In doffing my hat for the unique leadership of His Excellency, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintri’s administration in the past one year, I will equally point out how his administration’s judicious and dexterous use of tax payers’ resources stands out among the efforts of other administrations.
After just one year, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is walking the talk. He has touched Adamawa in diverse ways, despite the myriad of challenges: economic, security, political, social, and many more.
The factsheet, 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. Out of sheer and deliberate ignorance, some people deride this, 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; even when it is drummed into your hearing daily, you still won’t hear this.
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 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 Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who defeated the incumbent governor in a fierce encounter during 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 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 Newspapers Governor of the Year 2019”.
The early part of his administration has been punctuated by developments that provide assurances for good governance and prospect for a state like Adamawa, which has remained under the shackles of poverty, deprivation, repression an underdevelopment.
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 his 11-point agenda into concrete reality, has apparently become a source of the strength to take his teeming supporters out of the country’s 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.
A cursory look at what he has managed to accomplish would be in order.
Since his assumption to office in 2019, he swept through the entire murderous dynasty of hoodlums, bandits and extremists groups and Adamawa has become safer under his purposeful leadership. Gone are the days when kidnapers, gunmen and the deadly Shilla boys carried out their activities unabated. His tough stand on insecurity is responsible for the arrest of over 200 Shilla boys, over 50 kidnappers, and he has also brought the farmers and herders clashes, which were getting out of hand, to the barest minimum, 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.
In this vein, his administration acquired 80 Toyota Hilux vans and more than 100 motorcycles, which were distributed to security outfits in the State. He also facilitated the return of 133 Nigerian refugees to Adamawa, who had fled from insecurity to Cameroon.
Governor Fintiri led security chiefs to a communal clash in Tingno and Tito communities in Lamurde LGA of Adamawa State, with their presence leading to pacification of the attack that had been going on.
Governor Fintiri has lived up to his expectation as the chief security officer of Adamwa State, by keeping the men of the underworld away from the streets.
Although the Fintiri administration met education in the State in decline, the governor immediately embarked on reviving the sector through his introduction of free and compulsory education, the purchase of WAEC and NECO examination forms for students, the deployment of the feeding programme for secondary schools in the State, to the rehabilitation and rebuilding of school structures.
Also, his administration also approved the payment of the matching grant in order to access the over N8 billion Universal Basic Education (UBE) stimulus package.
After the payment of scholarship funds to Adamawa students all over the country, he approved the scholarship of 60 students to India for engineering courses.
And, for students to learn in a conducive environment, he approved funds for the rehabilitation of 5000 classrooms in schools across the state.
Governor Fintiri was also instrumental in the conversion of the Moddibbo Adama University of Technology Yola (MAUTECH) to a conventional university that will make it possible for the institution to accommodate more courses and admit more students. The governor also distributed educational materials to public schools in the State. The distribution of this materials are below:
● 1,800 student desks/chairs
● 21,000 assorted textbooks
● 319 teacher tables/chairs
● 6,000 instructional materials
Junior Secondary Schools
● 46,440 STAN assorted textbooks
● 27,750 assorted textbooks
Senior Secondary Schools
● 22,400 assorted textbooks
● 2,750 students desks/chairs
● Laboratory equipment
● 19,950 Chemistry textbooks
● 8,830 Physics textbooks
● 6,790 Biology textbooks
● 800 first aid kits
● 1,650 double bunks
● 3,300 student mattresses
The last time citizens of the State benefitted from housing allocation is close to 10 years, during times of former Governors Nyako and Boni Haruna.
It is because of the housing deficit in the state that Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri decided to build 2000 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.
The ongoing constructions are Benue Street; Kaduna Street; Lusaka Street; Abeakuta Street; Ndaforo Street; also the 2.5 kilometre Philip Maken and links; the 1.5 kilometre Lagos Street; the 2.31 kilometre Falu road and links; the 2.7 kilometre Mambila and Jambutu Streets; the 1.35 kilometre old Government House road and links; the reconstruction of the 3.185 kilometre Bachure Road; and the rehabilitation of the 2.2 kilometre Nepa road.
Completion of Some Abandoned Projects
● Completion of the construction of selected roads in the Adamawa State University Mubi, totalling 5.3 kilometres;
● Mubi Township roads phase II (12.55 kilometres);
● Some selected Ganye Township roads (Buwangal-Sangasumi road; 7 kilometres);
● Asphalting of Song bridge and approach roads;
● Asphalting of Mustapha isonail Street and links in Jimeta;
● Construction of additional road and links in Dougerei and part of Lekki Taba Street;
● Resumption of work on the construction of Kiri Junction, Kiri-Shelleng road (37.5 kilometres).
Contractors are being mobilised to site to complete the abandoned Pella–Maiha road that was abandoned for more than five years. Ther has equally been the construction of a 7.5MvA 33/11KV injection sub-station with associated lines and the installation of six 500KVA transformers at Army Barracks Road.
Workers Welfare and Entitlement
Known as the ATM governor, workers welfare, salaries and entitlement is among the top of Governor Fintiri’s priorities. He has since last year approved the implementation of the national minimum wage, d aneven went further to pay more than the federal government’s agreed wages.
Not only is salary being paid before 25th of each month, it is paid even without collecting bank overdrafts. Governor Fintiri has also paid the 2019 leave grants, pensions and gratuities of retired civil servants from 2012 and he also raised the monthly allocation for payments of pension and gratuity from N50 million to N100 million, so that the accumulated pension and gratuity of pensioners will be settled.
Apart from approving wardrobe allowances to the staff of Adamawa Television cooperation (ATV, Yola), he approved and paid for the back on terrestrial train.
This goes in-hand with politics, and it has an ideological aspect, representing the industrialised 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 numbers that he values humanity more than anything. His first task of humanitarianism came in handy when Boko haram insurgents kidnapped and killed the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman in Michika local government area, as he made it a point of duty to award scholarships to the children of the killed clergyman.
He donated N3 million for the education of the children of soldiers killed by Boko Haram in Garkida, Gombi local government area. And, his benevolence was extended to fire victims at the markets in Ganye, Michika and Loko in Song local government areas through the donation of N3 milion each to the three local government areas to ameliorate the hardship caused by the inferno.
Governor Fintiri is benevolent enough to have donated 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 Adamawa.
The governor went further to direct the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA) to distribute foodstuff as palliatives in 21 local government areas of the State. Items distributed include 3,948 bags of 50-kilogramme rice; 4,545 bottles 25-litre vegetable oil; 135 bags of 50-kologramme sugar, 21 cartons of couscous, 21 bags of 50-kilogramme beans and 1,530 cartons of tomato paste.
Others commodities distributed comprised 1,060 cartons of spaghetti/macaroni, 480 bales of second hand cloths, as well as 57 wraps of second hand cloths, 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.
In doffing my hat for the unique leadership of His Excellency Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintri’s administration in the past one year, I will equally point out how his administration’s judicious and dexterous use of tax payers’ resources stands out among the efforts of other administrations.
His coordination of people-oriented projects explain the prudent utilisation of public funds. Still, despite the increasing challenges of the current public health crisis unleashed by COVID-19, His Excellency Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintri uniquely halted the outrageous spread of the virus. He ensured the available supplies of personal protective equipments (PPE), while ensuring that the state’s Isolation Centres are beefed up with unending medical supplies.
Also, the hazard allowances of health workers are made available to them regularly and on time to encourage them in their exceptional battles to save lives from coronavirus in Adamawa State. Different palliatives continue to flourish across the nooks of the state to alleviate the hardships the pandemic has brought.
Yet some people claim not to see what the government is doing. Please who off light?
But those who see, and hear, are full of appreciation.
It is true, facts are stubborn things. “Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance may deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.”
Foya Puja, a public affair analyst, wrote from Yola, Adamawa State.