It’s somewhat surprising how people are venturing into the murky waters of politics in droves despite its obvious complexities and the fact that it has become widely believed that, politics is dirty. Rather than staying away, we keep on embracing it and hold its ideals tightly in our arms.
Is it because the system isn’t as bad as it’s being labeled and that it is the players that need to be called out? Of course, this may sound agreeable and somehow brass tacks given the fact that many people venture into politics more determined to either amass wealth or to use political powers to settle scores than go there to add the expected values to the society and the electorate.
In any case, no matter the reasons, we must as a society hold firmly the fact that, our actions and in actions will always give us out if we’ve got any ulterior motives. Our interest and sense of directions cannot be concealed for ever. And this must spur as many among us as are people of conscience to rethink our stakes in politics.
At the risk of being seen as picking on certain quarters, anyone who is familiar with Gombe politics will not but marvel at the way politics is being played among a particular set of people. Ours may not be an entirely perfect system, and indeed no system is, however the system can be good and thriving but for the way it is being played wrongly by wrong people with wrong notions.
And as it may be expected, sadly, this has in so many ways denied us the rights and privileges of enjoying the dividends of democracy to the fullest. Sadly still, it has instituted strong negative circumstances within our body polity which now outweigh its good attributes.
Recall that in 2003, the All Nigeria People Party, ANPP’s peace inclined administration of the late Abubakar Hashidu of Gombe state was ousted by the Danjuma Goje’s PDP and most of the beneficiaries of his administration conspicuously betrayed and abandoned him at the very moment he needed their support the most to secure another term in office.
His government was short-lived but it didn’t take long to be discovered that his was the most peaceful and tolerant administration. The Goje administration, which took over, was characterised by flagrant abuse of human rights, alleged attacks on perceived political opponents by the Kalare political mercenaries and lots more.
Elders in the state, who struggled and fought assiduously for the realisation of Gombe not only as a state but also an economically viable one like the late Abubakar Hashidu, late Dr Suleman Kumo, late Ibrahim Hassan and even our late father, the emir of Gombe, all suffered brazen humiliation in the hands of power that be during the Goje administration which spanned between 2003 and 2011.
In fact, prominent and renowned personalities like Alhaji Ya’u Deba alias YD had to leave the state on self exile to far away Kaduna for fear of the unknown.
Although development was glaring and undeniable in the state at the time, the regime was a nightmare and horrendous to the people of the state, who were tormented by political witch-hunt and the prevailing criminal activities of the daredevil thugs.
Today, many families who were directly or indirectly affected have their hearts shrouded with the gloomy testimonies about the gory days of the past.
In what seems to be an unexpected disentanglement from the shackles of the administrative excesses, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo heeded the people’s pressure to contest for the governorship election and threw his hat in the ring.
And by the undisputed mandate of the masses, who longed for a release from the shackles of bad government, Dankwambo overwhelmingly won in the 2011 governorship election and as many expected from him, he outrightly outlawed the activities of the Kalare thugs.
As one interested in human capital, Governor Dankwambo swiftly initiated a rehabilitation and reintegration programme for them wherein the repentant ones were provided with meaningful and legitimate engagements. The unrepentant ones were prosecuted.
Today, thousands of youths are gainfully employed and the rate of crime has drastically and astronomically reduced to its barest levels.
Under the Dankwambo administration, those on exile have returned home. Politics is now being played without bitterness and rancour.He 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.
Segments of state development have received the needed attention and intervention with education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, and human capital development topping the priority areas of the Dankwambo administration.
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 the Dankwambo administration in education are second to none in the history of the state.
In areas of road construction, timely provision of subsidised fertiliser, security, youth and women empowerment an ordinary piece of this nature will certainly not be enough to capture the unprecedented feats recorded by the immediate past administration in the state.
It is worthy that, the resurgence of any unhealthy trend from the past in the state will not augur well for us. Most of the exponents of the Goje regime have staged a comeback including those who have publicly acknowledged their atrocities to the people of the state during the horrendous regime and asked for our forgiveness.
Yes, it was just like the late Hashidu’s regime, opposition ganged up with the benefactors have succeeded in ousting the PDP government in the state and they have to wait for the ripple effect of their action in no distanced time.
While in some states, election has become a do or die affair, in Gombe state Dankwambo has so provided an enabling environment for all politicians that even after losing the election, the PDP’s candidate accepted defeat and promised not to challenge its outcome.
But because it lacks the required capacity to govern the state effectively, the nee administration has started campaigns of calumny against Dankwambo and his administration, the most recent of which was the accusation that, the outgoing administration was leaving a debt of N110 billion in the state. Forgetting so soon the fact that, Dankwambo still had the prerogative as a governor until May 29, the office of the then governor-elect had also frowned on the recent appointments by the administration.
It will do a great deal of good for the incoming regime to recall that Dankwambo was accountant general of the state and then the accountant general of the federation before becoming governor, and throughout his sojourn, he was never found wanting. There is certainly no amount of smear campaign and propaganda that can destroy his hard-earned reputation. If the incoming government does not have anything to offer to the state, why seek power so desperately in the first place?
For the sake of posterity, they should keep in mind that they sought power to govern and not to destroy.
Kabiru writes from Gombe.