Like the proverbial gold fish that has no hiding place, the professional, political and public service career of national and global leaders are always in the public domain. Their performance or the lack of it stands them out as the populace, public affairs analysts and social affairs commentators are wont to publicly and vocally assess their varied contributions to the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry at large.
The above musing aptly describes the dynamic and highly resourceful Executive Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, within the backdrop of a higher calling that is currently tolling its bell on him ahead of 2019. For the consummate technocrat, much has been written and chronicled on his superb infrastructural developmental exploit as well as his ground-breaking reforms in Gombe State.
Much of the publicity has been unsolicited as the unassuming governor believes in silent and unheeded achievements, with solid and indelible administrative reforms and infrastructural projects on ground to speak for themselves rather than engaging in undue media hype or sensational headlines that are the province of many a politician.
However, much as Dankwambo might want to avoid the public limelight, his tremendous performance at various levels of governance and administration has attracted unprecedented adulation and encomiums to the extent that no less an influential and prescient man of God, the famed Catholic prelate, Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka has predicted that the 2019 presidential mandate rests squarely on the broad shoulders of the highly respected Gombe State helmsman. The revered cleric did not mince words while prophesying that Dankwambo has the wherewithal to take Nigeria decisively and unerringly out of the woods of despair, despondency and decay.
Indeed, the Peoples Democratic Party leadership seems galvanized by Father Mbaka’s earth-shaking prediction affirming that Dankwambo is eminently qualified to assume the mantle of presidential leadership at any time and that his candidacy must come as a huge relief for legions of the party’s faithful as well as millions of ordinary Nigerians who are craving for a credible alternative to the APC government.
All the 11 local government areas of Gombe State have felt the impact of the visionary leadership of the governor. For instance, immediately after the 2015 elections, the first set of roads that were constructed Dankwambo were in the enclave of his defeated APC gubernatorial rival, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya. This was in consonance with the admirable mantra of politics without bitterness.
Indeed, the infrastructural revolution embarked upon by the indefatigable governor has been unprecedented throughout the nation, dwarfing those of Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom among others, on an income per capital ratio, given the fact that Gombe State receives a paltry N2 billion per annum as federal allocation compared to the over N15-N30 billion naira received annually by the aforementioned oil-producing states.
Tens of thousands of kilometers of urban and rural roads have been completed while a lot more are under construction. Hundreds of hospitals, maternity and health centres, primary, secondary and Arabic schools have been either constructed or rehabilitated with adequate supply of hospital equipment, drugs, desks, chairs and laboratory equipment respectively. In the agriculture sector, tremendous progress has been attained with fertilizer, seedlings, farm implements, tractors, harvesters, planters, sprayers and many more supplied or leased to agrarian farmers at highly subsidized rates to boost agricultural production in the Jewel of the Savannah.
Indeed, to catalogue the length, breadth and scope of the landmark administrative, infrastructural and developmental exploits of the governor is beyond the breadth of this treatise, but it is fair to surmise that the nation needs, as a matter of urgency, the leadership sagacity of Governor Dankwambo, as well as his depth of experience, vision, vigour and fortitude to pilot the ship of the Nigerian State to safer and calmer shores come 2019 and beyond.
–Sunusi Kabiru write from Jos