2023 Gubernatorial: Dr Ardo Declares Interest, says He's coming to the rescue of Adamawa state

If we have to survive and grow in this highly competitive world then we must stand up and seriously work for that survival in our own interest and that of our children.

BY: Umar Ardo, Ph.D

Dr Umar Ardo, PhD

Former lecturer at the Nigerian Defence Academy,  and Adamawa PDP Chieftain Dr. Umar Ardo in a lengthy piece declared his intention to salvage Adamawa State by joining the race for the gubernatorial seat in the coming 2023 general elections.

Kindly read through his peace which he titled "BEING A DECLARATION ADDRESS TO CONTEST THE GOVERNORSHIP OFFICE OF ADAMAWA STATE IN 2023, YOLA, THURSDAY, 13th May, 2021".


Like most states of Nigeria, Adamawa State is today facing visible developmental challenges, expressed amongst the populace by severe economic insecurity and extreme poverty, hunger and deprivation, illiteracy and ignorance, communal distrusts and violence, insurgency and institutional collapse, etc. The situation is basically an issue of leadership failure at governmental level. All through the years, on account of poor, corrupt, inept and venal leaderships, successive governments have failed to optimize our potentials to develop our society, in spite of our enormous human and material endowments. Our state is a huge reservoir of talents, skills and assets that if properly organized and harnessed, along with the solid and agricultural reserves of our ecology, Adamawa state can conquer the basic developmental needs of its entire people. Yet, we have failed to achieve this feat; and unless this failure syndrome is halted and reversed, our people and upcoming children would have no future to look forward to! And halting and reversing the drift is doable. It is the solemn duty of each and every one of us then to act and do it. On our part, we have again volunteered to mobilize all like-minds in the state, those who believe in this task, to come achieve this goal for our people and rescue the state.


Our vision for Adamawa state is fundamentally grounded on the principles of African values of honesty and of being our brothers’ keepers. Because our state is a land of potentially unlimited opportunities, endowed immeasurably in human and material resources, optimal utilization of our God-given talents, skills, huge labour force and natural assets is key to creating a knowledge-and-labour-based-society, in which those who work hard succeed, and the weak and old amongst us protected and cared for; and, by respecting our differences and working together as a team, our diverse communities grow stronger and our prosperity, unity and success become assured, thereby drawing our people together and enthroning politics of inclusion, tolerance and compassion, under rule of law. This is the vision for all Adamawa indigenes to mirror, believing that it is a vision whose time has come.


Our primary mission is to get everybody in the service of Adamawa State offer the needed commitments essential for the realization of our vision – by action, by example and by sacrifice, and to remain throughout the article of faith in the conduct of all public servants in the state.


Our priority objectives are:-
a) To Conquer Hunger – ensuring that every Adamawa indigene in the state, male and female, young and old, will have enjoyable food to eat and not ever go hungry;
b) To Conquer Disease – ensuring that every Adamawa indigene in the state, male and female, young and old, will have access to proper Medicare for all ailments;
c) To Conquer Illiteracy and Ignorance – ensuring that every Adamawa school-age child in the state will have access to high-quality education, from primary to tertiary levels;
d) To Conquer Unemployment – ensuring that every indigene of the state, specifically our youths whose focal duty and responsibility will be to develop society with their intellect and physical strengths in innovation, invention, production, construction, management, etc., is gainfully or self-employed and contributing to the material development of society; and
e) To Conquer Infrastructural deficit – ensuring the provision of basic public infrastructure such as portable water, schools, hospitals, roads, railways, electricity, forestation, etc.
By any standard, this is a revolutionary feat to achieve – and is achievable! For with the rich aptitudes and talents in our populations and our abundant untapped natural resources, Adamawa State can seize the positives of good leadership and get these talents expressed and those resources harnessed. It just needs an honest and visionary leadership to organize the state and lead by example, by action and by sacrifice. As a team, we must collectively commit ourselves to entrenching and sustaining such leadership in our state.


Our vision, mission and objectives can be achieved by means of ethical orientation that inculcates guiding principles and values in our people, and by systemic innovation and practical approach to issues.
i. Guiding Principles and Values
Every public servant in the state (be they elective, appointive or bureaucratic) will be guided by the following three-key principles:-
? Creating opportunity for all indigenes;
? Demanding responsibility from every indigene; and
? Forging strong and virile communal spirit among all indigenes.
To attain this, every public servant must subscribe to the following three-key values:-
? Sincerity of purpose;
? Clarity of goal; and
? Dedication to duty.
Our past and present neglected these, but we must all learn from them because they are critical to shaping our future.

ii. Systemic Innovation and Practical Approach
This technique in achieving our objectives will be premised on accurate and meticulous planning and organizing. To this end:-
  • The solution to each and every problem of the state shall be amply dependent on innovation and creativity, and not necessarily on convention. To this end, every person entrusted with responsibility will be expected to come forth with innovative and creative skills and ideas in the resolution of the given issue at hand. The human capital that people bring to the workplace – skills, knowledge, and ideas – will drive innovation, productivity improvements and growth;
  • Every Adamawa indigene shall be registered and given an identity. We shall adopt GridCode as State Addressing Scheme by which every inch of land in the state is measured, calculated and given a code address. This way, not only the existence of every indigene, their addresses and potentials (including their biometrics and DNAs) is known, but so also the extent and rates of our landscape and its mineral contents. Once this data is generated, then by it the material value of the state is already raised by at least 1/4 off the ground. Planning and organizing thus become easy and simplified;
  • Going concurrently with the identity scheme will be biometric automation of the state work force in the service of government, unemployed and employable, skilled and unskilled labour force reservoir. This will give the exact statistics of the labour force, skilled and unskilled, at the disposal of the state to be able to plan where and how to put to use every available labour – to build the schools, railways, roads, dams, canals, industrial parks, plant economic trees, etc. thereby creating value out of every talent, skill and physical energy in the state. This shall enrich and utilize our vast talents, skills and physical energies in such a manner that no person is redundant and no area of human endevour necessary for economic and social progress of our communities is left untouched. This way every able-bodied person will be contributing to the improvement of the state and also earning income from his/her inputs;
  • Initiate large-scale state-sponsored Public-Private-Partnership-Driven mechanized commercial farming, thorough harnessing and expansion of the produce of our vast economic trees, exploring and exploiting our massive solid mineral deposits and establishing several Agro-allied industries across the state to process these produces. We will thus establish by law – 1. Economic Trees Promotion, Development and Protection Authority; 2. Agricultural, Industrial, Economic Trees and Solid Minerals Revenue Derivation Agency. These two agencies shall constitute key pivots in our wealth creation and distribution scheme and revenue generation and developmental drive;

  •  In the agro-allied sector, get established industries for rice milling, wheat-flour making, tomato puree, cassava farms and starch industries, tannery and shoe-making, animal feeds plants and fish processing, poultry and egg farms, pig farms, meat industries, milk and fruit canning industries, dairy farming, starch manufacturing, farm implements production, etc. Then, in the area of economic trees – Shea butter, locust beans, tangerines, gum Arabic, etc.;
  • In the building-related sector, get set up and revive burnt bricks industries, cement industry, plywood and veneer sheets manufacturing and base sawmill industries. Other areas to be covered will include industries for the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), insulated wire and cable-making, glassware manufacture, paper-making mills, ceramic-making, wire and nail plants;
  • Get set up textile mill and soap and detergent industries, cotton farms and cottages, variety of textile and bags manufacturing plants;
  • Most of our people depend on cattle, sheep, goats and pigs for meat, milk, ghee, cheese, hair, honey, butter, manure, incense, animal blood, poultry products, hides and skins. In the villages, farmers use cattle bulls for carting, plowing, and hauling. Thousands of people wholly or partly make their livings from selling, milking, butchering, or transporting herds. Cattle and animal owners, thus play an important role in the economy and nutrition of our communities. With its value-chain, it is potentially a multi-trillion naira industry. We therefore need to establish ranches, prohibit open oscillating grazing that has been the source of communal conflicts in the state, and facilitate the establishment of wide range of animal feeds industries and water treatment plants to develop animal-related industrial bases in the state. This will cover all types of animal – cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, etc. This way, beyond creating wealth through animal husbandry and its value chain, we would also be halting the perennial conflicts between farmers and herders, thus entrenching peaceful coexistence amongst our peoples;
  • To facilitate the promotion of such strong economy we need to rescue the ecology. The rate at which desert encroachment is ravaging our state is alarming, and no viable economy, least of all agro-allied based economy, can be developed and sustained under such a condition. Hence, in addition to the planting of economic trees, we will also embark on a massive tree-planting initiative to push back the encroaching desert in a synchronized reforestation programme. Every indigene of voting age in the state will therefore be required to plant and nurture at least two trees around his or her domains. A Saturday will be officially set aside every month for this purpose. Only the sick or 70 years and above will be exempted by choice. Every public servant in the state will be expected to have at least one tree in addition to the compulsory two required of all indigenes. Incentives will also be given to any person with more than three trees. Any child below voting age who plants and nurtures two trees or more will be rewarded with a price, the details of which will be determined after due assessments. Of course the law prohibiting cutting down of trees will be firmly enforced, while making available adequate alternatives of cooking fuel for all households in the state. Adamawa must return to its natural green ecosystem; and
  • In order to maximize our advantage in the agricultural sector and turn our zone into agronomic hub of the country, we need to initiate the formation of Agricultural Community of Benue Valley States (ACOBEVAS) comprising Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and Kogi states. Indeed, the ecology of these six states is most conducive for farming, fishing and animal husbandry. The objective is to cooperate by putting the strengths, skills, lands, labour and resources of member states together and develop the Benue Valley region into an agricultural base, and list our state (and zone) among the wealthy states of the federation. I am confident that we are capable of achieving such a feat if we put our minds to it.


Essentially, our aim is to create economic value for our society and end its reliance on Federal Allocation. With any drastic fall in oil prices as a result of world politics, the Coronavirus Pandemic, constitutional change in the revenue allocation formula or any unforeseen eventuality that stops the oil money from coming in (as we are witnessing currently), Adamawa state is doomed! As the current internally generated revenue is nothing to write home about, the state is left steeped in loans and debts that mortgaged our future. And with incompetent, corrupt and obtuse leadership in place with little or no initiatives, Adamawa state will soon drift to a complete collapse. This is how bad it can be. We cannot and should not allow things continue this way. The Coronavirus Pandemic and the economic recession have shown how weak our society is, and how dishonest and feeble our leaderships have been. Politically, we must then as a people, change our attitude by transcending the inadequacies of our societal prejudices, overcoming our shortcomings and limitations, harnessing our abilities and potentials, and creating for our state responsible and responsive leaderships at all levels of governance.

If we have to survive and grow in this highly competitive world then we must stand up and seriously work for that survival in our own interest and that of our children. This is what I beg of all Adamawa indigenes, for our sake and for the sake of our children, and our children’s children. On our part we commit ourselves once again to leading this all-important drive and I pray that Adamawa people will understand its significance, key in to achieve the purpose and save our future.

Thank you, God bless Adamawa State, God bless our efforts and happy Sallah.

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