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Adamawa: The selection of Prof Kaletapwa Farauta: Check and Checkmate, By Babayola M. Toungo

The selection of Professor Kaletapwa Farauta as the running mate to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri may prove to be a win-win situation for all concerned in the Adamawa Project.  Though the governor and his able deputy, Chief Seth Crowther have been piloting the affairs of the state in the past three years in a sedate and synchronised manner, the time has come to re-strategise and refocus the direction of governance. The duo of governor Fintiri and his deputy steered the state through the turbulent patch from which they took over to a safer atmosphere.  Both are seasoned politicians with a hands-on experience in politics and its rough edges.  While the governor cut his political teeth from the legislative side of government his deputy, Chief Crowther cut his from the executive side of government.  They had a rancour-free relationship in the past three years to the chagrin of their opponents.

Picking Professor Farauta as his running mate in his quest for a second term signals the governor’s shift in focus, going forward.  This act may be the strongest signal yet from his excellency that he intends to give prominence to intellectualism at the expense of raw politics.  That if re-elected for a second term, his government will be driven by ideas – fresh ideas incubated by the intellectual wing of his supporters and delivered by the political wing.  He will therefore need an intellectual as his partner in governance, though this takes away nothing from Chief Seth Crowther and the “core” politicians.

The choice of Prof. Farauta as is expected, drew divergent reactions from both sides of the political divide in the state.  Some claim that the choice of the academic is a reaction to the emergence of Binani as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC – I say yes to this group because politics is all about actions and reactions.  Binani emerged the winner of a keenly contested primaries in a crowded field.  Her victory was the APC’s equivalent of a move on a chess board, which the governor is expected to respond.  The governor made his move by checkmating the APC’s move.  It was a strategic political decision and a tactical one if you may ask me. I thought politics is all about reacting to your opponents’ moves – just like a game of chess.  You study your opponent’s moves and act accordingly. 

No one yet has raised the question of whether Professor Farauta has the capacity and moral suasion to deputise for the governor.  Nobody has questioned her competence or pedigree in discharging assignments given to her in the past.  And no one yet has questioned her passion and zeal to contribute her quota to the socio-economic and manpower development of the state.  It seems we are detained by our primordial demons in a warped time zone.  Her accomplishments may be intimidating to some of those trying to denigrate her choice as the governor’s running mate.  She sure can add value to the ticket.  This is not to take away anything from Crowther and his contributions to the political developments of the state.  He may be a behind-the-scenes kind of an operator who assists his principal in piloting the affairs of the state without making too much noise about his contributions.  He has represented the governor ably on many occasions and will be remembered as the lieutenant who co-piloted a ship abandoned in turbulence by unlicensed captains to the safety of a shore.

The public presentation of the running mate was quickly followed by a flurry of “unveilings” in the manpower development sector of the state.  Eight refurbished and revitalised Skill Acquisition Centres were commissioned to offer opportunities for self-development and self-actualisation to our teeming uneducated, unemployed, and unemployable youth.  These are institutions established for the purpose of training our youths to realise their potentials and contribute to the socio-economic development of the state and a vehicle for removing them from the jobless street to that of gainful employment.

The Fintiri – Crowther ticket is approaching its destination airport after successfully taking its passengers (the citizens of Adamawa) through the transition phase of their flight.  The next take-off – second term – will need a new co-pilot because the flight routes are different.  Twenty first century governance is digital, ideas driven, whose main ingredient is intellectualism.  This will be the next phase of his excellency’s governance thrust and this may explain why the education sector is getting the attention it deserved. 

The renovations/ rehabilitations of educational institutions, the equipping and provision of teaching and learning aids, the payment of fees for examination bodies like WAEC and NECO are all part of the design of taking the state into the twenty first century.  Education is sine quo non to the development and advancement of any society and his excellency is placing the state on a pedestal of excellence.  A state that once boasted of the likes of the late Dr. Mahmud Tukur, Professors Iya Abubakar and Jibril Aminu heading first rate Universities to such academic icons like the late Professor Samuel Aleiyedeno, and late Dr. Mahmud Modibbo Tukur; University administrators like the late Bitrus Sawa and Dahiru Bobbo is reduced to a breeding ground for “Shila Boys”, an urban menace without a reference point in the past.

This is an estimation of what the governor wants to re-created in his second term.  When you are in the middle of the deep blue sea, you need a seasoned navigator and not a boiler room engineer.

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