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New Adamawa SSG: Awwal Tukur, the round peg in round hole


In what is seen as a reward for excellence, hard work and perseverance in line with his belief of putting round pegs in round holes to achieve his vision for a prosperous Adamawa state, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri appointed his 2023 Campaign Director General, Hon.Awwal Bamanga Tukur, as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG). MUAZU ABARI writes.

Even the ardent critics and detractors of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, have adjudged him to have performed wonderfully well in the last four years of his administration. But that is not to say that the governor was perfect in all areas and did not make mistakes in the running of his government.

For example, in the choice of his appointees, his critics said he brought in all manner of people into his government, some of who were supposed not to even come close to the administration let alone entrusting them with sensitive positions.

However, this kind of mistake by those in power is not new and are bound to happen from time to time, especially, in the begining of a new government that was helped into power by different interest and power blocs across political divides.

But what matters most is not the mistake but the ability of such a government to take stock of its journey as it moved on with the view to identifying areas of weaknesses and faults so as to correct it in order to land safely in its destination.

 It is in line with this reality and the quest to serve the people of Adamawa state better and consolidate on the gains of the last four years that Fintiri since his inauguration for second term continued to take stock of his last four years, making necessary adjustments in his government by correcting some of his mistakes and weeding out bad eggs and liabilities and replacing them with more competent and credible people that will add value to his administration and help him actualise his vision for the state.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the governor has so far replaced most of his appointees who served in his first term such as SSG, Chief of Staff, among others. 

Out of the 23 Commissioner nominees he submitted to the State House of Assembly for confirmation only six who served in his first time made it to the list, in addition to Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Afraimu jingi, who has since returned to his seat after his approval by the lawmakers.

Exalted office of the SSG

There is no doubt that the Office of the Secretary to Government, whether at the state or national level, is a very sensitive and crucial one that can make or mar a government. 

This implies that any government that wants to succeed must not hand this exalted office to a rookie who lacks common courtesy of dealing with people let alone co-ordinating activities of government ministries, departments and agencies which the office entails.

It is due to the important roles played by the occupant of this office in actualising the policies and programmes of any government in power and giving the administration a right sense of direction that most governors in their second term always find their SSG worthy of taking over from them as successors at the end of their tenure.

That is why it is instructive for any successful administration to look at the quality, competence, experience and record of any individual they are assigning to the office.

Awwal Tukur 

Adamawa state is blessed with  promising and determined young men and women of honour and proven integrity who have made their marks and still making their marks in their various fields of endeavour and the socio- economic and political affairs of the state in their quest to contributes their quota to the development of their society.

One promising young man that continues to prove his mettle and stand the test of time among his peers who never looked back again since he cut his political teeth in 1999 ,is the newly appointed Secretary to the Adamawa State Government Hon.Awwal Tukur 

Hon. Awwal Tukur, a graduate of Birmingham university London, a lawyer by training, an accomplished businessman and a progressive minded politician is a committed democrat.

He is proudly a patriotic son of the soil with enviable record of selfless service to humanity and legacy of achievements, honesty and patriotism known for his hard work, patience and perseverance which continues to speak for him.

After his graduation from the university and subsequent call to bar, Barrister Tukur who detested pomposity, believes in creating his own history away from his family influences, decided to build his own career and concentrated his attention in his professional calling of law to promote the caused of justice, fairness, equity and defending the rights of the downtrodden

He subsequently combined his law practice with personal businesses to add value to the economy where he succeeded to build a business umpire and carved a niche for himself until destiny and passion for the development of his people came calling on him in the build up to 1999 election leaving him with no option than to answer the clarion call of his people to venture into the murky waters of Adamawa politics.

He ventured into Adamawa politics and hit the political atmosphere of the state like a thunderstorm in the build up to 1999 election when he contested for the House of Representatives seat of Yola North,Yola south and Gerei federal constituency under the platform of the PDP and won election which saw him to the National Assembly from 1999- 2003.

During his time in the National Assembly from 1999 to 2003, where he chaired House Committee on Aviation, and was a member of several other committees, he demonstrated competence, capacity credibility and commitments in the discharge of his legislative responsibilities and succeeded to give his people effective and result – oriented representation anchored on patriotism and love for the common man.

Tukur has brought honour, respect and dignity to his people with his vibrancy, eloquence, frequent and brilliant contributions to national debates on the floor of the green chamber. He was also at the forefront of championing the cause of his people,making their voice heard and sponsored bills and motions that added value to the lives of his people and cause of democracy,good governance and accountable leadership.

Since leaving the National Assembly in 2003, he continues to play a critical role in the politics of the state combining his businesses and politics and even contested for the gubernatorial seat of the state at different times alongside other tested politician’s in the state without fortune smiling at him due to the complex nature of Adamawa politics.

His last political outing was in 2023 election , when he contested for the senatorial seat of Adamawa central under the platform of the PDP and lost to the current senator who was the immediate past speaker of the State House of Assembly Aminu Iya Abbass after which he was appointed as the Director General Adamawa state PDP Gubernatorial and Presidential Campaign Council where he worked tirelessly with other stakeholder’s to deliver the governor and other party candidates in the state.

His appointment as SSG

Governor Fintiri’s decision to axe his former SSG, Engr. Bashir Ahmed , and bring on board Hon. Tukur has come to the people of Adamawa state as a surprised, because no one including closed confidants of the governor foresaw it, more so, that he was not part of those jostling for the seat before this appointment.

Prior to this appointment, the battle for the seat of Adamawa SSG was a straight forward battle between the immediate past SSG Engr.Bashir Ahmed, who wanted to retain his seat and the former Minister of Health Dr.Aliyu idi Hong ,who was the Secretary of the Campaign Council in the state and the governor’s agent at the state collation centre whose political doggedness and sagacity at the collation centre saved fintiri from being rigged out.

As these two contenders and their supporters engaged themselves in a media war over the SSG seat of the state, the people of Adamawa state woke up on 14th April, 2023  to receive the news via a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou announcing the Governor’s decision appointing Hon. Tukur as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to the disbelief of many people in the state.

The governor equally appointed the then Head of Service, who is believed to have only one month left to retire from service,  Dr.Amos Edger, as the new Chief of Staff Government House to replace Prof.Maxwell Gidado.

Also appointed was a new Head of Service for the state, among other appointments including Barrister Afraimu jingi as the state Commissioner for Justice following his earlier confirmation by the lawmakers.

What attracted him to Fintiri

Speaking at the swearing in ceremony of Hon.Tukur, as the new SSG and other government officials which took place at Government House Yola, Fintiri who congratulated Awwal on his new appointment also extolled his virtues and opened up on what informed his decision to bring him on board.

“Today is a momentous day for the people of Adamawa state as we gather here to witness the swearing in of two exceptional individuals who will play vital roles in the governance and administration of our beloved state. It is with great pleasure and honour that I stand before you to offer my heartfelt congratulations and remarks on this auspicious occasion.

“First and foremost, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to Hon. Awwal B.Tukur on his appointment as the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government. Hon. Tukur has been a dedicated and committed public servant and his wealth of experience and knowledge will be invaluable guiding the affairs of our government. I have complete faith in his ability to effectively coordinate the activities of various ministries, departments and agencies.

“Ensuring that our administration policies and programmes are executed efficiently for the benefits of our people.your appointment come at a critical time when our state faces  numerous challenges.However,am confident that with your expertise,dedication and unwavering commitments to service you will rise to the occasion and help us overcome these challenges i urge you to work tirelessly in the discharge of your duties keeping the interest of the people of Adamawa state at the forefront of your mind”

Fintiri further charged the new SSG  and other appointees of his administration to toe different line from their predecessors by embarking on team work ,collaboration and prioritize the welfare of Adamawa citizens which his administration hold in high esteem when he said 

“As you assume your new roles, I implore you to embrace teamwork and collaboration.Together with other members of the cabinet to be appointed soon, I expect you to foster a harmonious and inclusive working environment where ideas are freely shared and decisions are made in the best interest of our people. I implore you to seek innovative approaches to governance tapping into the vast potentials of our state and ensuring that every citizens has a voice and stake in our collective progress

“Furthermore, i urge you to prioritise the welfare of our citizens, especially, the vulnerable and marginalised groups in our society let your actions be guided by compassion and a genuine desire to improve the lives of our people. Work diligently to deliver on our administration promises and fulfil the aspirations of Adamawa residents.”

Response

Speaking at the event on behalf of all the appointees, Tukur the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government thanked Fintiri for finding them worthy of the appointments with the promise not to disappoint him and the people of the state.

He promised that they would work tirelessly with high level of commitment and dedication to live up to expectations and discharge their duties with high level of honestly, fairness, transparency, accountability and carry the people of the state and stakeholder’s along in the implementation of government policies and programmes in the overall interest of the state.

According to him, they will be loyal and operate an open door policy and serve the people of the state with everything at their disposal and called on the people of Adamawa to support the administration to enable it deliver more dividends of democracy to the doorstep of the electorates in line with their yearnings and aspirations.

Even as he called for the support and prayers of the people of the state to the governor and the administration to enable it consolidate on its achievements recorded in the last four years, assuring that the administration would surpass its first term achievements.

Most of the people interviewed at the inauguration thanked Governor Fintiri for bringing  a technocrat/ politician like Awwal Tukur who has proved his worth in different fields of human endeavour to man this sensitive office going by his unblemished records of service, sacrifice and commitments.

They described the appointment as a reward for “excellence, loyalty, hard work and perseverance” adding that,the appointment would add value to the administration and bring more development to the state.