Adamawa is working under the magic fists of Fintiri
After just one year, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is walking the talk. He has touched Adamawa state in diverse ways, despite myriad of challenges; economic, security, political, social, and many more.
The fact sheet which has been unfolded a year after has shown some unassailable truths that can never be swept away. As Sir Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister said: “Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance may deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.”
The governor and his team are steadily and painstakingly retooling Adamawa state. Out of sheer and deliberate ignorance, some people deride the efforts, saying we see nothing, we hear nothing.
Yes. When you have become deliberately blind, you can see nothing, even when it is thrust before your very eyes. You won’t see it. When you have become willfully deaf, when it is noise to your hearing daily, you won’t hear.
Some other people do theirs out of panic. Shall it be said that what Napoleon couldn’t do, has been done by that simple, unassuming man from Madagali? Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
Madagali of all places. That small place. Not a man from a major city. And he wants to be recorded in history as the man who turned Adamawa state right side up. They resent it out of panic.
Yet some others operate out of malice. He is not of my ethnic stock. Nor of my religion, language, political party. Why must Adamawa work under him? It won’t happen. We won’t see anything, nor hear anything. In fact, he is doing nothing. The state is even worse off than he met it one year ago.
There is a quote often attributed to John Adams, a former American President, though some people claim it was not original to him. It goes thus: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
One year ago, thousands celebrated the victory of Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who defeated the incumbent governor in a fierce encounter at the 2019 general elections.
Governor Fintiri in less than a year in office has been inspiring and has impacted positively on the lives of the people of the state. He has proven by all accounts, to be a good manager, and has made significant progress in all aspects of life.
The people of Adamawa state will bear me witness to the fact that the state is now on the path of development. All these things made him stand out among his peers even as he was crowned the “Leadership governor of the year 2019.”
The early part of his administration has been punctuated by development that provide assurances for good governance and prospect for a state like Adamawa which has remained under the shackles of poverty, deprivation, repression and under -development.
His popular policies and a handful of achievements during the early part of his administration rekindled the hope of the Adamawa population for a better deal.
For an administration that has to contend with a huge debt profile of about N140 billion on assumption of office, the debt status of the state may be contrary.
As a leader who understands the art of governance and the frustrations of his people, his determination to translate into concrete reality his 11 -point agenda apparently became the source of the strength to take his teeming supporters out of our present political and economic quagmire.
In his wisdom, he has established a pattern, spanning five major critical areas of governance which have so far yielded positive results and these areas include, security, education, infrastructural development and workers welfare.
Since his assumption to office in 2019, he swept through the entire murderous dynasty of hoodlums, bandits and extremists’ groups. Alas! Adamawa state is salvaged under his untired fists of confident leadership
Gone are the days when kidnappers, gunmen and the deadly Shilla boys carry out their activities unabated. His tough stand on insecurity is responsible for the arrest of over 200 Shilla boys, over 50 kidnappers and also brought to the barest minimum, farmers and herders clashes which were getting out of hand, all in his first three months in office.
It is safe to say that the present administration has achieved 95 per cent success in the fight against insecurity. His administration facilitated the return of 133 Nigerian refugees of Adamawa origin who fled the state because of insecurity to Cameroon.
Even though education was at a decline when he assumed office, he has revived the sector by introducing free and compulsory education and by paying WAEC and NECO fees for all students; from school feeding programmes for secondary schools, to rehabilitation and rebuilding of school structures.
From UBE stimulus package in excess of N8 billion to scholarship for 60 students to India to study engineering.
The governor was also instrumental in the conversion of Moddibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, to a conventional university that will make it possible for the institution to accommodate more courses and admit more students.
His administration has also approved the payment of matching grants to UBEC for the state to access over N8 billion UBEC stimulus package.
The last time citizens of the state benefited from housing allocation is10 years ago, during the administration of former Governor Murtala Nyako and Boni Haruna. It is because of the housing deficit in the state that Governor Fintiri decided to build 2, 000 houses for the citizens of the state.
Toungo Local Government Area which has been cut off from the national grid for more that 20 years has now been reconnected all thanks to the current administration.
Reconnecting Madagali and Michika Local Government Areas to the national grid after being disconnected for more than five years by the dreaded Boko Haram is currently ongoing.
Road construction is going simultaneously around the state capital and environs, with the Bachure Road construction at the forefront.
Known as the ATM governor, workers welfare, salaries and entitlement is among the top of his priorities. He has since last year approved the implementation of the national minimum wage and even went further to pay more than the federal government’s agreed wage.
Not only is salary being paid before the 25th of the month, it is paid even without collecting overdraft. He paid the 2019 leave grants, pension and gratuity of retired civil servants have been paid from 2012 and also he raised the monthly allocation for payments of pension and gratuity from 50 million to 100 million so that the accumulated pension and gratuity of pensioners will be settled.
Humanitarianism goes hand in hand with politics, Humanitarianism has an ideological aspect, representing the industrialized world’s aspirations to relieve suffering in societies faced by acute crisis, but may also be conceived as a self‐evidently practical response to needs.
Governor Fintiri has proven times without number, that he values humanity more than anything. His first humanitarian task came in handy when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped and killed the CAN chairman of Michika Local Government Area, he made it a point of duty to award scholarship to the children of the killed clergyman and further donated N3 million for the education of the children of soldiers killed by Boko Haram in Garkida, headquarters of Gombi Local Government Area.
His benevolence was extended to fire victims at the markets in Ganye, Michika and Song Local Government Areas as he donated N3 million each to the three local government areas to ameliorate the hardship caused by the inferno.
He is benevolent enough to donate his three months salary to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus. As if that was not enough, he donated N20 million to tricycle riders in the state in an effort to ameliorate the hardship caused by the lockdown order in the state.
The governor went further to direct the Adamawa state Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA) to distribute foodstuffs as palliatives to the 21 local government areas of the state.
Items distributed include 3,948 bags of 50kg rice, 4,545 25litres of vegetable oil, 135 bags of 50kg sugar, 21 cartons of couscous, 21 bags of 50kg beans and 1, 530 cartons of tomato paste.
Others are 1, 060 cartons of spaghetti/macaroni and 480 second hand clothes, among others. Rainstorm victims in Jada Local Government Area also felt the breath of fresh air as the governor donated N5 million to enable them rebuild their damaged homes.
Yet, some people don’t see what the government is doing. But, those who see and hear are full of appreciation.
True, facts are stubborn things. Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance may deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.
Puja is a commentator and public affairs analyst and writes from Yola, Adamawa state.