By GEORGE KUSHI
So much furore has attended the recent political appointments made by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in Adamawa state.
From the beginning, since the creation of the defunct Gongola State, and later the creation of Adamawa, the state has always been embroiled in matters of leadership because all previous governors came at the behest of the “powers that be”. All were protegies and therefore heeded the masters that brought them. It was therefore not surprising that the sharing of political appointments were done in the interest of only a handful of people.
Twenty-nineteen however became a watershed as against all odds Ahmadu Fintiri was elected governor by defeating the incumbent that had the “federal might” on his side. Since then, he has carefully handled the affairs of the state and has waded the murky terrain of Adamawa politics. The last hurdle in the four year marathon ended with appointments during the first anniversary of his expected first tenure.
Amidst expectations and apprehension on why fresh appointments were not made, Fintiri bade his time till the first year elapsed and those that will oversee the most crucial areas in the state were named with the latest batch of political appointees. Even this did not come without hiccups as one of the appointees declined the appointment on partisan grounds. To further compound issues the opposition party, APC, issued a threat of expulsion of any member that accepts an appointment to serve the state under Ahmadu Fintiri .
This is rather baffling as the governor has continuously expressed his desire to work with capable without party consideration. It can only be deemed that opposition party is deliberately denying the people of Adamawa the services of those that governor believes can help him effectively run the state. This kind partisanship can only be interpreted to mean that the opposition does not mean well for people of the state who stand to tap from the expertise and experience of those appointed.
While the row with the opposition is on, the governor still has to contend with another group that wants to fault the appointments. This other group has an interest that differs to that of the opposition party..
The young and the old are at it again. Reminiscent of all that happens in the state, several comments will be made.While the opposition is ordering its members not join hands with Fintiri to better the state others are busy shouting “wolf” where there is none. Some young are shouting foul over certain appointments. Initially the craved for the appointments to be made, but now that the names have been mentioned, some are jubilating while others are complaining. Interesting is that many of the so-called youths are on the higher side of forty. Even more interesting is the fact that inspite of the presence of people in that age bracket, they are clamoring for youth empowerment and forgetting that not only people below forty constitute Adamawa State.
Both the young and the old are citizens with different levels of understanding the dynamics of governance. The burden of governance rests on the governor who must choose those he deems fit to assist him. His choice of assistants should not be castigated or criticized on matters of age. Rather, their competence can be questioned, which is not the case now. This of course is nothing new in Adamawa state, a political entity known for much controversy and jaw-jaw. In this wake many have become analyst of what the governor, Ahmadu Fintiri should have done or not done. Both those for and those against should remember the prerogative over such appointment are the governor’s.
One thing that comes to mind is that the critics do not point to one man or woman that is incompetent. In a state like Adamawa, at this critical period, we need competent people no matter the number of grey hairs on their heads. This government is not made-up of old men as some people say. Looking at the composition of local government councils, one cannot fail to see the preponderance of youthful chairmen and council members.
The state Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri himself is a young man and so are many members of his cabinet. It is strange to suggest the appointment of young men that have not held any office due to many years to neglect by previous governments to chief executive cadre in one swoop. If that is done, it will be sheer recklessness. The old and the young should be blended to allow the young receive tutelage from the old.
There is a need for synergy between the old and the new for positive things to happen in society. As the African sage, an old man Mzee Jomo Kenyatta once said “ it is the black and white keys of the piano that gives harmony”. From the forgoing, the young have to learn carefully from the older generation and then over time have a smooth transition. In light of the fact most of the appointees are not too old and the fact that many of our young people have no civil service experience of office procedure, it in desirable that they patiently learn and probably prepare to take charge in the next few years.
Indeed there is a need to move on fast, but not too fast as to crash land. Only a blend of the two can save the state whose take-off is like that of an airplane which must first of all gather momentum before take-off. In this respect, Ahmadu Fintiri has proved that he knows the steps to take, first by taking time to appoint commissioners, all of whom are doing creditably well.
The appointments and the plans on ground gives assurance that the pathway of the government is well charted, the timing is okay and will bear fruits in the next one year or two. What remains to be done is to wait and see how things will roll. People of goodwill abound in the state, but it appears there are some that think that government should toe their line.
The government is on the right course .Allow the appointees to get down to business to work for the people of Adamawa.
George Kushi is the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State and writes in from Yola.