The legendary Chinese leader, Chairman Mao Zedong posited that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and this is the same tale scenario that is playing out in Gombe State as the Governor–elect, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has taken major steps even before his official inauguration, to assert the fact that it is no longer going to be business as usual.
So far, the governor-elect has demonstrated that a brand new regime of efficiency, competence, transparency, accountability, good governance, prudent management of state resources, positive transformation of the lives of the people of the state and thorough going implementation of the next level agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in all its ramifications are the new direction for Gombe State.
Having emerged from a landslide victory which thoroughly decimated his opponents from the ruling PDP and other political parties, Inuwa Yahaya nonetheless, extended the olive branch to his political adversaries enjoining them to join hands with him in order to deliver crucial dividends of democracy to the long suffering people of Gombe State.
Magnanimity and inclusiveness come naturally to the Governor-elect whose humility, tolerant and accommodating personality belies a diligent, resourceful and result-oriented disposition that believes in a hands on approach to governance devoid of praise singing, sycophancy and cronyism to say the least.
The pragmatic and forward looking orientation of the Governor-elect becomes clearer to observers and the general public with his epoch-marking inauguration of a 37-member Transition Committee headed by a renowned technocrat , Malam Muhammad Kabir Ahmad as well as sectoral committees charged with crafting quick fixes and lasting solutions to challenges and obstacles militating against the growth, progress and development of key sectors of the economy, polity and Gombe State in general.
Indeed, it is arguably, the first time in the history of Nigeria that a Governor-elect has set up such elaborate and wide ranging sectoral committees that have been given a definite scope of work and a defined time frame to complete their various assignments.
And as a time tested leader who dwells more on competence, efficiency and exemplary performance than on narrow partisan and parochial considerations, the leadership and membership of the committees cut across all sectional affiliations of the Jewel state, once you have a track record of diligence, hardwork, integrity and resourcefulness, you can be part of this team.
In constituting the transition and sectoral committees, a plainspoken Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya has cautioned the members not to see their appointments as a direct step to cabinet, civil or public sector appointments but rather as a call to service for the greater good of the people, government and institutions of the state.
In line with his campaign promise of transforming the lives of the Gombe people for the better, a sure-footed Inuwa Yahaya signposted the sectors where the committees had a mandate to cover, interface, initiate and recommend lasting solutions to the challenges inherent therein.
These include: Agriculture and Livestock; Civil and Public Service, Communication Technology; Culture and Tourism; Education; Finance, Economic Development and Revenue Generation; Health; Lands and Survey; Information and Social Media; Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Extra- Ministerial Department and Other Organizations; Works; Legislature; Security; Urban and Rural Development; Water, Mineral Resources and Environment; Justice; Youths and Sports Development.
Indeed, the foresighted Governor-elect had from day one of his foray into the Gombe governorship contest, fashioned out a concise campaign manifesto detailing the challenges bedeviling crucial sectors of Gombe state as well as the strategies for revamping them thus raising the welfare and well-being of his beloved people to optimum levels.
For one, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya believes that the lack of transparency and accountability in the administration of the state directly results in the paucity of economic and infrastructural development of the state and to this end, he has vowed to operate a transparent, accountable and all-inclusive government in conformity with best practices.
In the realms of health and education, the Governor-elect has correctly identified dilapidated infrastructures in schools, hospitals, health and maternity centres, outdated school laboratories, obsolete medical equipment and chronic lack of drugs as well as textbook materials as the major challenges facing these two vital sectors which have led to a rising illiteracy rate as well as maternal and child mortality rates of distressing proportions.
In order to tackle these challenges, the incoming administration’s manifesto envisages a massive construction of health and educational infrastructure as well as the rehabilitation of existing ones with the supply of state of the art equipment, tools and drugs a vital component of his strategy to enthrone a literate, healthy and virile Gombe State.
In the arenas of housing and transportation; ICT development; agriculture and commerce, trade and industry, the incoming administration’s manifesto has encapsulated the inherent obstacles and goes further to enunciate strategies that will eradicate or drastically degrade them so that the electorate will have good value for the hopes and aspirations they have invested in their elected government.
For instance, in the housing and transportation sector, the Governor-elect’s thoughtful manifesto identifies the provision of low cost housing estates, housing mortgages and repositioning of the state-owned GOMBE-LINE with additional fleets as some of the solutions to the sector’s challenges.
In the crucial agricultural sector, the incoming administration envisages an increase in budgetary allocation to the sector, provision of increased access to land for commercial agriculture and the provision of modern equipment like tractors, harvesters, planters as some of the measures to increase agricultural productivity in the state.
In raising the level of commerce, trade and industry, the incoming administration has proposed incentives for the establishment of factories and industries in the state, promotion of Made in Gombe products and collaboration with the Federal Government and GENCOS to provide stable power supply throughout the state.
This will no doubt assist in raising the position of Gombe to the top 5 in the World Bank Ranking of Ease of Doing Business.
Indeed, this is a brief synopsis of the incoming administration’s program of ensuring that all sectors of Gombe state are raised and taken to the next level in terms of productivity, development, transparency, efficiency, growth,stability and progress as the Governor-elect has affirmed that he will leave no stone unturned in transforming the state as well as uplifting the welfare and well-being of its teeming citizens.
Undoubtedly, the Governor-elect has started on a sound note with numerous initiatives, programmes and policies even before his official inauguration.
– Uba lives in Gombe
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