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5 Worst Governors in Northern Nigeria

By George Onmonya Daniel 

Late last year, to be precise, in December, NEWISSUES conducted a poll in which we asked people all over Northern Nigeria to nominate the worst governors in the North. We asked journalists, columnists, social media influencers, and ransom people on social media. You will be surprise at the outcome of our poll. 

At number ONE is Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. Governor Yahaya Bello was a lucky fellow. One of the luckiest of all the governors. He didn’t even contest for an election in his first term. Late Abubakar Audu was the gubernatorial candidate and immediately after the first election, leading with wide margin, he had a heart attack and died. The election was postponed for a supplemental election. The All Progressive Congress (APC) decided to bring the man who came second in the party’s  primary election to take over, and that was Yahaya Bello.

Governor Yahaya Bello is undoubtably the worst Governor in Northern Nigeria if not even Nigeria as a whole.

He was young and a minority. He was hope for all minorities. His victory was beyond Kogi’s politics. But Yahaya Bello would turn out to be the biggest disappointment in the history of underperforming as Governor in recent times.

As Governor Yahaya Bello couldn’t pay salary for over two years, putting civil servants into a lot of suffering to the level that there was a story where a director committed suicide out of frustration because he couldn’t provide for his family. He was more interested in coming to Abuja to see the president to the airport anytime the president is traveling and splashing the photos on the Internet than governing Kogi State.

Governor Yahaya Bello didn’t even care or empathize with his people.  Hasn’t got any developmental plans for his people. For four years he was taking care of himself and doesn’t care about the people.

He wouldn’t have even won the second term because of his non-performance, but his people (Igbira) people stood strongly by him against an Igala side who want him out not because of under performance but because they are majority. In one of the most violent and disgraceful election in Nigeria, Governor Yahaya Bello, aided by the Nigerian Police and thugs in broad day light, launched an attack on voters where they knew they would lose, disruption the election. It was clear Abuja’s hand was all over the shamelessness. In fact three days to election the election, Abuja decided to approve N10 billion for Kogi State.

Governor Yahaya Bello is the worst Governor in Northern Nigeria. He stays top at No. 1.


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Governor Ortom of Benue State came second because of his being unable to pay salaries for about one and half year. He had no plan and one couldn’t pinpoint what project he has done to improve the lives of the people of Benue State. Till date they are hundreds of people in refugee camps around Benue with the government not having any plans for them.

Governor Samuel of Benue State came second as the worst governor in Northern Nigeria.

Instead of focus on realistic projects that would benefit the people, Governor Samuel Ortom wants to build a cargo airport. The project has been condemned but the governor is still insisting on it.

Benue State have had some of the worst Governors Samuel Ortom since 1999.

NIGER STATE GOVENOR, Abubakar Sani Bello, also referred to as Lolo, is the number 3 on this list of worse governors in Northern Nigeria. His youthfulness when he became governor the first time was what attracted people to him. People simply believe he would understand their plight. But Governor Sani Bello  has shown that he is too elitist and has no vision. He has no vision for education, he has no plans for wealth creation for his people, he has no plans at all.

Governor Abubakar Sani Lolo, is third on the worst Governor in Northern Nigeria list.

His people in the rural areas have been under attacks by bandits but you would not hear him speak about their plight. Nothing unique or serious is going on in Niger State. Mr. Lolo doesn’t seem like he has any serious plans for his people.


For a man who has an ambition of being President and ran for the primary election of his party in the recent election, some of us thought Governor Tambuwal would do something special so that the nation would remember him, alas no. The former speaker of the House of Representatives, now Governor of Sokoto State, should be inspiration to young people of Sokoto State by his work, but so far he has transform all the knowledge and experience he has in the National Assembly for anything tangible for his state.

Governor Tambuwal
and Badaru are number 4th on the worst Governor list.

Today Governor Tambuwal is being accused of not caring about his state but his presidential ambition.

Governor BADARU of Jigawa State makes it to number 4 with Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. The man has simply no plans for his people than building mosques all over. Governor Badaru is more interested in awarding contacts to his people to build mosques instead of schools or hospitals. Sokoto and Jigawa State are some of the poorest states in Nigeria.

Governor Badaru is fourth on the list with his Sokoto counterparts.


Under Governor Nasir El-Rufai, hundreds of people have been killed in Kaduna State with the Governor not saying much about it. This is because most of these killings are going on in Southern Kaduna. Governor Nasir El-Rufai has completely  neglected Southern Kaduna  because he will tell you the people didn’t vote for him.

Nasir El-Rufai is fifth because he couldn’t replicate what he did in the FCT as minister as governor of Kaduna State. He has been a divisive character and hundreds have been
killed under his watch.

At one time during his tenure as governor, Fulani bandits blocked the Abuja-Kaduna Highway for months, in fact he ran into them during one of their operation with his convoy. The whole matter was downplayed.

How can you be governor when hundreds have been killed under you in five years? Are you not the governor of the people or the governor of yourself ?

Governor Nasir El-Rufai came in as the fifth worst governor in Northern Nigeria.

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NewIssues Magazine
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NewIssues Magazine is a monthly magazine based in Abuja, with a widely reach daily online news stories and analysis. We are ALWAYS in the HEART of NEWS



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