In political hegemony, two things describe leadership, success or failure of its harbingers. Proponents of the former are the silent few that believe leadership is only an avenue where one can avail himself to the services of his people to cardinally better their living conditions through the provision of good governance and purposeful stewardship. Th e latter that virtually eclipse today’s political space are vulture-like leaders who ventured into politics to simply acquire and accumulate wealth to the detriment and disservice of the gullible masses.

In essence, being in politics to change situations for the better could define the successful and accomplished political leaders and on the other hand, those that patronize the system to loot public treasury through various conduit, might end up not only as failures but total disappointment to their societies and families. In socio-political history, individuals, personalities and successful leaders have emerged auspiciously to take their people’s destiny in their own hands while resolutely steering their affairs to a level that has only enhanced the people’s welfare and societal wellbeing, leaving them in a better and more fortuitous position than before.

For instance, former United States President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a great leader and statesman who possessed the requisite vision, courage and dynamism to lift the American people from the great depression while also dealing a fatal blow to the axis forces of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperial Japan during the historic Second World War. Indeed, great leaders and visionary statesmen as well as courageous political avatars and seasoned technocrats who have what it takes to change the sociopolitical landscape for the better thus averting stagnation, decay and regression in the system have still been excelling.

In Nigeria, much of the blame for the general political, economic and social malaise and failures has been placed squarely on the doorstep of the visionless and incompetent leadership desiderata of those that hold sway in the scheme of things. Nevertheless, in every situation there are alternatives and exceptions. Thus, in Gombe State, the opposite scenario pleasantly applies as the incumbent Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has demonstrated a refreshing capacity for honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability, due process and purposeful leadership. Thus, right from the inception of his administration in 2011 to date, the astute governor has turned the state to a model city and distinguished himself from the political lie dormant and riff raff.

Before the Dankwambo administration, Gombe state was in shambles with virtually no or few dilapidated schools and administrative structures, crippled economy and the society largely unsecured while the people were living in confusion as regards the true essence of government, because they were left in the mercy of God. Worried by the prevailing and contending problems, the good sons and daughters of the state who have been dreaming for a new and better Gombe State, had at the nick of the expiration of the Danjuma Goje tenure decided to shop for a better candidate that can rescue the state and turn things around for the good of the people.

Though, there was an array of aspirants for the gubernatorial seat under different platforms, yet the ever determined group went in all the nooks and cranny in search of the better option and luckily for the entire people of the state and democracy itself, Dankwambo who was then the Accountant General of the Federation was discovered as a single individual that can take Gombe State out of its ugly status to greater heights. Swiftly, a clarion call was made under the auspices of ‘’Talba Dawo-Dawo’’ meaning ‘’Talba come back, come back’’.

It was after intense pressure and wide consultations that Dankwambo accepted the call and resigned his position as the AGF to pick the Peoples Democratic Party ticket. And being the people’s candidate, he overwhelmingly won the 2011 gubernatorial elections by a landslide defeating his opponent Abubakar Aliyu of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). It is said that, “the taste of the pudding is in the eating”.

After his first four years in power, Talban Gombe wonderfully transformed Gombe State into a model city envied by many of his contemporaries with state of the art infrastructure and alternative tertiary institutions, International Conference Centre, Petroleum Tankers Parking Bay, Mega Motor Pack, Hospitals, over 1000 kilometers of befitting roads, model primary schools in all the 11 local government areas, and even when some governors were owing backlog of civil servants’ salaries. Th e Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Gombe State recognized Dankwambo with the award of the ‘Best Civil Servants’ Friendly Governor’ for his eff orts at improving civil servants’ welfare and the prompt payment of salaries.

Dankwambo’s cogent and enviable records in the state has endeared him more to his followers and this could be the reason the unprecedented havoc wrecking Buhari’s Tsunami during the 2015 general election was busy sweeping his contemporaries in other states, especially in the north, but not Gombe state as the good people of the state were also busy and committed to renewing Talba’s contract by voting him to retain his office for a second term. Therefore, without mincing words, though he might prove tough and difficult to be convinced, yet it’s another time to call on Dankwambo to consider joining the presidential race come 2019.

Indeed, the nation needs strong, foresighted, competent, honest and enlightened leaders like Dankwambo who does not engage in discrimination or marginalization of any section of the state or country and does not base his actions or decisions on partisan, sectional, sectarian or linguistic considerations. To Dankwambo, it does not matter if a cat is white or black as far as it can catch mice, then it is the ideal pet (to borrow Chairman Mao’s famous aphorism). With the nation reeling as it were from economic, political, social and developmental woes, what is required at this critical period is a courageous, resolute, principled, dedicated and patriotic statesman that has passed the test of time and stands ready to take the nation’s destiny to the next level.

– Saleh writes from Kaduna