A growing body of evidence suggested that certain governors in the country are administering their states while residing outside them.
Some purportedly oversee state affairs from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and even foreign locations.
Vox9ja gathered that residents and stakeholders in these states have voiced their concerns about these governors’ remote governance, contending that their absence from the states contradicts the principles of good governance.
The report also reveals that most of these governors prefer to delegate their responsibilities to their deputies rather than to make key state affairs decisions from their remote locations.
This practice runs contrary to the constitutional requirement that mandates a governor to be physically present in their state to ensure the security and protection of lives and property. Governors are expected to be present in their state for up to two weeks, as they hold the role of Chief Security Officer.
In a report by The PUNCH, five governors were identified as the primary offenders:
1. The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (APC), who also serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The opposition party in the state, the PDP, alleged that he spends minimal time in the state since assuming the NGF chairmanship. According to the party’s Chairman, Babatunde Mohammed, the governor’s absence was conspicuous.
He stated, “Since the governor took up the leadership of the NGF, he seldom visited the state to supervise projects or engage with the people.”
Mohammed added, “The governor’s continued absence led to the improper use of security vehicles purchased to enhance local security, as they were converted for private use by the individuals he appointed as Transition Implementation Committee chairpersons for our local government areas.”
2. The Governor of Gombe State, Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya (APC), who also holds the position of Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, was notably absent from his state since taking on this role, according to Nafiu Bala, the gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress in Gombe State during the 2023 election.
“Governor Inuwa Yahaya had yet to designate his deputy as acting governor during his absence, which was a problematic practice,” Bala asserted.
3. The Governor of Sokoto State, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto (APC), faced calls from residents to spend more time in the state and be present with his people, as they observed him spending more time outside the state, mirroring concerns during the previous administration of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was accused of frequenting Abuja over his home state.
Mallam Bala Bello, a resident of the state, expressed dissatisfaction with Tambuwal’s past tenure, highlighting his extensive time away from Sokoto.
4. The Governor of Zamfara State, Dr. Dauda Lawal (PDP), was the subject of investigations conducted by The PUNCH, which indicated that the state governor had rarely spent a week in Zamfara State since his inauguration on May 29. This trend raised concerns among residents, particularly in light of the state’s dire security situation.
Many were disappointed that the governor, who had promised to rescue the state from its security challenges during his election campaign, frequently travelled out of the state, leaving the residents to grapple with these issues.
5. The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello (APC), changed his approach as he was reportedly spending more time in Lokoja compared to his previous remote governance style.
Observers noted that the governor, who previously governed from Abuja, was more actively engaged in Lokoja, supporting the All Progressives Congress candidate, Ahmed Usman Ododo, in executing his campaign strategies to maintain the party’s dominance in the state.
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However, the investigation revealed that since losing the APC presidential ticket and President Bola Tinubu’s emergence, Governor Bello was more visible in Lokoja.
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