Solomon Kumangar is the Director General Media and Publicity to the Governor of Adamawa State. In this interview, he rolled out the achievements of the Governor Fintiri led administration in 100 days in office. He spoke with Williams Ayooso in his office.
The previous administration did a lot of work in terms of road infrastructure, on a general note, people will expect that he gets the ticket or the support of the people to continue the projects he began, what do you think has happened that your boss got the mandate of the people to pilot the affairs of Adamawa State?
Well, I think His Excellency Abubakar Umaru Fintiri got the mandate of the people probably in spite, not against the run of play as you’ll like to put it. But he has had a record of performance when he was two times acting governor of Adamawa State and the people never forgot that. Therefore, when he came to seek for a full time as governor, the people never hesitate to bring him back because of his past records. You’ll agree with me that the early part of his administration has been punctuated with development and assurances of good governance. Even thus we said that 100 Days is not an effective time to access a government, Fintiri has proven beyond reasonable doubt that, it is not how long, but how well a government works that determine the success.
Also, Fintiri has come with an Eleven Point Agenda which the people bought into, with the believe that it will definitely take Adamawa State out of the woods.
In the early days of the administration, we had to contain with the menace of the Shila Boys, a cult group that has been holding sway in the criminal kingdom in Adamawa and has so make life unbearable for residents of Yola and other environs. It reached an extent that people go back into their houses very early in Yola. However, when Fintiri came, after giving the cult boys an ultimatum to lay down their arms, he then held several closed door security meetings with the security agencies after which he rolled out his plans. You’ll agree with me if you go on the streets of Jimeta you will know truly that we have significantly downgraded the activities of the Shila Boys, even as we are also on the process of downgrading the issues of kidnapping.
So long as there are good people in the society, the bad will always exist. But however, this government has dedicated a strong political will at ensuring that Adamawa is peaceful enough for developments to take place, for development to take place in education, for development to take place in the infrastructure, for development to take place in the issue of agriculture and workers welfare as well as their own security.
So the issue of saying that we should start building roads, I have always maintained that we’ll build roads, but we will not be a government that will abduct a mono-project. This is a government that is sincerely corrective and we are going to look at all phases of human endeavor and development. Already you know he has 11 point agenda and within this 11 point agenda, there are 5 key areas where he has now compressed the 11 point agenda through which it has become imperative as a road map to achieving the desire of making Adamawa work once again. Although Four years is not large enough for a government that is intending to do a lot of work, a lot can be achieved within four years. We also know that this is a government that is in a careful hurry, we don’t want to do hurry projects that in the end we go and clash. Fintiri is the man that knows the road, he is the man that knows the work and he is taking his time one at a time to achieving all the programs that are outlined for Adamawa State.
Over 100 Days in office, what are the salient t achievements that you can mention, I mean the trump card that you can hold on and say this is what you have done so far?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we already have brought good governance and it is true that change has come to Adamawa State, change in terms of the person and persistence, change in terms of accountability, change in terms of delivering on what we have promised. Now, when he first came in, His Excellency paid five months’ salaries in three months. This was his promise and he has promised that salaries should be paid on or before the 25th of every month with or without the Federal Allocation. But you should understand that almost everything in this state depends on the Federal Allocation, so for His Excellency to have said this, he is prepared not to go into throwing money into mono-projects but prepared to deploy resources only in areas of need. Take road for instance and say, you’re basing your priority on road, Adamawa is a complex state with complex expectations and high expectations here and there and you can’t just take money and be throwing into one project or road. If you take it and the people have no stomach infrastructure, who are the people going to fly the roads? The people have no stomach infrastructure, who are the people going to fly the roads?
We could point to the fact that he has revived the local government areas. Previously, the local governments were completely in dormancy, they were in comatose when he came. Now, he said he is going to use the local governments as the bedrock of his rural development and transformation agenda. That was why he revived the local government areas and appointed the transition committee chairmen. And for the first time in the whole of this country, he was the first governor that is experimenting, using the party chairmen who struggled with him to see how they can develop the state together. The other one is, Tongo local government since creation for the past 20 years, except perhaps because of the federal road that was brought in by Governor, Boni Haruna, no single meaningful project has been carried out. But he promised that in less than two months when he comes to power, he will connect Tongo to the National Grid and now Tongo has been connected as promised. These are concrete achievements you can point to. If you go to Tongo today, the people are smiling.
Moving forward, what will be the direction of the administration?
The direction has already been outlined. We have told you that our passion towards security will be maintained, it will be continued and we have demonstrated the political will towards that. Already, the government has purchased 80 Hilux Vans to be distributed as part of the greater Adamawa security project. We also bought Motorcycles and vehicles about 100 which will be distributed to Vigilante and Hunters Association and a lot of voluntary organizations that have joined in the security architecture of the state government. So, there are assurances that, by the time he completes his full term, Adamawa people will be the ones to ask him to continue