Hope and change. With those words, four years ago, Adamawa ushered in a remarkable period in our history. Jibrilla Bindow, a man from the minority tribe in Adamawa, won the governorship in a state where deficit infrastructure development was incorporated into the state’s development and social fabric. That a man of kind heart, full of respect for both elders and his younger ones who grew up with showing respect and having the pains of the down trodden at heart could be elected and serve ably and honorably, reflects greatness not only in the individual, but in a society that has come a very long way.
We have had disagreements with Gov. Bindow’s policies and politics. But upon reflection: he comported himself beyond reproach. There was never a hint of personal scandal. As a role model–as a father, as a man, as the elected Governor -of- a state–he acted with conviction, with honesty, with compassion, and with intelligence. (How can you not admire a man who never throw a jibe at his critics nor question any Journalists for writing bad story on his personality?)
The Bindow record is mixed, as are all governorship legacies. The toughest for history to sort out the deficit of road infrastructure in Adamawa State. Voters elected Gov. Bindow, in part, to end the backwardness of development in the state. The rise of Boko haram and the farmers and the herders crisis and the inevitable consequence of religious and sectarian rifts in a region long held together by a ruthless dictator’s harsh rule? Probably.
Gov. Bindow’s mistakes in Adamawa are legion: from showing respect to elders and not join issues with anyone no matter the level of an individual, despites the enormous powers he enjoy as Governor, he never hurt a fly or use such to arrogantly assult anyone. Gov. Bindow brazenly crossed it; to believing in the good will of some of his aides and the Revolutionary aides become even more treacherous; to publicly deride his kind gesture towards them. We suspect history will not be kind to those that plotted the downfall of Gov. Bindow with respect to the regional thinking of most of those that hate him for nothing.
Elsewhere in the Nigeria, some of the Bindow’s administration’s initiatives deserve praise. The “pivot to the Pacific” was strategically important and the re-establishment of warm relations with those that sees him as an enemy before 2019.
Domestically, Bindow’s policies were more muscular, more focused. The governor’s willingness to govern via ‘I bear no grudges against anyone’ his inability to get the opposition to cross the aisle; or his own unwillingness to compromise. As a result, many of the governor’s initiatives –particularly relating to the construction of roads and lightening of the streets of Adamawa State –are likely to be reversed upon the inauguration of a new administration.
But some initiatives did find ADSHA support, and the Bindow legacy will certainly trumpet Bindow for social change.
We ask Bindow supporters to speak about his legacy, they tend to wax rhapsodically. And when we question political adversaries, the vehemence of their opposition can be startling. That is the nature of democracy today.
We do not believe that the election of the opposition in Adamawa State was simply repudiation of Jibrilla BIndow for non performance but the gang of political elites that want a governor that can be control and teleguided in whatever things he need to do. Adamawa is a big, complex, and diverse place. As this past election made clear, outcomes can be unpredictable and future paths uncharted. But one thing is evident: this is a State steeped in decency and challenges, contradictions and opportunity. It is a certainly a State of change, and always of hope. We thank Gov. Jibrilla Bindow for his service and for showing us how to bring out the best in ourselves.