Fintiri’s magic wand in Adamawa

As far back as 1976, Gongola state was created and later subdivided into two sovereign states of Adamawa and Taraba by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida in the late 1991.

Ironically, the former Gongola state was created when the present governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, was just nine years old and divided into Adamawa and Taraba states when he was 24. The fact, however, remains convincing that there has been no time the state has had it so good in terms of development and rapid transformation than now; and this happening under the stewardship of a man whose history is slightly coterminous to the historical evolution of the state right from foundation – the Gongola era.

As a matter of factIn fact, the governorship election result of Adamawa state in the 2019 general election had shocked many political observers, especially those who reside outside the state – perhaps the entire North Eastern States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe and Yobe.

It was a common conception that the thoughtless surprises that followed the pronouncement of the result was basically due the fact that prior to the election, political analysis that swamped both traditional and social media depicted that the then Governor Bindo Jibrilla would likely return for obvious reasons. The scale was expected to swing in his favour because of power of incumbency and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlling the central government, will also give him excessive gain over Fintiri. But, certainly, no one had reckoned that he’ll succeed on the premise of his performance. However, the strongest influencers in every election are the voters, who have been armed with constitutional rights of choosing to either return Bindo or opt for Fintiri. 

In speaking the best language of the ballot, the people of Adamawa state had overwhelmingly voted for Ahmadu Fintiri who was seen as the dark horse given little chances to coast to victory – his victory was God-ordained perpetuated by the committed people of the state.

Indeed, going beyond the fairy tales, if many were eventually shocked at the return of Fintiri, the man himself knew his onion, having been an acting governor for just three months in 2014. He did his homework properly and got himself battle ready to unseat Bindow who clearly took many things for granted.

Bindo and his supporters thought it would be like the 2015 election when Buhari’s popularity was the major breakthrough for all the APC candidates. But as it turned out, his major albatross was his refusal to come to terms with the reality that he failed to identify what the people needed the most and how to grant and meet those needs.

He also forgot the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was not going to stand by non-performing governors. He declared this stand point clearly in Lokoja, Kogi state, during his campaign rally that the people should not vote governors who were not performing. And in the case of Kogi state he told the people not to vote governors who were not paying salaries.

Obviously, Bindo had failed to perform, so the majority of Adamawa state voters took the wise counsel of Buhari and Bindo was given the red card.

In any case, the challenges before the incumbent governor are enormous. Adamawa state is one of the northern states that is underdeveloped. Since the return to democracy in 1999, successive governors have virtually failed to bring out the state out of the woods.

Being familiar with the terrain, Fintiri is rising to the occasion. In spite of the poor financial status of Adamawa state, occasioned by huge debts, poor IGR, among other reasons, Fintiri is reviving agriculture, especially livestock and also building infrastructure.

In recent times, and for the first time since its creation, Adamawa state has become the beehive of project commissioning to commemorate Governor Ahmadu Fintiri’s second year in office.

Among the major projects commissioned are: the Total Filling Station Flyover, Yola which was named after the late Lamido of Adamawa Alhaji Aliyu Musdafa and commissioned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (Wazirin Adamawa); township roads in Jimeta, namely, Bacchure and Falu roads covering 5.60km, commissioned by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state; the 3.5km Izala – Gweda – Malam road in Numan, commissioned by the Gombe state governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya; the 7.8km roads in Michika, including Futu, Lassa, Low-cost, Mukaddas and hospital roads, commissioned by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammad.

Others are; the 3.2Km Hong township road, commissioned by the FCT Minister, Musa Muhammad Bello; Zumo Street and doctors quarters road spanning 2.4km in Yola South local government, commissioned by the former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka; township roads in Jimeta Yola North local government covering 8.86kms., commissioned by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state; Toungo electrification that has been left in darkness for the past 25 years, was also commissioned by the former deputy governor Senator Bello Tukur.

Governor Fintiri was on TV Gotel for a media chat in commemoration of his second year in office. He adumberated on the benefits encapsulated in the Adamawa State Business Support (ADAS) programme to the people of the state. They include infrastructural development, education, state police, health care delivery, among others. The governor has also approved the construction and rehabilitation of cottage hospitals, Dumne and Fufore.

In fact, Adamawa state is rising to an enviable status with the first flyover in the whole of the North-east and other signature projects of Fintiri. What is expected by the people of the state, is continuity and sustainability beyond 2023. 

Kera, public affairs commentator, writes from Kaduna.