Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa state, Attahiru Shehu, has hit back at the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) over its May 29th rating of the PDP-led state government, saying the opposition has, in its attempt to ridicule the party, mistakenly rated the Fintiri administration very high, scoring it a 35% after just one year in office.
The PDP stalwart, mocking the APC, said the party was naive to have thought that grading the party 35% after just one year was negative, but it was actually a remarkable feat for a government running a four-year term.
He made the remark in an exclusive chat with Daily Sun over the weekend, in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Shehu said, in the APC attempt to criticise the party, it ended up rating PDP’s first year in office as high as 35%, which, according to him, means the PDP has already done quite a lot within its first year and would be able to attain more than its eleven-point agenda within its four-year term.
‘APC though its secretary, Wafari Theman, held a press conference and claimed that the Fintiri-led government in its first year of four years in office performed up to 35%.
‘In its myopic thinking, they thought they rated us very low, but when looked at critically, it means we have done too well to score 35% after just one year of a four-year term.
‘Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is a focussed governor and committed to keeping his campaign promises to the electorate and that is what he has been doing.
‘There is a paradigm shift with this government because we have decided to move away from the eye service style of governance of the previous administration who went about laminating roads in the city centres just for people to see but neglected people in the rural areas and the local governments.
‘Because since from the time of Gongola, there has never been any governor that campaigned and penetrated the 226 wards of the state, crisscrossing every area of the state.
‘He listened to the people, took notes and outlined them into eleven-point agenda, that would touch the lives of indigenes of Adamawa State.’
Explaining Governor Fintiri’s focus in driving development from the grassroots upward Shehu said: ‘I am glad that this government is not the kind of one that borrows to pay salaries but instead to fund sustainable development.
‘The previous government was just meandering without focus but thankfully enough Fintiri has been focused and has not detailed from his goals and objectives.
‘Because we are working on roads across the state, we are working on rural electrification projects, hospital renovations, among numerous other projects.
‘So, this government is focused on moving the state forward, these projects are the direct result of the governor’s interactions with the masses during the campaign and that is how politics should be, you listen to the people and design your agenda and government’s programmes to satisfy the people’s yearnings.’
He explained that ‘Fintiri’s Commitment to the local government and the rural areas was born out of vigorous and intense interaction with the people of the Adamawa.
‘During campaign and electioneering, Adamawa was a place of specific interest with the presence of the former and current SGF, a presidential candidate in the person of Atiku Abubakar, the wife of the president also an indigene of the state, so federal might was understandably focused on the state with the security agencies working hard to ensure that PDP does not win at the polls but as God would have it, the masses stood by this government and deliver us a win.
‘So, as a party person, the grassroots is where the votes are and we have made promises to them and we are committed to keeping it.”
Speaking on the recent appointments by the state governor he said, “The list of appointees is timely because a governor cannot run government alone, because the list was a product of the good synergy between government and the party, so we are positive that Adamawa would be made better by them.
‘I assure you that very soon, those criticising this government would be ashamed because we would just spend most of our time commissioning projects across the length and breadth of the state.
‘I will like to appeal to the people of Adamawa to keep faith with us because we are changing Adamawa for the better.
‘We are committing resources to putting structures on ground that would benefit the posterity, we are not thinking about now and today, we are talking of restoring the dignity of our dear state.
‘Most of our projects are at the incubation period because funding has already been secured for most of them and work have already begun or would soon be starting.
“With the UBEC funding recovered, the people of Adamawa should expect nothing less than one thousand new classrooms across the state and nothing less than about three thousand renovations across the state and this is just one aspect, expect a lot in other sectors.
‘In the not too recent past, our local governments in the state were oppressed and deprived of their allocations, but that is not the case, security has also been improved compared to what used to be in the past.
‘Those criticising are people we know, they are political jobbers and would always try to use politics as a means of livelihood.’