AHMADU UMARU FINTIRI: A Precious Jewel in Simple Casing

Fintiri.
Fintiri.
AHMADU UMARU FINTIRI: A Precious Jewel in Simple Casing

• Celebrating the Stewardship Victory of a Priceless Leader

By Mazi Uchenna Nwafor

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness”. – Zig Ziglar

It is a popular saying that every great man had his little beginning. Greatness starts small and every great distance covered starts with a step. Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is indeed one great man, with so much potentials to lead. He is indeed designed for accomplishment, engineered to succeed and empowered with the potential seeds of greatness, just as quoted by an American inspirational author, Zig Ziglar. Governor Fintiri has indeed sown the seed of hard work, commitment and sacrificed his all to the development and growth of Adamawa State.

Born into a humble family of a retired military personnel, Late Alhaji Umaru Badami and Late Hajiya Fatima Umar Badami in his hometown of Gulak in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, he is indeed a Priceless gift, not only to Adamawa State but the world at large. It is not in doubt any longer, that the parental military-oriented discipline the governor has to put up with growing up is the light that is shining upon his path today.

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In a Hausa proverb, there is a saying that goes like, “murucin kan dutse, bata fito ba, sai da ta shirya” – meaning: the fan palm sprout on a stone, did not sprang up until fully ready. Indeed Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri did not venture into politics until ready to face and tackle societal challenges and make positive difference. These feats are records of his sojourns from just a party loyalist, to an elected public office holder both as legislator and executive.

As a student of history, Governor Fintiri is grounded with the knowledge of the past, present and indeed how to make the future work. With a Bachelor of Arts in History and wide knowledge in policies and strategies, he is indeed set with a solid knowledge of the past and how it affects the present with focus to remedying the future and making it great. He has affected the polity and economy of Adamawa State positively, no matter who is giving the narrative; right from his days in the State Assembly to his present office as the state governor.

As Member of the state assembly, he contributed to the development and proper constitution of a democratic parliament in the Adamawa State House of Assembly, where decisions are only made on democratic principles of majority, he led well as speaker, succeeded and delivered quality legislative representation, a quality which is still in lack in recent time. Fintiri held lots of positions leading committees and finally caping it up with being the speaker of the assembly, with legacy bills/laws and reforms to his credit.

In Politics, Governor Fintiri was earlier termed an underdog by many non-calculative politicians, who think because, he is not from a so-called influential family, with no huge political capital (money) nor political godfather and with no political booth licking attitude. But one thing they failed to note is that, the young politician was indeed believing God and making his preparatory and strategic maneuvers, right form the ward, Local council and state. But today, he is a national political figure to recon with, taking up party and non party responsibilities of furthering the course of the Nigerian Nation. He is indeed now a political giant, both in local, state and national politics.

As Governor of Adamawa State, Fintiri has indeed written his name in history with gold in every sector and levels of governance, right from his days as acting governor to this day of his second term, it has been the same vigor and persuasion, to supersede the past and make the future better. Indeed, true change has really come to Adamawa State as he quoted on May 29, 2019, because nobody is left behind, and nothing is left untouched.

“I hereby affirm and declare that hope has been restored, and true change has come to Adamawa State.” – Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri 2019.

In the beginning of his administration, oppositions and critics said he cannot deliver, especially with the kind and magnitude of his proposed template, and probably from their view of his political standing and the so called normal political trend. Today reality is staring at all of us. Fintiri supersedes every expectation and silenced all opposing critics and their negative criticisms.
Governor Fintiri, the ATM Governor as popularly called, has served and still serving the good people of Adamawa State with all that is within him to deliver. His feats are all visible for all as sundry to see and notice in every area of life. His visionary kind of leadership (Fintirified Leadership) discovers and explores new horizon, with evidence of results having a defined and definite purpose, he has redefined governance and development in the State, setting examples on what it means to lead a democratic state; being a governor for all citizens and not for a political party, evidence of which is seen before, during and even after the just concluded 2023 General Elections.

His ‘Can Do’ and ‘Non-Relenting Spirit’ has enabled him surmount difficult governing challenges that others might let go. These has led to the opening of new routes, linking communities, educating and empowering the populace, especially the youths, creating opportunities and engaging in fruitful partnership with both local and foreign organization. One of such recent partnership is the Adamawa/USAID, which when fully engaged will enable improvement of the state economy, health, gender equality, and capacity building.

Good governance is serving a people and leaving them better than you met them – Fintiri has already achieved this feat in his early Eleven (11) Point Agenda of the last four years and the new Eight (8) Point Agenda is gradually, steadily and continually being rolled out. Few among which are (Past and Present):
Peace and Security:

• The governor right from inception ensured the peace and security of lives and properties of citizen. Established the Operation Farauta Joint Security Patrol: with a water tight strategic plan and good motivation for personnel and logistic.

• Accorded Security Agencies in the state maximum support through the procurement of vehicles and equipment and providing logistics for optimum performance to secure its citizenry.

• Empowered the local and indigenous vigilante and hunters’ group with more sophisticated equipment such as patrol vehicles and good welfare to motivate and boost morale.
Education.

• Declared “State of Emergency” in education, corrected the funding deficiencies, behavioural/professional rot in the system and right the wrong of the past.

• Free education from Primary to secondary school with quality and regular feeding of students.

• Payment of WAEC and NECO fees for graduating students of secondary schools and affordable tertiary education for indigene and non indigenes alike in State own institutions.

• Constructed new blocks of classrooms and offices, renovated existing ones, equipped with educational equipment and consumables for effective learning.

• Made state scholarship a feat for all, where people with no link of superior political influence can as a matter of competence secure government scholarship abroad. He further re-engineered the Scholarship Board, improved its working conditions and process which led to the return of payment of Students scholarship for tertiary students studying across Nigerian universities and making the scheme transparent and effective.

• Instituted and enforced the enrollment drive and back-to-school campaign for School-age and out-of-school-children, in joint effort of Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from German Development Bank KFW.

• Flags off Construction of N14.9b Model Basic Schools across all the Local Councils of Adamawa State for compulsory basic education access for all.

• Remodeling the Adamawa State University to compete favourably with leading government and private universities in Nigeria.

Health

• Construction and rehabilitation of health facilities in both rural and urban areas of the state: the Specialist Hospital Yola, general and cottage hospitals across the local government areas: Dumne, Fufore, shelling etc

• Conversion of cottage to general hospitals and building cottage hospitals where there is none.

• Improving the State-owned Health Institution in the state and sanctioning all defaulting private owned health related institutions in the state, for quality health care manpower.

• Global Partnership and signing of MoU with International Health Organizations, among which include the World Medical Relief INC. with reception of health consumables and equipment from such partnership.

• The First Lady’s Fresh Air Pro-Life Mobile Clinics became a new healthcare model, an added advantage in taking healthcare to the door step of the people.

Rural and Urban Development

• Rehabilitated old and constructed new, commissioned rural access roads and river crossing in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state of about 347.6km rural access roads and river crossing in one swoop on a Wednesday the 10th of February, 2021.

• Road Networking projects in several communities of the state and the metropolitan state capital. The projects are spread across all zones of the state for equity and balanced development, leading to marathon multi-commissioning of major, significant and life changing projects in areas of schools, health facilities, roads and electrification in Numan, Michika, Hong, Yola south, Yola North, etc. with Toungo connected to the National grid for the first time 20 years after. Shelleng also got township road dividend.

• Modernization of the state capital: constructed the first ever flyover, grade interchange and under pass in the entire Northeast Nigeria to open up traffic in projection of future growth; linking Jimeta to Yola town through the Yolde Pate road and the recent construction of another flyover at the Mubi Round about and the Welcome to Yola to Barracks Road Junction Super Highway and many others.

Civil Service

• Restructured the Civil service policies and process for productivity, where employment, promotion and appointment are made on merit. Made the emolument of civil servants a priority, improving working conditions and welfare; prompt payment of workers salaries above the minimum wage.

• Permanent Secretaries appointment are now based on merit after passing professional examination, conducted by external professional bodies and reorganized and modified employment process and screening to electronic; embedding the general information of workers with their National Identity.

• Made history with his life changing package of permanenting all temporary and daily paid staff of the government house to pensionable status.

Housing Development

• Inaugurated and constructed the Adamwa State Housing Estate Project Phase One at Malkohi – Yola South, accommodating 1000 housing units with each standing on a 500sqm land size. The estate comprises of 600 2-bedroom and 400 3-bedroom flats respectively to address the housing deficit in the state and provide affordable housing for the people, especially civil servants and thereby opening up the community for more residents and businesses.

• Many other housing programmes and policies captured in the second term.

Pension and Gratuity

• Clearance of outstanding pension and gratuities of state government workers owed by several past administrations through voting in a whooping sum of N1.5 Billion at the beginning of his administration, to settle outstanding retirement benefits of retirees and pensioners in the state at first instance.

• Implementation of reform policies and the remodeling of the board for effective delivery of service, and to avoid future occurrence of the ills.

• Prompt settlement of retirement benefits of retirees and pension as at when due. Evidence of recent, is the approval of N3 Billion for the state pensioners.

Business and Agriculture

• Created enabling environment for business, agriculture and empowerment by securing the lands, opening of roads for movement of goods, agricultural produce and other tangible and none tangible products which is one first step to improving all sectors of the economy.

• Full support of government to all farming organization in the state such as the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria – RIFAN, Northeast Commodity Association – NECAS and others.

• Developed and implemented a robust farming policy, making available farming tools, fertilizer and other farming consumables when needed.

• Introduction of new programme for the empowerment of both businesses and agriculture: the “two in one programme” – ADAS – Agribusiness was introduced on a private public partnership in the state by Arewa Research and Development Projects, with a robust economic template tagged Adamawa State Business Support Programme, taking advantage of agricultural opportunities in the state in areas of Crop value chain, livestock and aquaculture aimed at increasing the IGR of the state from N8.3 billion to N45 billion in 10 years.

It also promises a N5.15 billion credit guaranteed fund for access to increase GDP in the state, guarantees effective and profitable agricultural businesses that will empower young people in commercialize agricultural ventures.

Youth empowerment and Sports

• Empowerment of over 60 Adamawa indigenes in scholarship, studying professional courses abroad to return and be worthy assets for the state, self-sufficient and add value to humanity.

• Training of artisans in various automobile skills at the Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Learning Centre in Kaduna, where they were engaged in an intensive technical training in Light Vehicle maintenance with certifications – with specialization in vehicles diagnosis and maintenance, wielding and fabrication, Spray-painting, tyre and wheel services.

• Through the state government agency known as PAWECA, the state government has empowered young people on different endevours of life, ranging from IT, farming, Trading etc. Of recent is the earmarking of N4.4 Billion on empowerment, targeted at kicking poverty out of the state, especially among young people who are the growing and future population in the land.

Solid Mineral Exploration and Diversification

• Move to explore the solid mineral sector to ascertain what is available in commercial quantity and what it takes to make it viable for the general good of the state. The mineral resources termed to be available in the state include gold, baryte, lead/zinc and gemstone.

• The government approved to seek the service of professional consulting companies for the legal exploration of solid minerals for the benefit of all.

Urban Mass Transportation Programme

• Introduction of Modern Mass Transportation programme, and the Procurement of modern made in Nigerian Luxury Busses for ease and reduction in the cost of movement within metropolitan city and to all area councils. A programme that is only known in the days of Gongola/Adamawa Sunshine Express. Today Governor Fintiri made it a reality, being one of the Nigerian governors that implemented the transportation palliative to cushion the effect of subsidy removal in the movement of goods and passengers.

• The Government has also introduced the School Bus System which is mainly applicable to western civilization. Today, government Fintiri is bring the western educational transportation model to Adamawa State.

Funding of Government and Governance

• Increased generation of internal revenue and blocking bureaucratic leakages to augment federal allocation with prudent financial management.

• The service of private consultant was also sorted for to improve revenue generation and collection using modern electronic and easy monitoring system.

• Reduction in the cost of governance through full implementation of strict and prudent financial policy with due diligence in every financial transactional process and cutting off unnecessary spendings of government as was the trend before.

• Comprehensive articulation of government projects and programmes before commencement to avoid unfinished and abandon projects.

Executive-Legislative Relationship

• The executive and legislatures have enjoyed cordial relationship; this is triggered by quality of leadership by Governor Fintiri, established between the governor and the state lawmakers; given the legislature the pride of place to work with, no interference but lobby for bills that are of great benefit to the people.

• Gave the House all what is due to them; treated all legislators equally in the disbursement of Constituency Project Fundings with no political affiliation.

• Conducted Local Council Elections few months into office.

In his stewardship sojourn, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has aimed accolades both formal and informal, verbal, and recorded from home and abroad, among which are:

• Federal Government Best Governor in Infrastructure 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

• Security Maintenance Award presented by Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS)
• Blueprint Best Governor of the Year
• Governor of the Year 2019, by Leadership Newspaper.
• Business Day Best Governor on Educational Development in Nigeria 2020
• Governor of the Year (Security) and Iconic Trailblazer of the Year 2021 by UK-based media group, TheNigerian News.
• Rivers State Grand Service Star Award, by the government of River State.
• Award of Excellence by the Nigeria Union of Teachers NUT: as the first Governor in Nigeria to increase teacher’s years of service and improved welfare for teachers.
• Commendation from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Adamawa State.
• The most recent is the Home Base Honour by TGNews: Award of Excellence for Leadership and Good Governance 2023.

In showering accolades of all the feats above on the shoulder of one man, it is also right and worthy of note to recognized that a tree cannot make a forest. A man is not but complete in Africa until he has a wife; Hajiya Lami Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the wife of the governor is a strong and positive companion, the driver to the family success. The governor’s success can be anchored on the family peace he enjoys from his wife, and her support to the government and good people of the state through her Pro-Life pet project that caters for the needs of the electorate in several areas of health, education, empowerment etc.

Governor Fintiri’s selection of lieutenants, from his first term was his game changer, with great and competent hands: special regards to his first team, deputized by Chief Crowther Seth and engineered by the engine room, Engr. Bashir Ahmad former Secretary to the State Government and all his former commissioners. Further is to applaud all that supported his second term bid, with special reference to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON, Nigeria’s former Vice President, the PDP family and the entire good people of Adamawa State.

Then his newest soldiers: the new Adamawa State Executive Council, deputized by a strong and intelligent woman, Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta, the prime worker – the SSG, Hon. Auwal D. Tukur, the man dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s of government transactions and all the members of council. Special regards to all the Governor’s Aides most of all His Chief of Staff and Press Secretary; Dr. Edga Amos and Humwashi Wonosikou respectively for their genuine support and value addition to governance.

With all election litigations completed and the victory of His Excellency fully affirmed. As the governor continues in his quest to better the lots of Adamawa people, grow the economy, change the state from what it used to be to what is should be; a modern and working state where every citizen enjoys basic amenities of life and be proud to associate with his own community even on a global conversational table, it then becomes pertinent for all a sundry in the state and nation to support this good course of Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the Executive Governor of Adamawa State.

Your Excellency Sir;
You won the first election.
You won the supplementary election.
You won at the Tribunal.
You also won at the Appeal Court.
Now you have won the Supreme judgement.

Congratulations Sir.

With no doubt in mind on a final note, Governor Fintiri is indeed a Polymath, a humble, patient and principled man, Strong, committed, courageous and determined leader, a prepared and ready politician. He is easy in his manner, yet solid in his character, a man who is not afraid to propose what is bold, even when the answers around proves difficult, but believes every challenge in life have a human solution. He is a caring personality.

We say Thumbs Up Mr. Governor, You are indeed a Game Changer, a worthy and priceless asset, “a Precious Jewel in a Simple Casing”.

A piece of support and encouragement for service to humanity.

Written By: Mazi Uchenna Nwafor
08036261140, nwaforboy@yahoo.com
nwaforboy.un@gmail.com, Twitter: @nwaforboy Green Coin Business resource – Proudly Nigeria.

A Video Link on Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State:

https://www.youtube.com/@maziuchennanwafor5090

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