Governor Bindow and his roads

Common to both the supporters and antagonists of Adamawa State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, is the view that the governor has performed excellently well, especially in terms of the infrastructural development of the state. However, some still share the view that has also failed woefully in certain strategic areas.

With regards to infrastructural development, his critics have been able to pick holes in his work. For instance, the appearance of potholes in some parts of the newly constructed roads has thrown up questions about the quality of the roads and whether they are built with quality materials that would ensure they last for a considerable period of time. Some civil engineering experts opine that the quality of the roads ought to be at least six toeight inches of compacted aggregate of laterite, stone dust and gravel as a base for at least eight inches of asphalt pavement.

The position of things is that Governor Bindow’s roads are made of just laterite as a base for few inches of asphalt pavement. This is one of many discrediting analysis of the Governor’s new road projects. His developmental drive has also been concentrated within the state capital and a few towns, a development that has earned him the sobriquet ‘state capital governor’ among his critics.

Governor Bindow has also failed in the aspect of the payment of workers’ salaries. Teachers, healthcare and local council workers are being owed salaries of several months. The workers’ screening exercise embarked on was also handled shoddily; some workers who have served the state for many years were alleged to have been screened as ghost workers. Of a fact,Adamawa State has a bloated workforce and fraud-riddled workers’ payroll.

Uncontroverted is also the fact that Governor Bindow made a politicalblunder in his failure to manage  the widening division within his own party and the growing disconnect between him and some political bigwigs in the state. Bindow erred by sidelining many members of the legacy parties – Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP). The only political bigwig that is still very close to the governor is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. And Atiku’s wellestablished vast political structure, immense political war chest and history of successes in political battles, have emboldened Bindow so much that some political observers believe he often appears ‘self-assured’ in the murky waters of Adamawa politics.

There are even insinuations that Bindow has started reaching out to some of his governor-colleagues to support Atiku’s quest for presidency come 2019. Well, it is politics. Nonetheless, while Bindow feels safe in Atiku’s arms, he faces a formidable opposition, or better still, a ‘threat’ within his All Progressives Congress (APC) that might easily consume him. And his opponentsmay have an edge over him if they bond together, deftly shuffle and play their cards well and smartly. If
this is done, the opponents will sway aggrieved members of the APC and they may also have ‘Abuja Group’ on their side.

There is need for Bindow to look inwards and start re-engaging all APC stakeholders, instead of just counting on the support local governmentparty chairmen. Politics is all about state-wide development, party support, patronage and representative engagement. Bindow has scored low in all.

Looking at the current atmosphere Adamawa politics, the masses’ view of governance is that the governor and his few lieutenants have cornered everything. Other important stakeholders are just doing ‘siddon look’.

The fear for Governor Bindow is, when the chips are down, most of his right men today will not swim and sink with him. And, equally important is the fact that despite Atiku’s immense political war chest, of recent, winning elections in Adamawa is becoming very difficult for Turaki. His preferred candidate, Yayaji Ibrahim Mijinyawa, lost twice in the Adamawa APC governorship primaries.

If he must succeed, Governor Bindow needs to redress his style of politics. There is still ample time for reconciliation, realignment and consummation of the spirit of give and take, because most the ‘arms’ guarding
him might not be able to hold him when the storm comes.

Zayyad I. Muhammad wrote from Jimeta, Adamawa State via [email protected] He can be reached on 08036070980, and blogs at www.zayyaddp.

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