Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Adamawa state’s newly sworn-in governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has promised to restore democracy in the state, promising his government will set the pace for good governance in Nigeria and become the standard by which it is measured in the country.
Fintiri said, he was mindful of the huge expectations and task of making the state work again which was hanging over his head and he would harness the diverse resources and potential in the state towards actualising the much desired economic and social development the state had not enjoyed for a very long time.
Fintiri made the remarks on Wednesday, during his official inauguration in Yola.
Fintiri said: “What happened in 2014 was a child’s play and would be nothing compared to what will happen now.
“My aspiration for Adamawa State is to be listed among the comity of best states not just in Nigeria but in the world.
“My dream is to restore it to its original name and glory as the state of beauty and hospitality.
“The central message is ‘think progress, think development, put Adamawa first.’
“Hopefully, we will set the pace and become the standard by which others measure themselves.
“Payment of salaries, pension and gratuity on time shall be a routine as will be yearly increment and promotions.
“We shall strive to build a robust harmonious government-labour relationship based on the trust and experiences accumulated over the years.”
He said: “Politics is over and the stage is now set for the extra ordinary job of making Adamawa State work again.
“I am conscious of the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead but someone once said that ‘the task ahead of us can never be greater than the power that lies within us,’ this means that nothing can stop the momentum of a determined people with a purpose to accomplish.
“Today is, therefore, a call to action in the face of the tremendous support needed to make change a reality for everyone.
“How well we respond to this call will determine how far we will go in meeting the expectations.
“I solemnly pledge to provide the leadership that is required to make this change work for the good of all.
“It will be a change that will balance policy and politics; a change that will eschew might over right and treat all citizens as equals; a transformational change that will harness the vast human potentials of the people into attaining and enjoying the dividends of democracy which have so far eluded them.
It is “a change where security of lives and property of citizens will not be negotiated or compromised.
“In doing so, we must put behind us the twisted narratives of the past and break out from our self-imposed limitations, realising that each and every one is a repository of potentials waiting to be tapped and dreams waiting to be actualised.”
Fintiri explained that his victory at the polls, “embodies and highlights the heroic sacrifice of patriots and a celebration of the triumph of the will of an embattled and battling people, loudly expressed through the last election.
He noted that “hope has been restored and true change has come to Adamawa State.”
Fintiri, narrating his ordeal leading to victory at the polls said: “The journey to Dougirei House has been a long one for me and victory could not have been possible without your support.
“Those who followed my journey will know the hurdles, the accusations, my incarceration but God Almighty is the ultimate planner who gives power to whom He wills.
“I did not get this far because I am the best politician or better than the other contestants; I was simply chosen by the Almighty Creator to be your governor once more.”
Soliciting support from the people of Adamawa he said; “With your support, no mountain will be too high to climb or problem too difficult to surmount, after all, a leader is only as good as the people he leads.
“As a people, we need each other to progress more than ever before. God has deposited in each of us, a unique personality and talent; our diversity should be our greatest strength not weakness.”
The governor while reeling out his plans to revamp Adamawa said: “I do not claim to have all the answers, therefore, each and every one who desires to have a say in how the state is governed is welcomed to do so but to do so constructively.
“On my watch, security of lives and property shall be the primary responsibility of government, while the rights of citizens, justice, equity, merit, competence and diligence shall prevail.”
On the worrying security situation that has bedeviled the state he said: “Let me sound a note of warning to the local cult groups currently terrorising our neighbourhood not to test our resolve but to shape up or ship out.
“The so called ‘Shilla cult’ group have two weeks to reform as this government comes to power after which the full complement of the law will be unleashed against them and other criminals terrorising our state.
“This dispensation shall habour no sacred cows neither will we be bullied or intimidated by disgruntled elements seeking to derail the wheels of state craft;
we shall be fair but firm, resolute but considerate.
“Never again shall the divide-and-rule policy of the inglorious past determine the deployment of public resources and services.
“We shall improve the lot of Adamawa State workers and pensioners and free them from the fear of victimisation, the pangs of injustice and abuses, all the direct results of bad governance and wrong decisions.
He said: “Progress in government will not come the day after, just as greater height is not attained by sudden flight, except by the determination, drive and the character for getting things right.”
Fintiri said he would begin work by immediately investing in education, youth empowerment and health in order to revive the decaying fortunes of the state noting that transparency shall be his government’s watchword and fairness and accountability, the new mantra as he gradually and systematically implements and sustains his 11-point agenda until Adamawa State shades its toga of a pariah state, a state in which anything goes.