We Won! Adamawa State Won!! Democracy won!!!
By Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri
Fellow Citizens of Adamawa State.
Today, we are at a point where history is made. It is made because of you. It is made because you reaffirmed your willingness to support the good works, we have started in Adamawa State. It is made because we have reached a consensus that Adamawa State must work. It is made because we have collectively agreed that, we desire a better Adamawa State that is lifted from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope; with the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an Adamawa family and out of this family, each of us is at liberty to aspire to any height without any human hinderance.
Welcome to the Adamawa of our dreams; here, we decide the faith of our governance by ourselves; we rise or fall together as one people; we have perfected the art of winning for our dear State. This time again, we won. Adamawa State won. On Saturday, 18th March, we went to the polls and made our choices.
It was generally a peaceful election across the State. As the one in charge of the security situation in the State, I cannot recall any report of a major security breach across the 4104 Polling Units, 226 Wards and 21 Local Government Areas. We did demonstrate that as citizens, we understand the value of civilized and rancour-free electoral process which are the hallmarks of every ideal democracy.
Fellow citizens, even though the first leg of the election was declared inconclusive, you remained resolute but peaceful in the face of provocative triggers that would have otherwise landed us into flames. You maintained decorum and order. You demonstrated restrain and civility. You waited patiently for INEC to announce the date for the rerun election in the affected areas. And when it finally did, you went out undeterred again on Saturday, 15th- April, to conclude the process. The process was to be concluded with the election done at the various unit level with collation done at the ward and Local Government levels; the State level collation which started with the first 10 Local Governments was adjourned for Sunday 16th. Just when everyone was ready to reconverge by 11:00 a.m. to take the remaining result of the 10 Local Government Areas, the enemies of democracy led by the Resident Electoral Officer, emerged two hours before the appointed time to deliver the worst subversion of a democratic process ever known to mankind and what could best be described as provocative and insult to collective sensibility of the people.
Fellow citizens, what we all saw was a flagrant display of desperation, deliberate impunity and crass opportunism which is surrounded by a whole web of uncertainty. In the midst of all these, as your leader, I remained calm and appealed for same from you. A call you appreciatively hearkened to. Once again, you have brought out our stoic and spartan spirit as Adamawa people to bare. For this, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you and thank you again.
Fellow citizens, you did all these for us. You did all these for democracy. You did all these for our dear State. You did all these for the present generation and perhaps for generations yet unborn. You elected to vote for continuity in functional public school system and payment of WAEC and NECO for our children. You voted for continuity in the provision of healthcare and health insurance that makes it easier for the vulnerable to access quality service with ease. You voted for continuity in the provision of urban and rural infrastructure. You voted for continuity of policies that empower our women and youths. You voted for continuity of justice and fair play. You voted for continuity of peace and a security architecture that makes your life a priority. You voted for continuous onslaught against the nefarious urban miscreants known as the Shila boys. You indeed voted for dignity and self-respect. I am forever indebted to you for choosing yourself and the future of our dear State in this election.
By this, you have proved that you are clear on what you want and desire. You are also clear on the most civil way to get it. You have equally sent a message to the world that the power to govern Adamawa State is truly in hands of Adamawa people; not in the manipulative imaginations of desperate politicians. It isn’t equally in the control of any self-imposed principality or extra-fugal political forces who think they can form a fraternity outside the State to ram governance down your individual and collective throats. By the special grace of God, we have closed that chapter in the political history of the State; moving forward, whoever desires to govern us, must seek the mandate to do so from us and here in Adamawa State. Nothing more, nothing less.
Fellow citizens, the show of love isn’t only overwhelming but loaded with expectations. I must confess, I am humbled the more. I wouldn’t take this for granted, for I know just what you want. What you want is not anything less than what we have always offered; which is patriotic service. I pledge to serve you all at all times. Irrespective of whichever way you voted, I appreciate you for participating and do assure you to expect equal treatment and service that does not discriminate. By the special grace of God, I have emerged as the Governor of all – the governor of Adamawa State for another historic democratic term. I congratulate my co-contenders and the leadership of their respective parties for a hard-fought contest.
For more than six months, we have crisscrossed the nooks and bounds of the State on a campaign that has been tough but exciting. We charged the political space and made the electorates conscious of the options before them. Knowing fully well that one of us will emerge as the winner, I have personally, never underrated any of you in this race. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this State deeply, and we care so strongly about its future. I therefore extend a hand of friendship to all of you. I personally, consider none of you a looser in this race. We are all winners because the people have spoken and Adamawa State has won; democracy has won. As a man of faith, I have the firm believe that God the Almighty is the giver of power.
He gives to whoever he wishes at the time he so decrees. It is with this in mind, that I urge everyone to be gracious in a circumstance like this. While I accept the mandate to serve you for the next democratic term of four years, In-sha Allah, I assure you of my magnanimity at all times. I must as always, wholeheartedly acknowledge everyone who chose democracy and Adamawa State, against any other pecuniary interest. As promised throughout my campaign, I want to rededicate this victory to the cause of uplifting the standard of LIVING and making LIFE more meaningful for our people. At all time, it is the people first. At this point, I want to commend the institutional capacity of INEC in this election. Even though, the attitude of some of the personnel fall short of standard expectations, I have resisted the pressure to let that define the umpire status of the Commission. The technological innovation introduced in the conduct of the election and the untiring commitment of the management and staff of the Commission, have added tremendous value to the credibility of this election. The fact that the INEC headquarters was swift in disowning the illegal action of the REC was the grace that nullified what was more of a coup perpetrated by politically overzealous upstarts. In spite of everything the decision to come back and conclude the process on Tuesday 18th, has redeemed the image of the Commission and ignites the confidence that there is still hope for democracy in Nigeria.
I equally commend the watchful role of the international community, election monitors and observers, journalists and all Civil Society Organization for being on their toes, spicing the election with vigilance and ensuring the right things are done. There indeed, can’t be a better way to deepen our democracy than this. By standing on the side of the truth and insisting that INEC must come and dutifully finish what it started in the in line with the stipulated guidelines has not only saved democracy, but saved the State form unwarranted violence. At all times, I extend my hands of partnership to you. I am particularly happy with the conclusion and declaration of the results.
At least, Adamawa state will be out of the news for embarrassingly electoral infamy which has dominated the space in recent times. To our development partners, especially the national and international NGOs, whom we were compelled to order the suspension of their activities for the election period, I must again reiterate that the decision was well-indented and done in good faith in the overall interest of all parties. Now that the elections are done and over, our doors are open to every partnership that is beneficial to our people.
The combined efforts of our security forces and their high commands in providing the needed atmosphere of peace throughout the election and even the waiting period is highly commendable. Their exhibition of professional conduct is undeniably, praiseworthy. I thank the leadership of my great party – the PDP for standing by us and ensuring that no amount of gang-up triumphs against the will of the majority of Adamawa People. As always, the umbrella is big enough for all of us.To the best campaign team ever – the Adamawa State Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council, and all its organs, especially the cream of young men and women who had to keep a vigil in the Situation Room all nights and days, while this campaign was running, I thank you for a job well done.
We have run an issue-based campaign that makes all of us proud. We stood by our own and won the entire State for Atiku Abubakar and the PDP during the presidential election. We equally won two, out of the three senatorial seats and seven out of the eight seats at the House of Representatives in the National Assembly elections.
The climax of this noble coordination and election management, is this victory and the victory of a majority of the seats in the State Assembly. You are indeed a squad, I can go to the battlefront with, any time, any day. To a father and leader, Atiku Abubakar, Wazirin Adamawa; thank you Sir, for the support as always. This victory is a sign of greater things to come. We shall not rest until we wrestle your stolen mandate at the national level. I must sincerely commend, the Deputy Governor, Chief Crowther Seth, the Nzeanzo Bachama. He has been with us through thick and thin throughout the life of this administration and indeed the period of the electioneering campaign.
He is a gentleman per excellence and a great politician. He has made tremendous sacrifice in the service of the State and has demonstrated maturity at all times. The State and indeed the nation will continue to honour and thank him for a patriotic service well rendered. To Professor Kaletapwa Farauta, whom I had the honour of pulling out of her comfort zone – the University, to join me on this bumpy voyage, I say well done and thank you for trusting my instinct and judgement. We are going to work together and build on the foundation for a greater Adamawa State which is already laid. To the members of the Fresh Air Cabinet – Commissioners, Advisers, Aides and all those who are handy in the service of the State, as we anchor the ship of governance at the dock of the end of the first term, I thank you on behalf of Adamawa State. Our signatures are engraved on the development pages of the State and we all have every reason to look back individually and be proud that we collectively achieved so much within a short span as a team.
The rest, we leave for posterity to catalogue. I wouldn’t be the man that I am today, without the woman who agreed to marry me over two decades ago. Let me say this publicly: Lami, you have always given me the reason to love and cherish you more. The last campaign has made me prouder. I am amazed to see you provide the kind of support you gave throughout the electioneering period. Thank you so much dear. To my Children, Faiza, Abdulhameed, Ismail and Nana Aisha; to the rest of the world, I am a Governor, to the four of you, I am your Daddy and this is the height of all I have ever wanted to be. The campaign period has truly disrupted this bond. I assure you; it is over and daddy is back for good. I am all yours again. Fellow citizens, I must as a politician apologize on behalf of the political class for putting you through this phycological trauma loaded with compulsive anxiety especially over the last five days. However, bad the situation is and whoever is responsible for it, that person is still being called a politician and I take responsibility for it. You certainly gave us your best by coming out to vote peacefully, the best way to reciprocate this civilized outing would have been to provide the necessary enablers for seamless and rancour-free process. Moving forward, we shall continue on the trajectory of our established philosophy of No one is left behind and nothing is left untouched. This way, Adamawa State shall continue to win more wins and democracy shall be entrenched. Thank you and God bless Adamawa State.
Fintiri is the governor-elect of Adamawa State.