Fintiri and burden of proof

Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.

After very high-level politicking, intricate planning and taking advantage of very loud discordant tones in the Adamawa State chapter of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), His Excellency, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, has spent 100 days in office.

For most, it is a wonder; for the indifferent, it is one of those and, for those who have been watching political developments on that front, it couldn’t have been more shocking. Many expect him to be swimming in a deluge of probes, court cases and all forms of distractions from his primary duties.

The fact that Fintiri, a governor who represents the executive authority of the good people of Adamawa State, a man who understands the concerns of Adamawa people, has kept his head above water in the last 100 days is to his credit, above all others.

Even though he is yet to form his cabinet, it does not mean that the governor has been on auto-pilot. Whilst many have been fixated on the cabinet’s existence or otherwise, the governor has been fighting his many demons quietly.

For starters, in education, the administration has engineered the payment of the 2019 WAEC/NECO examination fees for all the students in the state qualified to write the examinations.

The state’s School Feeding Programme has become more compact and fluid, since Fintiri emerged victorious at the polls back in May.  More so, the declaration of a state of emergency in the state’s education sector has resulted in the driving of traffic towards the schools in the state through sensitizations and other forms of mass campaigns, in order to ensure that basic education is free and compulsory.

Also, within this time, the administration has approved and converted the Adamawa State University’s College for Legal Studies to the Faculty of Law, while matching that with the payment of matching grants worth N8 billion for the completion of a number of UBE stimulus projects, approved the rehabilitation of 5000 classrooms in schools, spear-headed lobbying for the conversion of the Modibbo Adama University of  Technology to a conventional university, amongst other important interventions in the state’s education sector.

In a bid to make the state more secure, the administration has affected the arrests of over 200 notorious Shilla Boys. Given that these lads – the state equivalent of the Kaleri Boys in Gombe – have given many not a few nightmares and nearly made the state ungovernable. This has seen normalcy return to huge swaths of the state. In addition, the police in the state has affected the arrest of over 60 kidnappers, brought an end to banditry, brought an end to cattle-rustling, procurement of mobility (60 Toyota Hilux and 50 motorcycles for security outfits) aids for security apparatus in the state, sent a bill to the State House of Assembly concerning the activities of criminals.

For primary healthcare delivery in the state, the state administration launched a N10m Euro Solar Nigeria Project, aimed at providing electricity to health facilities and introduced free medical services to aged, pregnant women and children under 5 years old.

For water provision in the state, the administration of Fintiri has upgraded the Yola treatment plant, restored urban water supply in Shinko, Yola and Mayo Belwa after 6 years, as well as began the rehabilitation of the water plants in Lamurde and Mubi.

Fintiri, fondly called ATM, has not overlooked workers’ welfare. Besides engineering the payment of civil servants’ salaries every 25th of the month, he has ensured that the leave grants for 2019 and the payments of pension and gratuity of retired civil servants from 2012 have been paid, added the sum of N50m to the monthly allocation to augment the payment of backlog of pension and gratuity arrears, amongst others.

Seeing as the state is one of Nigeria’s agricultural power houses, the administration of Fintiri has launched the Adamawa Green Project aimed at planting 4 million trees in four years, collaborated with NECAS to distribute 600 tractors to small and large-scale farmers, released funds for the augmentation of flight hours and chemicals for the 2019 wet season aerial control of quelea birds, established stock shops in the 21 LGAs for farmers to get easy access to farm inputs, amongst others.

For urban and rural development, the administration has seen to the repairs of streetlights, signed an MOU for the construction of 2000 houses, restored the building plan of Jimeta Ultra-modern Market by revoking illegal lands and retrieved certificates of occupancy to illegal school lands sold to individuals.

As for his administration’s economic policies, Fintiri’s administration has introduced the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to check-mate corruption and increase the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) and slashed the rent of shops at Jimeta Modern Market by 50 per cent.

As for sports, Finitir’s administration has donated a brand new Coaster Bus to Adamawa United Football Club, sponsored players to Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Tournament in Abuja, sponsored Team Adamawa to Illorin (Kwara) for the National Youth Games scheduled to begin today, September 9, 2019.

Clearly, it is still too early to judge the governor but it is clear that the burden of proof rests on him and the cabinet he is yet to form. Has he begun brightly? Of course, by all standards. Is this all he can do? Not by a long shot. Do the people and the nation expect more from him? Of course, for a man who upset the cart and the status quo in the state, much more is expected from him. After all, he got most of the votes, so the people gave him much – it is not out of place to expect same; for, to whom much is given, much is expected.QED.

Pembi, a public affairs commentator, wrote in from Bekaji-Yola

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