In the last one month, Acting Governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has taken certain steps considered to be a surreptitious departure from his impeached predecessor, former governor Murtala Nyako. Our Correspondent in Yola, Umar Dankano, in this piece examines Fintiri’s achievements vis-a-vis the impact on the beleaguered people of the state.
By 15th of August, 2014, the administration of the state a Acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, will attain a month in office after the impeachment of the state’s former governor, Murtala Nyako for alleged gross financial misconduct and maladministration by the legislature. This is a development many see as a landmark achievement in the political history of the state and country at large.
Acting Governor Fintiri is indeed described by many as a hero mostly because of his leadership style and also because of the bold step he took in paying the outstanding salaries owed the civil servant for months, a move that had earned him commendations among political pundits in the state.
Madam Monica Zira, a civil servant in the sate said the emergence of the new administration led by Fintiri could be best described as “the coming of the messiah of our time in Adamawa” because the smiles he put on gloomy faces of the civil servants in the state will ever remain fresh in the minds of all and sundry.
Zira expressed surprise and disclosed that workers never believed the repeated salary alerts they received from their various bankers, saying in a week they were paid June/July 2014 salaries concurrently and the following week they were paid their September 2011 salaries including the N142 million allowances deducted by former administration under Nyako, who denied workers in the state their rights.
It would be recalled that Peoples Daily reported a story captioned “Fintiri windfall: Adamawa civil servants worry about poor services by banks” where our investigation revealed how most of the stationed Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were too slow and in most cases faulty due to high demand by customers who complained of spending 4-5 hours on queue to cash money at their various banks in the state.
Fintiri’s administration, after receiving official briefings from the permanent secretaries of all the ministries, boards, and parastatals and also meeting with major stakeholders in the state, decided to constitute a probe panel headed by Justice Umar Bobboi to investigate the activities of government from June 2007 to June 2014 with the sole aim of exposing and recommending measures on how to recover the misappropriated funds belonging to the state by the previous administration. This is because records had shown that N82 billion was alleged to have been carted away on the account of non viable projects.
Political analysts, including Joshua Abu, are of the opinion that the development is one of the best things that has happened to the state where the atrocities being committed by past governments is being checked for sanity and betterment of all because governance must be doing the right thing at all times.
Abu observed that without doing the right thing, even the figure generation and posterity will certainly not forgive the leaders but the correctional measure taken, will serve as a lesson for other leaders to be forthright in their dealings with people.
“As a matter of fact, the development is a welcome one as it serves as a lesson on the need to do the right thing as expected of leaders” he said.
Even the traditional leaders in the state submits to the Fintiri’s administration by paying him sallah homage recently and pledging to support and cooperate with his government so as to develop the state because, according to the royal fathers, “we are in a speedy competition for development in the globe and it is believed that Adamawa has been left far behind in many spheres of life.”
His royal Highness the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha, the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isah Ahmadu, Gangwari Ganye HRH Alhaji Umar Adamu Sanda, HRM, Hama Bachama, Honest Steven Irimiya, HRM, Hama Batta, Alhamdu Teneke and HRM Murum Nbula. J.J. Fwa among others pledged to work with the new administration so as to catch up with the rest of the neighboring states in development.
Lamido who is the president of the Adamawa traditional Council advised the Acting Governor to work with the fear of God and be just in his assignment.
Responding, the man of the moment, Fintiri promised to have an accountable, transparent and all encompassing government so as to establish a solid platform for the next government that would emerge after elections.
Fintiri was also quick to appeal to the traditional fathers to call his attention at any spot his administration is missing steps to the right direction and also announced the appointment of all the eight (8) first class emirs as his administration’s royal advisers automatically.
Another giant stride of the Fintiri administration as explained by political observers in the state, is the ongoing repairs of street lights and the road networks in the state capital.
According to John Luka, it is clear to even a blind man to touch and feel what is happening in the state capital as different companies are seen on daily basis repairing the spoilt lights on major roads in Jimeta-Yola.
“The state is wearing a new look because we can see companies repairing our non-functional street lights while the PW construction company is repairing our road. It is a good omen to the state and I commend the Acting Governor Fintiri for that” Luka enthused.
People of Jada and Numan Local government areas in the state are also delighted by the new Fintiri’s administration for the renovation of their cottage and General Hospital, Numan which were abandoned before but has since reached 80% completion.
A visit to the two hospitals by the Acting Governor last week to see for himself the ongoing renovations witnessed a warm appreciation by the people as they came out en-masse to welcome him singing local song of praises to him as “The hero of our time”.
In his remarks during the inspection of the ongoing hospital renovations, Fintiri assured the people in the two councils (Jada and Numan) of his administration’s readiness to uplift the living standard of the electorates considering the untold hardship being experienced in the hands of past leaders whom he accused of neglecting the rural people in the scheme of things saying “some of our so called past leaders did not have the interest of our people at heart but were too self centered and greedy in their dealings.”
Also testifying on the positive change brought by the Fintiri administration in the state are the 21 Local Government chairmen who expressed their gratitude and loyalty due to the release of their June and July 2014 monthly subventions in full. This made it possible for them to pay their workers’ wages including 2-3 outstanding salary arrears.
Chairman of Ganye Local Government, Faruk Muhammad, said the openness of the Fintiri
government informed the decision by all the 21 chairmen to dump their former political platform, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a view to supporting the new helmsman, Fintiri, so as to provide more dividends of democracy to their electorates, stressing that obedience and loyalty to a good leader is a necessity as provided in the holy scriptures.
For Muhammadu Jibrilla, chairman of Maiha local Government, the change in government was as “imminent” stressing that workers at various councils could attest to the wind of change blowing in Adamawa because most of them have settled the outstanding salaries owed council staffers.
Similarly, the chairman of Fufore local government area, Sahabo Aliyu Gurin, opined that Fintiri could simply be described as “an agent of positive change” to the people of Adamawa considering the epoch-making achievements recorded by him in just a month saying that, “these are the type of good young men with ideas that our democracy need for developmental strides in all aspects of human endeavors”.
Gurin who doubles as the state chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON)m Adamawa State Chapter, lambasted those behind the story that the new administration has purchased 21 SUV Prado jeeps for the 21 council chairmen in the state with additional N5m each lamenting that it was the handiwork of enemies of progress.
He explained, in a chat with Journalists recently that the proposal to buy those SUV Prado jeeps was conceived since the era of former Governor Nyako’s administration at their joint account meeting but couldn’t be done due to lack of funds. According to him, Fintiri only came to implement their agreement.
Investigations conducted revealed that most of the local government councils have been receiving less than N50 million as monthly subvention and were unable to pay salaries promptly. But with the coming of the Acting Governor the least subvention collected for June/July 2014 was over N100 million.
Similarly, the appointments of Professor Abdullahi Liman Tukur and Professor Maxwell Gidado as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the Chief of Staff respectively, was defined by pundits as a right step in the right direction. Again, the appointment of nine new commissioners who were screened and confirmed by the state Assembly last week also endeared the Acting governor to the people.
Those appointed as commissioners include: Mrs Jummai Wulasha, Ministry of Information, Mallam Bashir Ahmad, Ministry of Works, Felix Tangwami, Ministry of Health, John Elias for Ministry of Rural Infrastructure, Dr. Sa’id Mustafa Ministry of Education, Mallam Ahmad Alhassan Ministry of Commerce, Nuhu Bobbo Gurin Ministry of Lands and Survey, Mrs Justina Obadiah Ministry of Women Affairs and Nathan Rogers Shattin Ministry of Finance.