As the year winds down gradually with just a few days to the New Year, 2017, the political atmosphere in the country was a bit tense in the last one year; however there were some other things that happened in 2016, especially when it comes to news reportage of some state governors in Nigeria.
Every democratic clime has its movers and shakers. These people are called the big-guns or the political actors. They decide who takes what and who gets what. Sometimes, these powers-that-be could either be politically active or not.
By being politically active, it means the person in question is in an elective position and therefore, oversees the affairs of his niche. On the other hand, the politically passive person holds no elective position, but could be a godfather.
In 2016, going down memory lane as far as the 36 states of the federation were concerned, seven state governors were the talk of the town. Some of them were seen as calm heads, while a few of them were perceived as controversial, based on the comments they made in the media. These governors are split along the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In the views of some Nigerians, opinion could basically be divided on these seven governors based on their performance since January 1, 2016 up to this present moment.
A good number of people might agree they deserve to make this list, but could still feel some of them are yet to deliver the dividends of democracy to the suffering masses in their states. In addition, these governors divided opinions along the course of the year.
1. Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti state governor)
No other governor comes first to the minds of Nigerians rather than Ayodele Fayose, who has become a sort of thorn in the flesh of the APC-led administration. He is seen as a one-man rioting squad by some sections of the country. The PDP governor is nicknamed ''Oshokomole.'' He introduced the concept of ''stomach infrastructure.''
Right from the beginning of the present year to this very moment, hardly any day passes by, without the headlines reporting something about the Ekiti state governor. Some people see him as a controversial man, while others see him as the hero of the less-privileged in his state, especially whenever he dines and wines with the poor. He is known to be the number one critic of President Muhammadu Buhari's government before its inception.
Recent reports have it that he is still in the books of the nation's anti-graft agency as his moves to secure the release of his houses seized by the EFCC has failed.
2. Nyesom Wike (Rivers state governor)
Wike, a PDP governor is also seen to be controversial by some political watchers. His state has been in the eye of the storm since the beginning of the year. It is only in Rivers that INEC will be conducting a re-run election more than two times. This is due to the high level of violence and volatility in the state.
In the recently conducted, but not really concluded national assembly re-run elections in Rivers, it was learnt that the electoral body has gotten an audio tape which contains recording of Governor Wike allegedly threatening to kill an INEC official for not doing his bidding during the December 10 rerun of elections in the state. This is seen as a big indictment on the office of the governor and Wike himself.
3. Rochas Okorocha (Imo state governor)
The number one common phrase usually used by the Imo state number one citizen before he addresses his people is "My people! My people!"
Okorocha has made headlines often for different issues, most often on those bordering on workers' welfare and labour. He is said to be turning the state into his personal estate as he recently gave some benefits to his wife.
4. Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun state governor)
Governor Amosun is seen as one of the trailblazers among the governors in the Southwest region. He is said to be among the Buhari's favourites. Some months ago, there was a sort of controversy when the president hosted the Ogun state chief executive a day after the presidency cancelled a courtesy visit to Lagos state.
The president in fact has visited the governor this year to commission some projects in his state.
5. Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna state governor)
Like him or hate him, the diminutive governor is said to have achieved what some of his predecessors failed to achieve, especially on the clamping down of the Shia movement in the state. Some of the residents in Kaduna said this was a laudable achievement.
The governor is even said to be a hardliner by some people. It seems Governor El-Rufai has stirred up the hornet's nest in the state due to the way his critics perceive his leadership style.
6. Kashim Shettima (Borno state governor)
Governor Shettima is called ''the cat with nine lives.'' The Borno state number one man has shown others how to weather the storm of adversity, especially the Boko Haram insurgency which almost decimated his state to zero level.
Governor Shettima has been leading his entourage and government officials to recovered towns in the state whereby re-construction work and new projects have begun. He believes with the support of all and sundry, all lost territories in the state will be regained and brought back to life in a matter of a few years to come.
7. Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos state governor)
The Lagos state governor is called the ''Actualiser.'' He received a lot of knocks when he initially took over the reigns of office. However, he is said to be picking up at a very fast pace especially in 2016, where he has embarked on massive projects like the one at the Lagos-Ogun border.
In the real sense of it, all the 36 state governors should be talked about majorlly on what they have achieved so far, however, this is still far from the truth. This is because some of the governors are rarely reported in the media. More so, some of them are yet to kick the ground running since they were sworn in as chief executives.