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2019: Deputy govs battle for relevance



2019: Deputy govs battle for relevance

Governorship, Senate on the cards for outgoing deputy governors


For state deputy governors on their second terms and who would be leaving their respective offices between in 2019, the fear of precipitous loss in stature after attainment of great heights in politics has prompted them to commence moves on their next political steps to remain relevant, FELIX NWANERI reports


Section 186 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides for the office of a deputy governor for each state of the federation. The constitution in Section 187(1) particularly states: “In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this part of this chapter relate a candidate for the office of governor of a state shall not be deemed to have been validly nominated for such office unless he nominates another candidate as his associate for his running for the office of governor, who is to occupy the office of deputy governor; and that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of deputy governor if the candidate who nominated him is duly elected as governor in accordance with the said provisions.”

Despite this constitutional provision, the job of a deputy a governor is no doubt the most frustrating for any politician because occupants of such position are hardly celebrated. They are not only silent, but act only at the wish of their bosses, most often not according to what is prescribed for them by the constitution. In most cases, a governor only assigns some duties to his or her deputy, when he deems it fit. This explains why deputy governors have over the years been seen by many as mere spare tires.

No doubt, the under utilization of deputy governors by their principals is usually responsible for the frosty relationship between them. The consequence of this is the use of the instrumentality of states Assembly by the governors to sack their deputies at will either through impeachments or forced resignations as recently witnessed in Imo, Bauchi and Kano states.

Worse is that outgoing governors hardly factor their deputies in their succession plans. In this dispensation, only two deputy governors, Alhaji Mahmud Shinkafi of Zamfara State and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, have succeeded their principals, former Governors Sani Yerima and Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The duo, who were in the saddle between 1999 and 2007, and 2007 and 2007/2011and 2015, respectively, and are now senators, believed that the number two position was a training ground for their deputies and consequently supported them to continued from where they stopped.

But, less than five months to the next general elections, there are political maneuverings of different shades across the country as key political actors as well as gladiators’ perfect strategies to remain relevant in the political space.
Involved in these political machinations are some deputy governors, who are on their second term and would be leaving their respective offices in 2019. They are Eze Madumere (Imo), Silas Agara (Nasarawa), Moses Adeyemo (Oyo), Charles Iliya (Gombe), Ibrahim Wakkala (Zamfara). However, for Yetunde Onanuga (Ogun), Peter Kisra (Kwara), is likely time to take a bow from politics.

For these deputy governors, the questions are: What would be their next political moves after 2019? Will they succeed their principals or take a bow from politics? No doubt, each of them would prefer to remain politically relevant by clinging to power in one way or the other, but politics, being the game of the possible, analysts are not ruling out the decline in the political fortune of some by the time they leave office.

This position is predicated on the fact that there is always a precipitous loss in stature after attainment of great heights in politics either by one’s own doing or as a result of circumstance. A justification of this assumption is the story of most former deputy governors, who experienced the epic fall that usually come with attainment of great political heights, with only a handful still relevant in the polity.


Madumere: No going back on guber ambition

STEVE UZOECHI reports on the insistence of the Imo State deputy governor to contest the 2019 governorship election despite opposition by Governor Rochas Okorocha

The Imo state deputy governor was never in doubt as to where he would be headed after office in 2019. After working closely with Governor Rochas Okorocha for more than two decades, Madumere as early as 2015 conveyed his resolve to run for the office of the governor in 2019.

According to the spokesman to the Deputy Governor, Uche Onwuchekwa, “At the outset, Governor Rochas Okorocha declared publicly that for the sake of equity and inclusiveness, that supporting Owerri zone to produce the next governor of Imo state in 2019 was the ideal thing to do. Accordingly, the Deputy Governor who is from Owerri zone and versed in the intricacies of Nigerian politics stepped up to bid for the coveted seat. Madumere was never under any illusion that it would be a cheap task was very clear-sighted on where he was headed after office in 2019.”


Though Madumere has set up small businesses and a cottage industry, none of those threw him out of the path of his vision. Long before 2018, he prepared and made ready his blueprint for the governance of Imo state after 2019.


Apparently due to the firmness of his purpose, Madumere who had already set up political structures across Imo State before Okorocha told him to pack up and support the governorship bid of his son in-law and former Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, did not waste time or prevaricate before conveying to the governor how resolute he was about his bid to govern Imo state in 2019.

Not even the offer of the Imo East Senate ticket from the governor could sway Madumere’s resolve to pursue his 2019 ambition. For him, it was not time to retire from politics; he was neither interested in buying nor in selling. Nothing else held much appeal as his well thought-out plans to govern Imo State come 2019.

Madumere was not afraid to pay the price; he endured persecutions and survived a deviously contrived impeachment plot. Presently, there seems no alternative or fall back plan put in place by the deputy governor outside his audacious bid for the 2019 governorship of the state, even at stupendous odds.

Madumere’s entry into the governorship race was apparently not dictated to him by anybody; presently it does not seem he will be taking any dictation from anybody to shelf his bid for 2019.


Agara: Moves to step into Al-Makura’s shoes

CHEKE EMMANUEL reports that the Nasarawa State deputy governor is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to step in his principals shoes   Mr. Silas Ali Agara is the current deputy governor of the Nasarawa State. He hails from Akwanga Local Government of the  state and incidentally, Nasarawa North senatorial district, which is yet to produce a governor since the creation of the state in 1996.

Agara is a grassroots politician of repute. He came to limelight during the administration of former Governor Abdullahi Adamu, when he was appointed Commissioner for Youth and Sports. He is believed to have vast knowledge on politics and governance as well the capacity to govern the state.

His detribalized posture and humility and loyalty to Governor Tanko Al-makura has endeared him to the people of the state, old and the young, especially the youth and women who constitute majority of the population at the grassroots.


Though the body language of Governor Al-makura is undoubtedly not favourable to Agara, his chances of clinching the governorship ticket of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state is very bright following his control of the party and the backing of most critical stakeholders, including other political gladiators within and outside the state.


Agara is also believed to have the financial muscle to tackle other aspirant in the race. He blazed the trail when he unveiled his governorship campaign office in Lafia, where he told his supporters that he is more on ground than any other aspirant in the governorship race.


With the campaign slogan “We Believe,” Agara maintains the most functional governorship campaign office amongst other aspirants in race for the APC ticket. He has carefully developed a Seven-Point Agenda with emphasis on infrastructure, youth empowerment, agriculture and rural development, health care delivery, education, good governance and employment.


He also gone ahead to pick and submit Expression of Interest and Nomination forms ahead of APC’s governorship primary and had repeatedly dismissed insinuations that he has been anointed by Governor Al-makura to succeed him in 2019. He believes that with the indirect primary adopted by the state chapter of his party, he is sure of not only picking the governorship ticket, but will win the election.



Adeyemo: Dashed succession hope


SOLA ADEYEMO reports that is a failed succession bid for the Oyo State deputy governor as he failed to purchased his party’s nomination form to contest the primaries


Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo is the current deputy to Governor Abiola Adeyemo of Oyo State. He was voted into office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with his boss on May 29, 2011, and so like his boss, he is the first deputy governor in the 42-year old Pace Setter State to govern for two terms.


The retired banker is from the Orelope Local Government area of Oke-Ogun. He declared his intention to succeed Governor Abiola Ajimobi few months ago. He claimed to be the best person for the job having presented himself as a very loyal deputy that refused to rock the boat of the administration even when some political decisions set them against each other.


Sunday Telegraph gathered that it was not that he was forced to join the race, but decided to do so after consulting exhaustively with major stakeholders, especially from Oke-ogun zone where he hails from.


For many years, the people of the 10 local government areas that constitute the Oke Ogun zone have been agitating for their man to govern the state. With Adeyemo’s entry, the number of aspirants from the region has however increased to five, among them the Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu, Engr. Remi Olaniyan, Mr. Debo Adesina and Prof. Adeolu Akande, all of the ruling APC.


However, the number of aspirants in the party rose to about 40, thus making the race appearing keener. With the permutations boiling over and much younger aspirants with deeper pockets joining the race, the news about the ‘gentle’ Oke Ogun politician still in the race gradually simmered.


Though he was part of the series of meetings held to prune down the number of gubernatorial aspirants, by the time only 26 aspirants stood their ground, Adeyemo’s voice appeared not vibrating as before. When indirect primaries formula was adopted by the majority of the party stakeholders with Governor Ajimobi presiding, it was later agreed that three aspirants of the lot be chosen from whom the party leaders would choose one as consensus candidate.


Four names: Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Joseph Tegbe, Adebayo Adelabu, and Olalekan Alli, were learnt popped up for consideration. Adeyemo’s name didn’t feature in the choice. Aside this, when the issue of consensus failed and eight aspirants purchased governorship/expression of interest form in Abuja before it closed on Wednesday, the deputy governor’s name did not feature either.


The aspirants that purchased forms are Adebayo Alao-Akala, Joseph Tegbe, Olusola Ayandele, Adebayo Adelabu, Niyi Akintola, Adebayo Shittu, Owolabi Babalola and Azeez Adeduntan. With the deadline for purchase of forms having expired, more so that Governor Ajimobi had asked any member of his cabinet who was still interested in contesting to resign, the ambition of Adeyemo to succeed his boss has without doubt been laid to rest.



Iliya: An eye on the Senate


For Charles Iliya, the Senate should be next place after serving Gombe State as deputy governor for four years, WILLIAMS ATTAH report


The PDP administration of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in Gombe State came to power in 2011 and it is worthy of note that the administration in the past seven and half years, has had three deputy governors. The first was Mr. David Miyims Abashi who was elected alongside Dankwambo,but passed on barely seven months into the administration first tenure. The next was Mr. Tha’anda Jason Rubainu, who completed the tenure with Dankwmbo in 2015.


The governor dropped Rubainu and picked Mr. Charles Iliya as his running mate for the 2015 election which they won convincingly. Both will be ending their tenures as governor and deputy governor, respectively by May, 29, 2019, and they are headed for different political directions.

Iliya, who had been a loyal deputy, is aspiring for Gombe South senatorial seat. The seat is currently occupied by Joshua Lidani, a one-time deputy governor of the state and who is also interested in returning for the third time.


Iliya, a grassroots politician, rose to his peak as a state civil servant and was also a local government chairman before he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives for Balnga/Billiri Federal Constituency where he left an indelible mark as one of the constituency’s best and active representatives.


He has what it takes to represent the zone in the Senate, but he will have to be ready to face equally prepared aspirants at the primaries of the PDP. They include the member representing Kaltungo/Shongom Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hajiya Binta Bello and others.



Wakkala dares Yari


IDRIS SALISU reports that Zamfara State deputy governor, Ibrahim Wakkala is set to battle GovernorAbdul’azeez Yari over his successor


The Zamfara State deputy governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala, has declared interest to contest for Governorship seat under the All Progressives Congress (APC) even as the state Governor Abdul’azeez Yari has endorsed the state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mukthar Shehu Idris as the gubernatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 209 elections.


Wakkala who has been deputy governor since 2011 told Governor Yari that power is transient and therefore, he (Yari) should stop trying to play God. Addressing thousands of supporters, who trooped to welcome him back to Gusau after he picked his nomination form of the APC headquarters in Abuja, Wakkala said it was wrong and unacceptable for Governor Yari to anoint Idris without consulting APC stakeholders in the state.


He said he will not succumb to intimidation by Governor Yari and his cohorts as the will of the people is greater than the selfish interest of one person. According to him, the anointment of the Finance commissioner by Yari cannot stand as the party does not belong to the governor or any of his cohorts, but to the entire members and therefore the party members are the only ones who have the sole right to elect the candidate who will fly the party’s flag in the election.


“Nobody not even Governor Yari or any of his self seeking individuals who don’t want progress for the state can intimidate or stop me from taking part in the gubernatorial primaries of the APC,”, he said, assuring that he remains a peace loving person and called on party supporters and sympathizers to remain law abiding and avoid anything capable of breaching peace and unity in the state.



Onanuga: Amosun’s deputy to take a bow


KUNLE OLAYENI reports thatOgun State deputy governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, will join the league of political actors quitting the stage after the expiration of her tenure in 2019


Barring the unforeseen circumstances, the deputy governor of Ogun State, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, will join the league of political actors quitting the stage after the expiration of her tenure. Although her boss, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has declared intention to run for Senate in 2019, the deputy governor appears not interested in any contest for another political office.


Onanuga’s plan to shelve further political aspiration may not be unconnected to her background. The 58-year-old entered the murky water of politics from the civil service and may have had enough with her stint in public service thus far.

In the run-up to the 2015 general elections, Onanuga came into the limelight. She became Amosun’s running mate after the governor parted ways with his erstwhile deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, at the twilight of their first term.

In search for a strategic candidate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) after Adesegun defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the choice of Onanuga, then a Director of Finance and Administration in the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, was settled for in Ogun State.


Onanuga, a devout Christian and mother, hails from Aparaki in Ijebu North Local Government Area. She is wife of Otunba Abiodun Onanuga, a ranking member of the Awujale royal court and the Giwa Bobakeye Akile Ijebu. The seasoned bureaucrat was also a grand-daughter of the late Oba of Akaka in Remo North Local Government Area, Oba Oye Sofodu. She, therefore, had a link with all the sections of the Ogun East Senatorial District.


Her emergence on the APC gubernatorial ticket provided a perfect balance in terms of geo-political consideration, gender and religion. With Governor Amosun  coming from Ogun Central Senatorial District, the party had earlier zoned the Deputy Governor’s slot to Ogun East Senatorial District while the speakership was zoned to Ogun West Senatorial District.


Onanuga was educated at the Lagos State College of Science and Technology, now Lagos State Polytechnic and also, the Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, where she also obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).
As deputy governor, she oversees affairs in the state Ministry of Rural Development and her activities seemed to have been satisfactory to Amosun. While the governor and leaders of the ruling party are busy shopping for candidates to contest all elective positions in the state for 2019 polls, Onanuga’s name is not featuring on the political radar in any way. The party has already picked a new running mate, Mrs Adepeju Adebajo, for its consensus gubernatorial candidate while other offices have been “shared” among the stakeholders.



Kisra: Also likely to take a bow


BIODUN OYELEYE reports that the deputy governor of Kwara State, Elder Peter Kisra, will abide by the trend, which has always seen number two citizens in the quitting the stage after their tenure


The deputy governor of Kwara State, Elder Peter Kisra, will most likely be returning to his Ilesha Baruba hometown in Baruten Local government area of the state after the elections. By then he would have served eight years with outgoing governor, Alhaji AbdulFattah Ahmed.


Usually in the state, the Deputy Governor is a much older person than the main chief executive; he is often a father-figure to the governor; a devise put in place by the Saraki political structure to ensure stability of governance since the deputy will definitely not have an ambition to succeed his boss.


The first governor in the current democratic dispensation, late Alhaji Mohammed Lawal, had Deacon Simeon Sayomi as his Deputy while his successor, Dr. Bukola Saraki had Chief Joel Ogundeji as Deputy. Both men retired home after their two-term tenure and Kisra is not expected to be different.


Elder Kisira was born on October 8, 1950, started his public career with the NYSC career where he worked with the Government Secondary School, Bama, Borno State NYSC from 1977 to 1978and later became the Education Officer Kwara State Ministry of Education between 1978 till 1984. He later served as the Assistant Secretary (Overseas Scholarship) Kwara State Scholarship Board from 1984 to 1986. He was the Education Officer, Ministry of Education from 1986 till 1993.


He then later converted into Administrative Cadre of Kwara State Civil Service in 1993. Between 1993 and 1995, he was the Deputy Director (PFS) Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and later moved to become Deputy Director Economic Affairs (ECA) from 1998 to 1999. In this same year, he became the Director (PFS) Ministry of Education, Also in 1999, he was a Sole Administrator. In 2000, he became the Director (PFS) Ministry of information for three years then later in 2003, he proceeded to the Director (PFS) Ministry of Health for just a year.


In the year 2004, he became the Director (PFS), Ministry of Sport and Youth Development up till 2007. He was the Permanent Secretary Department of Establishment Training and Pension Matters, Office of Head of Service between the years 2007 to 2009 and in 2010 he was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information before being moved to the Ministry of Women Affairs in 2011.

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