By Martins Dickson
As momentum gathers towards the 2019 elections across the country, I am very pleased to X-ray some of the very unique leadership qualities of the most formidable candidate for the Adamawa Governorship running for a second term in office.
Senator Muhammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow has uncommonly and sometimes effortlessly displayed rare virtues, integrity and strong leadership qualities during his 3 and 1/2 years in office.
The dictionary meaning of virtue refers to the disposition to conform to the law of right, moral excellence, and rectitude. It is also said to be any admirable quality, merit, or accomplishment, for example, PATIENCE is a virtue.
Integrity on the other hand is the Uprightness of character, probity, and honesty.
While Leadership in its simplest form refers to the ability to influence or control the opinions, thought, action and give direction to a people.
Wherever or whenever people talk about leaders especially political leadership the above outlined character have always been the desire of Nigerians and generally the people of Adamawa State.
THE MAN BINDOW
Since the advent of this political dispensation, I bet to say that the people’s choices in Adamawa have been an effort towards ensuring that leaders who posses at least 50% of these qualities are elected into leadership positions especially that of the Governor.
When in 2015 Adamawa people overwhelmingly voted for Senator Muhammed Umaru Jibrilla who we all fondly call Bindow very few believed that he will display strong leadership character, virtue and integrity as he pilots the affairs of the state.
Those who thought otherwise have been in a state of shock and have since been proved wrong. Senator Bindow has continued to surpass the expectations of many, he has changed the narrative and raised the bar in leadership expectations in the state, displaying humility never ever imagined of a state Governor and exhibited strong character, garnished with patience and dexterity.
In the history of Adamawa State, Senator Bindow is the only Governor to have connected with the people unhindered, he talk with the people on the streets, listened to everyone who has something to say, drives alone in the most unexpected areas in town, buys kolanut, fruits and sometimes suya (locally roasted meat) on the street. He is the only Governor in the history of Adamawa to have made himself available and (cheaply too) to the people.
One of my mentors, Dr. Panam Percy Paul once said “Humility is when someone makes himself available to the people who cannot afford him”.
Bindow’s leadership style has depicted humility in its most practical form. He has never saluted an elder standing on his feet, he will always bow or squat down to greet an elder something people in power found to be strange. He is always an example of how a leader should be humble, never ever thinking of himself highly but as equal to everyone.
He has mingled freely with almost all classes of people in the society, most times against the wishes and advices of his security details.
Surprisingly many took these strong traits of the Governor to be a weakness, he has often times been taken for granted.
What else should Adamawa indigenes look for in a leader other than one who will display such Virtues, integrity and strong leadership trait?
ACHIEVEMENTS IN ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
These are the reasons why Bindow has been able to achieve so much in such a very short time, the Bindow administration has constructed 396 urban roads (apart from the rural roads) in 19 Local Government areas of the state. Rural roads have been constructed even in Madagali and Michika amidst the outcry of insecurity, among other local communities in the state. From Demsa to Madagali rural roads have eased the movement of goods and services and the hardship experienced by many, especially farmers who most times have to move their farm produce to bigger communities and markets so as to earn a living.
Coming from the background of under performance by previous administrations, the provision of infrastructure by Senator Bindow especially the urban roads in Numan, Guyuk, Ganye, Mubi-North, Mubi-South, Shelleng, Girei, Fufore, Gombi, Hong, Song, Yola-North, Yola-South, have boost economic activities, raised confidence, eased access to basic amenities and needs, earned the state some respect and given hope that Adamawa can attain greatness. Remote communities within the state capital where the masses reside like Jambutu, Wauru-Jebbe, Yoldepate, Damare, Rumde, etc have now been urbanized.
The story in the news is that, these roads are also been lighted to enhance visibility at night and secure the people from criminal minds. Minor crimes have been reduced due to the communities been properly lighted. Imagine if the whole city was left in darkness as it use to be.
These interventions by the Bindow administration is strategically been implemented to take care of the many challenges people face.
The primary health care system in the state have been revamped to perform optimally by the Bindow administration, health care Centres in all the 226 wards in the state operate 24hrs, with adequate facility and equipment for efficiency.
The State has supported 403 Primary Health Care Facilities i.e 2 per ward with the necessary infrastructure and equipment to provide 24 hours services. Adamawa was ranked 1st the best in the country with 77.7% of health facilities with basic equipment (NHFS 2016).
Also Adamawa State has been rated 2nd in Nigeria in terms of mitigating infant mortality rate in the state. In the save a million lives project across the country Adamawa is also rated 2nd best in Nigeria.
Bindow has now shifted his effort to the secondary health care system by earmarking One General hospital in each of the 3 senatorial zones of the state for renovation and reconstruction.
The Mubi General hospital has received a facelift and is now well equipped. Water supply to the hospital had been erratic for quite some time most boreholes drilled within the hospital premises had very low yields and after a while stopped yielding completely.
A comprehensive solution required of two industrial boreholes at Kolere in Mubi town, near the residence of Madaki Mubi, a distance of approximately 3.5km from the hospital, piping the water to the hospital, installing a 10kva generator, a buster pump, refurbishing 2 ground tanks, and overhead tank and a submersible pump in the ground tank at the hospital, to pump the water to the overhead tank for distribution by gravity.
The project was recently commissioned by His Excellency Governor Bindow.
The specialist hospital in Yola has been provided a brand new theatre that is fully equipped, the dilapidated Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) department has been constructed and equipped. This is in addition to the provision of other equipment needed for efficient healthcare delivery in the specialist hospital.
Reconstruction work is still ongoing at General hospital Ganye, where water has now been provided at the hospital, this is the first time the hospital is having potable water since it was established in the 1960s. Other health service equipment has also been provided.
The Construction of a brand new complex that is housing theatres, consulting rooms, wards and other offices has reached 95% completion at the General hospital Numan. Construction of Doctors quarters is also at 97% completion. All equipment needed for the equipping of the hospital has been purchase and awaits installation.
The Bindow administration has also employed about 50 medical Doctors, the highest to be employed at once by any administration in the state, the appointment of about 125 Nurses has also been ratified and integrated into the state civil service. Pharmacists, laboratory scientists and other medical support staff have also been employed by the state government through the Health Services Management Board.
Recently, the Adamawa State College for Nursing and Midwifery was adjudged the best in the latest Nursing examination held across the country.
The collage has also been accredited to offer post graduate studies in conjunction with the federal medical Centre Yola.
These efforts are ongoing by Bindow administration to ensure that healthcare delivery is improved and made efficient in the state.
At the basic education level, the Bindow administration has accessed the construction and equipping of 12 to 15 blocks of classrooms each in about seven local Government areas in the state in 2016 through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Constructions took place at Guyuk, Numan, Demsa, Toungo, Ganye, Yola-North and Yola-South Local Government areas. The classrooms were equipped with student desks and chairs, Teachers desks and chairs.
The Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board has also constructed and renovated several blocks of classrooms across the state. Teachers desks and chairs were provided, so also students desks and chairs, textbooks, teaching aides, sports equipment etc. In some of the schools boreholes were sank to provide water. The intervention in the basic education level also includes textbooks and other teaching aides.
When the Bindow administration declared a state of emergency in the education sector, it was geared towards erasing the rot that was fast overtaking schools across the state. 3 major schools were earlier earmarked for renovation and reconstruction in the first phase but 5 schools ended up been reconstructed.
The Government Secondary School (GSS) Hong, Government Technical College (GTC) Mubi, Government Secondary School Demsa (GSS), Government Secondary School (GSS) Mubi and the Villanova Government Secondary School, Numan.
Before the reconstruction work in these schools, the classrooms were without roof, the student hostels were dilapidated, without beddings, no windows and in some cases no roofs, students were either sleeping on mats or bear floor. The teachers don’t have comfortable desks and chairs. Science laboratories were non functional and dusty and above all no examination halls and high is a basic requirement for a secondary school. The story of secondary schools in the state was worrisome.
But after the declaration of the state of emergency in the education sector these challenges are been tackled and most of the problems solved.
A complete reconstruction of classrooms, students hostels, administrative blocks, examination halls and block wall fence have been provided in the schools listed above as pilot.
Student desks and chairs have been provided, teachers’ table and chairs, beddings, Textbooks, laboratory reagents for practicals in science subjects, the classrooms now have fans so also the administration blocks and teachers’ staff room.
The morale of teachers in these schools have been boosted, students too are geared-up to study harder as the provision of comfortable environment and learning aides is now challenging their output.
As I write this piece, the state water treatment plant designed to treat and distribute water to the state capital is been refurbished. The machines at the treatment plant most especially the water pumps are outdated and out of form, they are now been replaced in a collaborative effort between International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the state Government. When this refurbishing work is completed another phase will be the reactivation and replacement of distribution pipes which also needs replacing.
Meanwhile the Bindow administration had given a the sum of 1 Billion Naira to members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly to provide potable water to their constituents as part of their constituency projects.
These effort is geared towards ensuring that the remotest communities are provided with potable drinking water through their representatives.
The RUWASSA Program active in 7 Local Government areas of the state have constructed a large number of boreholes in several communities especially in the Northern senatorial district of the state.
The Bindow administration through the Poverty Alleviation and Wealth Creation Office (POWECO) has trained youths in various skills at the skills Acquisition Centre in Yola the state capital. About 5,000 youths have so far been trained in Alminium fabrication, carpentry, GSM repairs, wielding, Auto-Mechanic, Beads making etc.
The trainings took place at different phases in the Centre. Some of the youths received tool kits with which they’ve been able to set up their own businesses.
The Centre also organized trainings in Information Communication Technology in conjunction with GOOGLE.
The drive to ensure that youths are self reliant is a task the Bindow administration is not taking lightly. Even youths from internally displaced peoples camp benefited from some of the trainings.
The revolution in Agriculture has been tremendous, this is the first time in Adamawa State that the government purchased 105 brand new tractors for farmers in the state. Each local Government area was given 5 tractors each to boost Agricultural activities in rural communities. The number of new tractors purchased by the Bindow administration has since been raised to 150 as at the last count.
The supply of fertilizers has been prompt both for raining season and dry season farming. In addition, the government ensured that other farm implements are provided to farmers in the state.
Land cultivation has surpassed what it used to be in the state, the production capacity of farmers have also doubled.
The Anchor borrowers program of the federal government has received tremendous support from the Bindow administration hence, its success.
These achievements by the Bindow administration were possible because of his dexterity and focus on delivering on his campaign promises, Senator Bindow has achieved in just 3 years what some administrations weren’t able to achieve in two terms. Most remarkably these glaring developmental strides were achieved at a time when very little resources accrued to the state due to the recession faced by the country.
Bindow has proven to be an astute manager of resources and hence deserves the support of all Adamawa people so as to take the state to a place of prosperity and abundance.
Dickson is SSA to the Adamawa Governor on Press & Media Affairs.