Erin Cummings once said in his popular quotes, ‘’At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realise that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.’’
I find this perfectly fitting in the power play in Gombe state under the stewardship of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, who took over from Governor lbrahim Hassan Dankwambo and inaugurated on the 29 May 29, 2019, as the fourth executive governor of the state.
Inuwa Yahaya was a cabinet member in the erstwhile regime of Governor Danjuma Goje and was the commissioner for finance of the administration for more than seven years.
He subsequently resigned from the cabinet and contests the 2011 Peoples Democratic Party’s primary election but as the most unpopular candidate, he couldn’t get a single vote. His predecessor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, emerged the party’s flag bearer out of the array of contenders. Dankwambo overwhelmingly won at the general election, defeating his main challenger, Abubakar Aliyu of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), having score 596,481 against 91,781.
After the primaries, and in a seemings desperation, Inuwa Yahaya threatened to challenge the outcome of the PDP’s primaries in court, a decision he later rescinded for obvious reasons.
In his inordinate quest for power by hook or crook, fair or foul to likely settle personal grudges he decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC), where he clinched the party’s ticket for the 2015 governorship election. As unpopular as he was, in spite of the sweeping tide of the Buhari Tsunami, he woefully lost the election to the then incumbent, Dankwambo, who beat by a landslide.
In fact, driven by the same “I must rule syndrome”, he challenged the outcome of the election at the Election Tribunal, Court of Appeal. And Supreme Court and in all the legal stages he exploited, he was defeated. Isn’t he an unpopular politician?
Equally, in 2019, Inuwa re-contested the APC’s governorship primary election. Despite the fact that there were some serious contenders, who were popular and have contributed immensely to the development of the state than him, but as God may have it, Inuwa was lucky to maneuver his way to get the party’s ticket and slugged it out with the PDP’s candidate, Sen. Bayero Nafada.
But there were serious grievances and disagreement which emanated from the PDP’s primary elections. This prompted other strong contenders to allege that the process, which produced Bayero Nafada as the party’s flag bearer, wasn’t fair. These included Jamilu Gwamna, Abdulkadir Hammasaleh, and later Bala Tinka, who was at a time of his defection, the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council in the state.
It was largely this factor and other internal wrangling in the PDP that created a clear course for Yahaya and his party, the APC, to clear all the elective positions in the 2019 general elections, leaving PDP with only four out of the 22 state House of Assembly members.
Inuwa became proud, thinking that, it was his popularity that gave him victory, but it was as the result of many circumstantial factors.
Now, he’s finally the governor of Gombe state But unfortunately, he couldn’t wait to be sworn in before he started exposing his ulterior motives and administrative ineptitude to the people of the state.
The first dumb thing he did was, as the governor-elect, he constituted a committee, mandating it to investigate the Dankwambo administration. However, he had either forgotten or he didn’t know that even as a governor-elect, he wasn’t a constituted authority let alone having the power to set up a committee. Consequently, the his illegal committee had had no legal authority whatsoever to be allowed access to vital government’s documents.
Apparently, even at that, one can finally reach the inevitable conclusion that, Gombe state has been handed over to a political cum administrative novice, who who knows little or nothing about the workings of government or governance.
His second gaffe and political boo-boo was how the same committee, which had in their report acknowledged their inability to have access to relevant information, reported back to Mr Governor-in-waiting that, the Dankwambo administration will be leaving behind an outrageous debt of N110 billion. But what he failef to tell their sounding boards was, who owed the state, when, and how?
Governor sir, we aren’t such swallowing wholes!
May be due to lack of tangible blueprint and anything to offer to the good people of the state, his inaugural speech was disastrous, babbling, and mindboggling. Indeed, while those who had graced the occasion were anxiously waiting to hear what will move the state forward, he dropped the first bombshell when he said: all appointments, promotion, land and contracts awarded by the outgone administration of Gombe state from March 10, 2019, are hereby suspended.
It sounded dictatorial, arbitrary, undemocratic, and an aberration to the Nigerian constitution that gave every sitting governor the power to execute his executive obligations and functions without hindrance; and Dankwambo was still the governor of the state.
That has reminded many of us the gory and horrible days of the military dictatorship and authoritarianism.
Let me throw this question to you sir, was Dankwambo not the governor on the date you’ve mentioned or were those affected Cameroonians and not eligible to be employed in Gombe?
If you can’t offer us jobs, why then suspend those who were gainfully and legitimately employed? This is ridiculous and anarchical!
As if that’s enough, when other serious governors are busy proving fertiliser and have begun construction of roads and other things, Inuwa, addressing people in the government house while hosting the Emir of Gombe, Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, who paid him a Sallah homage, publicly accused the Dankwambo administration of spending N4.9 billion. But he could not tell us that, Dankwambo has pocketed the money.
It was as if he did not know that Dankwambo as the governor had prerogative to make payments including salaries, contracts, and other financial obligations before May 29.
Sir, let me ask you again, do you expect Dankwambo create a vacuum by waiting for you? Had his tenure elapsed before spending the money?
The most worrisome now is, after being in the cabinet that sat down during the Goje administration to sign into law, the law that allows outgoing governors to dispose of government’s properties including vehicles whereby most of those who served in the regime went away freely with different properties, Inuwa is now challenging Dankwambo of inappropriate disposition of properties.
Even those that have paid 30 per cent of the total amount to take the loan of some empowerment equipment including tricycles and bakery equipment, you asked them through a committee to return same to the government as if there wasn’t a contractual agreement.
It’s pertinent to know that, no extant law of the state was violated by the former administration but retrieving those properties is like flouting the same law you’ve enjoyed and the committee which should have ordinarily written a recommendation to you for subsequent action, is now harassing and intimidating people with gun trotting security operatives as if they have power to prosecute.
In fact, this is tantamount to the infringement of their right and capable of plunging the state into anarchy.
Abubakar writes from Gombe.