In his write up with the title: When is it good to be poor? published in major newspapers on May, 20, 2013, the former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Tonnie Iredia, a nonpartisan professional, said, Let us take a look at Gombe state which is no doubt poor.
“It is the second from the bottom in the table of revenue allocation in Nigeria. Yet, it reportedly has the highest record of delivery in terms of water supply and road infrastructure in the country. In recognition of such giant strides, an award was conferred on the state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, by the Nigerian Society of Engineers at its 45th National Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting in Ilorin”.
According to him, ‘’Gombe is indeed twice lucky. The first aspect is that it has as its governor, a chartered accountant, whose passion is to harness the state’s meager resources for optimal benefit to his people. As a result, Dankwambo cuts the state’s coat according to its cloth. He does not under the guise of development procure huge loans that the next three generations of his successors cannot repay. The second is that Gombe has the advantage of not being one of our wealthy states. Oh yes, paucity of funds plays a big role in dissuading profligacy. It is more difficult, for instance, for a leader in a poor state to join the league of those who renovate government guest houses at a cost higher than what is needed to build a new university. Is it not good to be poor some times?”
It is also worty of note that during the commissioning of projects recently in Gombe state, Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said, ‘’His Excellency Ibrahim Dankwambo has performed wonderfully in virtually all sectors of the economy and what I saw is really commendable’’.
In the same week, there was another applaud by the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ikweremadu, who was also in the state to commission various projects executed by the Dankwambo administration.
In fact, renowned people of reputable records have either written or commended Dankwambo’s unprecedented achievements in Gombe state.
But the most rare accomplishment was how he was able to exercise his responsibilities as the Accountant General of Gombe state and subsequently that of the federation without being involved in any act of financial mismanagement; and despite the vulnerability of such offices, he succeeded in leaving honourably and reputably.
If Dankwambo can do that, as the Accountant General of the Federation what more of doing same as the state governor?
Yes, he has done it again.
In the history of Gombe state, particularly since the return of democracy in 1999, he was the only governor that stayed in the midst of his people till the last day he left office. Anywhere he went, people were hailing and cheering him such that at a point, most of them could not hold the tears slipping from their cheeks.
And for the projects executed, he was not even able to ceremonially commission most of them because they are many and that could take a long time. But the most important thing is that, the projects have direct bearing on the life of all the people of the state and they tangible and phenomenal for everyone to see.
It’s a fact even his dark horses could never deny that, besides being the most performing governor in the state, he also succeeded in building a peaceful atmosphere for everyone.
His humility, patience and self-possession are the uncontestable attributes that endear him more to his people.
We’re living witnesses that some prominent sons and daughters were sent out of the state by the forces that be before the coming of Dankwambo but virtually all of them have come back home. The political thuggery was successfully decimated to a bearable limit as no society is free from crime.
Under Dankwambo, thousands of youths are gainfully employed and the rate of crime has drastically reduced to the bearest level.
He has restored the prestige of the traditional institution and civil service while people have been liberated to delve into the affairs of government to pursue what is best for the state.
Today, apart from the thousands kilometers of standard road constructed by his administration in all the nooks and crannies of the state, the state-of-the-art model primary and secondary schools established across the eleven local government areas of the state, University Teaching Hospital, College of Education Billiri, University of Science and Technology Kumo, State Polytechnic Bajoga, College for Arabic and Islamic Studies Nafada and many more landmark achievements of his administration in education are second to none in the history of the state.
Indeed, Talban Gombe has written his name with a golden pen.
It was Michael Bassey Johnson who said in his famous quotes, “Those who pray for your downfall are concentrating negative thoughts towards you, without taking cognisance of the slippery ground in which they are standing, which could lead to their downfall.”
The glaring efforts by the power that be in the state to destroy the hard-earned reputation of Dankwambo and his living legacies are jokes of the season because the two are indestructible no matter how hard one had tried.
In fact, elections are over, winners have emerged and have taken the mantle of leadership. What people are expecting now is fulfillment of the promises made to them during the campaigns not the prevailing unguided utterances and unwarranted excuses that aren’t beneficial to the people of Gombe state.
Though it wasn’t the popularity of the respective candidates that gave them the victory but destiny and it could be in any form and many consequences.
In some states, elections were taken as a do-or-die affair, but in Gombe state, Dankwambo provided an enabling environment for all politicians and even after losing election, he and other PDP candidates took it as an act of God.
Instead of governing the state effectively as promised, those in the seat of power are either due to the possible lack executable blueprint or glaring inefficiency busy blamestorming, accusing and victimising perceived political opponents as if we are at the heat of political campaigns. What an unfortunate development!
From the false alarm of N110bn, laughable and myopic accusation of spending N4.9bn, to the draconian committee of recovering government properties, one will finally conclude that this administration will soon go down swinging and hitting the bottom.
Don’t forget, destructive agents get ruined even before accomplishing their mission.
Hayatu writes from Gombe.