President Muhammadu Buhari is the father of the country irrespective of political affiliation, in the last four years. And he will continue to perform that responsibility till 2023.
Apart from the Council of State meeting that takes all the 36 state governors to Abuja for meeting, some state governors have been closer to Aso Rock than their counterparts.
1) Kayode Fayemi
Dr Kayode Fayemi is the governor of Ekiti State. He was one of Buhari’s favourite when he was the Minister of Solid Minerals Development between 2015 till 2018 when he voluntarily resigned to contest for the Ekiti State Governorship Election.
Buhari’s love for Fayemi may be connected with his (Fayemi) profession. Fayemi is a security expert, no wonder he is an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., United States.
Dr Fayemi serves on numerous Boards including the Governing Board of the Open Society Justice Institute, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, African Security Sector Network, and on the Advisory Board of the Global Facilitation Network on Security Sector Reform and on the Management Culture Board of the ECOWAS Secretariat.
Fayemi is one of the governors who have access to Aso Rock. At a time when Buhar invited some Northern governors, Fayemi was the only SouthWest governor invited by Buhari.
Buhari loves Fayemi, Fayemi love Buhari may be an understatement considering their closeness.
2) Kashim Shettima
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State is one of the North East governors who are close to President Buhari. His closeness to Aso Rock may not be unconnected to the activities Boko Haram in the Borno.
The 52-year-old governor had problems with the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan when Boko Haram abducted over 200 Chibok schoolgirls.
The APC governor is known to be a constant visitor to Aso Rock. And on April 25, before Buhari travelled to UK for a private visit he visited Borno State to commission some of the projects executed by Shettima. He’s a Senator-elect.
3) Tanko Al-Makura
Al-Makura was elected Governor of Nasarawa State, on April 26, 2011, under the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), under the same political party Buhari contested and lost the 2011 presidential election to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The party through a merger metamorphised to All Progressive Congress (APC).
Even though Al-Makura was a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State in 1998, his political romance with Buhari is more than some governors he met in APC.
4) Nasir El-Rufai
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has been described as one of the controversial governors in Nigeria due to his public utterances on some national issues, yet he isn’t a stranger to Aso Rock.
It isn’t his first time of being close to the Aso Rock, when he was in the PDP and as the Minister of FCT, he was described by the former Chairman of EFCC as the “de facto No. 2 official”, tagging him with the role of a Vice-President, especially after the fall-out between the former President and his Vice-President.
He was one of the favourites of former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo. Again, he is close to Buhari.
5) Akinwumi Ambode
The outgoing governor of Lagos State Akinwumi Ambode may not be having it smooth with the National Leader of APC Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but it seems the “smart” governor has found his ways into the political circle of Buhari.
During the APC presidential campaign, he was virtually everywhere with the president, even he had to travel from Lagos to Kano when the president was visiting the Northern state.
On April 24, the president was in Lagos to commission some projects executed by Ambode.
6) Yahaya Bello
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has been seen in Aso Rock severally, most especially as his first tenure draws nearer.
Some of his critics say his closeness to Buhari is to get smooth ride during the party primaries in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Recalled that the 43-year-old governor was declared winner of the 2015 Kogi State gubernatorial election after he was chosen on the platform of the All Progressives Congress as the replacement for the late Abubakar Audu who originally won the election but died before the result was declared.
7) Dave Umahi
What makes Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State stands out is the fact that he’s a member of the opposition party (PDP).
Of all the states Buhari visited during the presidential campaign, Ebonyi was the only state among the PDP states that gave Buhari a rousing welcome.
He was quoted as saying, “At least, 2, 000 PDP members would receive the President at the stadium while you go about your rallies in your various zones. We would even help them (opposition) with buses to get people from Enugu and Abia,” PM news quoted him as saying.
At a time, some PDP members were speculating that Umahi might dump PDP for APC, but he remained in his party while he continues to be the friend of the president.
8) Ibikunle Amosun
Despite his suspension for anti-party activities in Ogun State, the outgoing Governor of Ogun State and Senator-elect Ibikunle Amosun is unperturbed as he continues to visit Aso Rock.
He was the first governor to arrive Aso Rock the day INEC declared Buhari the winner of the presidential election.
Other governors who are also close to Buhari are:
9) Simon Lalong of Plateau State
10) Aminu Masari of Katsina (APC)
While other governors have held several meetings with the father of the country, we believe that the above state governors get a kind of special access to Aso Rock.
Let’s know what your thoughts are.