HOPE RESTORED: BEING THE TEXT OF AN INAUGURAL SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY RT. HON. AHMADU UMARU FINTIRI ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SWEARING-IN AS GOVERNOR OF ADAMAWA STATE HELD AT THE MAHMUD RIBADU SQUARE ON 29TH MAY, 2019.
Permit me to express my profound gratitude to God and to the people of Adamawa State who have made it possible for me to come back as your governor for the next four years.
This historic event taking place today embodies and highlights the heroic sacrifice of patriots and a celebration of the triumph of the will of an embattled and battling people, loudly expressed through the last election.
As a Government of popular consent I am mindful of the honour and the responsibility this has bestowed on me I hereby affirm and declare that hope has been restored, and true change has come to Adamawa State. Let us embrace, as I solemnly pledge to provide the leadership that is required to make this change work for the good of all.
It will be a change that will balance policy and politics; a change that will eschew might over right and treat all citizens as equals; a transformational change that will harness the vast human potentials of the people into attaining and enjoying the dividends of Democracy which have so far eluded them.
A change where security of lives and property of citizens will not be negotiated or compromised.
In doing so, we must put behind us the twisted narratives of the past and break out from our self-imposed limitations realizing that each and every one is a repository of potentials waiting to be tapped and dreams waiting to be actualized.
Politics is over and the stage is now set for the extra ordinary job of making Adamawa State work again.
I am conscious of the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead but someone once said that “the task ahead of us can never be greater than the power that lies within us”.
This means that nothing can stop the momentum of a determined people with a purpose to accomplish.
Today is therefore a call to action in the face of the tremendous support needed to make change a reality for everyone.
How well we respond to this call will determine how far we will go in meeting the expectations.
The journey to Dougirei House has been a long one for me and victory could not have been possible without your support. Those who followed my journey will know the hurdles, the accusations, my incarceration but God Almighty is the ultimate planner who gives power to whom He wills. I did not get this far because I am the best politician or better than the other contestants; I was simply chosen by the Almighty Creator to be your Governor once more.
With your support no mountain will be too high to climb or problem too difficult to surmount. After all, a leader is only as good as the people he leads. As a people, we need each other to progress more than ever before. God has deposited on each of us, a unique personality and talent our diversity should be our greatest strength not weakness.
I do not claim to have all the answers, therefore each and every one who desires to have a say in how the State is governed is welcome to do so but to do so constructively.
On my watch, security of lives and prosperity shall be the primary responsibility of Government, while the rights of citizens justice, equity, merit, competence and diligence shall prevail.
In this regards, let me sound a note of warning to the Local Cult group currently terrorizing our neighbourhood not to test our resolve but to shape up or ship out. The so called Shilla cult group have two weeks to reform as this Government comes to power after which the full complement of the Law will be unleashed against them and other criminals terrorizing our State.
This dispensation shall habour no scared cows neither will we be bullied or intimidated by disgruntled elements seeking to derail the wheels of State craft.
We shall be fair but firm, resolute but considerate.
Never again shall the divide-and-rule policy of the inglorious past determine the deployment of public resources and services.
We shall improve the lot of Adamawa State workers and pensioners and free them from the fear of victimization, the pangs of injustice and abuses; all the direct results of bad governance and wrong decisions. What happened in 2014 was a child play and nothing compared to what will happen now. Payment of salaries, pension and gratuity on time shall be routine as will be yearly increment and promotions.
We shall strive to build a robust harmonious government / labour relationship based on the trust and experiences accumulated over the years.
My fellow citizens, progress in government will not come the day after, just as greater height is not attained by sudden flight, except by the determination, drive and the character for getting things right. My aspiration for Adamawa State is to be listed among the comity of best States not just in Nigeria but the world. My dream is to restore it to its original name and glory as the State of Beauty and Hospitality.
The central message is, think progress, think development, put Adamawa first. Hopefully, we will set the pace and become the standard by which others measure themselves. This is achieveable with your support. I challenge all from today to contribute your quota, no matter how little, towards achieving this development of our dear state. I invite all citizens / residents alike, my dearest Talakawas, our elders, Royal fathers and stakeholders in the Adamawa project to come together to lay a solid foundation that will stand the test of time because this is the only place we have, we have no option but to make it work.
It is heartwarming to see that the people have embraced our eleven point agenda to begin building the new Adamawa State for which they have loudly made their voices heard.
I am glad to assure you that this leadership will be about adding value to the lives of people not taking away from them. Transparency shall be our watchword, fairness and accountability, the new mantra. Never again shall Government be run as a personal estate of a single individual. The fear of God not the fear of man shall be the guiding light of our government; a government that shall do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, as the oath of office which we have subscribed to outlines.
We will gradually and systematically implement and sustain our eleven point agenda until Adamawa State shades its toga of a pariah State, a State in which anything goes.
In this dispensation, there will be no quick fixes, short-cuts or actions inspired by fiat but a knowledge driven socially accountable Governance based on global best practices.
Our inability to see ourselves as members of one big family has been the bane of our growth.
We have every right to be proud of who we are as citizens of Adamawa State whose contribution to the political stability of the country at large has long been acknowledged.
Regrettably, a State founded on lofty ideals and hope borne of equal opportunities and real prosperity has been brought down on its knees, gasping for a breath of “Fresh Air”. I therefore invite all sons and daughters of the State who are making their marks in all spheres of human endeavour within and outside the shores of this country, to rally round and support this New Direction Agenda.
I invite each and every citizen who has something to offer to come back home, so that together we can work for the greater Adamawa State of our dreams.
I am sure you all know that it is not so much about how rich our State is, it is about how well we can apply the resources we have to meet the needs of our people.
In this regard, the growing youth population is our greatest asset. We shall harness the strength and creative energies of the youth into a winning formula.
This is not going to be easy given the number of frustrated and shortchanged army of unemployed youth but this is a task our government is committed to accomplish.
We will also work urgently on resuscitating the Health sector and break the jinxs of Educational excellence by investing in Teacher’s welfare, Training and infrastructure. We will revive Primary Health Care for children, empower our women and grant the easy access to effective medical services.
My fellow citizens these programmes I have so far outlined are not just paper work. They are the objectives we are passionate about and the indices to hold us to account. They are also a means of making our pact with the people very clear.
We challenge the electorate to judge us based on extent to which we have fulfilled this pact. Be rest assured that we will strive to give a good account of ourselves, live by our words and not promise what we cannot deliver.
Finally, as we depart forth, let us be prepared to roll-up our sleeves for the job of building a State that works for everyone, a State in which everywhere and everybody is involved and nowhere is left out.
May the same God who was with us throughout the struggle for this mandate remain with us as we commence the quest to take Adamawa to the promise land.
Thank you and God bless.