It is not surprising that the former Acting Governor of Adamawa State Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has embarked on a media campaign in an attempt to whitewash his tenure of 86 days in which he admitted expending a gargantuan sum of N21 billion to run his less than three months old government and execute some projects in the state; a statement which arguably was received with shock by the people of the state. When it was first alleged that he spent N18 billion within the said period, some of his apologists said the State never got that much, let alone have same expended by the Acting Governor. Now that he said it himself, I wonder how they will feel.
There is no gainsaying that the image laundering attempt he made has earned him and his administration more opprobrium and disdain as all discerning minds have quickly read in-between the lines and have seen the subterfuge, and inconsistencies contained in the self-styled defense. More interestingly, immediately after the said Press Conference took place, an amorphous group under the aegis of a so-called Adamawa Concerned Patriots placed advertorials in newspapers eulogizing Fintiri while at the same time pouring invectives on others including Past and Present Governors? What could be their Motives? Certainly if the baloney about being accountable is anything to go by; Fintiri has only succeeded in shooting himself in the foot and rather than justify some of the irrational actions he took; the attempt portrays him as one who does not care about public perception regarding him or his arrogant style of leadership. That is the greatest undoing for anyone holding an office of public trust.
Through that singular action, he has equally showcased his ample disdain, for Adamawa people whom he thinks are not wise or literate enough to understand the implication and import of his regrettable and unfortunate attempt to extricate himself from blame after fiddling with their common destiny. It is glaring even to the gullible that both the Press Conference of Tuesday the 21st October, 2014 and the Full Page Advertorial which appeared on page 36 of the Daily Trust of 22nd October, 2014 achieved nothing other than compounding the predicaments of their alleged mentor (or is it sponsor?) as he embark on a sordid journey to political Golgotha.
It is similarly unmistakable that Fintiri’s obsession to defend his ignominious administration hook line and sinker has rather portrayed his Political misadventure in the Proper light of a System anchored on POLITICAL DECEPTION, GOVERNANCE BY FALLACY or a HATE BASED Combination of both. A person who squandered over N20billion in less than three months cannot lay claim to the moral grandstanding that Fintiri and his backers want to project. All the reference to the debts inherited and the Moratorium on debt repayment are just hogwash. At the inception of the illegal regime of the Acting Governor, it was reported that he said the indebtedness of the Government was over N86 billion. However, in his recent Press Conference, he said it is N12.8 billion. He equally claimed that a Consultant he engaged had saved the state the sum of N9 billion. This is totally false.
What he did not tell the Public which he was duty bound to have done is that the consultant drew the sum of N 262,000,000.00 as fees for no financial benefit or any other benefit to the state. But it appears that to them these salient and crucial issues do not matter and can be toyed with as everything to them with the exception of their political ambition is a non-issue and can be swept under the carpet. The whole saga as far as they are concerned is part of the normal Political rigmarole they are accustomed to and therefore, they do not care a hoot whether the people are shortchanged or not.
It is pertinent to take a closer look at how a government that was in power for only 86 days could claim spending over N20 billion state funds. Fintiri Said he Spent N1, 736,123,360.00 as running cost for the Period he was in power including June 2014 even though he actually took over on 15th July, 2014. He also had another item known as Administrative Releases amounting to N2, 961,213,490.00. If you combine the Running cost and “Administrative releases” (whatever that means), the former acting governor Spent N4, 697,336,850.00. as administrative costs alone in 86 days. Another item I find very funny is the N500, 000,000.00 allegedly Spent on Constituency Projects. I Challenge anyone to show me one such Project initiated or Completed in any Part of the State. Who collected the money meant for Constituency projects? Was it the Contractors or the Members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly?
The sum of N2, 847,544,780.56 used for Road Construction and Rehabilitation is indeed laughable. Which are the roads? How Many bridges are on these roads? Do you spend this much on just road rehabilitation? We know how much properly constructed roads with 4-span bridges cost. We have not seen any major road under construction to warrant such colossal amount of money spent. The Money supposedly spent on the Electrification of Kirchinga and Kombla the Political ward of Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri may simply be another of his Political gimmicks to deceive the people. For the greater Part of his short stay at Government House Dougerei, Yola; that Portion of territory had been in the hands of insurgents. Who was the contractor that handled the project and when did he commence the job? How come the insurgents allowed the project to go on? Unless the former Acting Governor had some understanding with the insurgents, no project had taken place in the said Kirchinga and Kombla which were under the control of the insurgents.
The sum of N 247, 556, 370. 00 was said to have been spent to procure Vehicles and as Vehicle Allowance for Political office holders who were to spend less than three months. This is absurd. Another question we wish to ask is who benefited from the so-called counterpart funding of N539, 648,648.66? Counterpart funding for which projects and where are the projects located? What are their current stages of construction or Completion? These are questions which if answered will justify any payment of counterpart funding. Other expenditures referred to require no comments because to even falsify them is akin to accepting that they took place. Nothing took place on some of these sectors at all. We admitted seeing some little action in the case of some of the claims but yet the figures quoted are bogus and over inflated. Perhaps the only project which is visible is the Jimeta street lighting which according to the former Acting Governor cost the state N321, 638,096.25.
In all of these, where does the Fintiri Gubernatorial Campaign expenses fall in to? From the run-up to the contest, to the alleged inducements given to delegates and the setting up of the paraphernalia of campaigns, huge sums were expended. Where did the resources come from? As a matter of fact, the Fintiri Campaign Organization had even exhumed some politicians from obscurity to points where they now print Posters to Contest Elections. Where did they get the money to undertake all the political activities associated with the campaigns? We are waiting for answers to these ethical and moral questions.
One of the most painful ommisions in our legal system is that politicians who use illegal means to assume power and in the process feather their nests end up going scot-free even when competent Courts of law pronounce their activities as illegal. Otherwise, all the beneficiaries of the illegalities that saw the emergence of Fintiri as Acting Governor should be made to pay for their actions since a competent Court of law has declared their action with respect to the purported resignation of the former Deputy Governor as illegal. That was the basis of all subsequent actions that resulted in the squandering of over N20 billion Adamawa State funds in just 86 days. Coming to power illegally through the mantra of fighting corruption obligates them to explain how they managed our collective resources so callously within such a short time.
As for the faceless group supposedly sponsored by the former Acting Governor or apparently sympathetic to him that goes by the name ‘Concerned Adamawa Patriots’ we wish to commend them for making some very interesting revelations about the nature of the Fintiri leadership and philosophy in their advertorial titled “Good by to Goodluck. Apart from the direct insults on both Governors Murtala Nyako and Bala James Ngilari, the group made startling revelations with respect to the ethno-religious agenda of the Fintiri Leadership and also re-echoed some of the lies about the bogus expenditure made within the short period he held sway. It is indeed a disservice to Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and his Political ambition. It is also a disservice to the people of Adamawa State.
They think that by promoting a hate based ethnic agenda so openly they were doing their mentor a favour. They are actually doing the opposite. They are ruining him. It is sad to note that, someone who has been so favoured by God Almighty, will be associated with such an ungodly action of promoting hate among people purely on account of their ethnic origins. And if the group thinks they are hurting those they are insulting, then they are indeed mistaken. They have only succeeded in hurting themselves and perhaps their sponsors.
Ahmad I. Sajoh, MNIPR
Director, Press and Publicity
Murtala H. Nyako Publicity Office
24th October, 2014s