By Salisu Bala Yola
Sustainable development is the pathway to a brighter future for all. It offers a framework for generating economic growth, achieving social justice, exercising environmental stewardship and strengthening governance.
Development and growth of any state in a democratic setting depends on the ability of it’s administrator to make good use of available resources, judicious management of manpower and a progressive political environment.
It’s unfortunate that Adamawa State has all of these key developmental factors except a progressive political environment, which has been the bane of growth and development of the state from 1999 to date.
It is further worrisome that Adamawa state, although diverse and blessed with some of the best national political shapers, is underdeveloped in the political and progressive sense compared to most states in the country.
No past democratic government would be blamed for this underdevelopment in the state. Every administrator tried to do what’s best for the state during his reign, long or short. Even the national political office holders contributed in moving the state forward as much and little as they all could.
We all know that Adamawa’s poor growth and development isn’t governmental, it’s political. The political elites in our dear state have refused to find a common ground to move Adamawa forward to the detriment of us all.
From 1999 to date, the state’s political arena has been full of crises and instability as a result of selfish interests of some individuals or groups. From the days of Atiku Abubakar as vice president to the recent emergence of Senator Jibrilla Bindow as governor, every public office holder has been faced with so much political hostilities and administrative animosity from the various political blocs in the state.
As the vice president, the biggest political office ever held by a son of Adamawa, one would have thought Atiku would enjoy tremendous support from the elite in the state but the then VP was attacked by his own people even on his last day in office.
As the then state governor, Boni Haruna was also faced by same flow of unfriendly political attacks that the man barely had time to move the state forward during those early democratic months.
Governor Murtala Nyako inherited a bigger political crisis that made his reign as governor a negative one just a year after he assumed office. It was such crisis that resulted in a break of his administration by the brief coming of James Barka as acting governor (after Nyako’s election was declared incompetent by the court).
Nyako’s re-election was expected to be a positive transitional period for Adamawa state but the political fight continued after his return to office, which distracted his stay until his impeachment in 2014.
Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Ngilari’s less than a year stay in office respectively was also characterised by the same political instability and legal battles, which meant little or nothing progressive for the state over that period of time.
Along came Senator Muhammad Jibrilla Bindow and even though the governor has hit the ground running in executing lots of infrastructural projects, the same political quagmire and administrative attacks have continued as an unneccessary distraction to his governance.
It is fair to say Governor Bindow has been the most opposed candidate in the history of Adamawa state before his election. The stiff opposition he encountered during the contest was overwhelming. It is by the sheer grace of Allah that the man emerged as the governor of the state.
But unlike his predecessors, Bindow was wise and smart enough not to fight the opposing elite in the state after he assumed office as governor. Instead, he won them over with his laudable projects and progressive initiatives.
It was therefore not surprising when opposing blocs like Prof Jibril Aminu and Ahmed Joda commended him very much and joined the celebration of his one year in office last May. Even Atiku who had earlier opposed his candidature is now convinced that Bindow means well for the state and this is evident in the very good relationship between the two of them.
Therefore, it is especially worrying when a state governor that wasn’t given a chance by the elite before his election but got to power by Allah’s will is raucously attacked administratively and politically. Why fight Bindow when he is clearly not out to fight anyone but find solutions to all of Adamawa’s problems?
Adamawa like most states in the federation should adopt progressive politicking – when it’s time for politics and power play, there should be a healthy political fight to the throne and once a winner has emerged through credible elections, we should all help support the winning team to make Adamawa state a better place for us all. That shouldn’t be a difficult thing, is it?
It may interest all the power blocs in Adamawa state to know that it is us the youths that have always been at the receiving end of this unhealthy political wars. We have for long been bugged down by poverty, unemployment and restiveness.
Therefore, we can’t continue to sit and watch our future in the state get bleak by the political actions and inactions of the elite in Adamawa. It is time to speak up now. Silence is not golden in our case. Enough is enough.
Enough of these unneccesary legal battles, enough of the dirty political plays, enough of the administrative and counter administrative attacks on government and individuals and enough of the underdevelopment and poor growth in Adamawa state.
It is time to forgive and forget, it is time for reconciliation, it is time to have a better and progressive Adamawa for us, the youths, our mothers, sisters and daughters, our sons and brothers and the generations to come.
We are pleading with all the power blocs in the state to sheath their swords and put away their political interest, they should come together and help develop the state, come together to help make Adamawa the deservingly developed state it should be.
This is also an appeal to all the elite, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, community and religious leaders, youth and women groups in the state to come join in the propagation of this desired goal for us all, and for Adamawa state.
In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “history is made by those who speak and make positive change, not those who wail in silence.”
Let’s all make history in Adamawa State.
Yola is the chairman, Adamawa Youth For Sustainable Development