Inauguration: North Central Governors Take Oath of Office

Nnenna Okoronkwo, Bilkisu Halilu Pai Abuja, Ilorin, , Makurdi, , Amina Mohammed, Lafia

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North Central Governors have been sworn in new and returning administrations on the 29th of May, 2023.

Benue State

By Aloysius Umalo, Makurdi

Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia has been sworn in as the sixth Executive Governor of Benue State in North Central Nigeria.
He was sworn in alongside the Deputy Governor, Dr. Sam Ode.

Born in 1966, Rev. Fr. Alia becomes the second priest of the Roman Catholic Church to rule the state since its creation in 1976.

Alia who was sworn in by the Chief Judge of Benue State, Hon. Justice Maurice Ikpambese at about 1:35 pm quickly announced the frozen of all bank accounts belonging to Benue State Government.

“May I announce that effective immediately and until further notice, all Government Bank Accounts in all Banks are hereby frozen. A ‘Post No Debit’ instruction shall remain in force until all Signatories are changed. Any Bank that violates this instruction does so at its own risk”.

He said his administration would be guided by a Seven point development agenda featuring the security of lives and property, industrialization, trade and investment, as well as human capital and social development.

Other priority areas include care for the environment to mitigate the effects of climate change, investment in
information and communications technology,  Civil Service and local government systems reform, as well as the review of laws to make them investor-friendly through political and economic governance.

“My fellow Benue citizens, these seven pillars represent a Social Contract between our Government and your good selves. On these promises, we shall be held to account. You hired us with your votes to deliver on these promises. We will do everything in our power to fulfil our side of the contract”.

He promised to work closely with security agencies and the Federal Government to ensure the safety of lives and property of Benue people.

“We will also work tirelessly to address the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion”.

Rev. Fr. Alia pledged to prioritize job creation and economic empowerment by promoting private sector-led industrialization, with a particular emphasis on

As part of measures to address the perennial problem of flooding in the state, Governor Alia said Government would engage the Federal
Authorities towards the dredging of River Benue to address the flooding problem in Makurdi and other parts of the state.

According to him, Government had already set in motion machinery for clearing blocked drainage systems in Makurdi metropolis pending when a comprehensive solution would be found to the perennial flooding of the state capital”.

“To provide immediate succor to the army of unemployed youth in the state, we shall execute this exercise through a public works scheme or direct labor”.

He assured that in the next 100 days, work would commence on the design of a comprehensive infrastructure development programme involving unemployed graduate youths in continuation of government’s public works programme.

“In addition, our industrial parks and technology incubation centers, designed to bring the best out of our youth and provide gainful self- employment would be
equally unveiled within the period”.

To bring succour to the very poor people in the state, government he said had commenced negotiations with credible partners for soft revolving credit facilities based on good repayment record, particularly to women in all the council wards in the state.

“In addition, we have commenced discussions for revamping the moribund Benue Microfinance Bank and repositioning it as a vehicle for microcredit delivery in the state. This would domesticate the delivery of microcredit to the poor as a cardinal pursuit of our administration”.


Kwara State

By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has been sworn-in for his second term in office.

The Governor has vowed to remain a responsible and responsive leader for the people of the state.

The inauguration lasted just 45 minutes, kicking off at exactly 8.10 a.m, following the arrival of the governor at 8 a.m.

Both AbdulRazaq and his Deputy, Chief Kayode Alabi, were accompanied by their spouses, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq and Mrs Abieyuwa Alabi, as well as members of their families and friends.

The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Abiodun Adebara, administered the oath on the deputy governor and then the governor.

House of Assembly Speaker, Engineer Yakubu Danladi Salihu led his colleagues to the event, which also had all the senators and House of Representatives members-elect in attendance.

The Grand Kadi, Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen; Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole; cabinet members led by Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mamman Saba Jubril; captains of industry, labour leaders, and media executives.

The Governor, who set out his spending priorities, said the second tenure would see him building on the gains of the last four years — all of which he credited to the support of the people of the state.

His words: “The next four years will consolidate the gains of our first tenure and lay new foundations for sustained socioeconomic development and institutional growth. We are going to deepen the reforms and investments in the critical sectors like education, healthcare delivery, civil service welfare, social safety programmes, general infrastructural upgrade and renewals, focused expansion of our economic base, and promotion of a political culture that advances self-reliance and growth.

“Our spending priorities will be to complete all the ongoing infrastructural projects and iron out the business models to deliver maximum benefits to the people. Adequate attention will be focused on completing projects like the Ilorin International Conference Centre, the Revenue House, Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, Sugar Film Factory, Osi and Ilesha Baruba campuses of the Kwara State University, industrial park, Shea Butter factory in Kaiama, among others. The General Tunde Idiagbon Flyover and the garment factory will be flagged off soon with huge economic benefits. The Ilorin Capital City Master Plan will be followed by a grander Kwara State Master Plan that will cover Kwara South and Kwara North for sustainable living. 

“Affordable housing programme will be another priority of this dispensation. This will help civil servants and other citizens to own their own homes. It will also curb unplanned construction and support decent living conditions. In this wise, we will form partnerships with private and federal government agencies to develop new satellite towns already mapped out in the Ilorin City Master Plan as well as in GRA lands in parts of Kwara South and Kwara North. 

“In addition to our Kwapreneur initiative that directly puts money in ideas mostly owned by young people, we will consider an annual multidisciplinary scholarship scheme that will be open to our best brains, especially at Postgraduate Level. Beneficiaries will emerge only through a very rigorous process that is transparent. I believe this will hasten the pace of human capital development in different fields. 

“A major flaw in our developmental journey as a nation is a culture of government officials determining what projects are executed in a particular community. This has to be reversed, as we have tried to do in our first term, to allow for people-focused development. For this reason, we are setting up a bureau of integrated rural development to be domiciled in the Government House. It will liaise with communities to come up with their needs in order of priorities. This will allow the government to better deploy limited resources in a way that addresses popular needs. Our traditional institutions and community-based organisations will be major players in this regard. 

“We shall also deepen our relationships with the organised private sector to strengthen the business climate and create jobs for our youths. This is in realisation that government does not have the resources to do everything. 

“We shall also leverage our contacts and goodwill with the Federal Government to ensure timely completion of ongoing federal roads and adequate funding for new ones. We will intensify our lobby of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the dredging of the River Niger. This will save our people from the annual flooding that claims lives and farmlands. It will also boost economic activities in its tributary states like Kwara.

“Distinguished Kwarans, we shall become more intentional in our efforts to improve healthy living through a cleaner environment. I seek your support and understanding as we take bolder policy decisions in this regard.

“Notwithstanding the existing gaps, our investments in basic primary education and healthcare delivery have been acknowledged nationwide. As we recently completed the UBEC Model School at Adeta, I am excited to announce that Kwara State has again been nominated for a bigger international project in basic education whose details will be released later. This is being funded by the Japan International Development Agency. Similarly, only Kwara SUBEB and the FCT have been chosen for international Mathematics training in Japan in July. This attests to the confidence now reposed in Kwara State locally and internationally.

“To strengthen our multifarious initiatives for a better future, I am hereby announcing optional six month maternal leave for female civil servants who wish to practice exclusive breastfeeding to boost life chances for our younger ones. This will also promote maternal health, among other benefits. 

“Once again, I thank the Kwara electorate, opinion moulders, traditional and religious institutions, party leaders, and supporters for all the efforts and the goodwill that made today a reality. We will keep our words to remain a responsible government that is responsive to the yearnings of the people within available resources.”

Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, who thanked the attendees, urged the people of the state to continue to support the administration.

He said the government will continue to prioritise the interest of the people over all other considerations.

The Head of Service, Mrs Oluwole had earlier commended the Governor’s first term tenure, which she said was quite fruitful for the civil service and the entire state.

She said that AbdulRazaq practically resuscitated the dignity of the state Civil Service by providing a good working environment for workers, including easy movement of staff.

“Here we are today, we have God to glorify. God has been graceful. You fought gallantly. COVID 19 came, and you fought it like a wounded lion, and Kwara was declared as one of the best fighters. We want to acknowledge that you have been good to kwara, and we are proud of you,” she said.

“Speaking about my constituency, the civil service, I remember the first day after your swearing-in, you asked me about the state of affairs. I said the little that I could, and then you promised to do something, and today we have lived to see to the fulfilment of your promises. Today, I can look back and see thirty-seven vehicles in the same fleet that was empty. I stand boldly to declare that your tenure has been extremely peaceful for us in Kwara, and we urge you to continue along this path.”


Niger State

By Hassan Abubakar, Minna

The Niger State Governor, Muhammed Umar Bago has taken his oath of office in Minna the Niger State Capital.

Chief justice of the state, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik administered the oath to Governor Bago and his Deputy.

Addressing the crowd after the swearing in, Governor Muhammed Umar Bago appreciated the people of the State for their support during his campaign and the election.

“I am extremely humbled and grateful to ALLAH (SWT) for making today possible; this is a day that will resonate in my mind as the beginning of a new chapter in the history of a New Niger State. 

“Let me begin by assuring all Nigerlites that your overwhelming support and admiration of our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) throughout the campaigns and your votes during the 2023 general elections will not be taken for granted, as we are here to serve you, and I will be a governor for all the citizens of Niger State, irrespective of religious, ethnic, socio-economic backgrounds and political affiliations”

Nasarawa State

By Amina Mohammed, Lafia

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule and his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe have been sworn-in for anothem term of four years in office.

Sule renewed his mandate with the people of the state after taking his oath of office during a colourful ceremony at the Lafia Square, in Lafia the state capital.

While highlighting the achievements of his administration in the past four years, the Governor assured of his resolve to sustain accelerated growth, increase economic opportunities and prosperity, social inclusion and improve the quality of lives of the citizenry.

He emphasized that during the next four years, the goal of his administration will be to sustain increase in productivity by leveraging on competitive advantages of the state, towards achieving inclusive economic growth and socio-economic transformation, which would continue to translate into substantial improvements in the quality of lives.

Sule commended the people of the state for their steadfastness, especially during the electioneering campaign, in the face of efforts by detractors to disrupt their collective sense of mission and cohesion.

“This is why I commend your steadfastness in shunning and standing against all the provocations intended to divide our people for selfish political gains. 

“I urge you all to remain steadfast and to be on your guards. We cannot afford to do otherwise, because the prize of liberty is eternal vigilance,” he stated.

He however extended his hands of fellowship to all those that contested under other political parties, to join hands with his administration in its determination to move Nasarawa State forward.

“The election has come and gone, the task ahead of us now is the supremacy of the security and welfare of our people,” the Governor added.

Engineer Sule used the opportunity of the event to show appreciation to the immediate past president of the country, Muhammadu Buhari, for his services to the nation and particular love and affection for Nasarawa State.

“In this connection, we profoundly appreciate the expansion and dualization of Abuja-Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi highway; the completion and commissioning of the Loko-Oweto bridge; the commencement of Farin-Ruwa Hydro Power Project and take-over of Lafia Cargo Airport among several others,” he said.

In the same vein, the Governor welcomed the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, describing the former Lagos State governor as a tested leader and patriot whose commitment to the overall development of Nigeria is outstanding.

“We have no doubt that his antecedents and past achievements in the development of Nigeria will be brought to bear in his present leadership for the benefit of all Nigerians. As we assure Mr. President of our loyalty and support at all times, may the Almighty Allah grant him more wisdom and the capacity to lead Nigeria to greater heights,” he stated.

He congratulated his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, for making history as the first Deputy Governor of the state to be sworn-in twice, describing him as a loyal team mate.

The Governor also appreciated members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, as well as the state judiciary without whose support his administration could not have recorded by his administration.

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