State governors and insecurity: Isa Yuguda’s gaffe

DDG Weekly Column

State governors and insecurity: Isa Yuguda’s gaffe

If a government will dedicate the entire resources and budget on security to ensure that everybody sleeps in his house…go to the President and say I have secured my state…I don’t have any money, will you please support me with N20bn, N30bn…The President will do that.

Former Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, on Newsnight, Channels TV, Monday, October 31, 2022.

Insecurity, in its different frightening guises, continues to dominate the headlines and the national discourse agenda. Only last week, banditry and kidnapping returned with a bang to the front burner in the South-West region with the abduction, mercifully for a few days, of eminent Political Science Professor, Adigun Agbaje, on the outskirts of Ibadan, and several passengers on the Abeokuta-Lagos Road. Elsewhere in the country, particularly in Niger State, all hell was let loose as terrorists waxed the ever dangling axe of violent kidnapping and a spree of murderous disorder. Despite the offensive of law enforcement, presumably with a view to securing the country for the 2023 elections, total victory remains somewhat elusive.

Given this tumultuous background, the recent bashing of state governors by former Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, from whom the opening quote is sourced, deserves more than casual inspection. For instance, while governors in the northern states at a recent meeting called for the introduction of state police, Yuguda blamed the governors as well as exonerated the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the Federal Government. True, one wishes that the governors had made their position loud and clear a long time before now. Nonetheless, it is hard to justify or uphold Yuguda’s remark, which put the governors on the spot by asking them to spend their entire budget on insecurity and then go cap in hand to Buhari to beg him for billions of naira to carry out other essential governance tasks. It would be interesting to know if this was how Yuguda ran Bauchi State when he was governor; and even if that were so, it would be doubtful if that could be the basis of a constructive governance model for all the state governors in the country.