Jamilu Gwamna: The Sardauna of our era




It was the former American President Abraham Lincoln who said in one of his famous quotes, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

In Nigeria and even in the western nations, whenever the name Sardauna is mentioned, what strikes the mind is the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto. Sardauna was clearly one of the most celebrated, trustworthy, and incorruptible pro-independence politicians whose legacy is virtually second to none in the history of the nation’s politics. His actual name is Ahmadu Bello while Sardauna is his traditional title which is one of the major titles given mostly to only the royal kinfolks and distinguished personalities. 

Today, Saurdana’s name is synonymous to purposeful governance and sincere leadership. He has successfully written his name in gold in Nigeria’s sands of history and whenever and wherever his name is mentioned, what comes up is a deluge of accolades and praises. In fact, if anyone desires to see where untainted and unpolluted bequest resides, mention the contributions of the late Sardauna to the development of the North and Nigeria as a whole.

It is as though the spirit is in the title. More than five decades after the demise of Ahmadu Bello, here comes another northerner who bears the same title of Sardauna and exhibiting in full measure many of the attributes the late Ahmadu Bello, especially in human capital development and socio-economic interventions especially to the less privileged and the downtrodden.

Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna is the Sardaunan Gombe. A proficient corporate magnate and political maestro with a full throttle of philanthropic energy, Dr. Gwamna demonstrates high sense of leadership and concern for the development of his home state of Gombe and its people, especially the Gombe citizens and those he crosses part with in the course of his work and political sojourn. 

Of course, genuine concern, straightforwardness, resilience are some of the attributes that keep Gwamna soaring and accomplishing great feats amidst his contemporaries. These qualities endear him so much, not only to Gombe people, but to all those who are opportune to know Dr Gwamna or relate with him at any scale of relationship. 

That is why it was not in any way surprising to those who know what qualities Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna possesses. His track record and unblemished antecedents when he was turbaned as the Sardaunan Gombe left no one in doubt that Gwamna is eminently worthy. It was a square peg in a square hole. The title is only for those who excellently contribute to the development of humanity, and demonstrate unmatched qualities that are worthy of emulation.

Jamilu Gwamna has a startling and enviable academic record obtained both here in Nigeria and overseas. He holds B.Sc. in Accounting, M.Sc. in Business Economics and Finance and PhD. in Economics. Dr Gwamna’s career and business engagements started from the Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry in Abeokuta, and then Kaduna Aluminum Company where he rose to the position of group chief accountant. As a consummate achiever, Gwamna set up his own private business, Amstrade Ventures Limited, dealing in importation and sales of heavy-duty earth moving equipment. Presently, the Sardaunan Gombe Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) and he is a visible brain behind the successes recorded by the company and the development of the power sector in Nigeria.

Sardauna’s sojourn into the murky waters of politics dates back to 1999 when the late Governor Abubakar Hashidu appointed him as the Executive Chairman of Gombe Water Board. And as expected of Gwamna, he successfully changed the face of the board and employed capable sons and daughters of the state. Endeared to the people of the state for his astuteness, Dr. Jamilu was called unanimously by the progressive citizens of the state to contest the governorship election of Gombe state on the platform of the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) in 2007 where he gave it a commendable outing though unsuccessful.

Gwamna tried the same feat in 2019 but his manipulated loss in the PDP primaries caused the party and the then government to lose the entire elections in the state as many firmly, and reasonably so, believed that it was only Jamilu Gwamna who could have led the party to success. Like the late Sardaunan Sokoto, Jamilu Gwamna Sardaunan Gombe has provided job opportunities to thousands of youths in the state surpassingh any other person. He enrolled less privileged sons and daughters of the state in many schools here and abroad and provided them scholarships without any media hype.

Recently, he took ten secondary school leavers and enrolled them into various universities at far away Morocco even as he has another 30 students studying at Yamusa Science Academy, Kebbi. Interestingly, Sardauna hardly comments on his human interventions and rarely opens up to the public about his numerous achievements. That’s what makes him a silent achiever.

Gwamna is a rare gem and the kind of humane personality a society needs for rapid development and progress. Because many tried a number of attempts and did not quit until they got there, it is on course that we never get tired of calling Gwamna for the position of leadership until our dream is actualised. Though, it’s not yet another time for politics but we must keep the spirits high. Sardauna Gwamna has done with his hard earned money what successive governments have failed to do. We are certain that when given position of leadership, he will do more. I am compelled to pen another quote from Abraham Lincoln, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

Like Lincoln, like Sardaunan Gombe, he will one day be the Governor of Gombe state.

Dr. Yusuf writes from Kano

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