governor-elect was born on December 31, 1970, in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State. After the completion of his primary and secondary school education, Sani attended the Kaduna Polytechnic where he studied mechanical engineering at HND level.
He also holds a post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Abuja (UniAbuja) in addition to a Masters Degree in Finance from the University of Calabar (UniCal), Cross River State.
Hitherto, he had served as a special adviser on public affairs to President Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as an advisor to the then FCT Minister, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai.
In 2011, Sani contested in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the Kaduna Central Senatorial seat, but lost the primaries. In 2015, he was appointed by the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai as special adviser, Political and Intergovernmental Affairs.
However, in 2019, Sani showed interest and contested for the second time the Kaduna Central Senatorial seat on the platform of the APC and got elected as a Senator. He contested the March 28 governorship election and won.
He promised to give priority to the welfare and security of citizens, build on the achievements of his predecessor by implementing policies and programmes that will raise the quality of life, provide irrigation dams, farming inputs like fertilisers, as well as improved seedlings.
In doing all of these, he also promised to be fair to all “just like my leader, Malam Nasir el-Rufai”, adding that “only fairness and justice can bring peace in any society.
“It is by making our people happy and secure that we can sustain and deepen this democracy.”
Cross River governor-elect, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, also a member of the ruling APC, hails from Odukpani Local Government Area in the Southern Senatorial District.
He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Calabar. Before his foray into politics, he had acquired a vast experience in the banking and petroleum business.
Following his entry into politics, Otu was elected into the House of Representatives to represent Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency in 2003 and was re-elected in 2007. While in the House, he was chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), vice chairman, House Committee on National Population, and member of Committees on Power, Ministry of Niger Delta, Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Inter-Intra Party Relations, Environment, and Defense.
As a member of the House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), he contributed greatly to the draft amendment bill that re-positioned the Petroleum Technology Development Fund which served as a vehicle to develop Local Content Bill.
Otu moved up the ladder in 2011, when he was elected Senator, representing Cross River South. At the Senate, he was chairman, Senate Committee on Finance and Banking and other Financial Institutions. He also served as member, Committee on Navy, Power, Petroleum, and Water Resources. He contested and won the APC governorship primary for Cross River State.
His core agenda revolves around the establishment of a people-oriented welfare programme, elimination of wastage, as well as subsidization of productivity, among others.
“We would sustain the gains while improving and maintaining the legacies of our past leaders, especially in the area of human capital development, tourism, value addition, national and international collaborations, infrastructure and mega structures,” he said.
The Enugu State governor-elect, Peter Mbah, a Maritime Lawyer of International repute, business magnate, public administrator, philanthropist, and politician, holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Honours Degree from the University of East London (UEL).
Mbah is the Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, said to be a leading indigenous oil and gas company in the downstream petroleum sector.
After attending the Law School, he proceeded to the Lagos State University in 2004 where he obtained a Masters degree in law (LLM) in Maritime and Commercial Law among other numerous academic achievements. He is a fellow of the Certified Institute of Public Administration and Management (CIPM), a member of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Before his latest feat, Mbah had served as Chief of Staff to Senator Chimaroke Nnamani as governor of Enugu State from where he later became the state Commissioner for Finance in the same administration.
He founded Peter Mbah Foundation (PMF), a non-profit, non-political, humanitarian-oriented organization, aimed at improving healthcare and standards of living in rural communities. It was in realization of these objectives that he established St. Cecilia’s Memorial Hospital in his country home of Owo for effective healthcare delivery.
Among other litany of promises, he pledged to build a peaceful, secured state, highly developed, and prosperous state for all. According to him, his administration will grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Enugu State sevenfold in the next eight years, from the current level of $4.4 billion in 2022 to $30 billion by 2031.
While promising jobs for the youths, he said he would deliver quality, people-focused governance by making Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism, and living, adding that his administration was determined to make the state one of the top three in Nigeria in terms of Gross Domestic Product, and achievement of a zero per cent rate in the poverty headcount index.
Within 180 days of his administration, he said, he would deliver pipe-borne water to every home in Enugu.
“I know the pain you go through as a result of lack of water. We will not sleep until we crack the problem and see that water is running in every household and street in Enugu,” he declared.
Chief Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru was born on February 25, 1975 in Agabja Izzi, in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
He attended Oferekpe Agbaja Community Primary School, Community Secondary School, Nwofe Agbaja Izzi, and Ebonyi State University Abakaliki,(EBSU), where he studied Law.
In 2007, Nwifuru joined partisan politics as Ex- officio of the State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the Chairmanship of Chief David Umahi.
In 2011, Nwifuru contested and won a seat in the Ebonyi State House of Assembly to represent his Izzi West Constituency under the platform of the PDP. He was re-elected in 2015, from where he emerged as the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. He was re-elected as a member representing Izzi Constituency in 2019 and again as the Speaker of the assembly for the second term.
He subsequently won the governorship election.
His main areas of focus include education, health, agriculture, and human capital development. This, he tagged: ‘The Peoples Charter of Needs’.
Caleb Mutfwang is the Plateau State governor-elect. He was elected on the platform of the PDP. Mutfwang, a legal luminary, and an astute politician, will succeed the incumbent Governor Simon Lalong.
Born to a humble background on December 12, 1965, he attended Boys Secondary School, Gindiri, for his secondary education. He later studied law at the University of Jos. Upon graduating in 1988, he was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court on December 14, 1989. He also attended the prestigious Haggai Institute for Leadership Development, in Hawaii, USA.
His career as a legal practitioner spans over three decades, starting with his engagement in private legal practice with a Kaduna-based legal firm, BYOMA, ICHABA & CO (FIDELITY CHAMBERS), from 1990 to 1995. In 1996, he founded Caleb Mutfwang & Co.
His vision is to regain the lost glory of the state as the “Home of Peace and Tourism” leveraging its potential to bring back life to the state’s economy.
Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago is the governor-elect of Niger State. He was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Until his election, he was a third term member of the House of Representatives, representing Chachanga Federal Constituency of Niger State.
He was born in Minna, Niger State on February 22, 1974 to the family of the late Alhaji Muhammadu Mustapha (Barade Nupe). On his paternal side, he is a member of the Masaba Royal family of Bida, while his late mother, Hajia Aishat Mohammed, belonged to the Jantabo Royal family of Lapai.
He began his early education at Marafa Primary School, Minna where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1985 from where he proceeded to the famous Federal Government College, Jos and obtained the West African School Certificate in 1991 with distinction.
Bago earned a bachelors degree in political science from Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto. This is in addition to several postgraduate diplomas and masters degrees, including a postgraduate diploma in management from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, (2001), Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Economics from the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma (2003) as well as a masters degree in Finance from University of Calabar in 2005. He also attended an executive programme at the Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 2014.
He is a Certified Management specialist with Distinction in Time Management from the London Graduate School in 2020.
His campaign promises centred on youth education and women empowerment, security, infrastructure and healthcare service delivery.
The incoming governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Bassey, elected on the platform of the PDP, is the immediate past commissioner for lands and water resources in the state.
He was born on May 10, 1964, in Lagos to the family of a police officer and a businesswoman who hailed from Ikot Ekpene Udo in Nsit Ubium LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where is currently studying for his doctorate. He is also an alumnus of the Pan-African College’s Lagos Enterprise Faculty (LBS). He is a businessman with an interest in the hospitality industry.
He promised, “to consolidate on the economic gains of the previous administrations while expanding the frontiers of the state economy.”
With an acronym, ARISE, as his main agenda, he said that his administration would focus on “Agricultural revolution, tourism, sports/ social development and environmental management.”
He also promised massive rural development, women and youth empowerment, infrastructural maintenance/advancement, ICT development as well as security, education, and health sector management.
Dr. Nasir Idris, the Kebbi State governor-elect on the platform of APC was born on June 8, 1965, in Birnin Kebbi.
He attended Dukku Primary School Birnin Kebbi between 1972 and1979 after which he proceeded to Government Teacher College, Dogon Daji’ between 1979-1984. He also attended the College of Education, Sokoto between 1986 and 1989, Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi (1994-2003) and Usmanu Danfodio University (2006-2009) where he obtained MBA.
During his campaign, he promised to improve education, security, and the economy of the state. He also promised to embark on women empowerment, and improvement of the welfare of civil servants, among others.
The incoming governor of Rivers State, Siminialayi Fubara, hails from Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of the state. He is the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State.
Fubara, who is often called Sim, contested the governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.
In his 37-page manifesto, Fubara said that he would build on Wike’s infrastructural projects to ensure that internal roads in all the LGAs were constructed.
In the document, he said his administration would focus on creating an economically viable state, develop and implement a 10-year master plan to provide the road map for the industrial transformation of the state while also encouraging private investors to take over and revive the state companies.
To achieve all these, he said the state government would enter into collaboration with the Federal Government to ensure an improved economy.
Making specific reference to the need for a big seaport, he said he would liaise with Federal Government to achieve his economic plan.
Fubura also assured that he would give priority attention to agriculture by opening up free land so that there would be a land tenure system that will make it possible for people to turn their lands into wealth.
There is a high expectation that he will be able to bring his experience as a financial expert to bear on his job.
The incoming governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, is an engineer and a consummate grassroots politician, who is popularly known as Abba Gida Gida.
He had previously served in the Executive Council of Kano State from 2011 to 2015 as Commissioner for Works, Housing, and Transport. He contested the 2019 gubernatorial election but lost to Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the outgoing governor of the state. He is currently a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) on whose platform he won the election.
Born on January 5, 1963, in Gaya, Kano State, Yusuf attended Sumaila Primary School and later Government Secondary School Lautai in Gumel Local Government Area (now Jigawa State), where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1980.
After that, he went on to study Civil Engineering at Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, for his National Diploma in 1985. Subsequently, he proceeded to obtain a Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering, and a Certificate in Water Resources/Environmental Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic in 1989. Currently, he holds a postgraduate diploma in Management and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Bayero University, Kano.
He promised to conduct a comprehensive review and renegotiation of the terms of loans taken by the outgoing Ganduje administration, stating that his administration would be guided by the utilisation audit of each loan.
Accordingly, he warned all financial institutions not to give any new loans to the outgoing Ganduje administration after March 18, 2023, stressing that his administration would not honour or pay back such loans.