The tenure of the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri clocked exactly 100 days on Friday, September 6, 2019.
The early part of his administration has been punctuated by development that provide assurances for good governance and prospect for a state like Adamawa which has remained under the shackles of poverty, deprivation, repression and under development. Though 100 days may not be enough to make an effective appraisal of the Fintiri’s administration in terms of development strides, his popular policies and a handful of achievements during the early part of his administration rekindled the hope of the Adamawa population for a better deal.
For an administration that has to contend with a huge debt profile of 115 Billion on assumption of office, the debt status of the state may be contrary.
As a leader who understands the art of governance and the frustrations of his people, his determination to translate into concrete reality his 11 points agenda apparently because the source of the strength to take his teeming supporters out of our present political and economic quagmire.
In analyzing or critiquing Governor Fintiri’s first 100 days in office, the issue to examine is the leadership style or what he has brought into the government that can determine the success of his 11 point agenda.
In his wisdom, he has established a pattern, spanning 5 major critical areas of governance which have so far yielded positive results and these areas include, security, education, infrastructural development, workers welfare and agric.
Prior to the advent of this administration, the state has been battling with unresolved security issues of arm robbery, kidnapping and the dreaded Shilla boys. His political will to stem the tide of insecurity has brought criminal activities to its lowest ebb.
The sordid experience of inhabitants owing to criminality activities have now become a forgotten issue. Today, the people of the state can sleep with their eyes closed and go about their businesses unmolested.
He made it clear from the start, during his inauguration speech where he gave an ultimatum to the dreaded Shilla boys and Kidnappers in the state to lay down their arms and shape out or be shipped out. Unlike other leaders, he spearheaded the clampdown on Shilla boys to their hideouts with security operatives.
Governor Fintiri also held a close door meeting with service chiefs in the state to deliberate on the tactics to adopt.
Following the expiration of the 2 weeks ultimatum, Governor Fintiri in company of Service Chiefs and other top government functionaries stormed the famous mini sambisa forest, the hideout of the dreaded Shilla boys which led to the arrest of more than a dozen of suspected Shilla boys.
His uncompromising stand on insecurity is responsible for the arrest of over 200 Shilla boys, over 50 kidnappers and also brought to the barest minimum, farmers and herders clashes through the involvement of vigilante groups and security operatives.
It is safe to say that the present administration has achieved 95% success in the fight against insecurity.
In the same vein, his administration acquired 60 Toyota hilux and 59 motorcycles for distribution to security outfits in the state, to aid them in fighting criminal activities in the state.
Apart from sending a bill to the State House of Assembly concerning the activities of criminals in the state, the activities of cattle rustlers has been drastically reduced. More interesting is the implementation of a salary structure for vigilante groups because of their significance in checking criminal activities, banditry and insurgency.
The educational system was in a state of comatose before Fintiri came on board; the first place he visited on his first day in office was the Government Girls School (GGSS) Yola to assess the feeding programme which he reintroduced after it was stopped by the previous administration.
The school feeding programme which was kick started with 7 schools as a pilot programme and later extended to the remaining schools across the state was precipitated by an earlier interaction with students of Government Girls Secondary School, Yola.
Not only that, he introduced free and compulsory education, with free WAEC/NECO as well.
To provide a condusive learning and teaching environment, Governor Fintiri approved for the rehabilitation of 5000 classrooms in schools across the state.
Similar gesture was extended toHigher institutions as he approved the conversion of college for legal studies to a faculty of law at the Adamawa State University Mubi.
The Governor also led top government functionaries and Adamawa State leaders of thought to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, to lobby for the conversion of Moddibbo Adama University of Technology Yola (MAUTECH) to a conventional University that will make it possible for the institution to accommodate more courses and admit more students.
His administration has also reclaimed all illegal allocation of lands belonging to School Authorities, approved the implementation of the report of the visitation panel set up to investigate the illegal appointments made by the former administration, as well as the payment of matching grant to UBE for accessing over 8 Billion Naira UBE stimulus.
INFRASTRUCTURE/ URBAN BEAUTIFICATION
To demonstrate his concern about the plight of workers and lack of adequate shelter for the state, the Governor signed an MOU for the construction of 2000 Housing Units.
The last time citizens of the state benefitted from housing allocation is close to 10 years during the times of Former Governor Nyako and Boni Haruna.
While signing an MOU with Family Homes, he said that 1200 houses will be built in the state capital, while the remaining local government areas will get 40 houses each by 2020.
In an effort to restore the building plan of the Jimeta Ultra Modern Market, the Governor revoked the sale of pieces of land around the market.
Toungo Local Government Area which has been cut off from the national grid for more that 20 years has now been reconnected owing to the parallel commitment of this administration to the provision of social basic amenities.
In collaboration with European Union, he launched the Euro 10M solar Nigeria project which will serve as a source of electricity to Health centres for effective service delivery.
Streetlights installed in the state capital that were not functional due to the sabotage by hoodlums have been restored.
WORKERS WELFARE AND ENTITLEMENT
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has created a reputation for himself as the only Chief Executive operating a government with a welfarist posture and concerns for its workers. This has earned him the identity ATM Governor because of his consistency in the payment of salary arrears and leave grants to public servants in the state.
Known as the ATM Governor, workers welfare, salaries and entitlement is among the top of his priorities.
Before his assumption of office, he had made it crystal clear that payment of salaries and entitlements of workers shall not be compromised, owing to the fact that Adamawa is a civil servant state.
Not only is salary being paid before 25th of the month, it is done even without collecting overdraft. He also paid the 2019 leave grants, pension and gratuity of retired civil servants have been paid from 2012.
The Governor also approved the monthly allocation for payments of pension and gratuity from 50 million to 100 million so that the accumulated pension and gratuity of pensioners will be settled within the shortest possible time.
The Fintiri administration recognizes the fact that a constant Agricultural policy could give the nation an economic boast.
In recognition of this fact, the Fintiri in partnership with the North East Commodity Association NECAS distributed 600 tractors to small and large scale farmers in the Northeast to boast agricultural activities within the region.
He also launched the Adamawa Green Project (GAP) of planting 4million trees in 4 years, as part of efforts to reduce deforestation in the state.
Meanwhile, in the health sector, aged people, pregnant women and children under the age of 5 receive free treatment from Government owned hospitals and clinics.
Apart from the 5 major critical areas stated above, he has touched diverse sectors which have touched the lives of the citizens.
Due to the incessant attacks on communities by Boko Haram during the past administration, a lot of people had to flee their homes to avoid being killed. With the improvement of the security in the state, the Governor has facilitated the return of 133 Nigerian refugees residing in Cameroon just as he earlier promised.
He also adopted the Treasury Single Account in order to ensure prudence in the management of resources in the overall interest of governance.
TSA is expected to contain incidents of corruption that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society.
We might not see the quick effect of his developmental drive because of the rotten system he inherited, but with time, everything will be put in place at the proper time.
For a government with such development intentions to realize its objectives, it will require the commitment of all organs of government to create an enabling environment for the translation of government policies and programmes into concrete reality.