By Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol
The Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is one of the luckiest politicians in the state. He had the privilege to, within the shortest period, rise from being an ordinary member of the State House of Assembly to Speaker of the same house, Acting Governor in 2014 and the first person to unseat an incumbent Governor at the polls in Adamawa State. These successes would not have been achieved if not because of the reputation he has been building for over a decade, especially while in office as the Acting Governor.
However, the recent breaking of the state’s warehouse, agencies, offices, schools, and private companies has brought new topics of discussion in the state. First, I would like to condemn the dastardly act by the hoodlums and commend the governor for coming up with a brilliant strategy that led to the recovery of some looted properties.
Notwithstanding, the threat by the governor on the citizens that any house found with looted properties would either be demolished or the owner gets his certificate of occupancy withdrawn is undemocratic. The governor ought to have pronounced imprisonment or fine as punishment.
For me, the advisers of the governor are not living up to expectations. I am happy that Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is surrounded by brilliant executive members and aides but still sad that they are not intelligent enough to advise the governor on how to handle happenings in the state.
For instance, an audio clip was released on the 28th October, 2020 with the voice of the governor warning and threatening one Husseini Gambo Nakura. The governor who swore severally in the audio clip, warned Nakura not to mention his name again and promised to deal with him if otherwise happens. The audio clip which went viral has since generated heated debate in the state. Few days after, Husseini Gambo Nakura received a summon asking him to appear before a Magistrate Court, Jimeta. Where are governor’s advisers?
Similarly, the governor’s ally, Stephen Maduwa had also threatened one journalist, Tom Garba. Stephen Maduwa in the one minute 19 seconds audio clip ordered the journalist never to write something whether good or bad on Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. He made it clear that he would deal with the journalist personally, physically and even slaughter him if he continues writing news on the Governor.
Surprisingly, these two threats are coming at the time Nigeria is practising democracy for 21 years. The fact is that our leaders ought to be democratically matured enough to accept criticisms from oppositions.
The governor and his allies should never expect things to always go their ways. This is because the major difference between the military regime and democracy era is the freedom of speech and the right to criticize government.
Advisably, instead of becoming angry and promising to deal with critics, the governor and his executive members should see these criticisms with open minds, evaluate them and see where they need to improve and where they need to respond. It is pertinent to note that not every criticism is aimed at tarnishing the image of the government and not all criticisms deserve to be rebutted.
The governor needs the services of experts here, most especially those who can easily differentiate between constructive and destructive criticism. Those that will advise him on what, when, where, why, and how to do.
The governor should not just see the recent looting in his state as a calamity but a blessing also. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the dastardly act. One of which, it revealed the level of youth redundancy in the state. The state government should pay more attention to human capital development in order to get our youths employed.
To sum up, the governor must amend his strategies by consulting intelligent and resourceful persons within and outside the government, not only those who will be giving him only pieces of advice that will entertain him neglecting critical ones.
Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol writes from Mass Communication Department, Bayero University, Kano.