SPECIAL STORY: OLD AND NEW GOVERNORS

MID-WESTERN STATE GOVERNMENT

 

Military Governor:

Col. S.O. Ogbemudia

Secretary to the Military Govt:

Mr. J.E Imoukhuede

Permanent Secretary, Military Governor’s Office (Adm & Cab. Div):

Mr. W.J. Amukpe

 

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Commissioner:

Chief T.E.A. Salubi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.O. Ibuje

 

Ministry of Economic Development and Reconstruction:

Commissioner:

Mr. B.O.W. Maferi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. E. I. O. Akpata

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:

Mr. Tayo Akpata

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. D.P. Lawani

 

Ministry of Establishment:

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. P.O. Ofili

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:

Mr. Edwin Clark

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.O. Illebbey

 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Dr. J. Ebie

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.O. Ilebbey

 

Ministry of Home Affairs and Information:

Commissioner:

Mr. L.L. Borha

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. G.L. Iyamu

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner and

Attorney-General:

Chief J.M. Udoeni

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.B. Iyare

 

Ministry of Local Govt. and Chieftaincy Affairs:

Commissioner:

Mr. J.M. Eruaga

Permanent Secretary:

Dr. I.M. Okonjo

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry:

Commissioner:

Mr. O.P. Edodo

Permanent Secretary:

Dr. I.M. Okonjo

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry:

Commissioner:

Mr. O.P Edodo

Permanent Secretary:

Dr. I.M. Amadi Emina

 

Ministry of Works and Transport:

Commissioner:

Chief Frank Oputa Otutu

Permanent Secretary:

Mr.G.N.I. Onobakare

 

Ministry of Lands and Housing:

Commissioner:

Chief O.U.C. Mokwenye

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. I. Okwudiafor

  

WESTERN STATE GOVERNMENT

 

Military Governor:

Brigadier Oluwole Rotimi

Secretary to the military Government:

Mr. P.T. Odumosu

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:   

Mr. T.M. Aluko

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. H.S.A. Adedeji

 

Ministry of Economic Planning & Reconstruction:

Commissioner:   

Ladosu Ladapo

Permanent Secretary:

Chief Olubunmi Thomas

 

Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs

Commissioner:   

Dr. Lateef Adegbite

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. A.K. Degun

 

Ministry of Establishment and Training:

Commissioner:   

  1. Alawode

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.M. Akinola

 

Ministry of Home Affairs and Information:

Commissioner:   

Gabriel Fagbure

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. A. A. Ladimeji

 

Ministry of Trade and

Cooperatives:

Commissioner:   

L.A.D. Oyewo

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. B.A. Oduntan

 

Ministry of Industry:

Commissioner:   

Bayo Akinnola

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:   

Olanihun Ajayi

Permanent Secretary:

Mrs. Fola Ighodalo

 

Ministry of Health:

Commissioner:   

Dr. Adedewe Aderemi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. M.A. Ademosu

 

Ministry of Lands and Housing:

Commissioner:   

K.O. Akinlehin

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.O. Afolabi

 

Ministry of Works and Transport:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Josiah Babatola

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. F.A.O. Shoga

 

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Commissioner:   

Canon Josiah Akinyemi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. M.A. Akintomide

 

NORTH-WESTERN STATE

 

Military Governor:

Chief Superintendent Usman Faruk

Secretary  to the Military Government:

Alhaji A. K. Muhammed

Ministry of Agriculture:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Abubakar Tanau

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Hassan Lemu

 

Ministry of Works:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Umaru Nassarawa

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Hassan Lemu

 

Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Ibrahim Argungu

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Sulaiman Luman

 

Ministry of Health:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Ibrahim Tako

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Muhamadu Alkali

 

Ministry of Co-Operatives, Trade and Industry:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Abubakar Zukogi

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Idris Koko

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Mub. Bello

 

Ministry of Animal and Forest Resources:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Ahmadu Bawa

 

Ministry of Local Govt. and Social Development:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Umaru B. Audi

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Mohammadu Jega

 

Ministry of Justice:

Solicitor-General and Commissioner:

Mallam M. A. Sambo

 

BENUE-PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT

 

Military Governor:

Dep. Commissioner J. D. Gomwalk

Secretary  to the Military Government:

Mr.  Selcan Miner

 

Ministry of Establishment

Commissioner:

Mr. I. N. Shaahu

Ag. Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. Hammation

 

Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement:

Commissioner:

Mr. D. H. Tyungu

 

Ministry of Special Duties:

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. F. G. Rogers

Commissioner for Boundaries and Permanent Secretary:

Mr. B. C. J. Stafford

Permanent Secretary, Greater Jos Planning:

Mr. S. D. Shemu

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:

Mr. O. A. Onazi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. D. Dankaro

 

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Information:

Commissioner:

Mr. D. P. Ashu

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Yahaya Kwande

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:

Mr. H. S. Gogwim

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. E. Freeman

 

Ministry of  Justice:

Commissioner:

Mr. J. O. Orshi

 

Ministry of Works:

Commissioner:

Mr. B. Dusu

Ag. Permanent Secretary:

Mr. V. G. Sanda

 

Ministry of Health:

Commissioner:

Mr. Smith Shammah

Ag. Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji M. B. Ibrahim

 

Ministry of Natural Resources and Co-operatives:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Yahaya Sabo

Permanent Secretary:

Malam Abdu Abubakar

 

Ministry of Local Government

Commissioner:

Alhaji Muhammadu Wada

Ag. Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. M. Samchi

 

Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Mr. V. T. Shirsha

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry:

Commissioner:

Malam M. E. Damulak

Permanent Secretary:

Malam M. Damulak

 

NORTH-EASTERN STATE

 

Military Governor:

Col. Musa Usman

Secretary to the Military Government: 

Alhaji Muhammadu Monguno

Permanent Secretary

Shehu Awak

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Muhammadu Baba Ardo

Permanent Secretary:

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Yakubu Lame,

Sarkin Yakin Bauchi

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Abubakar Umar

 

Ministry of Works and Survey:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Muhammadu Gujbawu

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Haruna Godowoli

 

Ministry of Natural Resources:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Muhammadu Mai

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam A.J.K. G. Imam

 

Ministry of Animal Health and Forest Reserve:

Commissioner:  

Mr. Azi Nyako

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Muh Sabo

 

Ministry of Education & Community Development:

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Ibrahim Biu,

Commissioner for Education

Alhaji Yerima Balla,

Commissioner for Community Development:

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Mohammadu Sabo

 

Ministry of Health & Social Welfare:

Commissioner:   

Dominic Mapeo

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Bello Kirfi

 

Ministry of Economic Planning, Trade & Industry

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Muhammadu Mahdi

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Yaya Abubakar

 

Ministry of Home Affairs and Information:

Commissioner:

Mr. E.B. Mamiso

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Isa Mele

 

Ministry of Establishments and Training:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Dauda Belel

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam A. Baba Gana

 

EAST CENTRAL STATE

 

Administrator:

Ukpabi Asika

 

Secretary  to the Government:

Mr. J. O. Ibeziako

 

Ministry of Finance

Commissioner:

Dr. Ukwu I. Ukwu

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. M. E. P. Udebiuwa

 

Ministry of Establishment:

Commissioner:

Dr. L. O. Obibuaku

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. S. C. A. Nwapa

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry: 

Commissioner:

Mr. M. N. Elechi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. O. F. Obi

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner and Attorney-General:

Mr. P. Nnaemeka Agu

Permanent Secretary and

Solicitor-General:

Mr. R. Okagbue

 

Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport:

Commissioner:

Mr. Dan Ibekwe

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. G. O. Ugah

 

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Commissioner:

Mr. Z. O. Dibiaezue

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. G. O. Ugwuh

 

Ministry of Economic Development and Reconstruction:

Commissioner:

Mr. D. C. O. Njemanze

Permanent Secretary:

Dr. E. O. Iwagwe

 

Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development:

Commissioner:

Mrs. Flora Nwakuche

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. V. A. Aniagoh

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:

Dr. Magnus C. Adiele

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. B. O. Ajoku

 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Mr. S. G. Ikoku

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. B. O. Odinamadu

 

Ministry of Information and Home Affairs:

Commissioner:

Mr. C. A. Abangwu

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. R. M. C. Chukwura

 

LAGOS STATE

 

Military Governor:

Colonel Mobolaji Johnson

 

Principal Secretary to Military Government:

Mr. Howson-Wright

 

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Ishawu Adewale

Perm. Secretary:

Mr. F.C.O. Coker

 

Ministry of Justice:

Attorney-General:

Tajudeen Oki

Perm.Secretary and Solicitor-General:

Alhaji I.O. Agoro

 

Ministry of works and Transport:

Commissioner:    

Dr. Omotayo Adio Seriki

Perm. Secretary:

Mr. N. Folarin Coker

 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu

Perm. Secretary:

Dr. O.A. Soboyejo

 

Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs:

Perm. Secretary:

Mr. A.A. Amusa

 

Ministry of Information:

Commissioner:  

Mr. M.A. Badmus

 

Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Johnson Agiri

Perm. Secretary:

Alhaji F.A. Durosimi-Etti

 

KWARA STATE

 

Military Governor:

Col. David Bamigboye

Secretary  to the Military Government:

Alhaji Liman Umaru

 

Ministry of Finance

Commissioner:

Mr. J. O. Obaro

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. A. Aderibigbe

 

Ministry of Local Government and Community Development:

Commissioner:

Mr. J. A. Ogbeha

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. A. Aje

 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Haliru Dantoro

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. O. Mejabi

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:

Alhaji S. S. Amego

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam Yakubu Gobir

 

Ministry of Work

Commissioner:

Alhaji Timada Pategi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J. E. Ataguba

 

Ministry of Home Affairs:

Commissioner:

Mallam Isa Ameadaji

 

Ministry of Establishment

Commissioner:

Mr. E. O. Bandele

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry

Commissioner:

Mr. Tunde Oyeleke

Ministry of Justice

Solicitor-General and

Permanent Secretary:

Mallam M. B. Belgore

 

 

RIVERS STATE CABINET

 

Military Governor:

Lt.-Comdr. A.P.Diete-Spiff

 

Secretary to the Military Government:

Mr. W.E. Tienabeso

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. S.D. Eke-Spiff

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:   

Dr. L.B. Ekpebu

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. B.A. Emman-Pepple

 

Ministry of Health:

Commissioner:   

Mr. N. Nwanodi

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. Ekeuku Wokocha

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner:  

Mr. C.D. Orike

(Comm. And Attorney-General)

Permanent Secretary:

 

Ministry of Information:

Commissioner:   

Mr. K. B. Tsaro-Wiwa

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. F. J. Ellah

 

Ministry of Trade & Industry:

Commissioner:  

Chief Emman Oriji

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. A. Zaifu

 

Ministry of Establishment:

Commissioner:  

Chief S.F. Kombo-Igbota

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. A.K.Hart

 

Ministry of Economic Development and Reconstruction:

Commissioner:   

Dr. Obi Wali

 

Ministry of Lands and Housing:

Commissioner:  

Mr Oluka Ngei

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. A. Abbey

 

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Commissioner:  

Chief Roland Dappa-Biriye

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. J.N. Dambo

 

Ministry of Education

Commissioner:   

Mr. Melford Okilo

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. I. Fetebigi

 

Ministry of Works and Transport:

Commissioner:  

Dr. T.M. Akobo

 

KANO STATE CABINET

 

Military Governor:

Police Commissioner Audu Bako

Secretary to the Military Government: 

Mallam A. Howeidy

 

Ministry of Co-operatives and Community Development:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Tanko Yakasai

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Tukor Gwarzo

 

Ministry of Home affairs:

Commissioner: 

Alhaji Sanni Gezawa

Permanent Secretary: 

Alhaji Husaini Adamu

 

Ministry of Finance

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Umaru Gummerl

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. R.O. A. Mant

 

Ministry of Economic Planning and Development

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Baba Danbappa

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Isa Gombo Dutse

 

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Commissioner:   

Mallam Muhammadu Inuwa Dutse

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. R.B. Woodroofe

 

Ministry of Works and Survey

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Magajin Yari

Permanent  Secretary:

Alhaji Salihi Iliyasu

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Muhtari, Sarkin Bai

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Musa Gumel

 

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:   

Alhaji Audu Bako

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Muhammadu Ibrahim

 

Ministry of Establishment:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Muhammadu Ganyama

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Muhammadu Sule

Mijibir

 

Ministry of Justice

Solicitor-General and

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Sani

 

NORTH CENTRAL STATE CABINET

 

Military governor:

Col. Abba Kyari

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:

Miss O. M. Miller

Permanent Secretary

Dr. I. A. Atta

 

Ministry of Works and Survey:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Nuhu  Bamali

Permanent secretary:

Alhaji Armiya’u

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner: 

Alhaji Umaru Dikko

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Abbas Dabo Sambo

 

Ministry of Animal and Forest Resources:

Commissioner:

Alhaji Haruna Daura

 

Ministry of Home Affairs

Commissioner: 

Mallam Ibrahim Nock

 

Ministry of Local Government & Community Development:

Commissioner: 

Malam Tagwai Sambo

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Moh Samaila

 

Ministry of Education

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Hassan R.’Dadi

Permanent Secretary:

Malam Machido Daihat

 

Ministry of Agricultural

Resources:

Commissioner: 

Alhaji Muhammadu D’Malam

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji M. I. Sumaila

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner and

Attorney- General:

Alhaji Muh Nasir

 

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Uthman Ladan Baki

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Sani Daura

 

Ministry of Information & Public Enlightenment:

Commissioner:  

Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura

Permanent Secretary:

Alhaji Gidado Idris

 

SOUTH-EASTERN STATE CABINET

 

Military Governor:

Brigadier U. J. Esuene

 

Secretary to the Military Government:

Mr. M.O. Ani

 

Ministry of Home Affairs and Social Welfare:

Commissioner:  

Chief Lovis Orok Edet

Permanent Secretary:

A. Udoh

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Commissioner:   

Mr. M. A. Eyo

Permanent Secretary:

E E. Monjok

 

Ministry of Health:

Commissioner:   

Chief MacDonald Odey Ogar

Permanent Secretary:

U. Essien

 

Ministry of Education:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Emmjanuel Essien

Permanent Secretary:

Mr. Francis Archibong

 

Ministry of Survey and Town Planning

Commissioner:

Chief Bassey Urua Ukpong

Permanent Secretary:

A.U. Usoro

 

Ministry of Trade and Industry

Commissioner:   

Mr. E.O. Ngius

Permanent Secretary:

G.A. Daniel

 

Ministry of Economic Development and Reconstruction:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Joseph Agba

Permanent Secretary:

E. Akpan

 

Ministry of Development and Administration:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Samuel Esong Ecoma

Permanent Secretary:

S.B.E. O. Etim

 

Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs:

Commissioner:   

Chief Anthony George Umoh

Permanent Secretary:

U.B Ugot

 

Ministry of Finance:

Commissioner:   

Mr. Denis Silas Udo-Inyang

Permanent Secretary:

E.C.D. Abia

 

Ministry  of Works and Transport:

Commissioner:   

Mr.S.J. Umoren

Permanent Secretary:

A.H Ikwang

 

Ministry of Justice:

Commissioner and Attorney-General: Mr. Vincent Uwemedimo

Permanent Secretary:

A.M. Ukot

Chairman, Public Service

Commission:

  1. U. Odey

Secretary, Public Service

Commission:

E.D. Andrew Jaja

 

The Governor had come upon his billions by chance, because in Nigeria, politics is a lucrative business.

It happened this way: he had won an election through dishonest means and had been sworn in as the state governor. He immediately started a fratricidal war with the party leadership and forcefully emerged the only lion in the state’s political jungle.  The party chairman, for fear of seeing all his efforts dissolved into nothingness, succumbed and became one of the governor’s boys; he was too glad to be appointed a Special Adviser without portfolio.

From there on, the governor chose his cabinet, full of his boys, having been fastidious about whom he selected: none was more educated, even when he himself had run out of a higher institution in his first year and paraded fake certificates to secure nomination; none was wiser, even when his own ignorance was unparalleled. Having secured the compliance and complaisance of civil servants and surrounding himself with habitual sycophants, the governor then sat down to ‘eat’ from the labour of others.

The money came from Abuja, N3bn to N5bn every month. There was the Internally Generated Revenue and the share of the Excess Crude Oil. In all, more than N8bn got to him every month! What do we do with this money? The governor asked himself.  There and then, his ingenuity at pilfering came to fore: The office of the First Lady was created, then there were Special Advisers to the governor, most especially, the one on special duties, who arranged everything that couldn’t be made public. But in this line, the money-spinning machine was called ‘security vote.’

Thank God this was happening in Nigeria, for if it were in other clime, contractors of this governor should have been shot, hanged or slaughtered. They were the ones who taught the governor that whenever they quoted N2bn for any project, he should be rest assured that half of the money belonged to him.  Having learnt this, the governor became wild, demanding the same cut from any state project.

And the governor had a friend. The friend now had a project. A project that could help the state grow. He went to his friend the governor, who so much liked it and he would execute it he promised.  The second day, The Special Adviser on Special Duties called the friend: The Governor had instructed me to handle your project, sir.

A meeting was quickly fixed and the friend came with files and documents. The Special Adviser had little time for intellectual discourse; all he wanted was to know how much the project would cost. In all, this project will cost N175m, and I can assure you, the state shall make at least N500m in return, the friend announced.

The SA responded, no, no, our state is not a state where we do things half-measured. Whatever we do is of international standard. For this project, I cannot present this amount to my governor. We would make it N250m, and it is your responsibility to give us a world-class. He promised to see the governor and a follow-up meeting was slated for the following week.

They met again. The Governor had accepted. He would release part of the money immediately the state got its monthly allocation. Then, the bombshell from the Special Adviser: There must be something I have to tell you, Sir. You will sign for N500m, though you will only receive N250m. The Governor’s friend glared at the SA, and said in his mind: “What!” Sensing trouble that could rear its head from misunderstanding, the SA alertly added: “The N250m is not for me, it is for His Excellency. This is how we do our things here.

The friend found his voice: But the governor is my friend; he would have told me if he wanted it this way. “No,” said the SA, “the Governor will not come down so low to discuss this with you. I have told him already.” And the governor’s friend became nonplused. He managed to finish the meeting and left. When he got outside of the SA’s office, he ran, murmuring: EFCC, ICPC; EFCC, ICPC. The project was a still-born.

Another friend of the Governor was not that lucky. His friend the governor, had wanted to computerise Ifa and he consulted him, being a scholar and an Ifa priest. The Special Adviser appeared again: The governor instructed me to handle your project, Sir. And it went the same way. The don calculated all he needed for the project with a small margin, all amounting to N15 million. “Oh, no,” said the SA, “We have a standard here, it is called international standard. This project will cost N150m, it is for you to make it a world class.”

The first meeting was over. It was during the second meeting that the other part of the bargain got revealed: We are going to give you N150m, but you shall sign for N350m, that half is for the Governor. When the governor has taken his share, you can now give us, I mean the boys, whatever you deem fit.”

Things were moving at a pace the governor’s friend could not direct anymore. He was asked to open an account, at a specified bank. The same day he opened the account he was asked to collect a part payment for the project: N200m. He collected the cheque and paid it in. Later that evening, the SA called: That money is for the governor, but we will soon get you the balance.” The SA followed the don to the bank where the whole money was transferred into an account in the same bank.

Two weeks later, the SA called again, the don should write a letter to the governor asking for another N100m to hasten the completion of the project. He wrote. Then he was called again, the N100m was ready. But he could not still take out of it for the project, since he had charged N15m for the job. The governor in his magnanimity had approved that his friend be given N50m. It then meant that any money collected after the last hundred belonged to the don.

The problem was that no money was released again, and no Ifa was computerised. Till date, the don lives in fear that he may be one day invited to come and defend the N300m he collected from  government.

That was the life of our governors.  This is what happens in all the states of the federation. And this is how your money is being stolen. These governors appropriate your money through dubious contractors handling some so-called capital projects through the wasteful office of the first lady who was not elected or appointed by anybody and the offices of advisers who factually have nothing special to advise on.

In 1972, Nigeria had only 12 states, administered by only the governors and their commissioners. No Chief of Staff, no Special Advisers, no Senior Special Assistants, no Special Assistants, Though the governors were married, there were no First Ladies, except governors’ wives, because all these are euphemism for stealing.

Colonel Abba Kyari was the governor of the North Central State and he had 11 commissioners with whom he ran the state. Today, the old state is now divided into two: Kaduna and Katsina states. While Kaduna has 23 commissioners and 22 Special Advisers, Katsina has over 40 members of the executive. And you can never be able to count their special assistants and senior special assistants. Of course, this does not include the offices of the first ladies. So, the old North Central State ruled by about 20 people is now governed by over 500 people.

Also in 1972, there was the East Central State. J. A. Ukpabi Asika was the Administrator and he had 11 commissioners to work with him. Remember, no first lady and no advisers to the governor on frivolities. Today, the state is made of Anambra, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo. Among the governors here, Rochas Okorocha and his counterpart in Akwa Ibom are on top having jointly appointed over 100 special assistants apart from their commissioners and special advisers. And it will be on record that the state Asika governed with about 20 others is today being ruled by over 3,000 personnel.

Brigadier Oluwole Rotimi was the Governor of Western Region. He had 12 commissioners. Today, the state has become Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti. However, there is a difference here: the governors are so smart that despite the fact that they do the same thing as their colleagues in other states, they cleverly use the media, human rights groups and others to convince the populace that they are the new saints in town and Awo’s reincarnation.

Whereas their first ladies gad around, they shall be the first to condemn their opponent’s wife when she too, in the garb of first lady, gallivants about. You will be lucky to know the number of their commissioners and special advisers but what you should not look for, because you will not find it, just like a needle that drops into the ocean, is the number of their special or ordinary assistants. It can be conservatively approximated however, that the state governed by Oluwole Rotimi in 1972 with about 25 others is today being administered by over 2,500 people.

Benue Plateau State had J D Gomwalk as the governor with 13 commissioners. Now, the state has become Benue, Nassarawa and Plateau. Here in Plateau State, where Jona Jang holds sway, could serve as a template. Apart from his commissioners, he has 20 special advisers. And as if that is not enough, to ensure that the state is well run and that the whole thing be made a family affair, he took his son, Yakubu and appointed him as S.A. Thus, a state once ruled by about 25 officials now ruled by over 2,000 officfials.

There used to be old Rivers State governed by Lt.-Comdr. A. P. Diete-Spiff. Now, the state has been divided into two: Rivers and Bayelsa. One of the states, Bayelsa came on world map in 2006, when its governor was arrested in London for trying to smuggle stolen public money into the United Kingdom. He was Diepriye Alamieyeseigha. He outwitted the Britons by allegedly dressing like an African lady and vamoosed. His successors were not all that different, his deputy, now the President, was once accused, while the one that had just left office is having it rough with the EFCC. There are many Special Advisers and numerous Senior Special Assistants in the two states that you could assume that the old Rivers State that had about 20 officials now bristles with over 2,000 staffers, all in the name of an oil producing state.

In 1972, Colonel Musa Usman was the Governor of North Eastern State. This state has now become Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. And if there is a competition for absurdity in governance and no rigging or bribery, the trophy should go to the old North Eastern State governed by Usman with 10 commissioners. This is where Muritala Nyako of Adamawa State has four wives and all are first ladies so that a family problem doesn’t affect governance. And to demonstrate his love for his people, he has 15,000 Senior Special Assistants. He beat Yuguda of Bauchi to his own game, for he was the one who earlier surprised the world by appointing over one thousand aides and outsmarted Kashim Shettima who has about a hundred aides.  And it goes that a state once ruled by about 20 people is now controlled by over 20,000 political office holders.

Colonel Samuel Ogbemudia was the governor of Mid-Western State  now Edo and Delta. Both states made world record when the former Governor of Edo, Lucky Igbinedon, became so unlucky and was jailed for stealing. He quickly surrendered part of the stolen loot and with some prominent members of the society supporting his kleptomania, for his father is very rich and the son did not need to steal anything, he was able to walk home. His twin brother in government, James Ibori of Delta, was not that fortunate. He is in a British prison. Why? He stole money! Today, the two states paraded over 2,000 commissioners, SAs, Special Assistants and the offices of the First Ladies function like a beehive. That was a state once governed by Sam Ogbemudia and 12 commissioners.

The old Kano State was administered in 1972 by Police Commissioner Audu Bako with 11 commissioners. It was later broken into two: Kano and Jigawa. With over 2,000 aides in these states, the governors have surpassed the story of Audu’s moderation.  And to show how irresponsible most of these appointees could be, Sule Lamido of Jigawa had to lock some of his commissioners and Special Advisers out, because they had become incurable late comers. What could they do? There was hardly anything for them to do in the office. So what is the essence of arriving early.

Lagos remains Lagos, although a bit extended. Mobolaji Johnson was the Governor and he had eight commissioners. Today’s Lagos 21 commissioners, about 16 special advisers and numerous special assistants. The office of the First Lady remains very active, but there are many other offices you may not be able to analyse with specifics. Why this? The state is not called Eko for Show just for the fun of it: the more you look, the less you see.

The old North-Western State was ruled by Chief Superintendent of Police Usman Faruk. The state had 11 commissioners but today, it has  balkanised and four new states created: Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara. While these states have over 300 commissioners and special advisers, not less than 2,000 are in various political appointments. And it would remain recorded that a state that was governed by Usman Faruk and about 25 others now has over 2,500 personnel running its affairs.

The South Eastern State was changed to Cross River State, though now about one-third of what it used to be. In 1972, the state was under Brigadier U. J. Esuene, who ran it with 12 commissioners. Presently in the state, Liyel Imoke has 28 commissioners and 30 advisers. Those are the ones you can count; you may not know the number of the special assistants and the senior special assistants, not to talk of the First Lady and her retinue.  In all you may hazard here, about 1,000 political appointees are helping Imoke to run his state, where once, a 20-man cabinet called the shots.

The old Kwara is now Kwara and Kogi states. In 1972, Colonel David Bamigboye administered it with 11 commissioners. With about 19 commissioners, 11 special advisers, 11 senior special assistants and 36 special assistants, Kwara is not doing badly afterall, Kogi has 60 aides outside the commissioners’ list. But there are many officials hidden, most especially when it comes to personal assistants as different from special assistants. The two states would have not less than 1,000 political and sinecure appointees. And retired Bamigboye would be green with envy whenever he meets the convoy of one of these governors or more humiliating, one of the First Ladies.

This was where the problems of Nigeria started. A country that was once run by less than 300 people is now being ruled by over 100,000 politicians. Every official must use a car or two; he must live  in government accommodation or have the government to pay; free food and electricity in some cases. In fact, government will pay for everything and yet, none can do without stealing when the opportunity comes. And when it is recalled that these people are outside the civil service, it can then be imagined what Nigeria has got itself into.

This is why up to 87 per cent of income in some states is spent on salaries and perks, while only 13 per cent is left for social services. Then it is predictable and that is to say if it continues this way, with their own hands and what actions come there from Nigeria politicians will kill the country! God forbid!

 

 

THE STORY OF POLICE COMMISSIONER GOMWALK:

THE GOVERNOR OF BENUE PLATEAU

 

The story of Mr. Joseph Deshi Gomwalk is now going to be related to answer some questions.

Many people will always say with assertion that the administrators of old were also corrupt and some ask the same question repeatedly: Are you saying past governors are not corrupt? Even in UK or US, they are also very corrupt. Or is the word “corruption” from our own language!

Let the truth be told, the answer to these questions is in the affirmative but the difference, however, is that in those days, corrupt officials were in the minority as against today, where they are in the majority. Everybody wants to be in politics because they want to be in government, since government is the booming business; it is where you steal more than what you need and the more you steal the more accolades you get, even from those whose money was stolen.

Gomwalk was one of the bad eggs of those days who he started well, but ended badly.  He was the governor of Plateau State, the state of the Head of State, Major General Yakubu Gowon. He was the first governor of the state and had been ruling it since 1967 before trouble came knocking in 1974. He came out of it bruised all over and never survived the stupor.

His journey into ruins had started smoothly:  In 1971, a company was registered; as Benue-Plateau Construction Company (BEPCO). There was nothing wrong in this, since the company came on board at a time serious construction work was going on and government was looking for indigenous outfit to take over from foreign ones.

But there was something sinister about this. The directors of BEPCO were too close to the governor. The chairman, Alexander Fom was an uncle of his and the director of Administration of the company was Jonathan Deshi Gomwalk, another elder brother of the governor. And when Jonathan took this job in Jos, he was still the personnel manager of Kaduna Textile Limited.

There was another company: Voteniski Limited, also a construction company. Good for the state to have another big firm like this to handle its construction works. But something was also wrong. There was a woman in the employment of Voteniski, a very senior official for that matter. And she was the wife of Clement Gomwalk , another brother of the governor. But no one knew this, for it was cleverly hidden from the public.

Then, there came the rain of contracts on BEPCO: N120,000 to build a block of flats for senior staff and the company was given the contract to build four. It would also build the state secretariat valued at about N5m. wa well as the Staff Training Centre on Bukuru Road, Jos and the Federal Government low cost houses.

That was not all: Voteniski was also having a field day. It got the contracts to construct the Laafia-Shedam and Makurdi-Yender roads for N8.2m. To demonstrate the eagerness of the Gomwalk government to build the roads, it paid Voteniski N2m even when the company had not moved to the site of construction. And other contractors in the state began to wonder, where the strength of these two companies were. Not too long, they got what they were looking for.

They now knew that the husband of a Helen at Voteniski was Clement, the brother of the governor, and that this same Clement was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health as well as one of those sitting at Tenders’ Board to approve the state contracts. What could a husband not discuss with his wife at night? This was the advantage Voteniski had over other construction companies of the time.

Then, they discovered, to their chagrin, that BEPCO was another name for Gomwalk family business. His brother, his uncle and others that had connection with the governor were on the board of directors. That was why contracts were pouring in, and again, BEPCO was building a house for the governor at Pankshin at a cost of N26,000. No one believed the governor was paying for the building.

With all these facts, a Gboko-based businessman, Mr. Appolos Aper Aku, who later became the elected governor of Benue State in 1979, swore to an affidavit, listing allegations at the Jos High Court on Saturday, August 31, 1974. There he swore that the Benue-Plateau Construction Company was formed with an authorised capital of about N6,000. It meant the company should not be dancing around the club of millionaire contractors within so short a period.

The news went out like a wild fire and the governor was caught unawares. However, he ignored the noise, pretending to be too busy with the work o f the state. And because he must not be disturbed as a governor, he ordered the arrest of Aper Aku. That was a costly mistake. For there came a lot of clamouring for probe and the governor could not pretend to be deaf or dumb. The governor must speak; since even the deaf had their way of speaking.

Then he came out live, fuming:  “All road contracts carried out in Benue-Plateau were done at rock-bottom prices.  If I had wanted to amass improperly, I would not bother to bring down the costs to rock bottom and save the tax payers’ every penny under my government’s care. I would have, if I were corrupt, allowed the inflation of costs in order to have my ‘cuts’ from the contractors.”

Those were some of the explanations from Mr. Gomwalk to the charges of wrongdoings levelled against him. With a calculating pre-emptive step, he wrote to Yakubu Gowon, assuring him that nothing was wrong in his state. But the noise would not go away, because  Aper Aku had been detained and his wife had gone to the High Court to secure his release.

While the governor was trying to browbeat his way out of trouble, it came to the open that he had something to do with BEPCO. He was indebted to the company having contacted it to build a house for him, as he said, on credit. And that his brothers were directors. He claimed he was not told by his brothers before the company was registered, but the press refused to swallow that.

When the problem refused to go, the Head of State summoned the governor to Lagos. Gomwalk explained to Gowon and the latter trying to run from national opprobrium came out to defend him, saying governor had explained to me and I am satisfied with his explanation. Even at that, the matter would not go and the governor was already a marked man.

He had been harshly reprimanded by the Head of State and was warned to quickly disengage himself from the company. It was the time Gowon was compiling the names of corrupt governors in his administration that he realised that Gomwalk conveniently made the list.

The governor was busy disposing most of the illegally acquired wealth when the regime was swept away and most of his properties were seized, while he was ignobly dismissed from the police force.

Less than a year after he was sacked, Gomwalk’s name was mentioned in the coup that killed Murtala Muhammed. He was arrested, tried and condemned to death. Were it not for his bad record of corruption, he might have been given a second chance. But his antecedents spoke volumes and he was shot along with the others.

The disgrace and tragic end of Gomwalk and people of his ilk served as deterrent to others in those days and most government officials stayed away from corruption. It was the difference between the old and the new, for today’s men in power steal with impunity and nothing thereafter will happen to them. Everyone is now involved and nothing is in place to stop them.

On September 2, 2004, the former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye brought a blot to the nation from far away London.  He was arrested there at Marriot Hotel, where he was enjoying life to the fullest. There had been large scale credit card fraud, and investigation had led the Metropolitan Police to Joshua Chibi Dariye in his hotel.

Dariye had been suspended from office as the governor of Plateau State on May 18, 2004 when the President declared a state of emergency there. It was because of the ethno-religious crisis rocking the state to which the governor had no answer. He was accused of junketing around while his state was on fire, and for this, he was relieved. But rather than remaining at the state to help solve the problem, he moved to London to live it up.

When the police stormed the hotel, he had £80,000 cash on him, while his personal assistant, Christabel  Mary Bantu, had another £50,000 in her own room. The police picked him up and after a thorough examination, his account showed that there was a lodgment of a whopping £2m. And Joshua Dariye had no job or anything that could bring him such money in London. Pronto, he was arrested and the news flashed at home.

Because he was a serving governor and it was known in London that Nigerian governors enjoyed certain immunity while in office and because they had never treated such a case before, the Metropolitan Police allowed Dariye to go on bail, but to stay around for the case to come up in court.

Dariye won’t have that; he quickly packed his bag and baggage, jumped bail and left London for good. He never returned again, even when they sentenced his collaborator, Joyce Oyebanjo.

Back home, a lot of pressure came down on Obasanjo to return Dariye to his seat as the governor. Obasanjo agreed because he had his own plan. All he wanted was for the governor to return and his impeachment immediately arranged. But once the governor came back, it became very difficult to get him out.  The court would not have that and the legislators were in his support.

By the time Obasanjo would be able to break the ranks of the members of the House of Assembly; it was already in November 2006, some few months for him to leave office. On November 13, he was impeached and many thought he would not return, well his tenure was already speeding towards the west.

But Dariye did not think that way. He found a method of dodging the EFCC and other agents of the state looking for him, yet he was in court to challenge his impeachment. On  March 8, 2007, the Supreme Court returned Dariye, saying he should not have been impeached in the first place.

Since election was very near and Obasanjo himself was on his way out, Dariye circumvented the web of intrigues around him again, kept silent and allowed time to heal his political wound. Between 2007 and 2011, Dariye survived all intricacies. To some, he was politically dead, waiting to be buried in any of the prisons around.

But that would not happen. As the 2011 election approached, Dariye took a relatively unknown party to his people and he defeated all other big names in other big parties to become a federal senator. And in May last year, he became a member of the Senate, courtesy of his people’s vote.

The London Police continued to claim that Dariye has a case to answer, but Dariye always laughed it off. Who will go to the conclave of the hallowed chamber and arrest a Nigerian Senator! It is a mission impossible. And Dariye would not go to London. To go and do what! So, case closed.

If with the disgrace Dariye brought to the nation he could not be impeached and tried and after leaving the office he could still roam the streets for four years and eventually found his way to the Senate, the nation will never win the war against corruption.

That is the difference between the old and new,  where the administrator of the past abhored stealing the peoples’ money and tried to run away from corruption, the politicians of today embrace graft, deceit and fraud. But so unfortunately, the hapless people embrace politicians for their money and no one knows where and how it will end.

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