Governor Fintiri And Palliatives

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The most senseless ‘#ENDSARS’ looting in Nigeria happened in Adamawa State. The weirdest response from a state governor and his handlers came from Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and some of his aides.

In an interview with a radio station on Sunday October 25, 2020 Gov. Fintiri said the state government didn’t receive any food item from the federal government, despite the glaring videos, photos and written pieces of evidence, showing that Adamawa did receive over 100 trucks of food items from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. The minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, was physically in Adamawa to handover the items. Fintiri’s Chief of Staff Professor Maxwell Gidado and the Secretary to the Adamawa State government represented the government to receive the food items.

Secondly, in his statewide broadcast on Sunday, Oct 25, 2020. Gov. Fintiri also said: “Plans have been concluded to commence the distribution of what is available (food items) on Monday the 26th October 2020 before the latest incidence occurred (looting on Oct 24, 2020). Furthermore, how can you celebrate a governor’s birthday in the middle of a grave social disorder? Some commentators even questioned the idea behind the governor’s threat to demolish houses of the looters if the stolen items were not returned. Though it worked, the political consequences would be felt in 2023. Also, with his statement, Fintiri didn’t only goof but have successfully discredited what he ever said and what he would say in the future.

On the other, there are viral audios on social media: Gov. Fintiri in an uncalled-for engagement with an opposition individual and Fintiri’s supporter threatening a local blogger/journalist. These are a ‘low’ for a state governor and his government including the political party in power.

Reflecting on the senseless and wanton lootings in Adamawa State, many people were shocked that the hoodlums/looters had a field day for more than 72hrs, despite the fact that the locations of the targets are many kilometres apart and Jimeta-Yola has well-spread security formations. The answer maybe that there is no well-placed coordination in Fintiri’s cabinet; Fintiri doesn’t have a rapport with his security council or there is inadequate communication within the council or it is poorly funded. Political analysts may be wrong; since it is a security matter. Experts will be in the know of the real issue. But there is a problem.

In summary, from the first day of the looting, one can deduce three salient things: lack of maturity in governance, poor crisis communication management, inexperience and poverty of ideas.
––Zayyad I. Muhammad, Jimeta, Adamawa State