Govs-elect protest as outgoing governors avoid transition panels

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There are strong indications that the transition process is not going smoothly in those states given the claims made by the departing governors of many states that they are not collaborating with their successors.

Following the development, the state’s financial stability is being examined by the panels set up by the incoming governors, which is causing unrest.

Before Dauda Dare took office on May 29, the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, was accused of failing to cooperate with the new administration.

In a Monday interview, the state’s PDP publicity secretary, Faruku Ahmed, emphasised that Matawalle had left the state and had been avoiding the governor-elect ever since he failed to win reelection.

Matawalle had allegedly left the state two months prior, according to Ahmed, and he was refusing to assist in the transition strategy of the new administration.

“Governor Bello Mattawalle is not willing to cooperate with the committees appointed by the incoming governor to ascertain the reality of things,” Ahmed claimed. The incoming government of Dauda Lawan Dare has been making an effort to get some important information from the departing government.

Governor Matawalle refused to prepare handing over notes, so the new governor appointed subcommittees to visit the ministries, departments, and other organisations in order to collect relevant data.

He slammed those who criticised the committee that the incoming governor appointed to investigate state ministries, departments, and other governmental organisations.

“So that he would know where to start and how to recover some government properties and funds allegedly diverted by the outgoing administration of Governor Bello Matawalle in the last four years,” he said. He added that Dare had every right to appoint committees to give him relevant information on the operations of the outgoing administration.

A committee headed by Muhammed Abubakar, a former inspector general of police, has recently been formed by the incoming governor to ensure a smooth transition and transfer of power on May 29.

Governor Matawalle is unwilling to cooperate, so the appointed committees will find out what the situation really is for the incoming administration.

Therefore, we won’t hold off until the delivery date. A spokesman for the PDP said, “We will continue to invite senior government officials and elected officials to come and clarify.”

APC condemns the recently elected governor

The claim that Mattawalle had left the state, according to Yusuf Idris, the publicity secretary for the Zamfara State All Progressive Congress, was criticised as being untrue.

The governor had only travelled outside the state to attend significant events, according to Idris over the phone.

He asserted that Ahmed couldn’t tell whether the governor was in the state or not.

He said, “Governor Matawalle has been in the state, but he comes back to attend some important events for the advancement of the state. To harm Matawalle’s reputation, someone made the claim that he hasn’t been active since he lost the election.

“I want people to understand that whether the governor is in the state or not, business as usual in government continues without pause.”

The state’s information commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, criticised Dare for appointing committees to compile information on the activities of various agencies, departments, and ministries.

Dosara asserted in a statement that this was illegal because, as of May 29, Matawalle was still the governor.

As a result, he asked that no information be shared with the incoming administration by MDAs or other organisations without the consent of the transition committee selected by the outgoing administration.

The statement said, in part, “This is to inform the general public that it has come to the notice of the Zamfara State government that some members of the incoming government transition committee are currently going around ministries and departments of the government collecting information and conducting investigations into the activities of the MDAs.

Following the controversy surrounding the two transition committees that Governor Samuel Ortom and Governor-elect Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia established, there doesn’t seem to be any love lost between the incoming administration in Benue and the governor-elect.

Daniel Ihomun, the state’s APC publicity secretary, claimed Prof. Tony Ijohor, SAN, the secretary to the state government, and his committee were not being very cooperative on behalf of Mike Iordye, the transition committee chairman.

He also lamented the presidential lodge’s incomplete renovations, which was meant to serve as the governor-elect’s temporary home.

“The outgoing administration has been hiring more people at a time when it cannot pay those who have been employed for more than 10 months; it cannot pay pensioners, yet it is hiring more people to increase the burdens on the incoming administration,” he proclaimed.

The question is, why now, when this government hasn’t hired anyone in over seven years.

However, the state’s administration has declared that it will formally hand over power to the incoming administration on May 28.

The State Executive Council meeting was followed by a press conference in which the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mike Inalegwu, explained that this would allow the incoming administration to celebrate on May 29 and cut the drawn-out transition processes.

Also accused of failing to cooperate with the transition team for the New Nigeria Peoples Party, led by Dr. Bappa Bichi, was the departing Umar Ganduje administration in Kano State.

The committee alleged that Ganduje was undermining the transition strategy by refusing to comply with demands during a recent press conference.

Sanusi Tofa, chief press secretary for the governor-elect, told our correspondent in a statement that “it was after that press conference we started getting cooperation, but not full cooperation or as expected.”

The Ganduje administration, according to a senior state government official who spoke with me on the phone on Monday, had provided the NNPP transition committee with everything it needed. The official spoke under a pseudonym.

The official, who had been pleased with the committee’s work up to this point, pleaded for patience in order to ensure a smooth transfer of power on May 29.

Similar problems are reportedly happening in Abia State, where Okezie Ikpeazu, the departing governor, and the transition committee set up by the incoming governor, Alex Otti, are at odds.

The Abia State Government Handover Committee’s work had been impeded by the delay in delivering the handover documents, according to Rev. Fr. Christian Anokwuru, Otti’s representative on the committee.

According to Anokwuru, it might be challenging to obtain information about the state’s finances because “it is expected that the outgoing administration would make the handover documents available to the governor-elect early enough to allow him to study the content before May 29.”

“The handover documents, which detail the actions taken by the government from April 2015 to April 2023, ought to have been ready.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the government committee is more concerned with getting ready for the oath-taking ceremony than it is with the documents. If the government insists that they will only be made available on May 29, then the governor-elect must set aside some time to study the handover documents.

It appears that the situation in Plateau State is a little different because the transition committee reported that the transition programme was on track.

The head of the publicity committee, Yiljap Abraham, lamented that no money had been made available by the departing administration to support the inauguration.

We are still waiting on the government in that regard (the release of funds),” he said. All we ask is for their cooperation. The newly elected governor’s inauguration has already been set for May 29. However, the transition committee has not yet received any funding.Electors protest the outgoing governors’ decision to skip transition panels.

 

He said, “We are still awaiting the government in that regard(release of funds). We just hope that they will cooperate. We have a date already fixed for the inauguration of the governor-elect and that is May 29. But for now, no funds have been released to the transition committee.”

 

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