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The Man Du Barkam And His Giant Strides, Part One: Three years of Gov Fintiri

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I find it imperative to celebrate and salute an ICON who has greatly touched the lives of his people and archived a lot in the three years of his stewardship as the Executive Governor of Adamawa State.


His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is variously described as the ATM GOVERNOR, FRESH AIR GOVERNOR, FLYOVER GOVERNOR, HASKEN TOUNGO and PROJECT MASTER. These names have been earned as a result of his keen sense of direction, dogged diligence, astute political prowess and his passionate determination to move Adamawa State forward.


I am an avowed fan of Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri whom I fondly refer to as DU BARKAM; a Marghi salutation expressing high regard, respect or honour to a deserving personality. He has been my role model since 2014 when he briefly served as the Acting Governor of Adamawa State for only seventy-two days. I find his style of leadership, charisma and courage charming.


During the seventy-two days of his stay at the Dougirei Government House Yola, DU BARKAM demonstrated unfettered kindness and generosity to the good people of Adamawa State. This earned him the name ATM Governor. I recall, with excitement, how civil servants thronged ATM machines to claim their two months’ salary arrears which had been cleared by DU BARKAM. Within the same period, he embarked on several viable and notable projects within the State that if allowed to continue, Adamawa would be transformed to a mini London.


The seventy-two days as the Acting Governor in 2014 were spent wisely with landmark dividends of democracy delivered to the masses. As a result, he became famous, popular and endeared to all and sundry in the State. Obviously, that was what gave him the edge to defeat the incumbent, Governor Umaru Jibrilla Bindow in the 2019 governorship election.

When His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Umaru Fintiri, assumed leadership as the duly elected Executive Governor of Adamawa State on 29th May, 2019, he came well equipped with progressive ideas and plans to transform the State in what he termed the “11 POINT AGENDA”. Despite the humongous amount of debt, he inherited from his predecessor, DU BARKAM was not deterred.

He has worked assiduously, selflessly and relentlessly without being distracted from his focus, as defined in his 11-point agenda. In just three years, all the points in the agenda have been satisfactorily delivered; nothing is left untouched. In order words, DU BARKAM has fulfilled all his campaign promises in just less than three years. Worthy of note is that although his government did not benefit from the financial aids which the previous governments had enjoyed like Paris Club refund, Bailout and Excess Crude-oil, prudent DU BARKAM has done what others could not achieve in eight years.


Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has demonstrated that he is a grassroots politician with his people at heart. He has done what has never been done in the history of Adamawa State by appointing PDP Local Government Chairmen as Transition Committee Chairpersons of the Local Government Councils for six months. Another thing that I will commend DU BARKAM for is the youth inclusiveness in his government.

Youth constitute 55 – 60% of his appointments of which I am also a beneficiary. Strikingly, all the appointments in this government are based on merit.
DU BARKAM has wielded a magic wand in tackling the monstrous insecurity in the state within his first 90 days in office.

You may recall that the issue of insecurity was a towering challenge in the past government which seemed unsurmountable. To confront the menace of insecurity, the present government has collaborated with the security agencies to combat criminal elements in the state, especially at the Numan Federation and the Benue valley where farmers – herders were at daggers’ drawn. Similarly, Garkida, Hong, Michika and Madagali which were known to be attacked by the Boko Haram insurgents are now secured from the insurgents.

Kidnapping which was becoming a consistent nightmare in the previous government has now been tackled completely. He has also silenced the noisome operations of the notorious gang known as Shila Boys through the Operation Farauta. In order to gainfully engage the youths, the administration has carved various social intervention programs.
Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri being the man with his people at heart, has really made us proud by delivering dividends of democracy in just less than three years.

According to Tabiyatiya Kingtabs Daniel in his article titled “2023: Opposition members littering Governor Fintiri trademark projects” which was posted on his official Facebook page on the 9th May, 2022 described Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as “the closest to former Governor Boni Haruna in providing dividends of democracy”.


I strongly agree with Tabiyatiya’s submission because right from inception of Fintiri’s administration in May, 2019, he has initiated and executed viable, noticeable and gainful project which cut across all sectors in all the 21 local government areas of the State. I would like to highlight a few here:
In the educational sector, DU BARKAM has hiked the standard of education in the state by re –introducing the free WAEC/NECO to students of secondary schools which was neglected by his predecessors. It can be recalled that it was only Governor Boni Haruna, among the former governors, that gave attention to that during his regime spanning from 1999 – 2007.

Also, Governor Fintiri constructed and renovated some schools across the state and recruited trained and qualified teachers. It is on record that for the past 13 years (beginning from 2008 to 2022), not a single primary school teacher has been promoted. Consequently, teachers in the state were not motivated while they contributed greatly to national development. In his stride to motivate them, he approved all their outstanding promotions.

In the same vein, over 24,000 students of Adamawa State origin studying in various tertiary institutions across Nigeria are enjoying from the state scholarships program scheme while 120 were selected and given international scholarship; presently studying in India. Preparations are on the way to select 21 indigenes of the State in each Local Government Area to be trained as pilots by this administration. These are laudable strides!

Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has changed the ugly narrative of the deteriorating health sector in the State which has placed him above all his predecessors. DU BARKAM has constructed and equipped four cottage hospitals at Shelleng, Girei, Lamurde and Gombi Local Government Areas. At the same time, he has also renovated and upgraded primary and secondary healthcare facilities at Fufore, Numan, Ganye, Song and Mubi.

The governor has also accented to the Bill passed by the Adamawa State House of Assembly for the creation of the Adamawa State Health Insurance Scheme which I perceive as a welcome development in the State. Now, children under 5years, pregnant women, 55years old and above men and women including people with disabilities have access to free healthcare services delivery in the State. Shortage of manpower in the health sector has also been resolved by employing qualified professionals.

In this present administration, healthcare facilities operate 24/7 with adequate trained and qualified health workers attending to patients.

Under the stewardship of DU BARKAM, people of Adamawa State have witnessed a tremendous infrastructural development, earning him the name Project Master. Over 300 roads have been constructed in all the 21 Local Government Areas in the State with Yola North having the highest number of roads. The Governor has changed the face of the State capital with the two magnificent edifices: the first multi-billion-naira interchange fly over bridges in the Northeast- these have beautified the state capital.

Similarly, Toungo was the only Local Government Area in Nigeria without connection to the national grid. Thankfully, DU BARKAM has connected Toungo to the national grid; an action which earned him the name “Hasken Toungo” meaning the “Light of Toungo”. The construction of rural roads for farmers to transport their farm produce to the market is another thing that deserves commendation.

Salaries, pension, gratuity and other benefits of civil servants are now paid on time since the inception of this government. The Governor does not toy with matters that relate to the civil servants. Therefore, he makes sure that they benefit from all their entitlements. Apart from giving civil servants in the State their due, DU BARKAM has constructed 1,000 housing units for civil servants at Malkohi, in order to improve their lives even after retirement.

In the socio-economic sphere also, the fingerprints of DU BARKAM are marked. He felt that youth and women are the backbone of this government. This influenced his decision to establish Adamawa State Poverty and Wealth Creation Agency (PAWECA) to empower youth and women with skills in the State so as to fight poverty. About 21,000 youth and women across the State are enrolled into the social empowerment program of His Excellency from which they draw monthly stipends ranging from N10,000 to N20,000. In the same vein, quite a reasonable number of youths have been appointed as Senior Special Assistants(SSAs) and Special Assistants (SAs) to the Governor, as a way of enhancing their economic fortunes and grooming them for leadership.

Undoubtedly, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is not only an achiever but also a legend who has FINTIRISED the State to a greater height. Just within three years, he has written his name boldly in gold by doing what others could not do in eight years. What do we expect if he is given another opportunity? It is said that one good term deserves another. Indeed, DU BARKAM deserves another term! He has performed wonderfully on his scorecard. We want more progress, achievements and development in Adamawa State. Therefore, I appeal that we give him another chance by supporting the FINTIRI AGAIN MOVEMENT!

Adm. (Hon.) Madanga Banga Martin, MCIA, MPA (in view)
Yola Central State Development Area Administrator
martinsmadanga@gmail.com
+234 (0) 803 8307 7606

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Politics

Hon. Gidado Of ADC, Laud Gov Kefas Over Payments Of Gratuity, Revival Of Festival 

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By Sarah Manya

Hon. Abdulrazaq Gidado (JAWAR), the candidate for the last Jalingo, Yerro, and Zing Federal Constituency by-election under the African Democratic Congress (ADC) platform in Taraba State, has commended Governor Agbu Kefas for reviving the Nwonyo International Fishing Festival in the State. 

In a press statement released on Saturday via his Media Adviser, Sulaiman Sani, Gidado praised the governor’s commitment to promoting cultural heritage and improving the internally generated revenue of the state, exemplified by his recent inspection of the ongoing projects at the festival site.

Gidado also expressed appreciation for the recent approval of N1bn for the payment of gratuity to retired civil servants in the state, as well as a monthly allocation of N200m for its sustainability. 

He lauded Governor Kefas for ending the era of gratuity being owed in the state and pledged to continue ensuring good governance thrives by constructively criticizing where necessary.

Additionally, Hon. Abdulrazaq Gidado thanked Governor Agbu Kefas for the appointment of board chairmen and Special advisers in the state.

Lastly, he congratulated all appointees and wished them success in assisting the governor in achieving his Moving Forward Agenda.

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Dr Bunovolki, The Rising Political Figure Fit To Lead The Masses

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A Coalition of Adamawa Youth Movement under the leadership of Mr. Mohammed has observed that Dr Mourice Bunovolki is no doubt the rising political icon in the state fit to lead in the masses.

Mr Mohammed who revealed this to Sahel Reporter said their group will no doubt rally round Dr Bunovolki in whatever leadership position, he may contest in the future political contest.

He expressed confidence in Bunovolki’s capacity to address some of the obstacles bedeviling the people, considering his vast experience and knowledge in various sectors of human development.

The youth group, according to Mr Mohammed observed Dr Bunovolki’s competence, commitment, and dedication towards positive development of Adamawa State.

He explained that “Bunovolki has immensely contributed towards the development of the old Numan Federation and Adamawa State as a whole” hence the need to give him political office to do more.

He described Dr Bunovolki as a leader with vision and listening ears to all and therefore, getting him leadership position will benefit people tremendously.

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Politics

Feasibility Of Elections In Fostering Democracy In SADC

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By Favour Wali Ezra, Victorino De Almeida Gracia

Elections are widely regarded as a fundamental component in promoting democracy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

However, the success of elections in advancing this objective is subject to several factors. One of the primary considerations is the level of impartiality and transparency in the electoral process. 

Free, fair, and credible elections must be held to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and reflect the public’s will in the administration.

Several SADC countries have raised concerns about electoral anomalies, such as voter intimidation and the lack of independence in electoral authorities.

These factors have the potential to undermine the integrity of the election results and weaken the public trust in the democratic process. 

Another crucial element in the efficiency of elections in promoting democracy is the level of political rivalry and participation. In some SADC countries, dominant ruling parties have retained power for extended periods, making it difficult for opposition parties to compete on an equal footing.

Additionally, voter turnout in some countries indicates a lack of engagement and trust in the election process.

The media and civil society’s role in monitoring and reporting on the election process is another critical factor to consider. Free and independent media can help hold the government and electoral institutions accountable by informing the public and raising awareness about potential anomalies or abuses during the election. 

Similarly, civil society organizations can play a significant role in increasing voter education, monitoring election results, and advocating for electoral reform.

Socioeconomic gaps and inequality in the SADC area can also limit marginalized groups’ ability to participate in elections and have their voices heard. 

Limited access to knowledge, information, and resources can make it challenging for vulnerable populations, including women, youth, and rural areas, to participate in the political process and make informed decisions.

Despite these limitations, there have been several encouraging examples of SADC elections successfully promoting democratic consolidation. 

For instance, South Africa’s 2019 elections were universally regarded as free and fair, resulting in a peaceful transfer of power and reinforcing the country’s commitment to democratic governance.

While elections can be a powerful tool for fostering democracy in the SADC region, their feasibility and effectiveness depend on several factors. 

These factors include the transparency and fairness of the electoral process, the level of political competition and participation, and the role of the media and civil society in promoting free and fair elections. 

It is also imperative to emphasize that elections alone cannot guarantee democracy. Other critical components include an independent judiciary, a free press, and respect for human rights.

To ensure that elections remain an effective tool for promoting democracy in the SADC region, it is crucial to safeguard democratic values and institutions continually. 

Efforts to reform electoral processes, promote openness and accountability, and empower marginalized people are critical to furthering democratic principles and creating political transformation in the region.

Written by:

Favour Wali Ezra  (ezraf@africau.edu

Africa University –Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, and Victorino De Almeida Garcia (garciav@africau.edu) Africa University-Department of International Relations and Diplomacy. 

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