BY MAHMUD DANASABE
As the race to the Dougirei government house, ahead of the March 2019 polls gathers steam, one candidate has solidly become a recurring decimal in the contest, as his fortunes continue to soar. He is a man with an impeccable record of leadership excellence, a man of the people, and a grass root mobilizer par excellence. He is variously described as ATM by his array of supporters and well wishers for the good tidings and dividends of democracy he brought to the state within a span of 86 days. That man is called Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
Variously described as a man of destiny who rose from a humble beginning to become one of the most formidable political forces of all times in Adamawa State, Fintiri, unlike most of his adversaries, was not born with the proverbial silver spoon, but worked through the tortuous journey of life, until he occupied the highest political office in the land. In the process, the man transformed the lives and destinies of Adamawa people in numerous ways.
As we approach the epic contest, the rising popularity of this enigma, has apparently became a huge source of concern to his adversaries as he took the state by storm, creating seismic political ripples that shook the state, to the extent that the fear of his impregnable political machine that was coasting to an overwhelming victory, was the beginning of wisdom.
The people of the state have from the informed position of wisdom and based on Fintiri’s excellent track record of service, already aligned with the unstoppable train that Fintiri’s candidaure represents, knowing full well that out of the array of contenders and pretenders jostling for the top job, he is the one most suited, in line with his stellar performance both as the speaker of Adamawa state house of assembly and as the acting governor of the state who in the span of less than three months in office, virtually touched the life of every Adamawa citizen in many positive ways.
Fintiri was able to achieve in 86 days what others have failed to achieve in years despite enjoying an era of unprecedented economic boom as their tenure lasted. As expected, the good virtues and exceptional leadership exploits attained by Fintiri have etched him in the subconscious realm of the people, making him to enjoy a cult like followership that is unravelled in the annals of contemporary leadership in the state.
For his gesture, humility and great servitude to the people, his attempt to stage a come back to the government house was readily accepted, owned and supported unconditionally by the teeming Adamawa people who have made it clear that if the race to the Dougirei seat of power is a contest in popularity, then the emergence of Fintiri come March, 2019 has become a fait accompli.
Such acceptability and goodwill enjoyed by the Fintiri’s aspiration was responsible for the clear victory he had at the party primaries of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which was adjudged the best party primaries in the political history of the state. The PDP primary election was is in sharp contrast with the crisis ridden primaries of rival political parties, especially the APC which is still in disarray till this day,following the controversial and highly disputed party primaries that threw it to the edge of the precipice.
Because of the unprecedented camaraderie he enjoyed leading to a landslide victory at the party primaries, other contestants deemed it fit to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith and pledge their overwhelming support to the Fintiri candidacy which has since been waxing from strength to strength.
While the Fintiri phenomenon is creating ripples in the state, it is a great source of discomfort to the camp of those who nurture the “born to rule” mentality and could not agree that a man from poor background should hold sway as the captain of the state craft. While some of them ostracize him because of his background, others reviled him for the mortal fear and belief that Fintiri was the only man with the muscle to eclipse their political dreams and the only potent force that could send them packing from their vantage positions, as his Armageddon threatens to crush them. This fear has become so entrenched that they become so much obsessed with the Fintiri phenomenon to the extent of lapsing into a trance and ruderlessness.
Being aware of the fact that their days in their most cherished inner recess of power is numbered, they have devised rather odious means of survival come what may, as they could never envisage life without power at their disposal, because of the fact that their lives seemingly defended on their access to power, which they use for self serving purposes.
Another reason that made it compelling for them to defend their most cherished redoubt, was the fear that losing such power. will make them bare and expose their various financial heists which they have been hiding away from the people. Therefore, retaining such power for the expediency of self preservation has become a most compelling task, no matter the price.
The imminent victory of the PDP which promises to be the only party that will carry the generality of the masses along, for the fact that the candidate of the party himself hailed from a poor background and understands the nuances and rudiments of existential challenges in a developing state like Adamawa, have since pushed the neo-political capitalists who are superintending the state into a state of hallucination.
As expected, people in this state of mind rather think with their feet than heads and will adopt the most weirdest and crudest ways to remain afloat. In their state of hallucination, it occurred to them that the only way to get political traction is by sullying the hard earned reputation of integrity and excellence that Fintiri has tortuously build over the years.
In their weird estimation, they conjectured that, the only way to crush the Fintri campaign train is to launch a relentless campaign of calumny by spewing litany of hate speeches, malicious spins and the promotion of infantile lies against him with the aim of robbing him of his mass followership and by extension, his good intentions to rescue the state from the doldrums of economic woes which they subjected it to.
One of the methods they had envisaged in taking the Fintiri raging behemoth, was to make a political capital out of his case at the EFCC. But that approach could not see the light of the day, for the fact that it was both libellous and a contempt of court process which may attract the fury of the law, making the plan to die on arrival.
For the benefit of those who may be obfuscated, it should be restated that in Nigeria, only the courts have the legal onus to declare anyone guilty of committing legal infractions. For the respect we have for court processes, we will not further comment on the issue. But suffice it to say that, it is both contemptuous and libellous for anybody to pass a guilty verdict on anyone, simply because the person has a court case.
With the death of the initial plan, the government of the day restaged another fatuous and devilish means of dealing a mortal blow to the Fintiri phenomenon. This time around, they resorted to entrench the preposterous hubris that Fintiri may likely be arrested by the EFCC.
But the more they push this subterfuge, the more embarrassed they become, because for the umpteenth time, their lies have been punctured by the fact that Fintiri still enjoys freedom and going about his campaign, despite the antics of these traducers who in their desperation to eclipse the Fintiri juggernaut, allegedly bribed security officials to infringe on the fundamental human rights of the PDP candidate.
As the campaign train of Fintiri gains more political leverage across every strata of Adamawa state, it becomes apparent that the government wanted to create anxiety and tension within the ranks of his political supporters with such phantom allegations, but again, their plans have been nixed by the fact that the more they spin lies and falsehoods, the more Fintiri becomes entrenched in the hearts of the people.
Fortunately, the people have over the time seen through the mosaic of distortions, lies and fallacies and renewed their promise never allow a prebendal group with a predetermined and insatiable appetite for filthy lucre to occupy the seat of power again in the state.
These power mongers are aware that with the rising popularity of Fintiri, their time in the inner recess of power is waning and sooner than later, the false empire they build around deceit and travesty will collapse like a badly arranged pack of cards. But their major predicament is that leaving the inner recess of power will make them bare and expose the economic malfeasance they wrought on the state in the last three and half years.
For that reason, they are going gaga and ready to deploy all manner of subterfuge to remain in vogue in order to maintain a vice grip on the resources of the state for their personal gains. For them, any form of threat real or perceived to their ambition must be crushed with maximum force, as the mortal fear they harbour in the event of losing their all important redoubt becomes their major preoccupation.
It is pertinent to state that in his 86 day stint in office, Fintiri has upset the backlog of salary arrears of two months bequeathed to him by his immediate predecessor, but in sharp contrast to that, governor Bindow came to power without any baggage of salary arrears, and despite unprecedented handouts from the federal government in the form of bailouts, Paris refunds and increased IGR base, the governor has only deemed it fit to accumulate a backlog of unpaid salary of local government workers without recourse to how these most deprived people fare.
While Fintiri deemed it to pay the workers without any strings attached, it is apparent that Bindow wanted to score a political point by paying the backlog of salary on the eve of general elections in the country. The fact that the payment of salaries was celebrated by the governor with pomp and pageantry makes the whole scenario even nauseating.
Many discerning people wondered how we found ourselves in this mess because of the fact that in the last three and half years, the average monthly local government share of the federal allocation was in the region of N3billion, add that to the IGR of these local governments, plus other capital receipts, and you will wonder whether these funds have developed wings especially in juxtaposition with the average N1 billion monthly salary bill of all local governments in the state.
It beats ones imagination that despite the balance of more than N2billion monthly if the salary of local governments were to be paid, the government has to resort to borrowing the sum of N5 billion to upset the backlog of salary bill which it deliberately amassed in the last three and half years.
The fear of Fintiri who spearheaded the onslaught that forced the governor to fulfill a basic responsibility of paying the traumatized workers their backlog of salary arrears, is no doubt the beginning of wisdom. It also entailed the reason why these desperate power mongers were all out to crush him at all cost, lest he espoused the level of the economic malfeasance they wrought on the polity.