Gombe 2019: The tale of two black sheep, by KAMILU UMAR

In politics, there are some yardsticks to measure one’s chance of clinching a political office either through election or appointment.
Some of these attributes are one’s financial buoyancy, power of incumbency, political muscle, and godfatherism. But, keenness, readiness, and electorate’s judgement largely determine the conquering hero at the end of the day. In the current trend within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gombe state, there’s looming crisis and balkanization awaiting the party due to the overbearing power of godfatherism by the party’s self-imposed leader in the state, Senator Muhammed Danjuma Goje. It’s still fresh in the minds of those who witnessed Goje’s regime in Gombe which was characterized by political thuggery, favouritism, administrative excesses and political imposition.
Indeed, during his reign as governor, he played politics with bitterness as all his perceived political enemies were either threatened, got jailed or sent on exile in the neighbouring states of Bauchi, Kano and Kaduna. Equally, our traditional institutions were politicized while some respected emirs and district heads were dethroned and deposed. It’s undisputable fact that prior to his dictatorial government, we lived in peace and harmony and we didn’t know anything like political thuggery.
But all of a sudden, the state was ravaged by an alien ‘’Kalare Political Th ug Group’’ which maimed, killed, raped and robbed people of the state freely. It’s no hidden secret that Danjuma Goje has always thrived in conflict, controversy, turbulence, autocracy and diehard cult-like adherence to bitterness and rancour as tools for political domination and subjugation of opponents and adversaries alike. To rescue the situation and return the state to her sound position where values and premiums are placed in humanity and transparency is attached to governance with equity and fairness, we engaged in some go great guns prayers. And when our persistent prayers were answered in 2011, His Excellency, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo OON (Talban Gombe), against all mountains and hedges, jumped across to succeed Goje.
And as a cosmopolitan man and astute administrator with intimidating records of excellence, after the election, Dankwambo outlawed the political thuggery, and reversed all the ill policies to move the state forward. Yet, a tricky and quirky Goje immediately sought to teleguide and micromanage the state activities from far away Abuja, But Dankwambo, who didn’t buy into his arcane and retrogressive godfather style of politics, resisted all the moves in the best interest of the state and democracy.
In point of fact, prior to the 2015 general elections, Goje, who was frustrated and disgruntled at the failure of his political stratagems, jumped out of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) and ran into the APC with dinky of his political acolytes and cronies. They were part of the alleged looting of the coffers of the Gombe state government that led them go the whole hog in corruption battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It’s with the massive financial war chest, presumably the alleged looted of Gombe treasury, that he took over the machinery of the state APC with the seeming acquiescence of the APC national leadership and hoodwinking and hornswoggling the party to his selfish interest.
Till today, Gombe state APC, like its national body, was indeed composed of strange bedfellows who banded together out of desperate political expediency rather than any shared ideological disposition.
Interestingly, Goje’s godfatherism syndrome move to return in 2015 through his anointed candidate, Inuwa Yahaya, was rejected by the liberated people of the state. In a roll call of the array of sizeable gubernatorial hopefuls; Inuwa Yahaya, Barr. Abdullahi Umar, Khamisu Mailantarki, Bayero Nafada, Faruk Bamusa, Sarki Kwairanga, and Habu Mu’azu, Dasuki Jalo, among others, Goje is technically trying to impose a new comer and a new name in the politics of APC and Gombe state as his duck soup preferred and anointed candidate in the upcoming 2019 elections.
Indeed, the spasmodic and out of the blue appearance of the dyed in the wool crony of Danjuma Goje, Mohammed Jibrin Barde, is an augury and forewarning that Goje is still looking for ways to dip and swim in the Gombe state treasury to the detriment of the good people of the state. The duo, godfather and his godson, are birds of a feather as they have in common an inordinate lust for political power, influence, patronage, and devising means of siphoning public funds. If the duo thought the public aren’t in the know of how they’ve allegey connived and leased out the Gombe state properties in Lagos and Abuja to themselves at a giveaway and markdown price, we are just waiting for a time like this. And above all, Barde throughout his life, has not contributed anything in form of development to Gombe state. Even the Sun Trust Bank where he was the managing director doesn’t have any branch in Gombe not to talk of employing our children.
In fact, the future of Gombe state will not be allowed in the hand of someone whose biological history in the state cut short and abridge only to his father. And any stirring to dig more of his progenitors and descendants, one will end up beyond the horizon and far-flung in Ghana, what a chip off old block of barnstormer and gadabout trying to match with the sons of the indigenes! It’s just a matter of time, not minding the ill-gotten financial status, godfatherism, and arrogance, the road to Gombe state government house will only be guaranteed to son of the sons of the soil whose progeny is known and character isn’t questionable.
This unholy emergency and desperate political alliance would soon be disintegrated like a pack of cards and the two con artists and political flimflammers with similitude in character will face a humiliating defeat by the good people of Gombe state because the future of the state is non-negotiable and will not be compromised for selfish gain. The legacy Dankwambo will be leaving behind must be sustained and consolidated for the betterment of the people and sustenance of decent democracy. Umar writes from Gombe

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