Fellow citizens of Adamawa State.
On Sunday 25th-October, 2020, I had cause to address you on the unfortunate situation in the State. I brought to your notice the attempt by hoodlums to usher us into anarchy by breaking into our warehouses to loot away our emergency reserves and the partly delivered CACOVID support to the State. This monstrous activity continued with a lethal effect, when the hoodlums, done with the warehouses extended their bounds to other public institutions and private properties.
As a responsible Government, we declared a total curfew in the State; this decision was painfully taken in the interest of peace and speedy return to normalcy. I said “painfully taken” because as your Governor, I am sensitive to the effect of a curfew on our livelihood, considering the various regimes of lockdown we have had to contend with at the pick of the ravage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State. Be that as it may, with the right counsel from our security experts, it was settled that, it remains the most convenient option to contain the hoodlums. As charging as the mobsters would look, they represent a tiny fraction of our society and we have a duty not only to protect the lives and properties of decent citizens, but to deploy every arsenal at our disposal to bring every miscreant face-to-face with the wrath of the law. As a Government, we take full responsibility for all the hardship attendant upon by the curfew era on decent and hardworking citizens. The other two categories of people I greatly owe apologies to, are the vulnerable especially at the 21 LGAs who would have been the beneficiaries of the looted goods but were denied because of the activities of the hoodlums; and the owners of the private warehouses, shops and properties looted. I truly feel your pain.
Whatever charity one confers on the description of the perpetrators of this heinous act, they can’t be anything short of CRIMINALS. There is no situation that can justifiably warrant such brigandage as being witnessed. It is loaded with criminal venom and cruel motive for chaos and plunder. We must not give in to this, for we know the real intent. Once the warehouses are emptied, the next destination as already manifest in the last two days, are private businesses and individuals’ homes.
I received briefings from relevant stakeholders on the level of havoc rendered in the last two days. With shock, we received the report of attacks on the Customs Office, Road Safety, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NEMA office, COVID-19 Isolation Centre at Kofare, North East Commodity Association (NECAS) Kofare, public and private warehouses in Demsawo, Nyako Quarters, opposite airport, behind Zenith bank, bakin kogi, Mayanka, Upper Benue, AADP, LEA, Yola South, Red Cross opposite FMC, Aliyu Mustafa College; Dr. Belel’s workshop, Private farms, etc. we are still taking stock of extend of loot and damages to properties of government and private entities. The loss is materially colossal but more enormous is the loss of moral values driven by greedy criminal urge to steal. We condemn in strong terms the outright demonstration of brigandage as barbaric, criminal and a recipe for anarchy.
As a responsible Government, we cannot fold our hands, while criminals are trying to take over our society. We are working round the clock to ensure that peace is returned to our society. Working with the security agencies, we have activated the necessary instrument for a return to normalcy and arrest of the looters. So far, our efforts is yielding result, relative peace is returning as no new attack has been reported in the last 24hrs. arrest have been made so far, 155 suspects are in police custody, 9 Vehicles and 12 tricycles loaded with the loot have also been impounded.
On this note, I assure every resident of the State of our continuous commitment to the protection of their lives and properties. Consequently, I am giving a 12 hour ultimatum (6:00 pm – 6:00 am) to the hoodlums to return whatever they looted from public and private warehouses and homes to the nearest Police Station and traditional rulers house (from the ward to the district level), whichever is nearest to them. This ultimatum will expire at 6:00 am on Wednesday, 28th – October, 2020, after which I will sign an Executive Order for a house-to-house search to commence by 7:00 am of the same day. Part of the provision of the order is a sanction that will attract withdrawal of C of O and if necessary, demolition of every house that habours any of the Stolen properties. Law abiding citizens should cooperate with the Security agencies to ensure this is enforced to the later.
Fellow Adamawa citizens, since the advent of this unfortunate incidence, I have raced my mind on where have we gone wrong as an administration since we took over more than a year ago? As an individual, I have deeply searched my conscience. Admittedly there is general poverty in the land but more importantly is the fact that we are passing through a phase of an alarming youth budge with a growing unemployment rate that is alarming. As a government, we saw this coming, right from inception, we knew no government can take all the army of the youths into its employment. Even if it can, in this age of enterprise creativity and entrepreneurship, it is the dumbest decision to take. We therefore created the Ministry of Entrepreneurship to build the capacity of our investments and manage them successfully. We are training many youths who are willing to be off the street and creating enabling environment for SMEs to thrive. We have advertised for employment of 2000 teachers for secondary schools in the State. I urge qualified candidates to take advantage and collect employment forms free from any zonal office close to them.
We have been doing our best in the development of the State, especially with the Adamawa peace project. This indeed is a major setback. With your support we shall overcome it.
Fellow Citizens of Adamawa State, today, 27th October, is my birthday. The best gift you can give me on a day like this is a commitment to making Adamawa peaceful. To my friends and friends of the State, the best gift you can give me on a day like this, is to donate everything you have to the peace and development of Adamawa State.
Thank you and God bless Adamawa State.