Billy Graham Abel, Yola.
As political parties continue to strategise towards 2019, the Adamawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has added one more governorship aspirant to its array of gubernatorial hopefuls as the former acting governor of the state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has declared to challenge Governor Jibrilla Bindow, in 2019 elections.
Fintiri is also former Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly.
The former acting governor made his intention known, on Saturday, at the PDP state secretariat, in Yola.
Fintiri wondered that despite Adamawa’s huge economic potentials, the state has not been able to make progress “due to lack of vision, foresight and understanding of the 21st century style of governance.”
He called on the people of the state to judge politicians based on their track record, saying his record as former acting governor and Speaker lent credence to his ability to bring the much-sought after development and progress in the state.
According to Fintiri, “As you are already aware, the purpose for gathering all of you here today is to formally declare my intention to contest for the position of the Governor of Adamawa State under the platform of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The past three years of self-imposed semi-political hibernation has afforded me the opportunity to critically observe and study the way and manner my state was governed.
“Understanding the plight of the people of my state and their socio-economic problems has always been paramount in my political career.
“The reality from my observation is that, Adamawa has again failed to realise its potential due to a number of reasons, chiefly, the failure to realise the power of broad-based engagement with various segments of the society after every circle of elections.
“Our state is endowed with abundant human and natural resources that have not been harnessed due to the failure to understand and appreciate modern day governance and 21st century leadership skills.
“Thus, we are strongly convinced that coupling foresight, vision, mission and the right educational background with experience in governance will generate the required synergy to uplift our people and their socio-economic status.”
He also explained that, “I am not highlighting these issues just to score cheap political points (which is legitimate), but to enable us reflect on the past and where we are coming from, which clearly demonstrates that we have all in one way or the other shared the joy and pain, as well as the good, bad and ugly situations on the path of uplifting the status of Adamawa State and placing it to where it rightfully belongs.”
The former acting governor said he would positively engage both the civil and public servants under their various patriotic unions, harness the enormous capacity of our private sector under various platforms such as Markets and Commercial Unions and Associations including the Road Transport Workers, Keke NAPEP operators, Meat, Fruits, and Grains sellers, as well as, consider the plight of the Physically Challenged, the aged and other disadvantaged groups within communities in his governance.
He also said his leadership would utilize the enormous power of Women and Youth, including Students at all levels bearing in mind the commanding respect of Traditional Rulers and their underutilized potential in galvanising diverse cultural and occupational groups to engender peace and unity in view of the value of good governance to peace, unity and sustainable development in the light of our human and material resources.
The gubernatorial aspirant said he would deploy his capacity as a unifier and trouble-shooter who hopes to rise above divisiveness, pettiness and partisan politics and address the challenges of Adamawa State.
He continued, “Let me use this opportunity to urge all of you to judge all of us who will be seeking to fly the flag of our great party in Adamawa State on our individual merits: our competencies, integrity and track records as public office holders and not on unfounded allegations or vicious propaganda as obtained in the past.
“Judge me particularly on my record as a former legislator, Speaker of the House of Assembly and as acting Governor of the State.”
He appealed to the people of the state not to allow themselves “Become the victims of pettiness, prejudice and sycophancy as we tread the path to adding value and restoring unity and dignity to our state once more.
“We must also no longer judge our aspirants on the sizes or weights of their pockets or purses as in the past, but by the value they attach to our future, their individual capacities, character, motivation and commitment.”
In his address, the state’s chairman of the party, Tahir Shehu, said the party has learnt from the mistakes of the past and the party will give all the aspirants equal treatment during the primaries, “We don’t have any preferred aspirant and we encourage all aspirants to accept whatever the outcome will be and work for the party.”
He said as a party, “We are aware of those that have worked for the party and the party in the state is strong because of their contributions.”
He assured all the aspirants that the party’s executive will give them a level playing ground.