Few months ago, Councilors, representing the 15 council wards in Michika LGC of Adamawa State, were given a beating of their lives. Victims of the operation includes Hon. Bitrus Pagwe leader of the legislative council, Hon. Somalia Yohanna and Hon. Lassafi T. Fama, among others. At the time of going to press, some of the victims were still nursing various degrees of permanent scars they sustained in the process of the beating.
Worldview gathered that the Councilors were invited to Yola, the state capital, by one Steven Maduwa on the instruction of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. Maduwa, reputed as a diehard political associate of Fintiri, was said to have lodged the Councilors at Homtel Motel, where they were manhandled by tugs led by Maduwa’s driver, Abdulrahman Bodes, popularly known as Slanty.
Reasons for the manhandling of the Councilors were sketchy, but Worldview checks revealed that the Councilors were resisting the pressure by the Governor to resign from their positions so that it would be given to other group of people preferred by the Governor. Mudua was reported to have informed the Councilors that Governor Fintiri had directed an immediate change in the leadership of the Local Council legislative arm. It was on the basis of this resistance of the Governor’s directives that the Mudua led gang spoke to the councilors in the language that they can understand.
Speaking with our reporter in Yola, one of the victims of the brutality, Hon Bitrus Pagwe, said he was shocked by the bizarre directive that was purported to have emanated from the Governor. Bitrus Pagwe who is the leader of the Michika Legislative Council wondered why the Governor, who was a legislator himself, will order democratically elected individuals out of office without the necessary constitutional approach.
“Because we were duly elected, how would the governor, who was a legislator himself, give such an order?” He asked rhetorically.
Some of the major stakeholders, like the former House of Representatives member, Adamu Kamale, as well as the present member of the state Assembly from Michika, Ayuba Kwada and other dignitaries scampered out of the hall on sensing that the meeting was skewed to force the leadership of the Councilors to resign.
Confirming the incident, the Peoples Democratic Party chairman in Michika, Ezekiel Kwaji, admitted that:
“There was a move to force a change in the leadership of the councilors, which led to a scuffle, but I cannot confirm who actually ordered the beating of the councilors.”
When contacted however, Maduwa angrily told our Correspondent
“Go and write whatever you want.”
Desperate efforts by our reporter to get a clear position of the Governor on what transpired at the at meeting proved abortive, as the Director General Media and Communications Mr. Solomon Kumangar declined to respond on the matter.
This is not the first tine that Governor Fintiri is getting entangled in allegation of high handedness and intimidation of people in his state.
Early last year, Governor Umaru Fintiri was caught in a web of controversy, when one Husseini Gambo Nakura, posted a conversation on the social media where he alleged that the Governor called and threatened to kill him if he continued to criticize his administration.
At the time that Nakura was making the damning allegation, a Yola based Journalist, Tom Garba was recovering from the shock of a dead treat that has being handed over to him by the Governor’s close allied by name Stephen Mudua. Mudua had called the Journalist and threatened that he will slaughter him if he writes anything against Governor Fintiri again.
That is why it did not come as a surprise to many when Madua was associated with the beating of the Councilors.
Governor Fintiri’s hostile nature is already flapping a red flag on the state’s political landscape. Sometimes last year, an APC stalwart, Mustapha Umar Madawaki raised alarm, when he accused the executive Governor of hostility, thereby missing steps on the track of purposely leadership. The APC Stalwarts told newsmen that:
“The Governor is fighting everybody, his cabinet members are afraid of him, they are scared to tell him the truth because of how he portrays himself to them… In Adamawa today we have awakened up to see the Governor at war with the political class, the common man even our traditional rulers are not spared,” Umar said.
Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo, who represented Adamawa North on the platform of the PDP has dumped the party for APC for the same reason. Senator Abbo cited mismanagement of PDP in Adamawa State by the Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, high handedness, as well as unwholesome activities as reasons for dumping of the party.
Another dimension has been added to the insensitivity and high handedness of the Governor. Early last month, a media report concerning the Governor’s relationship with his Deputy filtered through the news waves. The report, which was authored by an Adamawa State based journalist, alleged that the Governor had sidelined his deputy, neglected him and like a rocket shell, confined him into an abyss or non relevance. Although the Deputy Governor’s office sternly rebuked the report, but the rebuttal could not erase its substance and credibility, as inside resources confided to our reporter that the Deputy in suffering in silence and that the rebuttal was just a diplomatic approach meant to self-face.
“It’s an open secret that Governor Fintiri has schemed out his Deputy Seith Crowther in his administration. The person who performs the role of the Deputy Governor to the preference of Fintiri, is the Secretary to the State Government, Seith is suffering in silence. If he were not a humble person, he would have shown his displeasure by now and the Government House would have been thrown into a crisis Situation”
A Dougirei Government House source confided in our reporter.
As 2023 election approaches, intimidation and high handedness, which is gradually becoming a signpost of the Governor Fintiri’s style of leadership will manifest more in different perspectives. More desperate moves are likely to be evolved.
Whether the dimension will manifest as a value adding streak in his quest to retain his seat in Dougirei Government House, come 2023, remain to be seen.
By worldview magazine