Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), remarked that deputy governors are often regarded as spare tyres in Nigeria’s political landscape. This observation was made during a gathering of former deputy governors who had served under the party’s banner, where Ganduje was a former Governor of Kano State.
Ganduje went on to elaborate that spare tyres, while not a primary focus, possess the advantage of being indispensable at some point in time.
It was noted that the gathering of former deputy governors visited Ganduje at the APC’s national headquarters in Abuja to express their solidarity. They raised concerns about their marginalization in the party’s leadership structure and urged for an amendment to the party’s constitution to allow them to attend National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings similar to former speakers and deputy speakers who currently enjoy this privilege.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja after the meeting, the delegation of 60 members, led by their chairman and former Imo State deputy governor, Chris Alozie Akomas, emphasized that deputy governors possess substantial influence within Nigerian politics due to their extensive following. Akomas stressed that their accumulated experience and expertise should not be dismissed.
“We consider this (omission of former deputy governors) as a mistake. While you included Speakers and Deputy Speakers, you excluded individuals who have served and represented entire states – individuals who wield the state’s structures.
“This is detrimental to the Forum of Former Deputy Governors of Nigeria and to effective governance. The efficacy of governance hinges on the infusion of diverse ideas. Within the deputy governors’ forum, there resides expertise, experience, knowledge, and professionalism. This should apply universally.”
In response to their concerns and appeals, Ganduje assured them that his administration would address their grievances. He empathized with their situation, having held the position of deputy governor himself.
The APC national chairman expressed:
“The role of a deputy governor is intricate within governance. That’s why God has no deputy. APC, as a political party, is deeply interested in governmental affairs.
“It’s a reciprocal interaction. We receive information from the government and convey it to the populace, just as we receive complaints from the public and relay them to the government.
“Every individual is a servant. It’s a sensitive issue. Deputy governors are sometimes viewed as contingency measures. We are all aware of the significance of a spare tyre. It might not be necessary when all is well, but it becomes essential during challenges.
“Another predicament that deputy governors face is the issue of sycophancy. When you walk alongside a governor and stand next to him when he speaks, sycophants label you insignificant. On the contrary, if you show respect to your superior by walking behind, sycophants accuse you of displaying a lukewarm attitude, thus retreating.
“Now, consider which position you would choose. It’s a complex matter.”
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