Of state comprehensive development frameworks

Today my serving is a home state delicacy. Over the weekend, I attended the Town Hall Meeting organized by Gotel Communications and the Adamawa State Government at the Banquet Hall in Yola. It drew to it four discussants that included Professor Umaru Pate, Dean of Post Graduate Studies of Bayero University Kano, Dr. Edgar Amos, the veterinary doctor Head of Service of  Adamawa State, Barrister Nari Welye, Mandela Washington Fellow, a law teacher at the State College of Legal Studies and a Gender Youth and Child Rights Activist. It also had Dr Ahmed Tukur who lectures Economics at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola. It was well attended by the public, and mainly the organized civil society groups with a passionate press recording the proceedings.

In more ways than one, I was a stakeholder. Aside being a Board Member Gotel Communications, in these difficult take-off times of the Government, it was needful to engage, more so being a media event. I have been privileged to play a key role in the development of all the broadcast media organs operating in the State from its creation in 1976, and thus through time, the health and care of the media is one of my sensitive nerves.


Although Governor Fintiri was unable to attend, the Town Hall discussants did justice to the topic, Beyond 100 Days, Repositioning Adamawa State for Sustainable Development. A fulfilled Secretary to the State Government assured that proceedings would see the light of day in the extent that the suggestions made would inform the government’s policy instrument in the offing.

On his part, Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Edgar Amos, highlighted the score card of the Fintiri Government to include immediate stabilization of the state’s lingering unpaid salary hangover, and drew applause from the public. Prompt payment of salaries when due was seen as a factor in addressing the state’s security challenges, in no matter how minute a measure. It was noted that Governor Fintiri had taken on internal security pragmatically, working with security organizations to address the menace posed by criminal miscreants called the Shila boys that had ruled the streets without hindrance. No doubt, they have been checkmated. A 2,000 unit housing plan has been flagged off as well as a flyover, an inherited proposal of the Muhammadu Jibrilla administration vetted by Fintiri and seen as needful for the clearance of congestion at the Yola Police Headquarters Roundabout.

Nari Welye, even as a young lady among male peers, spoke like four women and was acclaimed by the National Council of Women’s Societies and the religious organizations. Taking off from the failure of youth to define their role in politics, Nari lamented that youths would for a long time remain mere tools in the hands of politicians whose deliverance on dividends often fails to meet the real needs and aspirations of youth. Nari proposed as solution to the growing drift of youth into substance abuse and criminal behaviour, saying government must restore social engagement of youth in sports, schools completion, recreational pastimes and leisure. She saw the need for better use of the Ribadu Square in the absence of a sports stadium.

Dr. Ahmed Tukur applauded the strides of the government in the 100 days. Although it was agreed that the time frame was really hardly sufficient for significant impact, it was instructive that government has shown promise to seriously address ground challenges. He drew attention to several economic activity blue prints worked upon by past committees and offered that they be dusted up for speedily implementation.

Professor Umar Pate of the Bayero University Kano is a consummate teacher. He is also very passionate about statecraft whenever an opportunity offers itself for him to speak to authority. Individuals trusted with responsibility to lead have no excuse to be failures, and cannot be forgiven when ordinary folks suffer hardships through tenures, he hammered. Holding the Town Hall audience spellbound, Pate looked directly at the Secretary to the Government of Adamawa State and said – “you and I were mates, just as the Chief of Staff and the Head of Service all present here and now in charge. It means that succeed or fail, I am a partaker. You are my group belonging. If you should fail in the next four years, it then means that I have no hope here. And that would be a tragedy.”

I did not have a chance to speak. Two issues bothered me. On development  Adamawa State has from 1983 suffered from the absence of a clearly defined Comprehensive Development Master plan that would engage critical sectors to a logical fruition. Such sectors as agriculture, livestock production and animal husbandry, commerce to push individual economic empowerment have remained a litany of half baked concepts further degraded at implementation.

As a result, critical infrastructure including transport development and power supply, education, environment, health, water and sanitation, women and social development, have all at best been abandoned to the weak attempts of private individuals to fill the gap.

The fundamental first step of the Fintiri Government is to fashion out a defined plan of action that addresses challenges taking care to make elevation of the quality of life of the ordinary citizenry central.

My other concern is the Adamawa elite perchance for deadly political bickering which sees the position of Governor of the State as an ambition to kill and die for. I think past Governors spent more resources fighting to stay in office than to develop the state. That type of feud brought Murtala Nyako about and took him out, brought Muhammad Jibrilla Bindow about, and took him out, and has indeed brought Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri about and now threats clearly brewing. I think beyond the Town Hall Meeting, there is need for a TRUTH PARLEY driven by non partisan stakeholders but with participation of all the customary gubernatorial gladiators, who together must settle fundamental succession matters, resolve differences and unite all glowing attributes which they have abundantly, for the benefit of our people. That a cabinet is not yet in place is ominous. Whatever the hindrances are should be overcome.


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