Last week, a number of incumbent Nigerian governors discussed what they are planning to do after they leave their respective offices.
They spoke at the 4th retreat of the Nigeria Governors Forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a session on Life after office: Perspectives and Challenges, chaired by the former President of Liberia, Amos Sawyer.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi recalled how he run successful oil and gas businesses before rising to the top political posts. He observed that people would look up to him and bring all kinds of gifts whenever he was “in a lucrative position,” but wouldn’t even remember his name when he was left it. The Governor maintained that one must be well prepared for the challenged ahead and have some definite ideas that must be implemented.
He talked that he has learnt from personal experience that it is best to “avoid enjoying what you usually cannot afford and just know that life is transient”.
Speaking about retirement, Governor Ajimobi advised other politicians against trying to influence the successor, because even determining the person who will succeed one in the office doesn’t mean that an outgoing governor will enjoy his retirement. After he leaves the office, Ajimobi said he intends to become a preacher and “tell people that there is God”.
While some persons, fearing “life after office,” have engaged in accumulating wealth, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha expressed his confidence that one’s effective governance would serve an isurance for retiring governors. He says he realizes that his term would eventually come to an end and stressed that one of the main goals of any governor’s administration should be fighting poverty.
“For me, the dramatisation of poverty is stupidity,” the Governor said. “I’ve gone through it and I swore that my generation will never experience it. It is better to have AIDS than poverty.”
Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako, on his part, said he is planning to become a farmer and does not expect any benefits from the government when he leaves office.
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole said he said he did not even understand why the question had been raised, as there is always a time to leave any office. He only expressed his hopes to be able to move around freely after leaving his office.
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