In this an exclusive interview with Alhaji Abdulrahaman Abba Jimeta, former chief of staff during Nyako’s Administration and current chief of Staff to Governor Bindow, spoke to Tom Garba our correspondent in his office at Government House Yola; he also spoke on the myriads of problems that has to be addressed by Bindow’s administration. He talked about the wide range of issues in connection with the crisis that is rocking the party at state level, the debt left behind by the previous government, he also cleared the air on why the Governor could not form his cabinet uptil now, and why Bindow is not a political son of either Atiku or Nyako as purported by many people and his recent fights between him (Jimeta) and the Governor. The Excerpts
Reports shows that the last month salary was managed to be paid by the present government even with claims by the previous government to have left money amounted to 1.2billion naira in the state Treasury. Why?
Let me start by saying is indeed disheartening and heart breaking to subject your followers into a life of hardship, that is exactly what Bala Ngilari’s government did to the people of Adamawa state. Emptying the whole treasury of the state, they past government has succeeded in indebting the state ,left without settling the many problems facing the civil servants and of course the entire people of Adamawa state. We have to equally go on loan to settle the outstanding salary because we are elected to work for them even when is not convenient.
Yes they may be equally right by saying that they left Money to this government, but I want to assure you that money was not an accessible money because, the money was discovered to be in one of the vat account- Salaries (SRA) account and how much was the money? 1.2 Billion.
You see that money was too small to even pay state’s salaries, we have to borrowed money that is an over draft that is up to 1.4Billion to be able pay last month salaries, else it wouldn’t have been possible to pay the last month salaries that suppose to be paid by the immediate past government. In general you may agree with me the money said the former governor said to have to left is a bad debt for the state.
How much is the debt left behind by Ngilari
The report I got from the transition committee was that, they discovered 40.5 Billion Naira being owned by the state government. Is not a bad policy to receive a loan for the purpose of working for your people, but you see is slavery to collect the loan and refused to work for the people that voted you in. Our past government got loans without any serious work on ground to show for it.
Your principal Man is still unable to form his cabinet, is it as the result of internal party crisis in the state?
Let me first of all say that we don’t have any internal crisis because of inability to nominate commissioners. Our party is intact no crisis with either the leadership or the followership, it is only an issue of who brought who and who becomes who which is a normal thing in every organisation. Politics is about interest and without interest no one will be a politician, is the engine boat that drives every good politicians
Are People like Atiku and Nyako are bringing their own candidates?
We about bringing out about five to six commissioners to various ministries which is; Education, Finance, Health, Works, Justice and Lands and survey. These are ministries that are most important and but you see these cannot be handle by any Tom, Dick and Harry politician, it is purely the work that ought to be handle by some technocrats.
Getting down to answer your question properly, let me still say that every government must involve the services of some experts to succeed whether he is a politician or not, whether he belongs to the ruling party or not or was he in your campaign train or not. Therefore there are works meant for the brains and is not meant for some particular class of politicians.
Atiku as a party Man in the state has any right to chip his own contribution small or big, I am the one forming up the list of all the commissioners and I was told Atiku is seeking for a favor for one of his Daughters to come back home to contribute to her father’s land. On seeing her papers I discovered the woman she is not only a Medical Doctor but a consultant in the medical field, with an international experience and reputation. You see that kind of a person can only do the work of an expert. We should be grateful to have those kinds of people to be part of this government. As for Nyako he has contributed to the development of this state, first as the former chief of staff during his military days, second as the former governor of this state and third as one of the pillar of forming APC in this country, what crime has he committed that he cannot advice or still contribute his quarter as far as this government is concern?.
People are making rumors around the town that; Governor Bindow is shifting loyalty from Nyako his political god father to Atiku his financier.
I want you to know that Nyako or Atiku are never behind Bindow’s success and never his political fathers. Let me take you down the memory lane, when Nyako was impeached and there was a need for rerun Atiku could not support Bindow, he only bought Yayaji Mijin Yawa, a candidate people believe to be unpopular as against senator Bindow we went to the primaries and beat his candidate. That election could not hold and we returned for the second time we went to the venue of primaries and we challenged Atiku candidate to victory.
We started our campaigns without a single penny of Atiku, went to him for financial support as at then he turned us down. We had to always task ourselves before we go out for campaigns. Not until light of victory beginning to show up at the end of the tunnel that he gave us money for the finishing campaigns and immediately after the presidential election people began to trooped into the party from other parties to be part of us then tell me how Atiku is Bindow political God father?
Nyako was impeached and he left the country and throughout our campaigns days he has not been around, infact one of Nyako’s close who happened to be the state secretary during his last regime, Chief Kobis Thimnu contested with Bindow and woefully failed to the victory of Bindow. How then will somebody say that the two of the leaders are Bindow’s god father?
I was the chief commandant of the campaign, every of the campaign’s meetings, arrangements was not even done in the party’s secretariat, is done in my own very House so I am at the right picture to tell the world who Bindow is and who helped him in his political carrier.
Your state government is seen to be inaugurating roads constructions and rehabilitation. Is this part of the one hundred day projects accomplishments?
I don’t know how hundreds days projects came about, because it is is not in our constitution, but became every government agenda to have her first hundreds days in office. May be you journalists brought about the whole issue.
But to help your mind the whole Idea behind the roads constructions is to tell the people of Adamawa state that this government is out for work nothing else. Though with myriads of financial problems incurred by previous administrations we can’t wait until things fall into proper for itself, we must devise ways of sourcing out money to work for the people.
As you are all aware few days ago the Governor was in Labor to commissioner a road construction through the support of world Bank and French Government which is being spearheaded by Road Access and mobility project (RAMP) to link up with many communities in Girei and Demsa LGAs. As I am talking to you other company are coming with their Bills of quantity to see how we can partner with them to work for the state, we are soon going to commission work in Yola town to make sure that our hundred days in office is result oriented.
Some weeks ago story making around town was that you have threatened to resign as the chief of staff, may I know why?
Yes I had wanted to put my resignation not because I am having problem with the executive Governor but for people coming from nowhere to have an influence on this government which I know is going to be devastating and we all head to a collision. Some people are trying to hijack all what we have labour for, who do not know how we have suffer to became what we are, in as much government has to balance his cabinet with both technocrats and politicians who went with him to every part of the state and canvas votes for him to become Governor. Tell me is this being fair to those politicians? And I told him that I can’t work where my own suggestion and advice is not being considered and if am out no one will blame me. In as much we have our shortcomings I want to be known as somebody that will try his best to be fare to all.
I further told the Governor in every government there offices that has to be fill in by the people that are career driving people even if they are not part of your campaign team, you have to give them because you do not have a choice ,their knowledge is all we need to have a good government. There are those politicians that you must give them because they work for you, they are the foot soldiers who defended you to be a governor so it was base on this reasons I made up my mind to resign not because I had issues with my governor. I know if the whole system will have a problem all blame will be probably channel down to me because how some people felt I offended them in the course of the journey, than me to be blamed unworthy I should better resign to have my peace. So basically my problem with governor was purely on political interest nothing more nothing less.