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What’s It With Transition Committees?

Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe writes that Transition Committees appear to be the next waste conduit for some governors-elect after the March 9 governorship poll

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State / Photo credit: Leadership .ng
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State / Photo credit: Leadership .ng

Nigerians have an irredeemable propensity for the extra. I’m yet to see that exorcist that will help purge the spirit of overdoing and complicating even the simplest processes from most of us.

Shortly after the last gubernatorial election in 29 states and the announcement of the results, it appeared the task for winners was to announce their transition teams.

However, I wonder if any of these governors-elect saw or learnt anything from President Muhammadu Buhari who had a 19-man transition committee in 2015.

And that was a government that was truly transitioning on all fronts. A new party and a new man were coming into the picture for the first time.

Please don’t come here and argue about how he spent six months thereafter looking for cabinet members who were not missing. That had nothing to do with the lean composition of his transition committee.

The man was too sick and probably too confused to do any better at the time.

After all, President Barack Obama who was also in a similar transitioning situation hit the ground running even with his sparse transition team.

Just a day after Barack was elected the United States president in 2008, he announced his transition team. Comprising three co-chairs, 12 advisory board members and 13 staffers, the 28-man team’s job was to assemble and vet potential appointees to the president-elect’s cabinet.

Most of the 13 staffers were reportedly long-time congressional and executive branch Democratic staffers and government officials. They were not retired political jobbers in dire need of economic and social rehabilitation.

With a 100-man transition committee, this governor who only managed to escape a through trouncing at the last polls by the skin of his teeth is reminding us all over again why he almost did not return to the Kano State government house

However, the kind of numbers we have seen from our latest state gubernatorial electoral victors for their transition committees are bewildering.

First it was Emeka Ihedioha with his 139-member transition committee and 12 sub-committees.

The list has political and economic heavy weights like Dr. Kema Chikwe, former president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ebi.

You’ll be forgiven to think the new Imo man just wants to make a statement with his transition team.

He seems to be saying that if his predecessor and Molder-in Chief, Rochas, ran a familocracy (government by family and for family), then his administration is going to be truly representative.

Well, it’s quite easy for Ndi Imo to identify with that sentiment and reasoning, especially after the recent reign of iberiberism in their beloved state. But it’s also difficult to imagine what the true outcome would be and in whose interest.

You also have the Kwara State governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak with his 80-man transition team. He probably needs someone to remind him that a transition committee is not an O to gee movement.

When you gather 80 individuals in a committee as he has done with his transition team, you hardly leave enough room for competence and effective coordination.

During the course of writing this piece, I was pleasantly surprised to read that the Oyo State governor-elect, Mr. Seyi Makinde, had announced a 10-man transition.

But it didn’t take me long to discover that the elation was premature. Apparently, the 10-man committee was only a forerunner of the 20 sub-committees that would be announced later.

Now that makes more Nigerian sense. Which authentic Oyo man will relish his Abula without extra assorted meat? The governor sure is not disappointing in the transition committee franchise.

When you gather 80 individuals in a committee as he has done with his transition team, you hardly leave enough room for competence and effective coordination

However, the grandmaster of extra in this franchise is no other than Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

With a 100-man transition committee, this governor who only managed to escape a through trouncing at the last polls by the skin of his teeth is reminding us all over again why he almost did not return to the Kano State government house.

If the governor needs 100 men to help transition from himself to himself, then that state is in deeper problem than we all had thought.

After running a state for four years, the governor has gathered 100 people in a committee. According to him, the committee’s mandate is to maintain stability and build on the successes and achievements of the administration.

You also have the Kwara State governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak with his 80-man transition team. He probably needs someone to remind him that a transition committee is not an O to gee movement

I don’t understand. Is that governor Ganduje doesn’t understand what a transition committee is meant for or he’s being deliberately wasteful?

Can’t he at least borrow the minimalist spirit from the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai? The Kaduna strongman who is also handing over to himself is doing so with a 20-man transition team?

You can also see that even governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, who is handing over to a new man (though from the same party), has a 20-man transition team.

But no, our man in Kano has to be extra just like his agbadas.

The culture of come and chop in Nigeria seems to always show up in all that we do. We hardly look for values anymore. Rather, what matters most is getting all our friends and even their dogs on the dining table at every opportunity.

Then, when tomorrow comes bearing due repercussions in abundance, blaming the next person becomes the favourite game.

Ndị mmadụ akwadola iwu uloomeiwu steeti Anambara hiwere maka oke mmemme ili mmadụ.

Ndị mmadụ akwadola iwu uloomeiwu steeti Anambara hiwere maka oke mmemme ili mmadụ.

Femi Kuti / Photo credit: guardian.ng

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