Gombe At 20: Dankwambo Keeping History Alive

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History has been an important tool in the measurement of development in any nation or state, it captured the olden days, the present and gives a direction for a veritable future. It’s certain, knowing where you were before, will presumably project the next attainable level. In a former Bauchi State, there was a most productive local government area called Gombe local government which houses the most vibrant politicians, the business tycoons and the most flourishing and record-breaking civil servants in the then Bauchi State.

On the 1st October 1996, Gombe State was created and carved out from Bauchi state by the military administration of General Sani Abacha amidst fanfares and memorable jubilations. Though, being a sovereign and a baby state, Gombe State was confronted with many challenges, especially lack of infrastructures, insufficient housings, little or no advanced and tertiary institutions and what have you, as the state was trying to fit in what has been a hitherto local government structures. In the last 20 years of its creation, the state was governed by two military administrators, and three civilian governors including the present Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo OON (Talban Gombe). Since then, there has been a sizeable and assiduous effort by the former administrators and the state chief executives to actualize the dream of building a modern Gombe State and breach the infrastructural gap, but there wasn’t a period that the state gets it right than the present regime of Talban Gombe’s purposeful stewardship and therefore, the 1st October, 2016 anniversary to marked the 20 years of statehood and the caliber of people that graced the occasion has demonstrated how important the event is in the history of Gombe State.

In his effort to keep history alive, His Excellency, the third Executive Governor of Gombe State and the fifth since its creation, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo OON (Talban Gombe) has planned and hold a successful and historic maiden anniversary to celebrate the 20th years of having a liberal and fast growing state in the whole northeastern region and second to Kano in terms viable economy and business hub in the whole north. Therefore, having celebrated Gombe State’s 20th anniversary, it’s equally pertinent to chronicle the infrastructural development, youths and women empowerment exploits and other key achievements of the Dankwambo’s administration that has by far surpassed those of any regime be it military or civilian in the history of Jewel of the Savannah.

Dankwambo, a renowned chartered accountant, and exemplary public servant has assumed the reins of the state power in Gombe State on May 29, 2011 when the state was 15 years of creation but unfortunately battle with comatose structures begging for an urgent intervention, youths women and youths have suffered abysmal neglect, roads were constructed to favor individuals and political acolytes, schools, and other government agency were run like one’s personal. Armed with a single zeal to unbundle the potentials of the state, within his first tenure Dankwambo has been able to construct strategic roads in both the urban and rural areas which have reduced the travel times, open up access to healthcare facilities and access to commodity markets by subsistence and commercial farmers. The grim of road infrastructure before his coming to power was pathetic, due to lack of road infrastructure, most of the harvested crops arrived late and had either perished or were not in very good condition leading to heavy losses for the farmers concerned and  movement of people and goods between the rural and urban areas was increasingly difficult as a journey that normally should last one or two hours stretched up to four or six hours or more and due to the numerous pot holes and bad spots on the roads, vehicles broke down regularly or got bogged down thus terminating the journey for passengers and vehicle crew alike.

The developmental kinetic Dankwambo believes that investment in education pays the best interest and therefore declared a state of emergency in the education sector and with the unveiling of an ambitious master plan to revamp the education sector within and outside the state, the needed fund were injected and the work began at a frenetic pace under the direct supervision of himself and his active commissioner of education. On this score and in order to reverse the parlous situation of the sector, model schools were built and equipped with first of the art facilities, new secondary schools were constructed and the old ones being refurbished, qualified teachers were equally employed. In the same vein, to reduce the stresses of going far away for higher learning, the state own university was restructured where additional courses were introduced and the college of medical and pharmaceutical science has been built and furnished by Dankwambo’s administration, collage of legal and Islamic studies, state polytechnic and state college of education were also established in Nafada, Bajoga and Billiri respectively.

But as American President Ronald Reagan famously intoned; ‘you aren’t seen anything yet’ apart from his road infrastructural interventions, Talban Gombe has also acted positively in the health sector where  rural clinic were constructed in all the nooks and crannies of the state and that has drastically reduced the rate of high infant and maternal mortality in the state, drugs were equally supplied as at when due, the Federal Medical Centre has been converted to University Teaching Hospital and the School of Nursing and Midwifery becoming College of Nursing and Midwifery with a befitting permanent in Dukku local government area.

Some sectors were intertwined in the sense that progress in one sector would ultimately benefit the other, thereby having the positive effect of slaying two birds with one stone. For instance in the case of security, women and youth empowerment, In the past Gombe state had witnessed the brutality and mayhem unleashed by the political thugs who were initially deployed by the former administration for political campaigns and intimidation of political opponents but later metamorphosed into a vicious gang of killers, rapists, arsonists and armed robbers terrorizing hapless citizens of the state and wreaking havoc and terror across the length and breadth of the state. Dankwambo’s creative way of tackling the scourge of the those criminal tendency was by embarking on a massive program of women and youth empowerment which meant that the women would be uplifted economically so that they can adequately cater for their children and wards thus checking criminal tendencies caused by poverty, hunger, and illiteracy while empowering the youths to enable them with an economic lifeline that would enable them to be gainfully employed thus making them less susceptible to criminal activities.

To cap it all, Dankwambo has constructed the Tankers Parking Bay, Gombe Major Car Park, Gombe International Conference Centre among others too hefty be captured here that has indeed been a decisive masterstroke as it led to economic revival and regeneration of a large segment of the population leading to an exponential rise in the material and developmental indices of Gombe State from its previous dismal state. Therefore, it can be said that Gombe State while celebrating its 20th anniversary, it is at the threshold of its political, social, economic and industrial zenith and that has been attributed to the giant strides of Talban Gombe.

– Kera, a Development Journalist writes from Abuja.


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