Daji Sanni writes that against the backdrop of scathing criticism from the opposition, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State is pleasantly different from previous Chief Executives of the state
During his campaign for office and after assuming control over the affairs of the Adamawa State, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is set to give the people a breath of fresh air and make the state work again in line with his 11-Point agenda.
The governor swung into action to fulfill his promises of changing the narrative of poor development in the state by awarding some road projects including two flyovers at the cost of N18 billion.
These projects includes, Zumo Street and link 0.75 km, Mafia Road with two span bridges 1.2km, Mbamba Street 1.0km, Doctor Quarters Road 1.0 km, Nyibango -Yolde Pate Road with two span bridges 3.185 kilometers, Weekly Scope Road 2.1 kilometers all in Jimeta and Yola.
Others are Izala -Gwede Malam -Malam Rafa -Wayam Road 3.5km in Numan Local Government, construction of European Quarter Road in Hong Local Government 3.2 km, construction of Gulak Township Road in Madagali Local Government 6.6km, Construction of Jada Township Road 3.8km, Jada-Mbulo Road 0.4 km all in Jada Local Government as well as Michika Township Road 5.1km.
He also connected Michika and Madagali LGAs to the National Grid after experiencing perpetual darkness for more than eight years since the activities of Boko Haram insurgents took its toll on the area.
Barely two weeks after this approval Fintiri led officials of his government to Michika town and Gulak, the headquarters of Madagali local government to flag off the road projects awarded in the two local governments at the cost of over N2billion which marked the beginning of the construction of other roads across the state
Speaking at different times in Michika and Gulak Fintiri reiterated his administration’s commitment to fulfill all his promises to the people of Adamawa state inline with his 11-Point agenda and bring equal development to all parts of the state inline with the principle of fairness, equity and justice.
He further explained that his administration will bring succour to the people of the areas who have been ravaged by the destruction from Boko Haram to enable them catch up with other parts of the state adding that, he was also committed to rebuilding infrastructure destroyed in all the areas affected by insurgency.
According to him in the last one year his administration has executed so many projects across the state especially in the areas of road construction, renovation of schools, hospitals among others and will continue until Adamawa drops its toga of a pariah state.
Even as he enumerated some of the projects executed in both local governments by his administration stressing that he has also secured an intervention fund from the Multi Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP) for the construction of 32km Bazza-Mubi Road and Michika General Hospital.
Speaking earlier the state Commissioner for Works and Energy Development, Alhaji Adamu Atiku lauded Fintiri for approving the projects despite the lean resources stressing that, the project is long over due taking into consideration the twin effect of insurgency and environmental degradation suffered by the people of the areas.
He said the projects in both local governments which is 11.7 km was awarded to Triacta Nig limited at the cost of over N2billion will be completed in 14 and 8 months respectively as he assured of strict supervision in conformity with the contract agreements.
On his part the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Limited Engr. Elie Abu Faharat thanked the state government for the confidence reposed in his company and assured of quality work and completion within the time frame.
This was immediately followed by another flagging off of two flyovers with interchange line and underpass seen as the first ever in the history of the North East. Constrctruction of The Weekly Scope and other roads awarded by the administration within the state capital were kicked started, as well.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the flyovers, Fintiri justified his administration decision to embark on this projects .
He said, “This event marks a major milestone in the ‘Fresh Air’ administration’s commitment to actualizing our key campaign promise of vigorously undertaking an urban renewal that will make Jimeta, Yola and other towns in the state, befitting models to showcase in addition to the construction of these flyovers and underpass which are the flagship of our urban renewal development agenda. Work will continue on Weekly Scope Road among other townships roads already earmarked for construction.”
“The constructions of the flyovers and grade interchange in the heart of Jimeta is in anticipation of the capital ever expanding population and the attendant explosion in urban traffic. To those who have been counselling that we are biting more than we can chew with these projects, government assures total commitment to delivering of these projects and will not concede any inch to failure.
Even as he called for the understanding among residents of the state capital who will have to bear with the discomfort and disruption of traffic flow while construction is going on.
Atiku-Abubakar said that the two flyovers was awarded at the cost of N5.8billion and N3.4billion respectively to Triacta Nig Limited to be completed in 12 calender months.
The governor also moved to flag off the road leading to Weekly Scope Newspaper and subsequently stormed Yola North to flag off five different roads totalling 3.185km awarded at the cost of N3.185bn where he emphasize that, his urban renewal programme cannot be complete without given considerable attention to the blue print and original plans of the state capital.
Returning back to the state from the North East governors forum recently , Fintiri headed straight to Numan to flag off Numan Township Road totalling 3.5 km awarded by his administration to Messrs Rocad and Co Construction Nigeria lLmited at the cost of N1.3bn.
Speaking at the event Fintiri described Numan as the stronghold of his Fresh Air administration, saying that the area among other parts of the state will continue to receive his administration’s attention especially in the area of infrastructural development adding that he will soon award contract for complete overhaul of Numan General Hospital and Villanova Government College Numan.
Atiku-Abubakar also collaborated the statement by saying that the project will go a long way to tackle the challenges of perennial flooding affecting residents of the area over the years.
The governor also flagged off roads projects in Hong, and Jada.
A big positive impact has been created in Adamawa because the numerous constructions have created employment for the youths, boost economic activities and reduced the rate of crime, the state has become very busy.
The various constructions going on in the state right now is causing serious traffic congestion especially within the state capital. Residents have to spend several hours before getting to their place of work
This development has since put the detractors of Fintiri in check, as they hardly have any criticism against his administration.
A few who refuse to see anything good in Fintiri have tagged the flag off of these roads construction as white elephant projects especially the flyovers, saying the Adamawa State residents do not need flyovers this moment but that the government should permanently address the flooding challenge bedeviling the state yearly by building culverts and more water channels, rather than building flyovers that add no value to the people currently.
They expressed doubt that the governor may not complete these projects before his tenure elapses going by the current financial challenges and huge debt load on the state with a low Internally Generated Revenue adding that if the governor does not complete these projects it will discredit him in the next general polls in 2023..
However in the last one year of governor Fintiri’s administration, he has improved the security situation of the state and eliminated all forms of criminalities, revamped the educational sector which has witnessed the implementation of free education from primary to secondary schools, introduction of school feeding programmes, payment of UBEC counterpart funds that led to massive renovation of schools.
Other achievements in the education sector include payment of scholarship to Adamawa students in various tertiary institutions across the country, completion of abandoned road projects awarded by Bindow’s administration, renovation of hospitals and granting of financial autonomy to local governments in the state among others.
The governor also awarded Bachure Roads which is nearing completion and awarded contract of the building of 2000 housing units for civil servants,and also connected Toungo LGA to the national grid which have been in perpetual darkness since its creation
However, despite these achievements the governor continues to come under attacked from the opposition especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) that uses every opportunity to describe him as a failure and disappointment to the people of Adamawa state.
Speaking with journalists in Yola the Adamawa State Secretary of APC, Hon. Wafarmihi Therman in an assessment of Fintiri’s administration performance in one year rated Fintiri low, awarding him a score of between 25% and 35%
“This is a temporary government in Adamawa state and they will soon be shown the way out in 2023 due to disappointing performance. The people of Adamawa state voted for this government hoping that the government will performe better than Bindow but they did not only disappoint the people but ended up as the worst government ever in the history of the state and it seems to lack direction and coordination.”
“The governor failed to utilise the opportunity provided by the campaign period to identify credible hands and brains that will drive forward its policies and programmes. Campaign period is always the best time for any serious government to identify those to work with but he has lost that opportunity’
“Again a serious government should not waste its entire time in office blaming opposition and COVID-19 as being responsible for its failure I think they just have nothing to offer the people of Adamawa state.”
In the same vein, the APC Adamawa State Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Abdullahi said that Adamawa under Bindow witnessed massive infrastructural drive through viable, justifiable and visible projects that can be clearly seen, touched and felt within just one year in office unlike Fintiri’s administration that collected twice more money than Bindow collected in his first year, yet without a single project on ground to show.
Dismissing APC’s claim, the PDP Adamawa State Organizing Secretary, Hon. Hamza Bello Madagali described APC’s dream of returning to power in 2023 as laughable and wishful thinking.
“it is laughable and wishful thinking for them to say that they will come back to power in 2023. The people of Adamawa state who voted them out and have now seen the good work of Fintiri and will still vote them out again in 2023. Most of the mess the governor is cleaning today were created by them. In fact, they took the state back to the dark age to the extent that, our children were sitting under trees to learnt without a common chalk.”
“The massive defection from the APC and other opposition parties to the PDP as a result of Fintiris performance in the last one year is a pointer to this fact that the governor has buried opposition parties in the state with his performance. Thank God that members of the APC themselves despite their attack have applauded the governor in the area of security.
Fintiri himself used the opportunity of his first year in office and defection of former APC rHouse of Representatives member Hon.Adamu Kamale back to PDP to hit back at the APC. He said the APC is jittery over his achievements in just one year hence their resort to falsehood to distract him stressing that, they are not his match politically and they will never see his downfall, while expressing optimism that he will defeat them again in 2023, God willing.
“Our door is open for the opposition to come and join us in the task of making Adamawa work again which they destroyed in their four wasted years saying something at press conference and calling me in the night to say a different thing does not make you a man just because you want to please some people in Abuja for appointments and contracts. Here in Adamawa, we have the appointments and the contracts but we will only give it to responsible people. Who the common man will benefit from.”
“I have no time for them . I have a very serious business of governance ahead of me that is why I have not been replying them. My concern is the collective interest of Adamawa people not those who will contest against me. They won’t see my downfall. I have defeated them before and in the next four years, I will defeat them agai, Insha Allah.”
“We spent three years in PDP resolving internal wranglings because some people wanted to destroy the party. We only campaigned for seven months but still we defeated them despite their power of incumbency.”
The governor said in line with his administration’s dream to make Adamawa a model state, he decided to formally launch his urban renewal programme leading to approval of over N18billion by the state executive council in one of its weekly executive council meetings for the construction of two flyovers and some township roads across some local governments in the state to the shock of his detractors.
In the last one year of governor Fintiri’s administration, he has improved the security situation of the state and eliminated all forms of criminalities, revamped the educational sector which has witnessed the implementation of free education from primary to secondary schools, introduction of school feeding programmes, payment of UBEC counterpart funds that led to massive renovation of schools. Other achievements in the education sector include payment of scholarship to Adamawa students in various tertiary institutions across the country