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Abba Yusuf

List Of State Governors Who Are Yet To Fight Their Godfathers



Twenty governors will mark their first year in office in less than ten days.

Naija News reports that a few of them ascended to governorship through the endorsement of their predecessors, who cleared the path for them amidst a pool of other aspiring politicians.

In Nigeria, conflicts between political godfathers and their proteges, known as godsons, are quite common.

Some of the most notable recent conflicts include Rabiu Kwankwaso versus Umar Ganduje, Peter Obi versus Willie Obiano, Udom Emmanuel versus Godswill Akpabio, Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki, Rauf Aregbesola and Gboyega Oyetola, among others.

Currently, the clash between Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State and his predecessor, ex-governor Nyesom Wike, has become the focal point of news coverage.


Former governor Nasir El-Rufai and Governor Uba Sani are entangled in a conflict in Kaduna, while Governor Alia and ex-governor George Akume engage in a struggle for party structure supremacy in Benue State.

However, in certain states, the transition from incumbents to successors has been uneventful. Although disputes may arise, they have yet to attract media attention.

Kano State:

After enduring years of political setbacks at the hands of his former deputy, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano State seems to have mastered the art of being a political mentor.

In 2015, he reluctantly supported his then-deputy, Umar Ganduje, for the governorship seat, a decision that nearly cost him his political stronghold.


In subsequent elections, Kwankwaso backed his son-in-law, Abba Yusuf, but faced defeat. In 2023, the same ticket was replicated, and it proved successful.

Currently, both Kwankwaso and his son-in-law seem to be directing their efforts towards the common adversary, Ganduje.


The Minister of Defence and former Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, and his successor Umar Namadi have maintained a tranquil relationship. Badaru handpicked his deputy as his successor, and the succession plan seemed meticulously executed in 2019.



In 2023, Delta State witnessed a shift as a candidate endorsed by James Ibori failed to secure the governorship for the first time.

Ifeanyi Okowa, broke the tradition when his candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, defeated Ibori’s favored candidate, David Edevbie.

Okowa explained his decision, citing fairness and the need to respect rotational politics within the state.

Despite these events, Delta State has remained tranquil since the election, with both the incumbent and his predecessor maintaining a peaceful atmosphere.

Enugu State:


In 2022, Former Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, a member of the influential G5 group, threw his support behind Peter Mbah before the primaries. Despite a push by the Labour Party during the election, the PDP managed to retain control of the state.

However, Ugwuanyi faced a significant setback in his bid for the senate seat, losing heavily to Okechukwu Ezea of the Labour Party.

Since leaving office, Ugwuanyi has shifted his focus to the G5 struggle for control within the PDP at the national level, while Mbah appears to be firmly in charge of governance and the PDP in Enugu State. The former governor’s silence on state governance suggests a harmonious relationship with his successor.


Aliyu Wamakko has played a significant role in the leadership tussles in Sokoto State since 1999. His endorsement of Aminu Tambuwal in 2015 led to a fallout, but he made a comeback by backing Ahmad Aliyu last year. Currently, both Wamakko and Aliyu appear to be content with the political arrangement in the state.


Kebbi State:

Former Governor Atiku Bagudu threw his weight behind Nasir Idris during the primaries, resulting in victory over former Majority Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi.

Bagudu’s support for the former President of the Teachers’ Union deterred heavyweight contenders like former Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, from entering the race for the party ticket.

One year into the administration, Bagudu and his successor have not engaged in any power struggles over control of the party structure in the state.



Udom Emmanuel, the immediate past governor of Akwa-Ibom State, successfully navigated a tough battle against his former godfather, Godswill Akpabio. Emmanuel backed Umo Eno as his successor in 2022, claiming that Eno was revealed to him by God. The former governor has remained relatively quiet since leaving office, and there have been no visible clashes for control of the state.

Cross River:

Governor Bassey Otu and his predecessor, Ben Ayade, appear to have a cooperative relationship since the last election. Although Ayade endorsed Otu as the gubernatorial candidate, the endorsement faced challenges. Since losing the senatorial election, Ayade has remained politically inactive, seemingly relinquishing control of the political structure to his successor.


Dave Umahi, the former Governor of Ebonyi State, fought a tough battle to ascend to power. He single-handedly nominated Francis Nwifuru as the candidate of the APC and ensured his victory.


Umahi, now the Minister of Works, seems focused on his federal duties, while the governor is handling affairs at the state level.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu emerges as a prominent figure among political godfathers in the resurgence of democracy. Since 2007, he has orchestrated the elevation of three governors in Lagos State while maintaining control over the political structure in the state.

Source link: Naija News/

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