New Telegraph

As the Edo State Exco finally takes off…

On Monday, October 4, this year, the Edo State Assembly confirmed the would-be commissioners, following the submission of a list of nominees by the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. New Telegraph commends the state’s Legislature for confirming the nominees put forward to it by the governor.


We equally extend our thumbs-up to Governor Obaseki for eventually finding persons that will constitute a vital governance facilitator like the Edo State Executive Council.


What this means is that Edo State could be said to have assembled her Grade A team that will help churn out top-notch ideas needed to activate and lubricate the machinery of governance at the different joints for its desired socio-economic, scientific, technological and political development.


But this is reasonably compromised by the fact that the composition of the state Executive Council is coming months after Governor Obaseki earned his second term mandate during which the state could be said to have lost the perceived quality inputs of a team like the Executive Council.


What has been lost in terms of the well-thought ideas, policies and programmes during the months that Edo State was governed without a propertyconstituted Executive Council is indeed huge and is unlikely to be regained. Everything in the human sphere is associated with the written or unwritten law of incrementalism.

Whatever success that is desired in any endeavour and at any time, must be wellconceived and be backed up with deliberate, conscious and steady efforts over a long period of time.


Any genuine success is usually the by-product of a long period of hard work and industry showcased through realistic ideation and commitment and dedication that must be at par with those of the monks.


Though the 1999 Constitution has some contradictions, the document, even despite its flaws, is still able to appreciate the relevance of an Executive Council.


This acknowledgement of the importance of the Executive Council therefore makes it mandatory for the President and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria or the governor of a state not to rule, as ‘Sole Administrators’, but in conjunction with a team known as the ‘Executive Council’.

We, however, note, with dismay, that the composition of the Executive Council has, in some instances, been relegated to the background, as a delayed exercise, even after the chief executive officers have taken their oaths of office to govern in a manner that will help promote the well-being of the people.


We recall, with regret, that after being sworn into office for the first time in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari administered without a Federal Executive Council (FEC) for a staggering six months.


The excuse reportedly given by him  for such a governance gap was that he was taking his time to search for men and women of competence and integrity who will help him to maximally deliver dividends of democracy to the people. After being sworn-in for his second and final tenure in 2019,


President Buhari also carried on with governance for months without a properly constituted Federal Executive Council (FEC) for more than 50 days. Unfortunately, like President Buhari and Governor Obaseki, some governors have, at different times, ruled for months as ‘Sole Administrators’, without having Executive Councils to compliment them.


This is unacceptable and should not be allowed any further given its retrogressive impact on the socio-economic, scientific, technological and political development of the populace.


We enjoin the National Assembly and state assemblies to henceforth help bring pressure to bear on the federal and state governments to at all times send lists of ministerial and commissionership nominees to the state and state legislatures respectively for screening a day after taking their oaths of office. Such lists should indicate the designated portfolios of the nominees so as to make it possible for the lawmakers to properly grill the nominees.


But this is a crucial assignment that should not be left entirely in the hands of the parliaments at the national and state levels, as they have, in some instances, become mere extensions of their Executive Arms of government.

Professional bodies, trade unions, non-governmental organisations and opinion moulders in the different spheres of the country’s national life should help ensure that the president or governor always submits a list of ministerial or commissionership nominees respectively to the parliament 24 hours after being sworn-in.

The alibi that the delayed composition of an Executive Council could be due to the search for transparent and capable persons does not hold water as that is an indication of lack of diligent preparation for the storms, trials and vicissitudes of public office, which has been illustrated by some of the nation’s political gladiators with the uncertainty and wavering disposition with which they approach governance.


Any office-seeker should, while campaigning for his or her mandate, select members of his/her future Executive Council, should he/she win the election.


He/she should have a list of implementable people-oriented programmes and policies that will not turn out to be sectional.

With heightened political consciousness and activism, the professional bodies, trade unions, opinion moulders and the NGOs will help put each president or governor in check regarding the delayed composition of an Executive Council considered to be an inevitable decision-making body of the Executive arm of government.

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