Gombe state’s meteoric rise to national, global prominence under Inuwa




When the green white green flag of Nigeria rose jubilantly in ecstatic mood across the length and breadth of the country on October 1st, her independence day, and glasses were clinking in every State House in celebration, Gombe state was unabashedly louder in the mix because of its current beautiful standing as a brilliant shining star in performance and class, going by all social and economic indicators which have positioned the state as one of the best in Nigeria at the moment.

Yes, the state under the dynamic, inimitable and very technocratic administration of Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has become a benchmark of good governance, and the governor is fast becoming a pride of the present dispensation. Little wonder he was given a rosy positioning recently on the highly political podium of Chattam House in the United Kingdom to showcase some of the stellar performances of the Jewel in the Savannah. Inuwa Yahaya is the first governor of Gombe state to be so honoured. He simply lived up to the billing.

As Nigeria takes stock of its nationhood trajectory, it will not be out of place for the state too to look back and look through Its quantum leaps in recent years.

This is necessary to chart the course into the foreseeable future of the state, which is, changing the dynamics of the political economy of Northern Nigeria if not the whole of the nation.

Adjudged as the Best State in the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, chosen as the best investment destination, described as one of the most peaceful states, chosen as the best manager of human diversity, among many other bests, Gombe state has a lot to show, especially under the present administration.

While Nigeria celebrated 62, Gombe state is in its 26th anniversary as a state.

At its 26th anniversary it is very obvious that the ideals behind its creation have been largely defined and shaped by the power of leadership and vision over time.

The quality of leadership has been the propelling factor of its development strides.

At some time, the leadership was like a crescendo. At some other times it seemed as if the state was in a comatose and another time it revved up like an up swinging parabola.

To which of these political phases do we ascribe to the incumbent administration?

Since facts are sacrosanct, it is pertinent and absolutely a sure footed move to count the blessings of the state under Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and then cast a binocular into Gombe’s foreseeable future as outlined by the roadmaps of successes as succinctly elucidated by the plans, policies and program implementations under Inuwa Yahaya.

From its creation on the 1st of October, 1996 till date, the leadership of the state had changed in quick succession from the military era to the civilian and in particular those who have led the state in this 4th Republic and whose commendable efforts deserve some appreciation at this momentous occasion even in relative terms.

Group Captain Joseph Orji and Col. Mohammed Bawa (late) who though had a short stay in office were an important part of the history of Gombe state.

Gombe state also had the civilian leaders, namely, former Governors Abubakar Habu Hashidu (late), Mohammed Danjuma Goje and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and the current Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who, no matter the differences in the level of evaluation, contributed to the development of the state most meaningfully and very significantly too. Gombe no doubt seems to be moving in double strides under Inuwa Yahaya.

From the earliest days of the creation of the state often known as the Jewel in the Savannah, the conviction was very clear even to the founding fathers that Gombe was brimming with human and material resources and justifiably this position was at the heart of the spirited proposal to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha on the need to create the state. As a matter of fact, the viability of Gombe State at creation and as presented to the late head of state hastened its approval even though without any take-off grant like other states.

The rest is now a matter of historical revelation as the state has moved from one development trajectory to the other with particular attachment to the leadership at a given point in time, emphasizing the leadership question as a major factor in societal regeneration.

Gombe, the state capital, like most of the other towns around the state, has now grown as phenomenally big as a modern city with mind-blowing infrastructure and amenities as envisioned and we are certainly making history.

To some development experts, 26 years may not be such a long period in the life of a state or nation but what counts indeed is the level of achievements relative to expectations.

While it is appropriate to recognise the various roles played by the successive leaders and allied patriots, I cannot but pinpoint the new vistas being heralded and engineered by the current leadership in the state chiefly on the fundamental issue of real growth and development.

In particular, there has been a strategic inter-linkage between the then Goje’s administration and the current governor who was a key member of the Goje administration as Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning and indeed consequential to the reforms and development trajectories of that era now bolstered under his watch as the state chief executive.

However, we have also seen a marked shift and expansion of good governance in the state, a desirable shift which essentially has changed the attitude of how government business is conducted in deft appreciation of the people’s mandate for renewal and the zeal to develop the state. Governor Inuwa’s strategic leadership is confounding in the context of the array of accomplishments during his short stay in government.

A cursory assessment of Gombe at 26 will require an objective retrospective look at what Governor Inuwa Yahaya met on ground at the assumption of office and compared with the realities today in terms of basic levels of development not only in the state capital but also across the state and in major strategic areas and indices. He has actually made a world of difference in changing our collective narrative amidst socio-economic and political stability.

…Misilli is the director-general (press affairs) Government House Gombe

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