By Junaidu Usman
For anybody in Gombe state or close to the state governor, the article ‘Gombe: Between Autocracy And Democracy’ on page 42 of Daily Trust of Friday, July 7, 2017, is as far from the truth as it can be. The writer’s struggle to create animosity between the governor and the people of the state is apparent in all of his paragraphs.
It is rather unfair on Governor Dankwambo for anybody to think that his call for order on politicians pasting sallah posters on government building was to as a slap to democratic setting of the state. This is so untrue and it goes to show that the writer is not conversant with the true political situation in Gombe state.
Its shocking that someone who claim to be from Gombe state and wants good governance is seeing nothing wrong with pasting of political posters on public buildings and structures. Its really shocking.
Since inception, Talban Gombe has made it clear that he is only interested in building an economic empire in the state and not a political empire. Making Gombe a better place for the good people of the state has always been his number one priority.
The writer of that article, Mohammed Sale Gombe’s main reason for writing the piece was to campaign for guber aspirant, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga (Sarkin Fulanin Gombe) and he could have done so without writing falsehood against the incumbent.
It baffles me that most newspaper propagandist actually believe the best way to campaign for an aspirant is campaign of calumny on the incumbent. I had expected the writer to channel his energy in telling the good people of Gombe state why Kwairanga is an obvious choice for governor instead of this show of partisan falsehood.
The writer criticised Governor Dankwambo’s good efforts of closing Ramadan Tafsirs in the state this year, claiming that the governor use to travel for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) during such festive periods, which is not true. Governor Dankwambo has made it a habit to stay with his people during such festivities unlike some governors in the past who used to travel with an entourage of hundreds of people for Lesser Hajj.
It may interest the writer to know that, forr the past 20 years, long before he became a governor, Dankwambo habitually sponsors Ramadan tafsirs across the state and goes to all of them for closing ceremony and donates cash to the mosques.
Its malicious that the writer choosed to pick on the closing of tafsir visit by the governor and donation of cash to the mosque. This is a clear effort to malign the ulamas in the state. It is no surprise that there was no mention of civil servant welfare in the piece as it is an established fact that the civil servants in Gombe state are well taken care of and get their salaries as at when due. The only governor in Nigeria to have done that consistently over six years.
The writer also condemned Dankwambo’s multibillion naira Conference Centre which clearly showshis ignorance of the need to create jonmbs for Gombe people as well as make structures that will serve as a source of income to the government of the state.
It was in Dankwambo’s vision of creating jobs for his people and many sources of income for the people that he decided to complete and make a five-star from a hotel structure that was abandoned by Goje’s administration which sat on the money provided by former governor, Hashidu.
The writer talked about improving educatio, is there a better dividends of democracy for education than what Talban Gombe did. He decongested all the primary and secondary schools in the state by building almost five hundreds blocks of classrooms to cut the number of a 100 or more pupils in a single classroom by his predessesors and further employed over 7000 graduates as teachers.
He is still the only governor in Nigeria to have built five standard tertiary institutions in a state; College of Education, Billiri; Gombe state polytectnic, Bajoga; School of Nursing, Dukku; College for Islamic and Legal Studies, Nafada and Institute of Journalism in the state capital.
On the issue of water supply, it is on record that this administration signed the Gombe state water reticulation and extension projects that covers 22 villages in all the local government areas in Gombe state which replaces hundreds of thousands of ground pipes that have been there for decades and were rusted.
Even with the expensive cost of treating water at the Dadinkowa Dam,Talban Gombe,does not task the good people of Gombe to pay for water supply in the state. One of the the very few states that does that in Nigeria.
The writer shouted about wrestling power away from the PDP in Gombe state, forgetting that the people of Gombe have absolute trust in Governor Dankwambo even the APC Only/Sak-led train couldn’t break the love in 2015. I find it amusing that the writer thinks that people of Gombe state will kickout Dankwambo after he has done so much to make the state a better place for all. The reason for the move of some not-so-smart politicians from the PDP to the APC is a well known thing – the fear of probe.
Sale maliciously concluded his piece with a talk of probe on Governor Dankwambo after his tenure for lack of proper accounting of Gombe funds. This is a man who has served two governors and three presidents as their accountant-general, a man who established an accounting due-process office in Gombe state,all the states of the federation a man who is highly regarded as the best accounting executive in the country and has featured in three international financial magazines as a thorough-bred professional including the international acclaimed Financial Times. Sale sure knows nothing about proper account of public funds.
About five years ago, Governor Dankwambo choosed to mend all broken political relationships because he felt if he has to succeed in taking Gombe to the next level, he will need the support and assistance of some notable leaders of the state no matter their party affiliations, religion, tribe and whether or not they supported his gubernatorial bid in 2011.
As a governor, Dankwambo only thinks of the people not politics. His progressive initiatives, infrastructural development and social and human headway clearly shows that the people are his concern now.
In principle, it is to be said that Dankwambo has a unique style of leadership, which the people of Gombe State have had an opportunity of seeing. He understands that governance is about the people and it is the people who will decide whether or not to give him more responsibility in 2019. That is the guiding principle of a perspicacious and sagacious Dankwambo.
And to clearly show that he is in government to serve the people and he doesn’t focus on anything other than serving the state. Unlike many governors in Nigeria, Governor Dankwambo is not trying to wrestle the credit of public structures away from his predessesors, he has completed every abandoned structure by the previous governments.
Even before he became a governor, Dankwmabo had gained profound knowledge of Gombe state, its people, diversities, human resources, forest and mineral resources which became handy in determining his priorities and equitable distribution of scarce resources among the constituent units and people which is the primary purpose of his government.
He understands that, the office of the governor particularly in a democracy, is not a place to learn and getting to know leaders of the people and other stakeholders. Any governor in such a situation will rule either on impulse or get carried away by those persons or groups who make the loudest noise or agitation without merit thereby sacrificing justice.
Undeniably, studying this factor has made his administration almost on a perfect governing scale. A man of such unique governing prowess and mastery will definitely not worry about a power but rather delivering on his mandate to give the people justifiably reasons to queue up at the ballot box on election day in 2019 to give him more responsibility.
Besides, Dankwmabo is a man who strongly believes it is Allah that gives power and taketh it when He so wishes. It’s no surprise that the governor is just concentrating on delivering good governance and has left future for Allah Almighty – the ultimate Decider to decide.
As we continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy from this outstanding administrator in my dear state, we will continue to pray to Allah to give him more foresight and perspicacity to make Gombe great. And come 2019, May Allah decide for us what’s best for Gombe, it’s people and Dankwambo himself.
Junaidu Usman Abubakar is Special Assistant Press to Governor Dankwambo