Over time, the dearth of transforming leadership or leaders in Africa has been highlighted by many analysts as one of the banes of underdevelopment in the continent and specifically Nigeria; while this is true, I like to add that one of the reasons for poor leadership in this regard is because we do not discover outstanding leaders who have excelled in various fields and made monumental impacts with their gifts and have brought succour to the people to assign them leadership positions.
In the political arena of Gombe state, leadership has offered a glimpse of hope as past leaders in their own capacities have contributed foundationally based on the available resources which everyone would agree were at least not as scarce as we have it today.
In this regard, the contemporary demand of leadership is to have leaders defined in the context of creativity and ability to make things work with the scarce resources for the benefit of the people. Managerial prowess is a key ingredient of any leader who wants to govern the good people of Gombe state and effect changes that would entrench good governance in the state.
Having meticulously perused the achievements of Dr. Jamil Isyaku Gwamna (JIG), the Sardauna of Gombe, based on the various capacities he has and still occupying, it is without doubt that JIG is an intelligent and far-sighted leader that can give Gombe state good governance styled with sheer commitment, diligence, hard work, integrity and human capital investment.
When governance analysts say that leadership is a vehicle of change and hope-giving towards tapping available resources to turn around the fortunes of the people as well as improve their wellbeing and welfare, the Gwamna’s leadership prowess is what was captured. The truth is you cannot have a hidden leadership treasure in Dr. Gwamna and not want to feast on it to better the lots of the ordinary citizens of Gombe; hence only enemies of good governance will oppose a leader like Dr. Gwamna.
Those who have been following the leadership ingenuity so far displayed by JIG, have been enraptured in the fact that he is an indigene of Gombe state which gives a soothing and heartwarming feeling that there is leadership hope for a state with so much potentials that can be harnessed to give good lives to citizens of the state.
We know that there are challenges in Gombe state which any leader who becomes governor come 2023 will have to grapple with but it must be cleared that a 21st century leader must have the ability to make the most out of every situation.
JIG, being a 21st Century leader, is courageous and not afraid to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries to make things better. If given the chance to be the Chief Executive Officer of Gombe state come 2023, JIG will make the best leader because he knows how to get the most out of people, resources to harness their full potential to improve on the economy as well as the wellbeing of the state.
For instance, when Dr. Gwamna took over the mantle of leadership as the managing director and chief executive officer of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), in spite of what he met on the ground, he was able to do the miracle by transforming KEDCO within the last eight years to a force to reckon with in power distribution. This is not a casual feat but a definition of leadership that befits the 21st Century leader like JIG.
Within eight years in KEDCO, Dr. Gwamna was able to boost the company’s revenue from N500 million to between N4 and N4.5 billion monthly, increase staff strength to about 3, 000, built edifices, offices, bought over 200 operational vehicles, while injecting about 500 new transformers as well as other equipment worth billions of naira. He has also engineered very cordial relations with customers as well as given them refreshing experience by giving customers avenue to get their complaints addressed; making JIG a listening leader who will feel the pulse of governance from the people.
These, among other numerous achievements have placed KEDCO as a front line performing organisation that is, in spite the devastating impact of Covid-19, surviving and waxing stronger.
Having been able to boost the revenue for KEDCO, engage more workers and other purposeful drive to improve the wellbeing of his workers, this gives hope that if he is given the platform to lead Gombe state, he will boost the state’s revenue without putting burden on the people. Secondly, the massive investment in infrastructure in KEDCO shows that JIG will pay more attention on improving the foundation infrastructure in the state.
One of the most remarkable achievements of JIG is paying attention to youth and women empowerment. Dr. Gwamna has always been known for his sincerity in handling such empowerment by engaging youth and women in productive ventures to allow them earn living and become assets to their society. One of the major beneficiaries in this regard, is the youth of Gombe state.
JIG is one of the very few individuals in the state to have been engaging Gombe youth in meaningful jobs to earn money for themselves as well as sending them to various universities outside the country to have them educationally empowered. If he is able to make such impact as an individual in his capacity as Sardauna of Gombe, with the state’s resources, empowering youth and women as a means of fighting poverty would be undoubtedly given due priority. As a contemporary leader, your honesty and integrity must not be below the necessary standards.
One of the qualities, going well for Dr. Gwamna as a leader which unarguably puts him above other politicians vying for the top job in Gombe state, is his honesty and integrity. Close observers of JIG would often describe him as a person that’s as good as his words, commitments and promises. If only most leaders keep to their promises in Nigeria, we would have become the most cited example of a country that had made its mark in Africa and amongst the committee of nations.
In view of the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic on world economy that has resulted to dwindling revenues for states and the country, we will need a leader like Dr. Gwamna who will strategically deploy his wealth of experience to fast-track total economic recovery that would have positive impact on the lives and livelihood of the ordinary citizens of the state in line with the essence of governance.
With the level of poverty amongst citizens in the state which was further worsened by the pandemic, many rural dwellers are facing unprecedented hardship and this should be the moment of truth for many citizens who want functional governance to build on whatever achievements made by past administrations as well as address the governance gaps to herald a new era where the people take centre stage in driving the policies and programmes of government at all levels.
The proverbial golden fish that has no hiding place appears to have taken its deep meaning on Dr. Gwamna who holds a doctorate degree in Economic and an M.Sc in Business Economics and Finance from London Metropolitan University; a B.Sc in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. With his educational and over 30 years of experience, JIG has proven to be a leader with high ethical leadership standards which are needed to unlock new opportunities for the Jewel in the Savannah come 2023.
…Shawai writes via [email protected] yahoo.com