Adamawa’s most vulnerable population including People Living With Disability, (PLWD), pensioners, and even the miserably paid workforce had envisaged fair and better treatment under the administration of Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as encapsulated and agreed upon during the pre-2015 electioneering campaigns.
Their hope was underpinned by the sugar-coated promises of better days ahead if they stake their necks and cast their votes for him.
Such high expectations came about as a result of a well-choreographed and rehashed propaganda which effectively convinced the vulnerable groups that have hailed from a poor background, Fintiri understood their challenges and concerns and will work towards addressing them in no time if elected into office.
Buoyed by such sweet esoteric tales, and high expectations, the people who were tired of the failed promises of the then serving governor, Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow believed that Fintiri was the messiah in waiting.
They thought he will not only fulfill his covenant with them but under his administration, their fortunes will multiply in leaps and bounds.
Carried away by such prospects, and lofty dreams, they bought the deceit hook, line, and sinker. Because of their level of commitment to the success of his campaigns, some of them despite their financial constraints, even made available resources to Fintiri’s campaign train to ensure he emerged winner of the polls.
But almost two years into his administration, the plight of these embattled people only multiplied as the governor from all intents and purposes threw them into the wasteful pit of neglect and abandonment.
As widely reported, two years of Fintiri’s administration, only left these helpless people more bloodied economically, prompting them to start making open complaints to draw the attention of the world towards their plights.
One of these groups under the auspices of the national union of People Living with Disability having got tired of the malevolent attitude of the government was the first to alert the world about its predicaments.
Articulating the position of his members before newsmen in the state capital, the chairman, Adamawa State chapter of the national union of people living with a disability, Eng Sani Sabo said his members are going through one of the worst nightmares under Fintiri’s administration.
He noted that not even one appointment was given to the PLWD despite their commitment to the emergence of the government, adding that all efforts they made to meet with the governor proved futile as he consistently rebuffed them.
Sabo then gave the government a one-week ultimatum to address the anomaly or face mass action by his members. But to the chagrin of everyone, the government who maintained a safe distance from the PLWD capitulated. Through the office of Lami Fintiri, the governor’s wife, the government, out of the blues extended hands of fellowship to the PLWD by sharing rice and spaghetti with them.
Reacting to the development through a trending video, some members of the union condemned the government over what they called a lack of care and concern for their wellbeing. Their reservations were borne out of the belief that even in trying to bribe them not to embark on the protest, the government only gave them expired rice and spaghetti as it has no tinge of concern for their well being.
Salihu Mohammed, a member of the union, while expressing vituperations said, it was unfortunate after almost two years of neglect that all the government can give them was expired food items.
“A day before our protest, to complain the marginalization being meted to us, by Fintiri’s government, his wife came with thirty bags of rice and some cartons of noodles to bribe us not to go on with the protest.
” To our surprise, all the foodstuff we later discovered expired. It is disheartening because we are not her children as she wants to kill us with food poisoning.
“I don’t think this is what they will use to help us if they are willing to help us. We are people with equal rights in the state like any other. It is preposterous for the government to treat us this way because of disability.
“This is to let you know that this government is not considering us in their policies, for God’s sake what crime did we commit? Or is it a sin to be Living With a Disability? This is pure wickedness,” Salisu said.
In the trending video, Demsa LGA chairman of the Association, Comrade Ukari condemned the gesture and described it as a man’s inhumanity to his fellow.
“We are not happy at all, the government of Adamawa state is not helping us, we expected the first lady to come by herself to address us and take us to Governor Fintiri but only sent a delegation to give us expired food, maybe to her we are not important or we are second class citizens,” Ukari said.
Another Member, Mohammed Abdullahi in the video said the essence of the foodstuff presented to them was initially to bribe them not to go for the peaceful protest done last two weeks, but the first lady was not fair to them since she considers them the best class of people good to eat expired food.
“It’s not their fault, it’s ours, we voted for them to give us expired food next election is coming, I know our votes shall still count,” he said.
In another fit of rage, the chairman of Adamawa State Union of Pensioners, Mr. Samson Almuru also condemned the Adamawa State government for its disrespectful posture against them noting that such an untoward attitude was obverse to the promises governor made to them when he was canvassing their support in 2019.
” When the governor came here, during campaigns, he promised to carry us along and to solve all the pending issues we had against the last government.
” Out of the little we have, our members contributed N500,000 which we used to campaign against the last government, but since he came, the governor vehemently refused to meet with us and also failed to settle our huge backlog of pension and gratuity areas to the tune of N27bn,” he said.
Almuru added that after making serious complaints about the government’s failure, the administration claimed falsely to avail N1.5 billion to them adding that despite the inadequacy of the amount, they never received a dime, promising to teach the government a bitter lesson come 2023 for its deceits and lies.
In a homily addressing the governor over the plight of about 10,000 workers sacked by Fintiri, leader of the retrenched workers, Faisal Baba urged Fintiri to stop abusing the sensibilities of the good people of the state through half-truths and ought right lies.
He accused the governor of lopsided sacking and employment of a particular group in the state to meet a predetermined selfish and primordial agenda.
” Fintiri sacked thousands of civil servants, and currently making lopsided admission, employment, appointment, etc. He is not fair to others, but he disguises the agenda hiding under the cloak of due process, making the gullible ones with a sentimental heart to believe him,” he said.
With these serious allegations trailing the government and many others, the question on the lips of many is, can Fintiri survive these turbulent waters?
Timothy Billy sent in the piece from No 117 Mohammed Mustapha way Jimeta Yola