That the Nigerian political space is fraught with all manner of challenges is not debatable. It is one area where the lily-livered dare not thread, in fact, the Nigerian political arena is one place where even angels fear to tread.
But despite the dangers believed to be inherent in it, one noticeable trend is that those who are bold enough to step into it hardly want to relinquish the space for others to try their luck, rather they keep moving from one office to the other in the name of ‘my people want me to serve them in this capacity’.
One of those groups of people who when they grab political powers will not want to relinquish it, but rather do whatever it takes to remain within the corridors of power are those who have served or are serving as governors in their various states.
Today, one trend that has become synonymous with Nigeria is that its Senate has become the retirement home of ex-governors.
Though they are today not yet in the majority because of the level of our political development, if the present trend continues in the next few years, former governors will form the majority in the nation’s upper legislative chamber.
Though the law of the land gives any eligible Nigeria the right to aspire to any political office of their choice, the concern of many political watchers is that these ex-governors are now involving all manner of tactics, including threats, intimidation and even horse trading to ensure that they out do whoever occupies the senatorial seat of their interest and take over the position.
As at the last count, the Senate is occupied by former governors and former deputy governors in excess of 20 among the 109 senior lawmakers and the number is likely to increase after the 2019 election,
as many governors and ex-governors are already warming up to contest the senatorial seats, while none of those currently occupying the positions are willing to give up their hold on the seats.
As a matter of fact, former governors now serving as senators, but are aspiring for the presidency also bought senatorial forms to ensure that if they don’t get the presidential tickets of their party, nobody will dislodge them from their seats in the Senate.
Senators who once served as governors include Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Kabiru Gaya of Kano, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia, Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi, Shaaba Lafiagi of Kwara, Joshua Dariye of Plateau,
who is currently serving jail term for corruptly enriching himself while holding the office of governor, yet he is reported to have still bought senatorial form from prison, believing that any form of miracle is still possible.
Others are Jonah Jang of Plateau, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Ahmed Sani Yarima of Zamfara, Danjuma Goje of Gombe, Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe, Adamu Aliero of Kebbi, George Akume of Benue and Isiaka Adeleke of Osun, who later died in office and was replaced by his brother, Ademola Adeleke, who himself also wants to be governor of Osun State and is in fact, leading in the inconclusive election in the state.
Former deputy governors who are in the Senate are Mrs Biodun Olujimi of Ekiti and Enyinnaya Abaribe of Abia, while Danladi Abubakar Sani once served as acting governor of Taraba State.
Serving governors who have already declared their intention to go to the Senate after their tenure include Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, both of who are former senators. The list also includes Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, among others yet to declare their intentions.
Other former governors who want to go to the Senate include Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State and Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State among others.
The question on the lips of many Nigerians is what is the motivation for the Senate for former governors? Can they sincerely say they are motivated by service, when they had eight years to serve a whole state with executive powers, yet many of them failed, what service will they now be providing for a section of the state that they didn’t have the opportunity of providing while serving as governors?
Are they motivated by greed, after having the opportunity to use the resources of an entire state with security votes that runs into billions of Naira and pension to last them a life time, yet they are not satisfied.
Or is it just to remain politically relevant, when they could begin to play the role of godfathers in their states and use the resources at their disposal to silence every opposition.
Sincerely, there must be something about power that holds one glued to it and never letting go.
However, it must be said that the Senate of any country, as the highest lawmaking body of the nation, should be occupied by people of proven character who have achieved success or are achieving success for themselves legitimately
and have something to offer the nation and not for opportunists, greedy politicians whose only claim to power is that they were once governors, a position that many of them attained by dubious and devious means.
We are of the opinion that is the time for Nigerians of goodwill to rise and say enough to these ex-governors who are determined to hold the people hostage in perpetuity.