Adamawa 2019: Window to the Next Level Beyond Bindow
By MD Aminu
I personally do not have any problems with Governor Bindow Jibrilla. I have been writing op-eds for more than ten years now, and during these periods, I have critiqued many members of the Nigerian ruling elite, but I cannot remember making Bindow the subject of my reproach. In fact, while living outside Nigeria for an extended period, on one visit to Yola, I was delighted on seeing the efforts of the governor in revamping roads in Yola. Because of that delight, I wrote an essay (Business Day, June 5, 2018 page 11) to applaud the governor’s efforts and encourage him to do more for the state. Nevertheless, his critics argue that the governor’s major problem is the disinclination toward paying salaries to state workers. That, to me, is a legitimate basis for disapproval in the minds of everyday citizens. Perhaps I would have seriously critiqued him if I were a state worker.
At the personal level, several things are said about the governor, apparently by those who know him. I have not been able to independently verify those supposedly negative qualities of his that are undesirable of serious leadership. On the level of familiarity, I only met him twice. First, I met him in a shop in the Jewish quarters of East London in the summer of 2013. We would not have engaged each other save for the fact that he heard me speaking Fulfulde to my sister and he would later speak same to me; introducing himself as a senator from my state! We had a brief discussion, and, in some way, I was not proud that I did not know him by face even though I knew his name from discussions on local politics back home. Second, I met him in Abuja airport sometime in 2016 when we were both embarking on a flight to Yola. I did not hesitate to ask about his experience and any lessons learned in leading a vastly multi-ethnic state as Adamawa. From his response to my questions, I saw him as some kind of a humble leader who was trying his best to lead the state amidst some frustrations which he was reluctant in explaining.
But I understand that lately, there are issues surrounding the genuineness of his WASC/WASSC certificate, which are now to be settled by the courts. By my own principles, I would not support certificate forgery, and I would be happy to even participate in the process of easing any leader out once the facts on forgery are established. Although he vacates the government house soon, it will be interesting to see to the closure of the case on his certificate.
Finally, I pay attention to politics, but my curiosity is not too tending to state-level politics although I appreciate that all politics is local. Additionally, I do not seem to be an enthusiast of eight-year mandates for any one politician. I seem to always like to see things change swiftly especially with Nigerian leaders across the board who often times do not come up with a performance enough to merit categorisation as highly remarkable. I wish the incoming governor well, and I hope that he can advance the state to the next level—the truly next level bereft of multi-layered scams and deceits.