Challenges at the Dawn of a New Era, State By State Analysis

We look at the challenges confronting the new administrations in the states as the governors begin their tenures

For all 36 states of the federation, but seven, it is the dawn of a new era, as the governors get down to brass tacks after the hassles of election and the inaugural ceremonies. The April 11 elections produced new administrations in all the states, except Ondo, Osun, Edo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Kogi, and Anambra states, where the tenures of the governors had yet to lapse.

The transitions to the new governments have been largely seamless. But there are serious problems staring the governors in the face, which they must immediately deal with in order to have a good start in their respective states. Some of them are captured below.

Abia: Aba, Political Disunity, and a Backlog of Unpaid Salaries
The new administration of Dr Victor Okezie Ikpeazu in Abia State has a huge work of development to confront. Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state, poses the most daunting challenge to the government.
Ikpeazu seems to have already prepared his mind for the Enyimba challenge with his often repeated comment, “If you get Aba right you’ll get Abia right.” This belief is anchored on the fact that Aba holds the key to the internally generated revenue of the state. The level of infrastructural decay in Aba, which has seemed to defy every effort of the past administrations, would surely be a test case for Ikpeazu. And with the city located in the heart of the Ngwa area, where he comes from, all eyes would be on him to see how he would tackle the developmental challenges facing the commercial city.

Another challenge is the acute water problem in the capital city of Umuahia. Many public taps that were dry before Governor Theodore Orji took over had come alive within the first 100 days of his administration. However, the taps have since gone dry again, leaving residents to the exploitative tendencies of commercial water vendors. Ikpeazu would be faced with the water problem.
As the leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state, the new governor is confronted with the challenge of restoring cohesion and confidence in the party, which suffered a big blow during the last elections. Many party members were aggrieved and even worked against the interest of the party and it would take extra political engagement to bring PDP together again in Abia. The new governor is also expected to devise a means to clear the salary arrears of workers in some parastatals and local government areas.

Adamawa: Huge Debt Burden
The new government of Senator Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow in Adamawa State will be faced with the challenge of paying enormous debts and devising ways of working in harmony with the House of Assembly to avoid the circumstances that led to the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako. The government will also face the issues of poor infrastructure and insecurity.
Bindow will also have to deal with the rivalry between various political groups, which is at the core of the numerous political crises the state has experienced in recent times.  For instance, there is rivalry among different camps in his party, All Progressives Congress, over appointments.
The Nyako camp has started complaining about what it terms a sudden romance between the new governor and former Vice President Atiku’s camp in the APC, which the former governor claims never did much to assist Bindow during the last general election that brought him to power.

Akwa Ibom: Over-bloated Civil Service, Political Wrangling
The newly elected governor of Akwa Ibom State, the third since 1999, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, has many challenges to resolve as he steps into office. Politically, he is faced with the problem of reuniting members of his party, PDP, following the internal squabbles that erupted during the last primaries. The party had been so factionalised that some of its founding members, Board of Trustee (BoT) members, and 22 aggrieved governorship aspirants abandoned it.
The issue of political appointments is another area where the governor would face enormous pressure. Some of those who served in the preceding government of Chief Godswill Akpabio have set up committees and intensified lobbying to be retained in the new administration.

Emmanuel also faces the problem of an over-bloated civil service following a staff recruitment exercise embarked upon by the administration of Akpabio. It was alleged that the recruitment exercise was purposed to favour a section of the state. Pressure may be on the new administration to look into the recruitment exercise.
Besides, there are some workers who have not been paid their salaries since June last year because they were not captured during the biometric capturing conducted by the state government. The Nigeria Labour Congress had threatened to embark on a strike over the matter before Akpabio waded in and, reportedly, constituted a committee to look into it.
The question of equitable distribution of amenities would also pose a problem for the new governor. There are strong feelings that development during the last government was skewed in favour of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district. Emmanuel faces the problem of how to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of major interests in the state.

Bauchi: Backlog of Unpaid Salaries and Pensions
The major challenge the new governor of Bauchi State, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of the All Peoples Congress, faces is how to settle the March, April, and May salaries of civil servants, totaling over N3.5 billion. NLC in the state is currently on strike over the issue. Bauchi State pensioners are also groaning over unpaid gratuities amounting N15 billion accumulated by the state government.
There are allegations about a debt profile of N150 billion incurred between 2007 and 2015.
Abubakar would also have to deal with the problem of trying to reconcile a fragmented political class, which had been torn apart by politics at the last general election.

Borno: Rehabilitation of IDPs
When he was first inaugurated as the governor of Borno State on May 29, 2011, Alhaji Kashim Shettima was faced with the major challenge of bringing development to a state that was almost run down by Boko Haram insurgency. Agriculture was a major sector he wanted to use to empower the unemployed youths, who formed a fertile recruitment ground for the insurgents.
Four years on and with a new mandate, Shettima’s challenge has not changed. He faces the challenge of rebuilding livelihoods and rehabilitating the huge population of internally displaced persons in the state. The about two million IDPs living in Maiduguri and others who fled to Niger, Cameroon and Chad would need to be resettled at the native lands.
The governor has already procured the needed equipment for the agricultural transformation of the state. All that remains is to kick off the projects lined up under the programme.

Yobe: Rebuilding of Insurgency-ravaged Infrastructure
Many people in Yobe State voted for Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam in 2011 believing that he would continue the good work of his predecessor, Mamman Ali. But the Boko Haram terrorists, who have attempted to capture the Government House in Damaturu, made that continuity almost impossible. The government has spent the bulk half of its resources on the Boko Haram crisis, in terms of aiding soldiers and other security agents posted to the state, helping persons affected by the insurgency, and rebuilding destroyed structures.
Currently, however, there is a growing feeling that the insurgency is gradually coming to an end and the state government would have no excuse not to put the state back on the path of development. This is a major challenge for the Gaidam government. There would be enormous pressure on the administration to develop the state. The governor may have to introduce some belt-tightening measures, which may not go down well with many people in the state.

Cross River: Debt Burden and Unpaid Salaries
The new governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, who succeeds Liyel Imoke, is mounting the saddle of leadership at a most critical moment. With the debt profile of the state put officially at N123 billion, it is generally believed that Ayade is inheriting a state with suffocating economic and social burdens. The paucity of funds had made payment of salaries very difficult, resulting in the non-payment of workers’ salaries for March and April, and a strike by NLC and the Trade Union Congress.
However, with the resolution of the salary palaver, Ayade would inherit the salaries of workers for May as well as other labour-related problems that the Imoke administration could not solve before he vacated office.  The outstanding problems include non-payment of pensions and allowances, check off dues, and gratuities to some retired workers from the state and local government services.
Ayade is also inheriting the prolonged strike embarked upon by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN). JUSUN members have been on strike for about five months now due to the non-implementation of the provisions of Section 212 sub-section 3 of the constitution by the Imoke administration.

There are security concerns and environmental issues that the new administration would have to address. Of late, there have been frequent cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, child theft, cultism, and the rise of urban gangsters known commonly in the state as “Skolombo Boys.” The Skolombo Boys are believed to have sprung up from the growing number of street children, especially in the state capital, Calabar. With the growing number of these street children, Ayade would have to move fast to check them before they metamorphous into major dangerous groups or urban guerrillas.
On the political scene, Ayade would have to do a lot of reconciliation within the PDP following the bitter conflicts that erupted in the party during the last elections. Some members of the party defected to the Labour Party and APC in the build up to the general elections due to the internal disagreements.

Kano: Huge Debts and Unfinished Projects
The new administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State will inherit a huge amount of debt and uncompleted projects across the state from his predecessor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. The government will also face challenges with internally generated revenue, as Kwankwaso is alleged to have exhausted the funds, including the local government allocations, without adequate provision for the generation of new ones.

Ganduje’s government may spend the most part of its four years tenure trying to complete the abandoned projects of the Kwankwaso administration, with little room for the initiation of new projects.
The new government will inherit over 150 uncompleted projects. It will also struggle with a debt of over N200 billion, being contractors’ payments left unpaid by Kwankwaso administration.

Benue: Lean Resources, Potentially Fractious Executive/Legislature Relations
The new governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom, surely faces a lot of challenges. The most daunting, perhaps, is how to manage what is widely suspected to be a potentially restive relationship between his government and the House of Assembly, where his party, APC, has 14 members, its biggest rival, PDP, has 15, and Labour Party has one. PDP is likely to produce the next Speaker of the Assembly, whose relationship with Ortom would be critical to the governor’s performance.
Another issue the former Minister of State for Trade and Investment will face is the paucity of resources to execute projects, develop infrastructure, and pay workers’ wages. Some have alleged that the state’s civil service is over-bloated, with workers who are mostly redundant. Ortom may be under pressure to reduce the workforce or find an alternative way of funding the state.

Among projects being inherited by Ortom are the three water works embarked upon by the Gabriel Suwam government across the three senatorial zones. They are located in Katsina-Ala, Makurdi, and Otukpo. Construction work has been completed at the sites, but due to reticulation issues, the projects have remained largely unused.
The state’s debts, which are believed to be in the region of N40 billion, is another challenge before Ortom.
In the area of security, Ortom faces the lingering problem of Fulani herdsmen insurgency, which has killed hundreds of Benue natives in the last 10 years.

Benue State has comparative advantage in agriculture and the previous government had tried to promote agricultural development. Ortom would be expected to consolidate the gains and do better.
Industrialisation is another area where the electorate is demanding change, and the governor would be under pressure to bring the required change.

Delta: Recruitment Issues and Unpaid Salaries
On Thursday, May 21, barely one week to Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s inauguration as the fourth democratically elected governor of Delta State, his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, announced the suspension of the chairman and members of the Civil Service Commission over a scandal in the last recruitment exercise into the state’s civil service. The government set up an administrative panel of inquiry to look into the scandal.  This, perhaps, forms the highpoint of the immediate challenges Okowa will have to deal with as he settles down in office.

Closely related to the challenge of recruitment into the civil service is the problem of offsetting the backlog of unpaid salaries by virtually all the 25 local government areas of the state. This is particularly challenging considering the dwindling revenue allocations to states nationwide. Pressure would be on the state government to sustain the several years of monthly subventions to augment the monthly wage bills of the local government councils, the chunk of which is spent on the payment of primary school teachers. Okowa would struggle to stave off a possible strike by teachers who have been quite restive over the matter in recent times.
Okowa would be inheriting a number of uncompleted infrastructural projects started by the Uduaghan government. These include the Warri-Effurun-Sapele Road BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) that terminates at the recently commissioned Effurun Roundabout Flyover, as well as portions of the over 50-kilometre new Ughelli-Asaba dual carriage way.

The new governor faces the problem of trying to reconcile the different political interests within his party, PDP, especially in the selection of political appointees, against the backdrop of the issues thrown up by the contest for the party’s governorship ticket last December. Uduaghan and his deputy, Professor Amos Utuama, had initially opposed Okowa’s governorship ambition and backed the candidature of Mr John Obuh, a retired state civil servant.
Okowa will also be dealing with the legal issues emanating from the electoral litigations initiated by the governorship candidates of LP and APC, Chief Great Ogboru, and Chief O’Tega Emerhor, respectively.

Ebonyi: Challenge of Reconciliation and Labour Matters
The new administration of Chief Dave Umahi would need to do a lot of reconciliation and rehabilitation, at least, in the next six months, to rebuild key political structures destroyed in the contest for power during the last general election.
The government also has labour issues to resolve. Already, the state chapters of the National Union of Teachers and the Radio, Theatre and Art Workers Union have begun industrial actions to press home their demand for the implementation of salary increments and unpaid salaries and allowances.

The previous administration approved 50 per cent increment in workers’ salaries, even when it found it difficult to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage.
Umahi would also be inheriting debts, uncompleted projects, and unsettled communal disputes. He is faced with the challenge of handling some controversial appointments, which the past governor, Martin Elechi, made during the final period of his administration. There are ongoing disagreements over the recent appointment of permanent secretaries after many years of vacancy in those positions.

Imo: Unpaid Salaries
The Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, is doing a second term. Despite, coming from the advantaged position of an incumbent governor, he will be facing a disappointed workforce due to unpaid salaries ranging from three to 15 months. Recently, academic staff of Imo State University, Owerri, went on strike for about three months over unpaid salaries and allowances. Only last week, staff of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) protested to the Government House, Owerri, over the same salary issue.

Another challenge confronting the government is the governorship petition against his re-election brought by the PDP governorship candidate, Chief Emeka Ihedioha. The governor will be under pressure to complete projects started by his government, such as roads, and free education at all levels, as well as his election promises to establish industries and factories, create employment, complete and equip the 27 General Hospitals in the state, and ensure a lower cost of living for Imo citizens.

Kaduna: Huge Debt
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State would be inheriting a huge debt profile. The state is said to be the second most indebted state in the country, after Lagos. With the decline in the federal allocation and internal revenue generation, the governor will have to really explore avenues of generating funds to be able to sustain payment of workers’ salaries and fulfill his election promises.
During the electioneering campaigns, there were serious political acrimonies between the APC and PDP, leading to killings and destruction of property. El-Rufai faces the challenge of reconciling major political stakeholders for the collective interest of the state.

The governor also inherits a complex web of ethno-religious crises arising from the cultural diversity of the state. The southern part of the state, which is predominantly Christian, has accused previous administrations, mostly headed by Muslims who dominate the northern part of the state, of marginalisation and discrimination against the south in terms of development. As another governor from the northern part, El-Rufai will have to convince people from all sections of the state that he means well by ensuring that they are all carried along.

Katsina: Challenged of Balanced Development
The new administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State faces the challenge of how to involve indigenous contractors in the execution of government contracts. His predecessor, Ibrahim Shema, was accused of giving most contracts to non-indigenous contractors. Masari also faces the challenge of ensuring a fair spread of projects across the state’s 34 local government areas. The past government was alleged to have focused development on one senatorial district.

Kebbi: Challenge of Poverty Alleviation
Although Kebbi State under the previous governor, Saidu Usman Dakingari, witnessed infrastructural development, especially, roads in the rural areas, poverty is at its peak in the state. The new governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu of APC, will grapple with the challenge of tackling poverty, which is ravaging a large number of the citizens of the state.

The state capital, Birnin Kebbi, can still be described as a rural town with dilapidated infrastructure and poor road network.  The state civil service has suffered from neglect due to lack of capacity building, motivation, poor planning, indiscipline, and mediocrity. In fact, the workers have been at loggerheads with Dakingari over his inability to improve their welfare and this has created disenchantment among the workers. Although civil servants in the state cannot be said to be the cause of the fall of Dakingari and the PDP, their anger against the governor cannot be wished away. They blamed the previous government for not paying their minimum wage and retirement benefits, especially the teachers. So, the expectations of the people from the new government are high.

Bagudu will also grapple with the challenge of accommodating legacy members of the APC who were in the party before he joined them about six months ago. He had left the PDP and joined the APC where he contested and won the primary election last year. These old members of the APC had laboured to build the party before he joined them. So, he faces the task of devising a means to carry along those he met in the party.
The new government will also grapple with the debt burden, poor internally generated revenue, and dwindling revenue from the federal government, which Kebbi State heavily relies on. The new government would face the challenge of how to provide an enabling environment for the harnessing of the state’s potentials, especially, in agriculture, and stimulate industrial development.

Kwara: Dwindling Resources
The main challenge faced by the second term governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, is finance.  This is due to the dwindling financial allocations from the Federation Account, which also affects other states. How to generate money to fulfill his electoral promises and pay workers’ salaries, pensions, and gratuities would be a major problem for his administration.
The government would be under enormous pressure to devise ways of increasing the state’s IGR profile. It is said to be targeting at least N2 billion per month from IGR. This would come mainly from taxes, and the revenue drive would assist the state government to negotiate loans in banks and development institutions to carry out its projects. But this may reduce the government’s sympathy level among the public.
The Ahmed government also faces the challenge of how to reduce the cost of governance without incurring debilitating consequences from major stakeholders.
The issue of insecurity, which many believe is exacerbated by growing unemployment, is another major challenge for the Ahmed government.

Lagos: Labour Issues and funding infrastructure
After emerging the winner of the keenly contested election held on April 11, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode took up the reign of power this weekend amid diverse challenges. One of the gravest challenges Ambode’s administration will strive to manage has to do with the debt burden of N418.2 billion. Based on a document from the State Ministry of Finance, the state has a domestic debt of N69.66 billion; bond issuance of N225 billion and external debt of N207.499 billion, which apparently might be a source of uneasy startup for Ambode.

Aside from the state debt stock, Ambode’s administration will face the deadliest issue of cash crunch, which has handicapped most states of the federation. Despite the state’s huge internally generated revenue (IGR) currently standing at N276 billion per annum, Ambode has, on different occasions acknowledged that the present economic situation “has affected the financial profile of most states in the country.” Unlike about 21 states of the federation that find it difficult to fulfil their primary obligations to their public servants, Lagos State does not owe its staff members across all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). Yet, implementing its strategic projects has suffered much setback due to a slash of about 50 percent in what is due to the state from the Federation Account in the last two years.

Also, the clamour for salary review remains a key issue during the electioneering. The state public servants threatened to play the role of spoilers during the just concluded election. Both Fashola and Ambode held stakeholders’ meetings with the public servants to design leeway for harmonious relationship that would not undermine the chance of All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll. But the outcome of the stakeholders’ meetings left much to be desired. In no distant future, Ambode has to face some grave realities on the workers’ demand, which will make or mar his nascent administration at a time the state is struggling to survive huge debt stock and declining federal allocation.

Nasarawa: Fratricidal Violence
As the second term of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura is confronted by problems, such as the festering skirmishes between Fulani pastoralists and local crop farmers, which has increased the tempo of violence in the state in recent times. Other problems requiring the government’s urgent attention include the circle of interethnic violence; healthcare deficiency, especially, among rural dwellers; the need infrastructural expansion to cater for the rapid increase in the number of people moving to Nasarawa State; and the need to make education more qualitative to train manpower for the development of the state.
The government would be under pressure to deliver on the promises of the administration’s “seeing is believing” reelection campaign mantra.
Al-Makura fought difficult political battles in his first term, especially with a House of Assembly that appeared bent on frustrating the implementation of the governor’s visions for the state. But in his second term, he has the political capital, which he can use to turn the challenges to developmental opportunities.

Niger: Debts and Ghost Workers
As the Muazu Babangida Aliyu administration wound up, it left behind liabilities for the incoming administration, which include the responsibility of settling debts incurred by his government. The new administration of Abubakar Sani Bello will be inheriting a problem of ghost workers, which the former government had also battled with some measure of success.
Uncompleted projects by the Aliyu administration will also be a challenge for the new administration, especially given the lean resources of the government. The state relies mainly on money from the Federation Account.

Plateau: Ethno-religious Crisis
The new Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, faces the challenge of matching the bar on governance, which was obviously raised by his predecessor, Jonah David Jang. The immediate challenges before Lalong are payment of outstanding workers’ salaries, sharing of the few political appointments among the huge crowd of stakeholders, and reconciliation of ethnic, political and religious divides that have continually upset the state.

The state government has been owing workers’ salaries since November last year due to shortfalls in the federal allocations. The development has degenerated into prolonged strike actions and crisis between the labour unions and the immediate past administration. The unions, having struggled with Jang to no avail, now earnestly look up to Lalong to redress the situation. Lalong has promised a better working relationship with civil servants.
The groups that supported the election of Lalong are multi-faceted. They include APC members and aggrieved PDP members. All these groups are now clamouring for the limited political appointments available in the state, a situation that greatly challenges Lalong’s ingenuity.

Plateau has been faced with protracted crises and killings believed to be largely ethnic, religious and political, with the Fulani and the natives at each other’s throats. There is also the issue of grievances arising from the last elections. Lalong faces the responsibility of reconciling these groups across the divides for his administration to achieve the needed peace for good governance.

Rivers: Political and Security Problems
As Chief Nyesom Wike assumes governorship of Rivers State, the major challenges his administration face include a sharply polarised polity, divided along the party lines of PDP and APC. The rivalry between Wike and the former governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has permeated all facets of the state, including the civil service and organised labour, as people show loyalty to those they consider their heroes.

Secondly, Rivers State had always had a close relationship with the federal government. But that has changed with the state being controlled by PDP while the centre is controlled by APC. So, the new role of opposition will affect the administration, especially as Amaechi and his party, APC, who lost the governorship of the state, find a foothold at the federal level. This may definitely prolong the rift between Wike and Amaechi, and also pose more challenges to the new administration.
Another challenge will be the opening of closed institutions like the judiciary, which had been shut for about a year, and the House of Assembly Complex, which had been closed since July, 2013. The issues surrounding the appointment of a chief judge of the state need to be tackled quickly if the administration of justice will be given a boost in the state.

The new administration will also grapple with the effect of dwindling finances. The state’s revenue from the Federation Account has steadily fallen from about N25 billion to about N6 billion per month. This is a serious setback and will definitely affect the implementation of programmes and campaign promises.
That Rivers State is rated among the worst three crime-infested states by the Inspector General of Police. This is a source of concern for many, which the new administration has to deal with. Wike’s administration therefore needs to work hard to ensure that the state does not relapse into another round of insecurity and militancy.

Sokoto: Street Urchins and Low IGR
The new Sokoto State governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, will grapple with many challenges as he settles down to office. It is pertinent to note that the state government under Aliyu Wmakko had been prompt in the payment of salaries and as such does not owe any civil servant in the state, unlike many other states in the federation. But Tambuwal may really find it difficult to strike a balance in terms of political appointments, as most of those currently in the positions of leadership in the state are Wamakko’s loyalists. Tambuwal would encounter difficulties in the appointment of commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, permanent secretaries, directors, and heads of government parastatals.

Another problem the new administration faces is the low level of IGR and dwindling revenue receipts from the Federation Account. The monthly federal allocation being received by the state ranges between N3 billion and N4 billion while it spends over N1.6 billion as salaries to the civil servants, leaving less than two billion for capital projects. The state government is currently indebted to some local banks to the tune of over N5 billion.  The Tambuwal government inherits such debts. Moreover, it is believed that the state currently owes many local contractors huge sums of money.

The Tambuwal government will grapple with the problem of managing and controlling street urchins popularly referred to as “Area Boys” in the state. These youth have been a menace to the people through their penchant for using dangerous weapons on innocent people.

Taraba: Ethno-religious Crisis and Unpaid Salaries
Beyond the euphoria of swearing in ceremony, the new governor of Taraba State, Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku, has a number of problems from the previous government to deal with. Prominent among the issues, obviously, are how to revamp the state’s economy and halt the incessant killings in some parts of the state.

Besides a virtually comatose economy, the new administration has inherited a debt of over N28 billion incurred through bonds, overdrafts, loans, and debts owed contractors. The state also owes salaries and allowances of some sections of the state’s workforce, including the monthly state allowances of National Youth Service Corps members, traditional rulers and pensioners. The state university has been shut down for several months due to the inability of the state government to meet its financial obligations to the institution.
Though the former acting governor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi, inherited a debt of about N14 billion from the ousted acting governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, as at October 2014, the state’s debt profile grew to its present level in the last six months.
Ishaku would be expected to quickly tackle the ethno religious clashes in some parts of the state, which has continued to claim lives and property. The incessant attacks and killings of Tivs in the state is an area many people would expect his quick intervention.
There is an urgent need for Ishaku to reconcile the major political interests in the state, which became fragmented as a result of the political upheavals the state was plunged into following the air crash that almost permanently impaired the health of former Governor Danbaba Suntai.

Zamfara: Challenge of Cattle Rustlers and Labour Issues
Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari  of the All Progressive Congress would grapple with the challenge of insecurity, especially the nefarious activities of cattle rustlers who unleash mayhem on hapless villagers. Hundreds of people had been killed in Dansadau, Ergaladima, Kizara and several villages by cattle rustlers in the last one year. In fact, in the last three weeks, some villages in Mafara and Bakura local government areas were attacked by cattle rustlers, who made away with over 300 hundred cows and killed over 10 persons. So, many residents are apprehensive that the attacks may not likely abate, especially with the re-election of Yari. So, the issue of insecurity is a big challenge that the newly elected governor would grapple with. Governor Yari will also grapple with the disenchantment in the state civil service. The governor has been at loggerheads with workers in the last two years over his negligence of their welfare, especially teachers and health workers. It is believed that some workers have not even received their salaries in the last two months. So, Yari will be confronted with the challenge of paying salaries of workers as and when due in the next few months, especially in view of the massive reduction in monthly allocation from the federation account.

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