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Governors: Newcomers into the class of 2019

By Daniel Anazia, Tobi Awodipe (Lagos), Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ibadan), Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta), and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri)
30 March 2019   |   3:45 am
Now that calmness is returning to Nigeria’s political turf after the tension soaked 2019 general elections, the class of 2019 governors is taking a definite shape. Nearly half of the 29 states where governorship elections took place produced new faces that are going to mount the leadership saddle come May 29, 2019. The Guardian profiles…

Now that calmness is returning to Nigeria’s political turf after the tension soaked 2019 general elections, the class of 2019 governors is taking a definite shape.

Nearly half of the 29 states where governorship elections took place produced new faces that are going to mount the leadership saddle come May 29, 2019. The Guardian profiles some of these first timers and peeps into their plans for governance.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu: Waste Management, Gridlock On His Mind
IN what was described as a landslide victory, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) was elected as the fifth executive governor of Lagos State on March 9 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and received his Certificate of Return from the commission yesterday.

In his victory speech, Sanwo-Olu said his immediate plan was to tackle the gridlock in the state and waste disposal/management through sorting and quick fixes, adding: “We will bring about innovations through creative thinking. For instance, there are areas where we have four lanes blocked, but you have the other four lanes empty. Why can’t we think of a solution whereby, in the morning or whenever it is that this is blocked, let’s create two additional lanes from these four lanes that are empty,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Born June 25, 1965 in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu is a trained surveyor, entrepreneur and human resources expert with cognate experience in the public and private sectors.

His public sector service experience spanned over 15 years, during which he was appointed Special Adviser (Corporate Matters) in 2003 to the then deputy governor, Femi Pedro, acting commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, and later substantive commissioner for Commerce and Industry till 2007.

Thereafter, he was appointed commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions during the first term of Babatunde Raji Fashola as governor. Also, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016 appointed him as managing director/chief executive of Lagos State Property Development Commission (LSPDC), a position held until he began to throw his hat into the political ring.

Before his formal declaration of intention to run for the office of the governor on Sunday, September 16, last year, thereby pitching him against Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was seeking a second term, not so much was heard about him, as he seems a man that allows his works and records to speak for him.

Some of his notable achievements in the public sector include the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatisation projects. He was the pioneer Board chairman of Lagos Security Trust Fund, under whose watch the LAGBUS System and the Control and Command Centre in Alausa were established.

Sanwo-Olu’s declaration to run for the office attracted endorsements from major stakeholders in the state’s politics; including Tinubu, who was seen as his main sponsor; the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), which is an integral part of the state chapter of the APC; the two most influential political group in the state- Mandate Forum and Justice Forum- as well as members of the state House of Assembly, a development that resulted in the withdrawal the race by Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who later became his running mate.

He has an enviable background in the private sector, with almost 10 years experience in banking, holding key positions, such as treasurer at the defunct Lead Merchant Bank from 1994 to 1997; United Bank for Africa (UBA) as head of Foreign Money Market; First Inland Bank Plc (now First City Monument Bank) as a deputy general manager and divisional head.

Sanwo-Olu was the chairman of Baywatch Group Limited and First Class Group Limited, a board member of the Department for International Development (DFID/DEEPEN) Fund and Audit Committee of Caverton Offshore Services Group Plc.

An alumnus of the University of Lagos, London Business School, Lagos Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Sanwo-Olu is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD).

PRINCE Dapo Abiodun is a native of Iperu-Remo in Ogun East Senatorial District. Incidentally, Abiodun, an oil magnate would be exactly 59 years old on Wednesday, May 29, the day he would be sworn in as the fifth civilian Governor of the 43-year old state.

He obtained his first degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Osun State.

Abiodun later obtained a second degree in Accounting at Kennesam State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He holds a Honours Et Doctorate degree in Finance from Ekiti State University and another in Business Administration from Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State.

He is currently the Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer of Hyden Petroleum Ltd (HDL), said to be one of the largest indigenous players in the downstream, midstream, and upstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Dapo Abiodun was a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State. He contested the Ogun East Senatorial seat on the PDP platform in the 2015 general elections and lost.

He was elected a senator under the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1993 at a younger age of 33 years but was not sworn in due to military intervention of the political system.

Ogun Governor-elect, Mr Dapo Abiodun

In 2012, he served as Chairman, Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) and was also appointed chairman, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2018.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is said to have sponsored Dapo Abiodun. Osinbajo is a native of Remo, like the governor-elect.

Apart from Osinbajo, former Governor of the State, Chief Segun Osoba who is the leader of the state chapter of the APC is also said to be a political godfather of the Governor-elect.

The expectation of the people is that the new government must carry out masses oriented programme, embark on even infrastructural development of the state and choose his cabinet members across party lines, purely on merit.

Abiodun said his vision “is to give Ogun State focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun.

His mission, he said, “is to improve Citizens confidence and trust in government through transparent and accountable leadership, develop and enhance the value chain for the abundant natural, oil and mineral resources for the purpose of galvanizing economic and social development of the Citizens of Ogun State.

He also aims at improving the development of the human capital through greater investment in qualitative education, skill acquisition as well as entrepreneurship.

“We shall through prudent, transparent and accountable leadership ensure that public resources and opportunities are made available to all our citizens in order to ensure they have a fulfilling livelihood”, he added.

He also assured that he would “empower and strengthen the Local Government so they can carry out their statutory roles, functions, responsibilities effectively, besides “We shall further encourage collaboration between government and the private sector to ensure the funding and effective management of the Ogun State Security Trust Fund.”

We will improve Citizens confidence and trust in government through transparent and accountable leadership, develop and enhance the value chain for the abundant natural, oil and mineral resources for the purpose of galvanizing economic and social development of the Citizens of Ogun State.”

CHIEF Chukwuemeka Nkemakolam Ihedioha, a house hold name in Imo State and the House of Representatives, where he was once deputy speaker, who was elected the governor of the state on March 9, on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was born in March 24, 1965.

He defeated his closest rival and son-in-law of incumbent Governor Rochas Okorocha, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA).

His main anchor is to “rebuild Imo State.”

His deputy as Alphonsus Gerald Irona, a former chairman of Oguta Council, one-time member of the Imo State House of Assembly and later, House of Representatives.

Ihedioha attended Mbutu Primary School, Aboh Mbaise Council; SDA Primary School, Abule-Oja, Yaba, Lagos; St. Ephraim’s Secondary School, Owerrinta and the University of Lagos, where he obtained B.Sc. degree in Food Technology in 1988.

He also obtained executive certificates on leadership programmes in Ivy League institution, such as Stanford University and Harvard University, both in the United States (US), as well as Oxford University Business School and London School of Economics, both in the United Kingdom (UK) and the University of British Columbia, Canada.

His political career started with his appointment as Press Officer to Senator Iyorchia Ayu (Senate President from 1992 to 93); Chief Press Secretary to then Deputy Senate President, Albert Legogie in 1993; Special Assistant to Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Utilities (1999); Special Assistant to former Senate President, the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, on Media and Publicity (2000 to 2001); Special Assistant to then Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Political Matters (2001 to 2002); elected to represent Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Opkala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives (2003 to 2015), where he served as chairman of Committee on Marine Transport (2003 to 2007) and chairman, Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa (2007); Chief Whip, 2007 to 2011.

From 2008 to 2009, Ihedioha was chairman of House ad hoc committee on the Review of Police Act; chairman, ad hoc committee on Constituency Projects (2008 to 2009) and celebration of 10 years of interrupted legislative practice (2010); Process and Procedure to obtain Local and Foreign Loans (2010); House Legislative agenda (2011) and Constitution Amendment 2011.

Between 2011 and 2015, he was elected deputy speaker of the House and alternate chairman, Governing Council of the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS); acting speaker from May 27 to June 5, 2015, following the withdrawal of the then speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, to pursue his ambition to govern Sokoto State.

Also, while in the House, the governor-elect served his party, PDP, at various capacities, and championed the passage of several Bills.

A widely travelled person, he has visited over 40 countries, leading Nigerian legislative delegations to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

Ihedioha has outlined his policy thrust as “Promotion of Good Governance,” with a 22- point, four-year action plan, including “introducing due process, openness, transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business, among others.

His strength to deliver his promises is anchored on the application of human and financial resources and he is perceived as a thoroughbred due process person ready to obey the laws of the land.

Ihedioha has respect and regard for the elders of the state, sometimes misinterpreted as his godfathers, especially former governors, deputy governors, ministers and other past office holders and prominent politicians.

Much as he is a good listener, he is diplomatic speaking in public. As a technocrat, he is expected to stabilise the state and address the issues of non-regular and full payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.

OYO State governor-elect, Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde, an engineer, is a successful businessman and philanthropist with an enviable stint in the private sector.

His swearing-in on May 29 would be his first stint as public officer, having never held a political office or worked as a civil servant in the past.

But he is not a novice in the politics of the state, having taken his first shot in 2007, when he aspired to represent Oyo South in the National Assembly under the then All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), but lost to the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Senator Kamoru Adedibu.

That failed attempt did not deter him from forging ahead in the murky waters of politics, as after that election, he decamped to the PDP with a higher ambition of becoming the governor, but he lost the primaries under a controversial circumstances, forced him to join the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to realise his ambition. Again, luck did not smile at him in 2015, as APC’s Governor Abiola Ajimobi won the election for an unprecedented second term.

However, his journey to victory began in 2017 when the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led executive of the PDP visited him in Ibadan and encouraged him to return to the fold. His return did not only change the face of the party, but also led to a serious internal crisis that resulted in two factions holding parallel congresses in the state. Many members of the party, led by a former governor, Rasheed Ladoja, left the party in protest of Makinde’s control of the party.

But as fate would have it, everybody that left the party because of him returned with more people to work for his victory in an alliance that brought together the PDP, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and SDP, even as PDP won in 28 out of 33 councils, while APC won in five and ADP in one.

Born on December 25, 1969 to a teacher- turned accountant, the late Pa Olatubosun Makinde of Aigbofa Compound in Oja’ba, Ibadan, the governor-elect, a graduate of University of Lagos, has never been satisfied with the manner the economy of the state was being managed in the last seven and half years and believed it has more potentials, especially in agriculture and agro-processing that were not explored.

He became the face of opposition in the state by constantly criticising policies and programmes of current government, providing alternative opinions. When the government failed in payment of workers salaries, he pitched his tent with the workers and asked for total scrutiny of the finances of the state, querying its debt profile.

When students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomosho had issues with the governments of Oyo and Osun states, joint owners of the institution, over non-payment of workers salaries that caused industrial strikes for several months, Makinde became a voice supporting the hapless students and workers. Pensioners also had solace in him during their engagement of the government in their quest for a better welfare.

Makinde, who established his first oil and gas private business, called Makon Engineering and Technical Services (METS) at the age of 29 in 1997, after years experience in an international oil and gas companies, did his national service with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria and was later engaged as a pupil engineer. He served in different capacities, handling and partaking in several key projects between 1990 and 1992, when he worked as a field engineer (Eket Operations) for Rebold International Limited and later appointed as field manager.

His major policy thrust, as promised, is to revitalise the economy of the state and maximise the exploitation of its various potentials to create wealth, cultivate the private sector and improve the welfare of the populace, which he said, would generate revenue for the state and employment for the people.

Expectations are high and the people look up to him to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by allowing more private companies to play active roles in the economy and in providing infrastructure to the seemingly neglected communities.

Makinde would surely face a daunting task in surpassing Ajimobi’s record, especially in the area of worker’s welfare, and many residents expect him to work on provision of portable water and sanitation.

One of the major challenges Makinde would face is how to strike a balance among the three political parties and their governorship candidates that joined forces with the PDP to ensure his victory, such as Femi Lanlehin of ADC, Sharafadeen Alli of ZLP and SDP’s Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), with Ladoja standing as the arrowhead of the alliance.

But many believed he is competent to make good his campaign promises, as he told them that his mission of re-engineering the state is no longer a promise, but a task to be accomplished.

DESPITE the series of corruption allegations brought against him and the many detentions he suffered in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), PDP’s Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed was on Monday, March 24 declared Bauchi State governor-elect, defeating incumbent Governor Muhammed Abubakar of the ruling APC in the keenly contested election that ended with a supplementary election.

He was motivated to challenge the incumbent due to what he termed ‘below the average performance of the ruling party in the last four years.’

“We must take our land resource, tourism resource, agricultural capabilities, demonstration farms and animal farms, agricultural institutions, so that we can move the youth out of the streets.

“I will use Geographic Information System (GIS) to give level playing field to world-class investors from the East and the West and all parts of the country and I will create security in such a manner that investment would have security.”

Born on October 5, 1958 at Duguri Town in Alkaleri Council, Mohammed attended Duguri Primary School, Bauchi from 1965 to 1971, Government Secondary School, Bauchi, North East College of Art and Science between and 1977 and University of Maiduguri in 1979, graduating a degree in English Language.

He began his career as a journalist in the early 1980s, rose to the position of News Editor of the Mirage newspaper, Jos between 1982 and 1983 and had a stint as a News Reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN).

In 1984, he left journalism for civil service when he got employed as an administrative officer in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and was promoted and redeployed as principal administrative officer in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Presidency.

He was chief supplies officer, Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals from 1995 to 1997, rising to the position of assistant director in the Federal Ministry of Power and Steel in 1997, a position he held until 1999, when he was promoted deputy director/special assistant to the minister of Transport.

He discharged his functions in that capacity from 1999 to 2003 and following his hardwork and innovation, he was promoted as director of Administration, Nigerian Railway Corporation in 2003. By September that year, he became special assistant to the minister of Aviation and became director of Administration and Supplies, Nigerian Meteorological Agency in 2004.

He was elected senator on April 21, 2007 to represent Bauchi South.

During the impasse that trailed late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s medical vacation, Mohammed was the first senator to argue that Yar’Adua should be declared incapacitated to pave the way for the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to serve as acting President.

According to pundits, this did not go unnoticed, as Jonathan later appointed him as minister of FCT on July 2, 2011.

Bauchi State is second to Kano in ‘cult-like followership’ of President Muhammadu Buhari in the northwest and northeast; hence it became one of the battleground states in the governorship election.

AbdulRahaman AbdulRasak of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will on May 29 this year after his swearing in ceremony, be the sixth executive governor of Kwara state.

AbdulRasak, a son of the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from the defunct Northern region of Nigeria Folorunsho AbdulRasak, made his foray into the nation’s politics some 16 years ago by given his financial backings, under cover, to some political aspirants who are opposed to the recently dethroned political hegemony of the state, led by Dr Bukola Saraki.

The taciturn Governor elect, a native of Ilorin, the state capital, was unwilling to officially release his Resume to public according to one of his media aides who craved for anonymity. But AbdulRasak is said to be a very successful business man of his generation with his specialty in the area of Oil and Gas.

Notable among his siblings are: Dr Alimi AbdulRasak who once contested for the Governorship of the state in 1999 under the banner of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Khairat Gwadabe, nee AbdulRasak. The senior AbdulRasak eventually lost the elections to late Mohammed Lawal of the defunct All Progressives Congress (APP).

He was once quoted by Chief Wole Oke, a chieftain of the APC in Kwara as someone “who is not interested in the allocations of the state as he is stinkingly rich and contended”, but “he has a strong passion” for bringing the people and the state out of their present economic quagmire.

Besides, investigations by The Guardian during the peak of his electioneering campaigns, showed that he remained the only known citizen of the state who could arguably match Saraki money for money for the polls.

The kennel of his policies according to the former Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Kwara, Chief Rex Olawoye would be prompt fixation of alleged decayed infrastructure across the state.

Olawoye, now a strong leader of the APC in a chat in Ilorin said, “the soft spoken Governor elect is not in happy mood with the numerous decayed infrastructure in the state, especially in public schools, and government owned dispensaries and hospitals all over the state.”

He did not rule out rescusitation of major state’s owned moribund industries and facilitation of new ones citing the antecedent of the in coming Governor. Besides, he promised good road networks, water supply and employment opportunities for qualified youths among others.

One major development in the act of governance in the state polity is that perhaps this will be the first time in the modern history of Kwara that a Governor would emerge by the populist influence rather than that of ‘godfatherism’.

For the Governor-elect, he disclosed that he would run an all-inclusive government that would embrace everybody in the state, including members of the opposition.

According to AbdulRasak after Wednesday’s collection of his Certificate of Returns, “this state belongs to all. We don’t see anybody as opposition. It is Kwara for all. All hands must be on deck (to rebuild the state). This is a poor state and a lot of work has to be done. We will embrace everybody,” AbdulRazak said in Ilorin, the state capital.

He said the new administration has a lot of work to do to get the state back on its feet, calling on all Kwarans to support his government once he is inaugurated in the coming months.

“When you record a winning margin of 75 per cent as we did, it means that even those on the side of PDP voted for us. So we are going to ensure that we all work together. We are not going to label anybody. There are good people on the other side too,” he said.

“Our members will also be taken care of and our priority will be to rebuild our state. We need to get everyone together for the task ahead and move our state forward….We have a big task ahead of us but we will surmount the challenges ahead by the grace of God. Once again, we thank everyone who took part in the elections — either as officials or as voters.”

AbdulRazak also commended the electoral body, the security agencies and the voters for their patriotic roles while the exercise lasted.

He rated the elections in Kwara as the most peaceful and orderly, commending the security agencies for checkmating thuggery and potential violence in the state.

“I like to thank the INEC for providing a level playing field for all in the election. The election in Kwara was the best I have ever seen so far. The INEC was fair to all. I remember that we had many complaints…but at the end of the day, they were fair to all,” AbdulRazak said.

“As for the security agencies, I’m lost for words. This is the first election in this republic that no shot was fired by thugs and hooligans. We now see that with the right support, the security agencies can deliver on their mandate. When we are sworn in, we’ll give the right support to the security agencies to make sure that the state is secure. If you have a secure environment, you will have the right kind of investments. We’ll make sure things are done properly.”

Professor Babagana Umara Zullum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will officially become the face of Borno State from May 29, when he succeeds his mentor, outgoing Governor Kashim Shettima.

Zullum, who heads the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in the state since 2015, secured 1,175,440 votes to beat the candidate of the PDP, Mohammed Imam, who scored 66,115. The other contestants stepped down for him after the incumbent endorsed him as his favourite successor.

Zullum, who was handpicked and groomed by Shettima to take over from him, is a member of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). The first time governor disclosed last year that he used to be a commercial driver for about 16 years in order to sponsor his education.

Borno is one of the most volatile states in Nigeria and has been under attack from Boko Haram insurgents for over a decade. Some of the hundreds of female students who were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Borno five years ago are yet to secure their freedom. Several towns in the state have come under serious attack from insurgents, sacking some communities and rendering inhabitants homeless.

In the light of these, Zulum has promised to adopt practical measures to enhance security and fast track rebuilding and resettlement of communities ravaged by the insurgents.
Zulum says his administration would consolidate on the feat achieved by Shettima, according priority to the protection of lives and property, reconstruction and resettlement, infrastructure development and economic reform programmes. He has also promised to work on poverty reduction, job creation and agriculture transformation as well as enhancing access to quality education and health care services.

Speaking on his plan when sworn in as governor, he said, “I shall be willing to work with everyone, including those who contested with us. I believe that what works better is cooperation rather than confrontation. I will remain highly committed to building and improving on all the institutional gains already laid out by Governor Shettima, particularly his rebuilding and re-settlement drives.

“Our administration of continuity will place security of lives at the top of all priorities. After all, the number one essence of government is to secure lives and create an atmosphere where citizens are not only safe, but actually feel safe. We shall attach similar priority to the provision of infrastructure and rejuvenate the economy of the state. We will build the capacity of more youths and create more jobs for them. We will increase access to public health care, quality and affordable education. We will strengthen agriculture to create vast opportunities.”

Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya is also a first timer and the governor-elect of Gombe State. Running on the platform of the APC, he scored 364,179 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Usman Nafada, who polled 222,868 votes. Yahaya’s victory has ended the 16 years of PDP rule in the state. The party has been in power since 2003 when Muhammad Danjuma Goje wrested power from late Governor Abubakar Habu Hashidu of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

A graduate of accounting, he started his career as an Accountant II with the Bauchi State Investment and Property Development Company (BSIPDC) and rose to the rank of Principal Accountant and ventured into active politics in 2003 when he was appointed as Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development during Governor Muhammad Danjuma Goje’s administration, where he served for seven years.

During the years he served as a commissioner and member of the state executive council, he was in-charge of Budgetary Planning and Financial control of the state and chairman of the board of the Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited.

A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 governorship election in the state, he lost out to the incumbent who ran under the PDP before coming back again to contest for this year’s elections.

He says he has the capacity, ability and all it takes to improve on the lot of the state and its people, to provide good services and good leadership that would move the state forward; to catapult it from its current economic situation to the next level that would give them freedom, liberty, and peace.

Speaking on what would be the focus of his administration on assumption of office, Yahaya said, “Going by the way Gombe State has been somehow mismanaged in the last eight years, I will like to face the issues of education, health care delivery and security. If well addressed, these will help to uplift the people out of the present bondage to a better level.”

The incoming governor stated that he would engage more people in mechanised farming and other areas of agriculture and ensure high level of productivity among workers “in order to take Gombe State out of the shackles of underdevelopment.”

Former National Secretary of the APC and the party’s candidate in the March 9 governorship election in Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni a.k.a MMB is the new sherriff in Yobe State. Buni scored 444,013 votes to defeat the candidate of the PDP, Umar Iliya Damagum, who scored 95, 703 votes.

Mai Mala, a thorough party man and a grassroots politician, rose through the ranks to become the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative Matters, was the pioneer Chairman of the APC in Yobe State as well as the National Secretary of the party. Buni urged opposition parties in the state to join hands and move the state forward, reiterating his determination to justify the confidence reposed in him by people of the state.

He promised to work with all stakeholders and utilise his contacts at the state and national levels to sustain and deepen Gaidam’s developmental legacies for the betterment of the welfare of the citizenry.

“I want to thank you immensely for the confidence reposed in me and my election as governor and I promise to justify this confidence, make your choice a worthy investment and pledge to make our state the pride of all,” he said in his acceptance speech.

From the private sector to governance, governor-elect of Nasarawa State, Abdulahi Sule is an entrepreneur, businessman and politician, who served as a production engineer at the Jos Steel Rolling Mill Ltd, before rising to the post of principal production engineer, after which he left for the United States in 1989.

He returned to Nigeria in 2000, and along with some friends, started a company called Sadiq Petroleum Nigeria Limited in Lagos and was made the pioneer managing director/ CEO of the company.

Later, Sadiq Petroleum Company participated in the privatisation of African Petroleum Plc and won the bid. Upon acquisition of the 30 per cent ownership of the AP Plc, he was appointed the Executive Director, Operations of the AP in November 2000. On April 2, 2001, he was appointed by the board of the AP as the fourth MD/CEO. He served as a Director in IMB International Bank Plc, Ulti-Care Pharmaceutical and Chrismatel Holdings. He was also the Chairman of AP Oilfield Service Ltd and Partner in Star–AP Oilfield Services. Prior to his gubernatorial ambition in 2018, he was the Group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.

Sule has said his government would create job opportunities for the teeming youth across the 13 local government areas and 18 development areas in the state.

“My administration will be accountable to the people of the state and I will consolidate on the achievements recorded by the outgoing governor, Tanko Al-Makura,” he stated.