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SPECIAL REPORT: Evaluating the Performance of New Governors’ First 100 Days in Office – Part 1

SPECIAL REPORT: Evaluating the Performance of New Governors’ First 100 Days in Office – Part 1
  • PublishedSeptember 13, 2023

Nigeria has in the last 100 days, witnessed a change of baton of leadership in several states. How have the states fared within the stipulated space of time? NIYI OLASINDE documents this in this exposition.

In time and space, a period of 100 days is so short; especially, when it is singled out of a tenure spanning four solid years. The passage of 100 days, though seemingly brief, carries immense significance when it comes to governance. This period, a mere fraction of a four-year term, often witnesses remarkable events and developments. It’s within this window that certain crops grow to maturity, and some livestock reach marketable stages, illustrating the potential for trade, venture, and profit. Additionally, crucial decisions are made, trial initiatives are launched, and projections are tested, all of which contribute to the formation of far-reaching policies and programs by institutions and governments. In this space of time, the direction and priorities of governments begin to take shape.

In the Nigerian political landscape, elected officials at all levels of government are frequently judged based on their performance during their first 100 days in office. Even before assuming power, aspiring candidates set this brief period as a benchmark for evaluating their future performance. Campaign promises abound, from pledges to boost revenue generation to settling outstanding obligations to civil servants. These commitments resonate during election campaigns and, over time, have become a focal point for public scrutiny. However, only a select few are diligent enough to hold public officials accountable for the promises they make to the electorate.

Last week marked a 100-day milestone since 25 state governors were sworn in to lead their respective states across Nigeria. These states conducted gubernatorial elections in accordance with the established electoral schedule, free from the complexities of post-election litigation that have affected some elections since 1999. Notably, 16 of these states have governors beginning their first terms. For the purpose of this assessment, we will focus exclusively on these first-term governors, excluding those embarking on second terms (a total of 10) and those not currently within their election cycle (a total of 8).

The eight states with off-cycle elections include Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun. These states hold gubernatorial elections at different times, as determined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). For instance, Kogi, Anambra, and Imo are slated for gubernatorial elections on November 11 of this year, while Ondo and Edo will experience their next round of elections in 2024. Anambra’s next gubernatorial election will occur at a later date, and Osun and Ekiti will hold their elections in 2026, as they recently completed their last rounds in 2022.

On Monday, May 29, 2023, a total of 28 governors took their oaths of office, comprising 18 first-term governors and 10 incumbents. Several among them are currently defending their victories in Election Petitions Tribunals, with these proceedings reaching their conclusive stages. These governors, representing various political parties, will steer the course of their states over the next four years, 100 days of which have now elapsed. Therefore, we turn our attention to an analysis of their initial actions and policies in office.

To ensure a comprehensive assessment, we exclude the South-Western states (Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun) due to their off-cycle election status, as well as the states with second-term governors (Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo) inaugurated on May 29. Likewise, states with second-term governors outside the consideration include Kwara and Nassarawa (North-Central), and Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe (North-East).

The governors’ performance in their first 100 days will be assessed based on their respective geopolitical zones. Below, we present the 100-day governors under scrutiny according to their geopolitical regions.


Alia Hyacinth Iormem – Benue State, All Progressives Congress (APC)

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia (Benue) is a 57-year-old Catholic Priest who earned a Diploma in Religious Studies (1987) from St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos, and a B.A. in Sacred Theology (1990). He was ordained on July 7, 1990, and was elected under the APC.

While the Benue State Chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticized Governor Hyacinth Alita’s performance in his first 100 days, describing it as “a fusion of emptiness and disappointment,” the Special Adviser to the Governor, Dr. Mkor Aondona, has praised the administration. According to Aondona, the governor has fulfilled all the immediate priorities outlined in his acceptance speech as the sixth democratically-elected leader of the state within the first three months. These achievements include the prompt payment of salaries and arrears owed to civil servants by the previous administration and the successful return of internally displaced persons to their homes. Aondona also highlighted the administration’s ability to maintain financial stability despite significant challenges inherited from the previous PDP-led administration.

Governor Alia Hyacinth Iormem - Benue State
Governor Alia Hyacinth Iormem of Benue State Image source: alia2023.org

Residents in the state, speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, have noted that the administration has made significant progress in addressing long-standing security challenges in the region. Furthermore, the administration has consistently met salary obligations since taking office, a clear departure from the posture of his predecessor, Mr Sameul Ortom, who made lack of salary payment a state policy.

In terms of infrastructure, the administration has initiated the repair and construction of several roads, including Odey-Ageh – John Feese Street, Kuma Abanyam and Othaniel Taangahar Street, Okunma Akunda Street, Lush Street, Augustinian Community Road, Nigerian Navy Barracks Road, Keghen Malu Street, David Jebe Street, Kotnya City Guest House – Akpeme, Tyagher Gbaa Street, Victoria Aende Street, Ghandi Street, Federal Low-Cost Housing Road, Eighth Avenue Lokyaa Ako Street (Extension), Ikeja – Sokoto Street, among others.

Mohammed Umaru Bago – Niger State, All Progressives Congress (APC)

Umar Bago (Niger) is a 49-year-old graduate of the Federal University of Technology Minna. He entered politics after years of experience in the banking sector, winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 2011. He contested for Speaker in the 9th National Assembly, finishing as the runner-up to eventual winner Femi Gbajabiamila.

Governor Bago has been recognized as a credible leader who has been proving his ability to establish good and inclusive governance that earns the trust of the people. He believes in taking calculated, scrupulous, and strategic steps to address the challenges facing Niger State. Since assuming office, he has been diligently addressing security issues that have long plagued the state.

Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago source: https://bago.ng/
Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago source: https://bago.ng/

Bologi Ibrahim, Press Secretary to the Governor, has reported that the administration is focused on delivering the dividends of democracy promptly and accurately to as many residents as possible. This includes boosting agriculture and enhancing safety and security on farmlands, alleviating poverty and hunger through food security measures, exploring solid minerals, promoting tourism, creating employment opportunities, empowering the populace, and increasing revenue for infrastructure development. The administration has also prioritized women’s development through inclusive governance by appointing women to key positions in the local government areas and investing in education. The acceptance and adoption of the reports of the Niger State Development Forum and the preparation for an Economic Summit (Green Economy Summit) demonstrate the administration’s commitment to rapid socio-economic, infrastructural, and industrial development in Niger State.

Mutfwang Caleb Manasseh – Plateau State, People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau) is a 58-year-old former Local Government Area Chairman of Mangu, Plateau State. His administration marks the state’s return to the PDP after eight years under the APC’s Simon Lalong.

Governor Mutfwang Caleb Manasseh Source: plateaustate.gov.ng
Governor Mutfwang Caleb Manasseh Source: plateaustate.gov.ng

One of the most significant challenges facing Governor Muftwang as he assumes office in Plateau State is insecurity. He has taken proactive steps to address these security issues and ensure lasting peace and coexistence among the state’s diverse population.

Governor Caleb Muftwang is also focused on curbing wasteful public spending, implementing justice reforms, and promoting inclusive governance. His efforts are aimed at fostering inter-faith and inter-ethnic unity and cohesion in the state.

To be continued…

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