What is in a governor’s puny sense of self-esteem? It is in acquiring all the resources and influence to be enjoyed for a lifetime within the maximum period of eight years. He never cares about creating a legacy, improving the lives of the people, investing in their welfare, or guaranteeing the decency of the lives of those who put them in office.


Corruption allegations are normal in the Nigerian political sphere, although very few of these allegations ever see the light of a courtroom. Its all about “who get power pass”. These allegations are common among state governors, and usually towards the end of their tenures. The charges then become subjects of speculation and debate. But they never lead to any disciplinary action or consequence.

Sometime last week, a video clip caused more frenzy and ruckus than any other news headline in recent times. The clip shows the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje collecting a bribe speculated to be $5 million from contractors of the State. This video clip is unprecedented in recent times in Nigeria. Daily Nigerian newspaper reportedly spent 10 months in investigating and seeking concrete evidence to incriminate the governor on this allegation. The sum is said to be some 15 per cent of the contract amounts returned as kickback to the governor. The release of evidence like this is a rarity in incriminating a high level public officer.

I must commend newspaperman Jaafar Jaafar and the Daily Nigerian team for bringing this information to limelight. It is sad that many of our news outlets have become media of propagating the agenda of corrupt political parties and politicians. They have simply become mere publicity outlets than media of free and objective news. Interestingly, the Kano State House of Assembly, in uncommon fashion, has begun its inquiry into the bribe-taking allegation of the governor, in a manner unusual in the Nigerian political sphere, as State governors typically have undue influences over their State Houses of Assembly. Many of the honourable members tend to pay their allegiance to sitting governors who put them in the power, rather than the masses of the people.

Yet, concerns have been raised about the possible effectiveness of the inquiry of the House of Assembly. But one should keep an open mind. There is the possibility of their indicting him and starting an impeachment process. Still, based on precedence, this can prove to be very difficult and almost impossible. The most disappointing part of these unfolding event has been the ‘supposed’ reaction of the people of Kano State; they have taken to the streets to condemn the actions of Jaafar Jaafar, ahead of his meeting with House of Assembly. They went ahead to declare their support for Ganduje and come 2019, he will would very likely be re-elected for another term in office as governor. This goes to the prove the roots of our problem as a nation: Our leaders are willing to exert their authorities and powers by any means, fair or foul. Governor Ganduje reportedly hired school children as political thugs to protest against Jaafar Jaafar. These actions are despicable.

Governor Ganduje is certainly no different from this model of our public officials. Yet, we as a people still go about introducing these despicable men and women as, “His/Her Excellencies”. What is truly excellent about a man who has not paid workers their salaries for over a year, or one who takes children out of school to the streets to sing his praises and show him support in a time of difficulty?


It was even reported that school teachers coordinated the children. If a man can go to this length to exert power and influence in a State, his being in office bodes not good for the people. Ganduje is a true reflection of Nigerian leaders, who all tend to be selfish and egocentric. The truth is that in a sane society, the Kano State governor should have resigned from office so that the inquiry being conducted into this allegation would be fair and objective. However, such never happens in Nigeria. Elected officials would rather die in office than leave gracefully.

What is in a governor’s puny sense of self-esteem? It is in acquiring all the resources and influence to be enjoyed for a lifetime within the maximum period of eight years. He never cares about creating a legacy, improving the lives of the people, investing in their welfare, or guaranteeing the decency of the lives of those who put them in office. Governor Ganduje is certainly no different from this model of our public officials. Yet, we as a people still go about introducing these despicable men and women as, “His/Her Excellencies”. What is truly excellent about a man who has not paid workers their salaries for over a year, or one who takes children out of school to the streets to sing his praises and show him support in a time of difficulty? We need to wake up as a people and stop all these glorifications and praises for men who are undeserving of these.

I wish the inquiry of the Kano State House of Assembly to go on and end positively with another leader possibly outed for his crimes against the people. The fact that the inquiry saw the light of day is already a miracle. Let’s wait and see as the events unfolds.

Bamisope Kupoluyi is a final year student of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.