Daji Sani writes that the impending administration of Ahmadu Fintiri in Adamawa State has to devise ingenious ways of overcoming the financial burden left by the outgoing governor, Jibrilla Bindow
The Adamawa state Governor-lect, Rt Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri became popular and politically influential just within three months of coming to limelight in 2014 when he was the Acting governor of the state. He assumed the position following the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako.
In the few months that Finitiri held onto power he was able to change the narrative of the state, in terms of infrastructure, welfare of civil servants and his ability to bring warring political gladiators to keep the peace.
Despite the fact that Governor Mohammed Jibrila Bindow’s four-year administration scored some good marks in road infrastructural development , the people of Adamawa State expressed their preference for Fintiri because of the believe that he will perform better than the outgoing administration of Bindow.
However, Bindow’s neglect of peoples welfare, was arguably, his greatest undoing. He also starved the state by centralizing all funds coming to the state to the detriment of the local government areas, making it difficult for local contractors at the grassroots to get jobs from the local government.
The LGAs were only given a token to run the local government headquarters while the governor took the allocation meant for them, denying flow of funds to the grassroots.
Bindow’s habit of making promises he did not fulfill to prominent stakeholders contributed in no small measure to his lose in the 2019 governorship contest in Adamawa State. Many times, he did not have to make any pledge, as no one asked him for help also.
Due to hardship and sufferings orchestrated by the policies of the Bindow administration, the people were forced to vote for the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic party PDP, Fintiri.
Another factor that led to Bindow’s fall was his inability to manage the internal crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state that produced him as its governorship candidate.
The crack in the state APC put the PDP candidate at vantage position to clinch victory because the ‘Black Cap Movement’ who were supporters of former Governor Murtala Nyako were disenchanted with the Bindow administration and as a result of the governor’s action of not wanting to accommodate them in the APC, they left for the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the state.
The first son of Nyako and a serving Senator, Abdulazeez Nyako emerged as the governorship candidate of the ADC, as a result of the crack, the APC votes was divided, aiding the PDP candidate to win the election.
Result from the governorship poll declared by the Independence Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP candidate, Fintiri scored 376552 to beat Bindow of the APC who scored 336386 to come second position while Nyako
of ADC polled 113237 votes to place third in the race. The votes margin that gave Fintiri victory was 40166.
Going by the score, if Bindow had succeeded in managing the crisis in the APC he would have won the last governorship election with a large margin of votes.
For instance if the votes of Nyako of ADC, which was 113237 was added to that of Bindow votes of 336386 , APC would had gotten 449623 to defeat the PDP candidate with a margin of 113071 votes.
The fallout of the APC Governorship primary opened fresh wound in the party causing more cracks in the APC . The outcome made the former boss of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Dr. Halilu Modibbo who competed with Bindow for the party’s governorship ticket to call for the cancellation of the primary due to alleged irregularities
But the National headquarters of the APC preferred Bindow being the incumbent governor of the state. They refused to listen to the complaints of Ribadu and Modibbo ,so Bindow was made the governorship candidate of APC in the state .
That action from the APC headquarters was a major factor to the party’s lose in the governorship contest, as there were many enduring crisis from the party primary. The supporters of the duo of Ribadu and Modibbo worked for the victory of the PDP in the state
The presidential candidate of PDP , former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s factor also played a great role for the PDP and its candidate to attain victory in the state.
Atiku has great influences politically and economically flowing from his extensive business empire spread across the state which has more than 50000 people employed directly and indirectly.
Having been active participant in the political arena for decades, the former Vice President has sustained a thriving political structure across the 21 local government areas of the state. There was no way APC would have defeated his party in his own state.
The implications of Fintiri emerging as the Governor-elect is that he will be able to actualize a good number of developmental projects and transform the state civil service
Fintiri will be able to balance between policies and politics because no government can succeed in Adamawa state, without understanding how to balance development and playing politics.
The governor-elect is expected to transmit development to the grassroots and therefore bring back the glory of the state.
The task ahead of him is the last minute employment done by the outgoing administration of Bindow, which has already saturated the civil service
This action of the outgoing has been interpreted as an attempt to make things difficult for the incoming administration. There is also the issue of backlog of pension and gratuity to tune of N28 billion. Apart from this huge debt, the Bindow administration is also leaving another financial burden of about N120 billion . The administration claimed to have used the money for road construction across the state.