Finitri worried over Bindows rushed recruitment, funds withdrawals

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The outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow is alleged to be making a move to appoint a new Vice Chancellor for the Adamawa State University in Mubi through a procedure said to violate the edict which established the university.

Since a duly appointed VC of the university, Prof. David Joshua, was removed by the Bindow administration in September 2015 following a crisis, none had been appointed in substantive capacity.

Appointing a VC requires that the vacancy be announced in national dailies and placed on notice for at least six weeks, after which a panel is constituted to examine applications, but with less than six weeks to go and after four years of a university without a substantive VC, Bindows government appears to have suddenly decided to get one, with a new governing council already constituted, raising questions in the minds of discerning public and especially within the circle of the governor-elect, Hon Umaru Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

If the alleged plan for a new VC turns out to be true, it would only come as one of such moves that the lapsing Bindow administration has made which has miffed the incoming PDP.

The government has been accused of making last-minute massive employment into the civil service and promoting many in the service, including some at the peak of their career.

There are also allegations of spurious contract awards and selling of government properties to private individuals believed to be close to the government.

The Adamawa State House of Assembly has even been implicated in what has widely been termed attempts to make things difficult for the incoming government. The House on April 9 confirmed the appointments of chairmen and members of Adamawa State Civil Service and those of House of Assembly Service Commission.

The confirmation followed separate letters sent to the House by Governor Bindow and read on the floor by the Speaker, Kabiru Mijinyawa, during the April 9 special session.

This was criticised by a member of the House, Sunday Peter, who, though a member of the ruling APC, said the process was flawed. Section 123 of our rules says you cant approve a letter from the governor within a day as was done in todays sitting, he told newsmen after the sitting.

Peter said some of his colleagues misinformed the speaker on the issue, adding that members like him were not allowed to speak during the plenary, and reiterating that if opposing view had been allowed, it would have stopped the accelerated approvals.

The transition committee assembled by the governor-elect, Umaru Fintiri, highlighted such approvals and acts perpetuated by the executive itself when it said in a statement, It has come to the attention of the Transition Committee that the out-going administration is embarking on a massive last-minute recruitment exercise without following due process. This is without regard to the fact that the civil service is already saturated.

The Committee has also discovered the indiscriminate allocation of land and in-fields to variousfunctionaries of the out-going government which are hurriedly being developed while reliable information are being received regarding hurried withdrawals of funds from government accounts on a daily basis.

In his own reaction, governor-elect Umaru Fintiri asked that the trend be halted. Fintiri who spoke through one of his aids, Mr. Solomon Kumanga, specified that all undue expenditures and similar acts be stopped for the sake of Adamawa people.

The governor-elect says Adamawa belongs to all and any action to the contrary would not be condoned. It is therefore the expectation of Fintiri that Governor Bindow reserves sufficient funds in the coffers, settles debts and liabilities for the smooth takeoff of the incoming government, Kumanga stated.

He similarly quoted Fintiri as cautioning banks against giving arbitrary loans or overdrafts at this time.

An entirely different act of the Bindow camp that could be considered hostile to Fintiris interest is the challenge of his election.

Fintiri who polled a total of 367,471 votes in the March 9 and March 28 governorship election and rerun in the state against Bindows 334,995 was accordingly declared winner of the election at the end of collation in the early hours of March 29, following which Bindow reportedly congratulated him.

However, on the last day of petition submission window, April 17, Bindows APC filed a complaint before the Adamawa Election Petitions Tribunal against Fintiris election, a move considered contrary to the spirit of sportsmanship earlier demonstrated by Bindow.

Dr Umar Duhu, a former national vice chairman (Northeast) of the APC who is an ally of Bindow, said the petition was a product of new revelations concerning the election.

Yes, the governor congratulated the PDP candidate, but new facts at our disposal signal otherwise about our purported loss. There was over-voting in almost all of seven local government areas, according to facts obtained from INEC records.We strongly believe that there were massive irregularities in those local government areas, and I can assert that by the time the issues are properly determined, we will reclaim our mandate, Duhu asserted.

All said, the Fintiri camp apparently does not see any of the foregoing as meaning bad blood between Bindow and Fintiri.

Fintiris aid, Solomon Kumanga, told our correspondent Thursday evening that although Fintiri and Bindow had their political differences and competing aspirations, they had no personal quarrel between them.

They are one and the same people with more common interests than otherwise. It will be wrong to say there is bad blood between them, he asserted.

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