Fintiri’s infrastructure award: For God and country

Although Nigeria’s leadership recruitment system is still going through a refining, one thing that has remained true since the return of democracy in 1999 is that leaders are still elected by the people for one singular purpose – to deliver progress in all its shades and ramifications.

It was Suzy Kassem who posited that “To know the good from the bad, study a man or woman’s history of actions, not their record of intentions”. Before Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa state had seen all kinds of leaders who in keeping with the Nigerian colour of political leadership have simply talked-shop to land the highest office only to abandon the most important aspect of that social contract which entails action, dedication and diligence towards improving the quality of life of the people.

In the list of these past leaders, none had a worst record than Jibrilla Bindow, the immediate past governor of Adamawa state who simply went to sleep after benefiting from President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, tsunami in 2015. It was no surprise then that the Adamawa people, always very down to earth and in tune with the actions and or the lack of it from their leaders, did not waste time to boot him out.

As leaders come, Fintiri has simply walked the talk. Not much of a talker, he has plugged the gap with action where many politicians of this day have chosen agency relationship with the media to stay relevant. And, where many subnational leaders spend billions to sponsor hours and hours of repetitive, empty media coverages, the governor has insisted on delivering on his side of the social contract with the people, by bringing real and verifiable progress to the doorsteps of the people. The Fintiri dividends of democracy have been in the face and in the lives of the people. This is why it has not come as a surprise to some of us that an APC led federal hovernment sitting in faraway Abuja has found him deserving of a national award as the best governor of the year in Infrastructure delivery.

Indeed, Governor Fintiri has typified the saying that good brands do not need too much media advertising to appeal to the people. Why, because the people themselves become the paparazzi, and no story can trump the progress that is owned and transmitted by the people for whom the story was written and acted.

I am sure that some Nigerians will be questioning how Fintiri got this award, especially since they have not been to Adamawa state and the man has refused to make a media spectacle of his infrastructure transformation since assuming office in 2019. So, here’s a little breakdown of what the people are now referring to as the Fintiri magic.

Fintiri has added over 100 kilometers of road to the Adamawa road network, including the construction of key bridges. The most important feature of Fintiri’s road action is that it’s focused first the reconnection of many some local government areas that were completely cutoff from other parts of the state during Bindow’s reign. In this group is the Gombi road, among others.

Importantly though, roads like the Kiri Junction, Kiri-Shelleng road 37.5km, the ongoing Pella 38km road, Philip Maken and Links 2.5km, Lagos street,1.5km
Falu road and Links – 2.31km, Mambila and Jambutu street 2.7km, Old Government House road and Links – 1.35km, reconstruction of Bachure road – 3.185km, rehabilitation of Nepa Road – 2.2km.5.3km. Mubi township roads phase II (12.55km), as well as several other roads in various stages of completion simply needed to be constructed and the governor obliged. Yet, the man’s body language gives you the feeling that he is just beginning, especially with the recent approval of over N800 million for more roads and streetlights.

The progress in road infrastructure is particularly important because it benefit virtually every facet of society. For instance, rural roads have been intentioned to support agriculture and the mobility of labour and farm products. This is very important to the economy of Adamawa state for which Fintiri has committed a great deal of funding to procure machinery, liquid fertilizer, seedlings etc.

On education, the state has consistently renovated schools through a batching system that sees the periodic selection of schools for renovation. Only recently, the State’s Executive Council approved close to N1 billion to service the continuous secondary renovation fund to be focused on legacy schools. Over 5000 classrooms have so far been renovated. Needless to say this much has been done to create a conducive learning and teaching environment for students and teachers respectively.

Healthcare infrastructure has also received a great deal of funding. Besides the rehabilitation of 6 general hospitals, the administration of governor Fintiri has constructed new female surgical wards in general hospital Numan and Song to improve maternal and infant healthcare, laboratory complexes as well as the purchasing of ambulances etc. all geared towards improving the overall experience of citizens seeking healthcare services within their vicinity. Also ongoing, is the construction of Cottage hospitals in Gombi, Girei, Shelleng and Lamurde. The massive construction of township roads all over the state is also aimed at improving the delivery of healthcare services, one of the objective of which is to cut down maternal and child mortality, something the governor is particularly very serious about. And since hospital buildings, no matter how beautiful they are, will be useless without health workers, the governor has so far employed over 2000 healthcare professionals since coming to office. Again, needless to say this aimed at putting hospitals to good use.

To plug the housing deficit in the state, the governor has commissioned the construction of 1000 housing units which when completed, will give civil servants a great deal of respite and sense of belonging. Also impacted is rural electrification, as many rural communities have been connected to the national grid by the Fintiri government.

Indeed, Governor Fintiri has done himself and the people of Adamawa proud for getting noticed and recognised for diligent service to the people, for delivering on his mandate as an executive governor who is out to work for his people. Let it be known that service to the people can also deliver satisfaction and especially peace of mind. And as we run-up to the 2023 election, the people of Adamawa ought to know by now who has their interest at heart. The evidence is out there for them to see and feel.

Abubakar writes from Yola, Adamawa state