As Nigeria gravitates towards another looming recession over the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping across the world and crippling economic giants, local government chairmen in Adamawa State have spent millions of taxpayers money to celebrate Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who was on Thursday awarded ‘best governor of the year 2019, by leadership newspapers group.
Investigation revealed that; instead of the 21 local government chairmen to use only one advertorial newspaper page to celebrate the governor to save cost, especially in view of the financial challenges overwhelming the third tier of government, the chairmen decided to go extravagant with two chairmen cosponsoring a page.
Findings by FOMBINATIMES revealed that a full page colour advert in leadership newspaper cost about N708,000.
A cursory perusal of leadership newspaper of Thursday March 19, 2020 alone, revealed that the local government chairmen including the ALGON chairman Jingi Rufai sponsored no fewer than 10 full page colour adverts which roughly cost the local governments about N7 million.
Although the amount involved may look too inconsequential to worry about, the present economic hardship being faced by the toiling masses especially in the Boko Haram ravaged local governments of the state including Madagali, the hometown of the governor, is a serious cause for concern.
Most communities in Madagali and Michika have been living for years without electricity and other critical infrastructure which are yet to be fixed several years after the communities were recaptured from the Boko Haram insurgents.
While many residents have decided to relocate back to the communities, despite the hardships they faced in the wake of infrastructural deficit, many residents of the communities are still living elsewhere as Internally Displaced Persons.
A resident of Madagali local government who does not want to be quoted, told our reporter in a phone chat that for them, existence has become a cacophony of tribulations and sorrows as they lack almost anything that will make life blissful.
“For us life has become a cacophony of sorrows and tribulations. We lack everything that makes life meaningful and blissful.
” We are being faced with near absence of infrastructure, crippling poverty and perennial attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is unfortunate that several months after he came into office, the chairman of the local government has not done anything to ease our suffering but could spend such hefty amount just to celebrate an award given to governor,” he said.
FOMBINATIMES can report that insecurity, dearth of infrastructure, lack of water, unemployment, inadequate healthcare and education infrastructure and lack of man power to run major government services were the major concerns of the people in the state.
These issues were consistently presented by the people of the state during the various town hall meetings facilitated by the International Republican Institute (IRI), across the nooks and crannies of Adamawa State.