Gombe PDP and lessons from Ekiti, by Musa A. Abubakar

It’s hard to forget that, the Northeast region of the country bowed to the sweeping powers of the Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 general elections except two states, Gombe and Taraba.
In Gombe state, the people at the helm of affairs objected to the bandwagon effect of a new coalition that promised virtually every single thing that a voter can be tricked by, and the political conglomerate came with threatening tsunami.
Time eventually vindicated the people of Gombe state; their political awareness appears to now prove to be an instructive political lesson for others.
While the above take can be dismissed as partisan, it is instructive for the students of contemporary politics to query the mystery behind the decision of Gombe people to hold tight to a political party that was maligned in the manner in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was.
How did the PDP weather the APC tsunami? How were they able to resist the inducements and other extra curricula of the Nigerian politics? What got them so attached? The puzzle isn’t quite difficult to figure.
Gombe state simply has a governor who is cut from a different fabric.
And a consistently excellent performer who has made it a duty to provide the best possible leadership to the people who voted him.
The facts aren’t far fetched, the people of Gombe state found in Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Talban Gombe) a leadership that is unequaled.
And much to their insistence on the continuity of a culture of excellence, the fate of the PDP glowed in a resounding victory in the 2015 general elections.
And going by the Gombe equation, one can almost conclude that the APC got a decisive win over the incumbents in places where leadership was not so great.
Of course, this is not to discount the various irregularities that continue to haunt the integrity of the 2015 general elections.
Far from it, this piece is only making a case for the importance of a well-earned popularity and credibility of a politician, especially an elective office seeker.
By the token of today’s awareness and political education, the popularity of an aspirant is perhaps the biggest political capital.
It is a fact that any political party seeking prominence in subsequent elections must come to terms with, a party plays with this reality at its own peril.
The merit of my position is vividly explained in the recent Ekiti state governorship election.
While the incumbent governor Peter Ayodele Fayose and his party, the PDP, appear to be is much liked by the people, the candidate could not make it through simply because his (Eleka’s) popularity is no match for the opposition candidate, Kayode Fayemi.
The electorate today is more inclined to be moved by an individual’s political capital than any other thing.
This is the lesson that eluded PDP in Ekiti and more specifically the outgoing Governor Fayose.
Coming back to the Jewel in the Savanah.
Come 2019, the battle for the number one office will witness a fierce contest.
The gentleman Dankwambo must know that while he must do his best to ensure a credible and acceptable person succeeds him, the battle will be between the candidates of his party and that of the oppositions APC who ganged up to wrest power by all means possible.
Knowing this, I expect his Excellency Governor Dankwambo to begin a thorough assessment of those with significant political and social capitals to make it easy ride for the PDP.
Indeed, those who have been involved in contributing to the growth and development of the state and have enviable pedigree.
Such an individual would not be difficult to spot anyway.
Today, the PDP looks up to Gombe as a strong and standing monument of hope and resurrection.
This fire of hope must be fanned by a great pick.
Without being partisan, an objective assessment of the Gombe political landscape shows that a name is already ringing a bell.
Jamilu Isiyaku Gwamna (Sardaunan Gombe) has a rich track record of excellence across the public and the private sectors.
Gwamna who now serves as the Chief Executive of one of Nigerias biggest power distribution companies, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, KEDCO has facilitated people-oriented interventions in which Gombe citizens have benefited greatly and during his rein as the Managing Director of the Gombe State Water Corporation, he has successfully changed the face of the organization and employed hundreds of youths in its service.
He is reputed to have contributed immensely not only to the development of the Nigerian energy sector, but to the socioeconomic progress of Gombe.
Like the incumbent Dankwambo, Dr Jamil has a deep love for humanity and a desire to engender growth and development in Gombe state.
As one who has track record of being part of modern changes in Gombe state including infrastructural development, certainly the profile of other interested individuals in the 2019 governorship elections pale into insignificance compared to that of the Sardaunan Gombe.
But, rather than be a liability and causes of political misfortune to the Governor and the PDP as witnessed in Ekiti, Dankwambo and the leadership of the People Democratic Party must begin to ensure that such aspirants as Jamilu Gwamna enjoy the safety and goodwill to the extents possible by law and the party’s constitution if winning elections will be the priority of the PDP in the 2019 elections.
Dankwambo, having distinguished himself as a the only best performing Governor despite being in the opposition, he must ensure that his ascendancy to the presidency is complemented by a successor who is an asset and not a liability and Jamilu Isiyaku Gwamna has what it takes to bring good fortunes for the PDP and the state at large.
If the Gombe branch of the PDP heeds to the genuine advices and subscribe to a candidate endeared by the majority, the Ekiti political gamble will be averted.
Abubakar writes from Gombe

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