Gov. Nyako's Golden Handcuffs

Murtala Hammanyero Nyako, alias Baba Mai Mangoro, the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, has for quite sometimes been battling to cross two hurdles- to clear his government of the allegations against it of cronyisms and policy blunders.

Whenever defending his administration, the Governor and his supporters always maintained that the allegations are nothing but the handiwork of the opposition, who are power thirsty and want to grab it by hook or by crook. While the opposition on the other hand, claimed that the Governor found himself in that situation because of three reasons: governance and policy making is centered around his family and village members; third-rate politicians and gold diggers make-up a greater percentage of the Governor's confidants and the increasing disconnect between the government and the ordinary people.

Though in politics, politicians can say all sorts of things and make several claims to achieve their political goal. Governor Nyako, his supporters and the opposition have made several comments and quite a few analyses on the pages of newspapers to buttress their stance. We can remember one occasion in which supporters of the Governor made an analysis that reached a conclusion that ÔÇśthe level of cronyism in the Nyako's administration is only 0.273% not the 30 % as claimed by the Governor's adversaries'. The point we are trying to make here is, who is telling the truth? How can we deduce the true situation? - Seeking on-the-street-opinion is the best way-out.

The hullabaloo about cronyism and policy slip-ups in Governor Murtala Nyako government, whether it is true or not, has opened an unwelcome debate for the government, a sweat issue for the opposition to talk about and help to worsen the situation of ordinary Adamawa people- perpetual poverty. Because all energies in the government and its splitter group, the opposition and its splitter group are skewed towards talks on the issues rather than developmental action from the government or counseling from the opposition to assist the Governor to recovery the path to what good governance is.

The occasional short relief Governor Nyako normally gets from sweat talk by his lieutenants is nothing but a Golden Handcuff. On the street opinion in Adamawa State is- the need for the government to do a Reality Check on its performance and on ordinary people's perception of it. Time has come for Governor Nyako to be bold enough to admit that there are problems in both the development and the politics of Adamawa state. This is a battle that cannot be won by hiding behind the true situation. Governor Nyako should employ two strategies: first, by copying his immediate predecessor's style, i.e. engagement of all diverse groups and promoting popular participation. The second strategy is formulation and implementation of people oriented, feasible and measurable development initiatives. These will be the great arrows to shoot the problems at hand, though these initiatives need a reliable bow. Governor Nyako must be that bow.

The Governor sees himself as an undisputed big-time farmer who wants to tight some aspect of development and Adamawa people progress, especially youth empowerment to farming. However, it appears that many of the Governors initiatives were shrouded by poor result delivery, since birth. What made the current farming skills acquisition programme of the Nyako administration went wrong were two factors: the project should have been on-the-job-skill-acquisition programme, where the youths should be provided with all the tools and ingredients required to start farming- land, farm implements, soft loans and extension services, instead of the present theory approach, where consultants are benefiting more than the actual targets. The second factor was, Reductionistic Approach should have been applied, rather than the current Holistic Approach put in place. The point here is, the youth should be have been categorised into various grouping according to the types of farming they want to engage in- animal husbandry, poultry, fishing, plantation and so on. This will allow quick specialization and fast return on investment.

The Reductionistic Approach recommendation earlier mentioned was for the programme to look at establishing large scale farms in at least three areas in each of the three senatorial district of the state; this will not only propels skills acquisitions in farming, but also bring new riches, increase in revenue base of the state, new jobs and opening of the land to direct foreign investment. And let us not forget that, not all Adamawa people want to be farmers and farming is not the only medium to uplift human capital. Adamawa state has people who have specialised training- architects, engineers, operations researchers, medical doctors, computer programmers etc, who want to use their brains to conquer the world. The government must take into cognizance the existence of such group.

The Nyako administration has been busy putting in place programmes and projects it claimed were aimed at bringing development and free the Adamawa people from the prison of poverty, but the truth is, what is on the ground is not what ought to be. Too much politics and personal issues were mingled into what are purely policy oriented issues. Though we must admit that, politics and policy are somehow related, but they don't knit together. These were the reasons for the failure of most of Nyako's programmes and project- the controversial 6,000 Special Assistants scheme; the ineffective farming skills acquisition programme; the collapse of most of the constructed earth dam across the state, the funny ongoing project of installing a single solar-powered street light per a street. And one of the most dangerous of all, is the present trend in Adamawa state, were employed persons were made ÔÇśjobless'- most Local Government Council in Adamawa state today cannot pay all their staff salaries, some owed their staff three, four or more months salaries.

Those steering affairs of Adamawa State need to know that they most at a matter of urgency start a paradigm shift, i.e. a transition from the present situation, where the only news item in Adamawa state is Nyako, his family and village members, to Nyako and new a thinking- development that differentiate been politics and policy. Because politics is all about interest, when it comes to good policy, sheer politics cannot be a helping-hand, but when it comes to politics, good and well implemented policy will come to the rescue. Your Excellency, Governor Murtala Nyako, you must be the bow to shoot the arrow that will trigger a new thinking. Just do it soldier!

Zayyad I. Muhammad wrote from Jimeta, Adamawa State, 08036070980


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