The Turning Tide: Adamawa’s Renaissance with Governor Fintiri

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On May 29, 2019, when Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri assumed office as the governor of Adamawa state in north-eastern Nigeria and reeled out an 11-point agenda, the words sounded like mere rhetoric; however, several years down the line and serving a second term as governor, the transformations in the state are there as testimonies.

To get a better insight into this, this piece will highlight the major achievements of Governor Fintiri that transformed the landscape of the state and also dwell on his political career.

Ahmadu Fintiri took over the administration of Adamawa State at a time when the state was contending with a huge debt profile of around N115 billion. Working with the principle that “the secret of getting ahead is getting started”, he took on the responsibility by starting with the core issues such as addressing insecurity, infrastructural development, education, welfare, and agriculture.


Knowing the importance of peace and security to the development of any community, state, or nation, Fintiri’sefforts to bring stability to the state began with the overhauling of the state’s security architecture and the launch of an aggressive campaign for peaceful coexistence among the people built on justice and fairness, an initiative that brought about relative peace among ethnic communities and groups as well as reduced the activities of armed bandits in the state.


Following that, he restructured the security architecture, equipped them logistically, and also attended to the social well-being of officers to boost their morale and allow them to reach the crannies of the state. These strategies, along with some others, helped Adamawa become one of the safest states to live and do business in over time, according to records from the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council.


Having thrived in the area of security, his next stop was infrastructural development. In doing this, he ensured the completion of all ongoing projects by his predecessor, then went further to launch an urban renewal campaign that focused on the construction of roads, bridges, housing units, and more in urban areas.


Moving beyond the urban areas to the rural settlements, Fintiritook on road construction as a core duty, and according to him back then “we are equally opening up the rural areas through an aggressive rural infrastructure campaign; lighting up communities by providing electricity to towns hitherto not connected to the national grid or whose facilities were destroyed, especially in the insurgents’ devastated areas”.


He was able to achieve a lot in infrastructure development across all the local government areas of the state by leveraging the World Bank-funded Ram 2 project, which is a joint project with the rate governments. For his part, Fintirimade adequate payment of the counterpart funds needed for the execution of the projects, which led to the delivery of about 340 kilometres of rural roads across the local governments.


If there is one thing he did that the people of Adamawa will not forget in a hurry, it was the rural electrification project, wherein communities were reconnected, electricity was restored in some areas, and transformers were distributed to as many communities as needed. One that stood out in all of these electrification projects is the connection of Toungo, a local government in the state, to the national grid after almost thirty years of existence.


The education sector also got its fair share of the governor’s largesse through the declaration of free education from primary to secondary level, along with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools across the state. Other giant strides embarked upon in the sector included the recruitment of teachers, the payment of scholarships to indigent students, the payment of WAEC and NECO fees, as well as the commencement of a school feeding programme.


The health sector was not relegated as Fintiri worked to ensure the modernization of most health centres and also rehabilitated old ones and got them well-equipped with modern facilities. Taking primary health care (PHC centres as a major concern, he constructed 8 new PHCs and renovated the 17 existing ones.


Among several other things, like the recruitment of qualified medical personnel, under his watch, the Adamawa state government approved the establishment of the State Health Insurance Scheme, targeted at supporting low-income earners and vulnerable people to access quality health care services.


The scheme provided free medical attention to children under the age of five, pregnant women, and the elderly in the state.


With so much improvement in the sector, Adamawa was ranked as one of the states with the best health indicators in the Northeast, according to health indicators from the Federal Ministry of Health.


Other areas in the state, like agriculture, water supply, and welfare, also enjoyed the huge patronage of Governor Fintiri, which brought a total transformation to the once decaying and infrastructure-ridden state and made it a fast-growing city.


Fintiri’s Political Trajectory


Fintiri began his political journey as an active grassroots mobilizer and youth leader in the local community, where he had interactions with local authorities and politicians in the old Michika Local Government area, comprising Madagali and Michika local areas.


From there, in 2002, he contested for a seat in the state’s House of Assembly against the then-incumbent member of the Adamawa Assembly representing Madagali, J.J. Sinamai, in PDP primaries and lost, after which he defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and became its candidate but was defeated again in the general election.


In 2007, he tried again under the ACN and defeated the PDP’s Sinamai to win the election to the Assembly, where he became the minority chief whip.


However, in 2010, he defected to the People’s Democratic Party, or PDP, alongside many of his supporters, shortly after which he became deputy speaker of the Assembly. He got re-elected in 2011 and was elected as the speaker of the House, a position he held until 2015.


In July 2014, following the impeachment of the sitting governor, Muritala Nyako, as the speaker, Ahmadu Fintiribecame the acting governor of the state, but after three months on the seat, he enabled the transition of power to an elected governor in the person of Bala James Ngilari in October of the same year, proofing his integrity as a committed leader.


In 2019, amidst various challenges, Fintiri contested for the governorship seat and emerged victorious under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, with a resounding victory over the incumbent governor, Bindo Jibrilla of the All Progressives Congress.


As Oliver twists that he wants more, in 2023, he was re-elected as governor of Adamawa State after a fierce contest with the All Progressive Congress candidate, Aishatu Dahiru.

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