Adamawa: Can rented defectors bail Fintiri out?

to underscore the level of crude heist and maladministration that the Fintiri-led government represents, it will be curious to juxtapose it with its next door neighbour from the northern plank for the purpose of peer review. It is simply the worst government in Adamawa’s history. - Dr Ardo
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa State

By Mansur Ibrahim Yakasai

 To many pundits it is becoming very glaring that good governance has taken plight from Adamawa State and in its place, a monumental charade akin to child’s play is being rooted to the extent that Adamawa State to them may hardly survive the next three years if they refer to the locus that the Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s administration represents.

In the history of neo-leadership in the state, as gathered by DESERT HERALD, this is the first time a government elected popularly by the people for the purpose of bailing them out of the woods spends a whole year fiddling, while the state wobbles dangerously to the brink.

To put it aptly, this is the first time a government elected by the people is marking its first year in office without commissioning a single project. These claim, as unbelievable as it may sound, has been confirmed by DESERT HERALD in the course of filling this report.

Without equivocation, it must be stated that the Fintiri administration has set an ominously lowly record of being the only administration in the history of the state that performed far below average after one full year despite billions of naira in allocation. Some critics, even though such claims was not independently verified by this paper, went to the extent of scoring the administration of the former lawmaker the worse so far in Nigeria in terms of awarding and executing developmental and peoples oriented projects, saying “it is the only government that recorded zero project in the history of Nigeria during the last one year”.

This very disappointing assessment and public opinion is coming despite the fact that the state under Mr Fintiri has in the last one year generated over N60 billion in terms of federal allocation, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and other sundry revenues, in addition to the hefty loans the government borrowed to the tune of nearly N30 billion ostensibly to execute projects in the state. There is no impact in the whole state or in the life of the poor citizens to suggest that the loan of almost N30 billion has been truly spent to service their interest. That is why pundits in their general analysis of the situation under Mr Fintiri are unanimous in their views that the Governor, who until his election was very popular and close to the people, did not appoint the right people that will selflessly assist him to deliver his many promises to the people.

Even though Governor Fintiri still has an advantage of time with almost three years to go to deliver, those privy to the internal politics and happenings in his government said as long as appointees like the SSG, whom they claim are very far from the grassroots and with no electoral value, will keep dictating the tune for the government and decide who gets what, the next three years may be worse than the last one year under review.

Dr Umar Ardo in his chart with DESERT HERALD lamented that
“to underscore the level of crude heist and maladministration that the Fintiri-led government represents, it will be curious to juxtapose it with its next door neighbour from the northern plank for the purpose of peer review. It is simply the worst government in Adamawa’s history.

“It is disheartening to note that the new level of maladministration being hoisted by Fintiri has become the topic of rebuke and spite even by outsiders who are taken aback by the passive attitude of the government and the sheepish demeanor of the people in the face of such misadventure”.

To bring the monumental failure that the Fintiri administration represents, it is curious to note that what is happening in Adamawa State is a sharp contrast to what obtains in Borno despite its status as the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency. To them, if Governor Babagana Umara Zulum can initiate, execute and commission more than 320 projects within the last one year, with no loan and despite the challenges of insecurity in his state, they wonder and lament what did the Adamawa Governor do with virtually the same or even higher allocation he got.

It is worthy of note to state that is the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, about 1.5 million Borno people are currently taking refuge at the various IDP camps that dotted every nook and cranny of the state while 5 local governments are currently inaccessible due to the crisis but it has not stopped the Borno Governor from proving to the whole world about his simplicity to life, prudence and accountability in the management and administration of public funds and most importantly appointing the right and patriotic people and holding each appointee accountable to success or failure. This, according to them, is unlike the sad situation in Adamawa where the SSG, Engr Bashir Ahmed despite repeated public outrage still manipulates the shaky system.

An investigation by Bloomberg, a renowned news site, said it will cost Borno State a whopping $1billion to repair the damaged infrastructure as a consequence of the Boko Haram’s 11 years of the violent campaign, while the former governor, Kashim Shettima stated that the state government will need thrice the quoted figure to repair damaged infrastructure.

It was on record that the government of Borno State has last year alone spent over N10 billion on its IDP population and also recruited more than 12,000 of its young and viral youths who are conscripted into the war against the dreaded Boko Haram elements.

In addition to that, it has purchased 300 Toyota Hilux vans which it distributed to the security agencies to take charge of the security situation in the state.

In the last one year alone, Borno State government, according to available data, has spent over N20 billion to take care of its IDPs and to enhance the security of lives. The result of such massive spending in the case of Borno can be seen anywhere across the state. The Borno Governor did not need any propaganda machinery to let the whole world know about his excellent performance with little resources.

In a chat with newsmen on the eve of democracy day, the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa, disclosed that the administration of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, in the last one year, has executed 326 capital projects and implemented 49 policies and programmes, some of which were capital intensive.

The SSG also said that from 21 of the capital projects, Governor Zulum’s administration was constructing 6,544 sub-urban and low-cost houses in 12 local government areas of the state for resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.

To convince the people that the projects were real and not fiction, Shuwa further said commissioners in the state will parley with the media in a pictorial based press conference where they are expected to give details of projects executed by the government.

Because of the level of transparency showcased by the Borno government, Nigerians followed the various media engagements with keen interests and became not only satisfied with the performance of the administration but its conduct in office in the last one year of its stewardship.

On security, the SSG said 300 surveillance vehicles have been procured and distributed to security agencies and volunteers, noting that the vehicles were procured under one project, while on education, 76 projects were carried out including establishment of 21 new schools in 13 LGAs.

On healthcare services delivery, Shuwa said 46 projects were carried out and they include 37 new primary healthcare centres in 17 local government areas, while on infrastructure, Shuwa said 40 projects in 9 local government areas were carried out.

According to him, the projects include 30 new and rehabilitated roads as well as the ongoing construction of Borno’s first flyover in Customs area of Maiduguri.

Giving a further breakdown, Shuwa said that on the restoration of civil authorities in local government areas, Zulum’s administration has undertaken 53 projects in 21 LGAs, 11 of which were started from scratch while 42 were reconstruction works.

According to him, the projects centred on secretariats, lodges, police stations, LEA offices, courts and palaces of residence for traditional rulers.

Shuwa equally stated that the administration has carried out 38 capital projects on water supply including drilling of 213 new boreholes, 18 projects on electrification, eight on agriculture and seven on vocational skills and entrepreneurship development.

While his Borno counterpart mesmerized Nigerians with excellent performance backed by solid facts as seen by DESERT HERALD and as enunciated in the various adverts depicting its successes, his counterpart in Adamawa State only regaled the people with stories of how “thousands of people” defected from APC to PDP and the repeated story of scholarship awards that was largely over exaggerated.

Governor Fintiri’s critics also said that he failed woefully to convince the people of the only achievement his government recorded as the number of people who graced the activity which took place at the banquet hall of the Government House are according to eyewitnesses less than a hundred.

Again in contrast with the feats achieved by his Borno counterpart, Fintiri last year said his government will build 2,000 houses for the civil servants for which he borrowed N9.9bn. But one year after, the government failed to even commence foundation for the projects. And may be only his powerful SSG knows the whereabouts of the money that was borrowed for that purpose.

In the same vein, the government has failed to start projects for two flyovers in the state more than a year after giving out the contracts. And as usual, Fintiri’s government has developed the undemocratic culture of silence; where there are such failures to commence projects or to account for monies dedicated for such purposes no explanation will be given to the public even though it is their money and their rights to know.

DESERT HERALD further gathered that the contract for the provision of traffic lights in the state capital is still in the pipeline one year after.

The rural electrification of Toungo town is another white elephant project embarked by the government as one year after, the government has nothing to show for it. In the same vein, one year after, the government has failed to execute the only township road project at Bachure in the state capital, subjecting residents to untold hardship and flash floods.

Reports indicate that even the civil servants whom he promised heaven on earth, have been on the receiving end in the last one year, as his administration has sacked about 10,000 among them. Coupled with that is the failure of the government to implement minimum wage for its senior civil servants.

But in the midst of such gargantuan failure, Fintiri seemingly in the belief that he can hoodwink the people, contrived tales of another defection by a group loyal to Malam Nuhu Ribadu known as the Black cappers.

Fintiri who was enmeshed in the joy of having such group in his embrace, conveniently forgot that these guys were in the other camp when he convincingly won his election even against the power of incumbency.

He has forgotten that Sen. Jibrilla Bindow who has in all indices of good governance outperformed him was rejected by the very people of Adamawa who believed that his best was not good enough for them.

With this realization the folly of the new Adamawa helmsman of thinking that he could hide his failures through the patronage of hired defectors became even more worrisome.

Dr. Hardo has summed it up about the current developments in Adamawa under Fintiri, “Suffice it to say that three years is not a long time for those with the gift of longevity. Let us wait and see what pans out then”.

Additional reports by Maryam Musa


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