Prof Kaletapwa Farauta’s Selection: Checkmate and Checkmate, By Babayola M. Toungo

The selection of Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta as the running mate for Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri may prove to be a win-win situation for all involved in the Adamawa project. Although the Governor and his capable deputy, Chief Seth Crowther, have steered the affairs of the state for the past three years in a calm and synchronized manner, the time has come to redefine strategy and refocus the direction of the governance. The duo of Governor Fintiri and his deputy steered the state through the turbulent zone from which they took over to a safer atmosphere. Both are seasoned politicians with practical experience of politics and its rough edges. While the governor cut his political teeth on the legislative side of government, his deputy, Chief Crowther cut his political chops on the executive side of government. They have had a hard-hearted relationship for the past three years much to the chagrin of their adversaries.

Choosing Professor Farauta as his running mate in his quest for a second term signals the governor’s change of direction going forward. This act is perhaps His Excellency’s strongest signal 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 guided 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 a governance partner, even if that takes nothing away from Chief Seth Crowther and the “central” politicians.

The choice of Prof. Farauta, as one might expect, elicited divergent reactions from both sides of the political divide in the state. Some claim the academic’s choice is a reaction to Binani’s emergence as the APC’s gubernatorial candidate — I say yes to this group because politics is about actions and reactions. Binani emerged victorious in a hotly contested primary in a crowded field. His victory was the APC’s equivalent of a move on the chessboard, which the governor is expected to respond to. The governor made his move by putting down the movement of the APC. It was a strategic and tactical political decision if you allow me. I thought politics was about reacting to the moves of your opponents – just like a game of chess. You study your opponent’s moves and act accordingly.

No one has yet raised the question of whether Professor Farauta has the ability and the moral suasion to deputize for the Governor. No one has questioned his competence or his pedigree in carrying out the missions entrusted to him in the past. And no one has yet questioned his passion and zeal to contribute to the socio-economic and workforce development of the state. It seems that we are held by our primordial demons in a distorted time zone. Her accomplishments may intimidate some who try to disparage her choice as the governor’s running mate. It can definitely add value to the ticket. This takes nothing away from Crowther and his contributions to political developments in the state. He can be a sort of behind-the-scenes operator who helps his director steer the affairs of state without making too much noise about his contributions. He skillfully portrayed the governor 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 vice-presidential candidate was quickly followed by a wave of “unveilings” in the state’s workforce development sector. Eight refurbished and revitalized Skills Acquisition Centers have been commissioned to provide opportunities for personal development and self-realization to our many uneducated, unemployed and unemployable young people. They are institutions created with the aim of training our young people to realize their potential and contribute to the socio-economic development of the State and a vehicle to take them from the streets without employment to that of gainful employment.

The Fintiri – Crowther ticket approaches its destination airport after successfully escorting its passengers (the citizens of Adamawa) through the transition phase of their flight. The next take-off – second term – will require a new co-pilot because the flight routes are different. 21st century governance is digital, idea-driven, with intellectualism as its main ingredient. This will be the next phase of His Excellency’s governance push and it may explain why the education sector is getting the attention it deserves.

Renovations/rehabilitations of educational institutions, equipping and providing teaching and learning aids, paying fees for examination bodies like WAEC and NECO are all part of the vision of bringing the state into the 21st century. education is prerequisite to the development and advancement of any society and its excellence places the State on a pedestal of excellence. A state that once boasted of the late Dr. Mahmud Tukur, Professors Iya Abubakar and Jibril Aminu at the helm of top notch universities like the late Professor Samuel Aleiyedeno and the late Dr. Mahmud Modibbo Tukur; University administrators like the late Bitrus Sawa and Dahiru Bobbo are reduced to a breeding ground of “Shila Boys”, an urban menace with no landmark in the past.

This is an estimate of what the Governor wants to recreate in his second term. When you’re in the middle of the deep blue sea, you need a seasoned navigator, not a boiler room engineer.

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