As May 29, 2023 draws closer, state governors who lost their senatorial bids or did not contest for any elective positions are in search for new jobs.
9 APC governors eye Tinubu’s cabinet Masari rules out serving as minister — Wike, Isiaku plan to be political ‘godfathers’ as other PDP govs weigh options.
While some governors of the opposition People’s Democratic Party had hoped their party who win the presidential election, the defeat of Atiku Abubakar at the February 25, 2023 has left them with low job prospects in government.
In the ruling All Progressives Congress however, even Governor Matalwalle who lost his reelection bid to PDP’s Dauda Lawal is hopeful that will be a member of President-elect Bola Tinubu’s cabinet when the latter is inaugurated into office on May 29.
The Zamfara governor, it was learnt is even spending more time in Abuja than Gusau in the hopes of securing a place in the next administration.
Matawalle’s Special Adviser on Media, Zailani Baffa, told our correspondent that the lost of the governorship race in Zamfara is not a deterrent for Matawalle. The governor, he said, “has always been a politician and is ready to serve Nigeria at whatever capacity. Who ever says he is retiring from politics does not wish him well.”
The Eaglesforesight had gathered that no fewer that eight outgoing governors of the APC are banking on Tinubu, the winner of the presidential election, to reciprocate the support they gave him at the polls with ministerial nominations. Added to the list of eight governors is Kayode Fayemi who only recently left office as Ekiti State governor.
The other governors are those of Plateau, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Cross River and Kano. And in the case of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, The Eaglesforesight learnt that he is still in shock over the lost of the governorship election to NNPP and the loss his son suffered at the National Assembly election. Since the APC were defeated, the governor has been saying very little.
The exception is Governor Aminu Bello Masari has repeatedly said he intends to focus on philanthropy after leaving office. The governor launched his Aminu Masari Youth Empowerment Foundation (AMAYEF), recently saying the Foundation is meant to assist people with special needs and empower physical challenge persons including free medical services rendered to people.
“As the journey towards 2023 is getting closer, I chose to make my retirement from public office simple and memorable by identifying with the needs and aspirations of the youth and the less privileged in our society. That is what the foundation is all about.”
Some governors are however not willing to lobby Tinubu for cabinet positions believing they have already played their part. In response to questions from our correspondent, the Jigawa state governor, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, through his media aide, Malam Habibu Nuhu Kila said he is still a serving governor of the state and can’t talk about future.
He said, “My future is in the hand of God and you know I believe in destiny, what ever Almighty Allah chooses for me, I will accept it.”
Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna insists that it is the president-elect, Bola Tinubu that is pressuring him not to go into retirement. The governor had recently hinted he would be retiring from public service.
A political loyalists of the governor who does not want to be mentioned; however told LEADERSHIP Sunday that El-Rufai has been penciled down for an appointment at the federal level by the incoming administration of Tinubu.
El-Rufai’s close ally did not specify the nature of the expected appointment.
The governor, whose eight year tenure will end May 29, did not contest for senate or any elective position in the just concluded 2023 general election.
Tinubu, when he was still the presidential candidate of the APC pleaded with El-Rufai during the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADInvest) held October last year in Kaduna not to retire from public service.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi was one of the few APC governors that contested for a senatorial seat. He lost the contest to ex-governor, Muhammad Adamu Aleiro and is now reportedly planning to work with the new government at the federal level.
Our correspondent gathered yesterday that as chairman of progressive governors’ forum , his ambition or dream to get an appointment in Tinubu’s administration may become a reality since he was recently appointed as member transition council by president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
When contacted on the issue, his special adviser on media affairs, Yahaya Sarki said, his boss has lost out his senatorial bid to the former governor of the state, Adamu Aleiro, but notwithstanding, he will definitely get an appointment in the new administration of Tinubu’s government.
He noted that Bagudu’s contribution to the development of APC in the state and at the national level will not go without reward by giving him special consideration to serve in Tinubu’s administration after May 29.
According to him, Governor Bagudu, after leaving office is expected to join Tinubu’s cabinet or hold a national position as the case may be.
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Wike To Play Advisory Role After Leaving Office
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, will after May 29, 2023, begin to play advisory role for the people of the state.
The governor, who contested for the presidential ticket of the PDP but lost to Atiku Abubakar, had while speaking recently declared that he was not interested in taking up any ministerial appointment after leaving office.
Wike’s close ally, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, told our correspondent on Sunday in Port Harcourt, that the governor’s performance in eight years have earned him a lot of respect from across the country and endeared him to Rivers people.
Nwuke said: “Governor Wike has performed creditably well and this has attracted a lot of respect for him from across the country. Rivers people love him.
“After handing over as governor on May 29, 2023, Governor Wike will be there to offer advise on good governance to political office holders and other people.”
Likewise, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state has said eventhough he lost his ambition to represent the people of Taraba south at the National Assembly, he still remains active in the state politics.
Ishaku stated that he is ready to provide possible solutions for his successor if needed, though he would not want to be featured as a front runner of the administration.
The governor who spoke through his Special Advicer on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan-Habu said he was aware that the incoming administration would need him for better and successful development of the state. He promised to be available for such opportunities.
On his chances of contesting for the next coming elections come 2027, the governor said it depends on devine decisions from God.
Habu could not ascertain if the governor petitioned the recent outcome of the recent election where he lost his bid to represent the people of Taraba south at the national assembly.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State was named Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in the twilight of former Governor Godswill Akpabio’s administration at the exit of Obong Umana Okon Umana.
Emmanuel would eventually emerge the next governor two years later. The governor who himself is now leaving office after eight years has repeatedly expressed his passion and admiration as a professional banker, saying he would return to the business after his stint at the helm of the state’s political top job.
The former Executive Director at Zenith Bank, Emmanuel, had been quoted repeatedly as saying the only things he would pick on his May 29 exit date, would be his laptop and iPad; the only items he came in with.
“I didn’t come to government with anything, rather than my laptop and iPad, and I will leave with them at the end of my tenure,” he was quoted as saying during media interactions.
The Eaglesforesight correspondent gathered that even when speculations were rife that he would play a last minute joker by using Executive powers to corner the Eket, Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District seat as parting compensation like other governors, the outgoing governor had toed the path of peace and allowed the zoning arrangement to subsist over his personal interest.
The Special Assistant (SA) to the Governor in – charge of Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, said that “the Governor has never left anyone in doubt as to where he would be after his eventful tenure. He has repeatedly said he would leave the Government House with his laptop and iPad, to return to the banking system.”
I Will Return To My Farming Business – Ortom
In Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom who contested for Senate to represent the people of Benue North-West Senatorial district popularly called zone ‘B’ and lost to his former Adviser on the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Titus Zam, had always said as an industrialist and farmer, he will go back to his farm in the event he lost election.
The governor in a media interaction in Makurdi said he is a product of divine intervention and was ready to return to his farm and business empire if God did not permit him to win.
“I am a product of divine intervention. I received the message 20 years ago that I would be governor in 2015. It is the same God I am going back to meet. If He says yes, I will go ahead and no one born of a woman can stop it. But if He says no, I will pack all my belongings and go back to my farm and business.”
To buttress what he had been saying, the governor during a press conference took a decision to withdraw the case from the tribunal against the candidate of Titus Zam, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor also apologized to those he might have offended in the journey of serving the state and the country, adding that “I seek your forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended.
A close associate to the governor who does not want his name in print said to our correspondent during a telephone conversation that “I think the governor has done well as a politician, and the state still need his advice and wise counselling in many areas and he will also be remembered especially in his move against insecurity in the state.”
Speaking to The Eaglesforesight correspondent on Sunday, the chief press secretary to Abia State governor, Onyebuchi Ememanka said it was too early for Okezie Ikpeazu to start thinking about what next to do when he still has about two months in office.
“As you’re already aware, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is focused on how to deliver on his campaign promises. He doesn’t want to be distracted by any other thought,” said Ememanka.
According to him, at the fullness of time, the next move of the governor, who is on the last days of his mandatory second-term in office shall be “made public to the people of the state as their servant.”
“Ikpeazu is not in the class of politicians who don’t have second address. He is highly educated, experienced, and moreover age is still very much on his side. Out of government, he is surely going to be busier ,” he added
When contacted and asked of his boss, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, plan after leaving office on May 29, the aide retorted that, May 29, is still far away.
The aide who spoke under the condition of anonymity on the ground that, he does not have the directive to speak on behalf of the governor, queried our correspondent, if he had written off Governor Tambuwal’s senatorial aspiration.
“You are very much aware that His Excellency is the leading candidate for the Sokoto South senatorial districts seat where, the supplementary election will be concluded on April 15.
“April 15 precede May 29, therefore, I will advise you not to be in haste except you are privy to the outcome of the next weekend election,” the aide stated.