The Travails of Adamawa Anti-corruption Lawmaker By Maliki Salaudeen

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T o say that President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on the wings of his anti-corruption credentials is simply stating the obvious. And that the All Progressive Congress (APC) party swept majority of the governorship seats on account of the change mantra of the party is equally not contestable. What is however a subject of contention is whether some of the party’s governors are still on the same page with the president in his avowed determination to clean the nation’s Augean stable.
Governor Jubrilla Bindow
Today, in Adamawa State, a cruel drama of sorts is currently playing out, which if not urgently nipped in the bud, has all the potentials of negating President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade. What makes the entire scenario alarmingly worrisome is the fact that the state is being governed by an APC governor, Sen. Bindow Umar Jibrila.
Allegations are rife in the state that the governor is currently pilfering the resources of the state with abominable perfidy under the guise of executing sundry projects, a development Abdurrahman Abubakar Isa, a member representing Mubi South constituency in the State House of Assembly, has been vehemently kicking against, which in turn has drawn the ire of the governor. For his insistence that things be done in a proper manner in line with the twin principles of transparency and accountability, Abubakar Isa is today being barbecued on a smoldering fire of victimization.
The genesis of the current face-off between the governor and Isa stemmed from the former’s submission of a document dated 28th October, 2015 to the State House of Assembly titled ‘’Re-Submission of Detail Areas of Virement in the 2015 Revised Budget’’, which in reality was a request for new capital projects and not projects already contained in the earlier Appropriation Law. This did not go down well with Isa, who happened to be the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Budget and Appropriation, as he rightly insisted that ‘’the only way new projects can be captured in the budget after passage of the
Appropriation Law is by a supplementary appropriation bill duly passed by the House’’.
Isa’s opposition to this unconstitutional act of the governor did not deter his colleagues from approving the request by voice vote, a situation that made him to address a press conference, where he strongly condemned the said approval. Apparently angered by his ‘’effrontery’’, Isa was suspended effective from Monday Nov 16th 2015, followed by the dissolution of the Committee on Appropriation of which he was the chairman. This action of the House, which was obviously instigated by the governor, completely negates the essence of rule of law because Isa’s only offence was that he decided to stand on the side of truth in the face of brazen act of unconstitutionality by the governor and his fawning acolytes in the House.
Being a law-abiding person, Isa decided to approach Adamawa State High Court for intervention, which issued an interlocutory injunction restraining the Speaker of the House, Kabiru Mijinyawa and the entire House from suspending the crusading anti-corruption gadfly pending the determination of the matter.
The so-called ‘’2015 Sectoral Virement on Capital Estimates’’, submitted by the governor to the House is replete with several questionable projects, which reeks of fraud. Some of these projects include: Dispensary Road (1.00km)—N5m; Ngurore Rd (1.00km)—N10m; construction of Kano Rd (1.75km)—N114.165m; construction of Jambutu road and drainages (5.0km)—N150m; Hamanyarro road, Jimeta (0.20km)—N200m; construction of Maiha-Fulbere-Zhediniyi-Pella Rd (39.58km)—N5.7bn; construction of Gombi Ga’anda Rd (36.325km)—N4.5bn; Purchase of New Drilling Rig and Accessories —-N9.9m; etc.
Another questionable controversial item in the estimate is the N500million purportedly earmarked for Micro Credit for Social Change in the office of the SSG, whatever that means. In all these, it is so easy to conclude that the governor did not mean well for the state. More galling is his angry disposition towards Isa for calling for probity and enthronement of accountability in the process of governance. The governor is allegedly so desperate to silence Isa’s voice of reason amidst the cacophonous ‘’yes-sir’’ disposition of other lawmakers that the lawmaker had to leave Yola on exile for fear of his life.
From all intents and purposes, the people of Adamawa State that voted for change are now beginning to bite their fingers in regret having realized that their governor has parted ways with prudence in preference for reckless squandermania of scarce resources.
It was also alleged that the governor shortchanged the state when he expended N3.5billion on fertilizer (25,000 metric tonnes in all) meant for 100 dry season farmers. Instead of the usual 50kg, the state government dubiously re-bagged it in 30kg bags, thereby ripping off the farmers.
Fresh facts have emerged on why the governor did not vote for Buhari during the party’s presidential primary in Lagos, instead he voted for Rabiu Kwankwaso. Rumours making the rounds aver that the governor is not comfortable with Buhari’s anti-corruption disposition because of the former’s alleged predilection for glitters and lucre. There are strong indications that the governor is warming up to pair with Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo in the 2019 presidential election should President Buhari decide not to run for re-election, as he openly boosts of about it. How Gov. Bindow Jibrilla hopes to achieve this feat remains in the realm of conjecture.
Judging from the foregoing, Abdurrahman Isa deserves a huge commendation for not only expanding the frontiers of democracy, but also President Buhari’s anticorruption crusade. That he is being persecuted today for opposing Gov. Bindow’s corruption-prone style of governance is indeed a sad commentary on the change mantra that brought the governor to power.
Before the governor and his bootlicking sycophants finally succeed in giving Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade a bloody nose and silence Isa, the President must wade into the matter to expeditiously arrest the situation, while the operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should step in to do what is needful in the circumstance. It is too early in the day for members of the same party to engage in rofo-rofo fight in the manner akin to what is presently happening in Adamawa State. Isa deserves the protection and support of all lovers of democracy as he continues to square up to Gov. Bindow in the latter’s attempt to financially strip Adamawa State naked.

Maliki Salaudeen wrote from Muhammed Mustapha Way J/Yola.

Views expressed in articles published are strictly for information dissemnation not necessarily the opinion of blog author. Materials and other news items on this Blog, can be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part provided that appropriate credit is given to the original sources.

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