The Oasis Reporters
December 5, 2018
Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Governor of Gombe State in North East Nigeria, will slug it out with 15 other candidates for the senatorial seat of Gombe North, a state with an easy going visibility as the Jewel in the Savannah.
The tenure of Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo will lapse on May 29, 2019, having had a superlative two term tenure, piloting the affairs of the state.
The governor is expected to have an easy sail because in his own case, it is his own people that appealed to him to continue with his political career, but this time as a senator for the quality representation they believe he will give at Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.
Despite the Buhari tsunami gale that swept through the political landscape of northern Nigeria, Ibrahim Dankwambo remained steadfast and faithful as a People’s Democratic Party, PDP governor in the region. His Gombe State citizens saw the superlative performance in human, Infrastructural development and financial prudence he put into governance. They therefore resisted the Buhari wind of change.
Not wanting to lose the services of the symbol of development, the people beckoned on him to proceed to the Senate at the expiration of his final tenure as the state governor.
The All Progressive Congress is presenting a former senator, Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali to run against Dr. Dankwambo. Incidentally, ex Senator Alkali was defeated in the 2015 election by the PDP candidate and current senator, Bayero Nafada who won the primary election to emerge as governorship candidate of the PDP.
With the Dankwambo factor, and the Nafada added factor, Gombe North senatorial seat is a safe bet for the PDP.
Dankwambo and Saidu Alkali are the major contenders in the race, but Dankwambo has proven to be a far better performer than Alkali.
Alkali was a Senator for five years, 2010-2015.
Saidu Alkali only became Senator because the Gombe North Senator, Kawu Peto Dukku had died on April 2, 2010.
Alkali then emerged as the consensus candidate for the PDP, primarily because he originated from the Dukku Local Government Area, same place as Kawu Peto Dukku. This decision based on geography was criticized by some party members.
Then in the April 2011 federal elections, Alkali emerged the winner.
During that period, he contributed virtually nothing to the development of Gombe North. Consequently, he lost the reelection bid to Bayero Nafada in 2015.
Anger and resentment over his loss based on his lack of performance, pushed him to cross over to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
On the other hand, Dankwambo is a second term Governor and best on performance. He is also second to none in terms of developmental projects.
In a well circulated article to celebrate the Seven Superlative Years of Ibrahim Dankwambo’s administration written by Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna, Special Assistant (New Media) to HE Dankwambo, some of the achievements of the administration were listed.
Here are just a few of them:
The past 22 years since the creation of Gombe state by General Sani Abacha, the people have only known social peace, economic progress and visionary leadership under the able leadership of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who built the state in harmony through his personal charisma and leadership style in just 7years and 7 months, out of 22 years.
He did not behave like the typical Nigerian politician by taking advantage of the multiple language groups to cause disaffection among the people. Rather, he saw the differences in clans, dialects and demographics, not as basis to enthrone cronyism, but as spices for social harmony and political inclusion.
In the distribution of social amenities and government projects, the governor ensured equitable and fair coverage, thereby giving a sense of belonging to all segments of the Gombe population.
This made every indigene of Gombe state to see him as father, friend, brother and partner.
Dankwambo’s leadership style is hinged on inclusivity. In one of his first appointments, Dankwambo appointed the son of one of his political rivals into the state executive council. That singular gesture was a foretaste of politics without bitterness that remains the hallmark of his leadership style.
As team builder and servant leader, the foundation of what Gombe has become was laid in that fashion of teamwork.
At inception of his administration seven years ago, Dankwambo selected patriotic Gombe professionals into various committees for the purposes of identifying needs, assessing financial implications and recommending effective strategies and action plans.
As a consummate Accountant, the parsimony and frugality of the governor’s style helped the administration to achieve much, with less. And he would rather starve than owe workers their salaries and wages, which never suffered delay in the state.
Education sector: Within three years in office, the pass rate of the state in national examinations rose from a mere two percent to 76 percent, rising to 92 percent in his second term in office.
He also constructed befitting new Central Model Schools at Gombe, Dukku, Funakaye, Akko, Billiri, Kaltungo and Deba Local Government Areas, with over 502 blocks of class rooms in both primary and secondary schools across the state.
51 Laboratories were built by him to improve the standard of science and technology education in the state, alongside the construction of new secondary and primary schools at Gabukka, Herwagana, Abubakar Umar Memorial and Kurjale, among others like Tsangaya Primary Schools at Nafada, Kwami and WuroLadde with facilities for the almajiri.
He equally made payment of students’ scholarship easy by introducing E-Payment of scholarship allowances as well as computerizing the operations of the Scholarship Board. Dankwambo’s determination to give the best in higher education is immeasurable.
The healthcare sector also received a huge boost.
The urban maternity at Idi was upgraded to a full-fledged Women and Children’s Specialist Hospital as well as installing X-ray equipment to specialist hospitals in Gombe, the General Hospital at Kaltungo and Bajoga, with a dialysis centre at the Specialist Hospital, Gombe. And in a bid to increase manpower and build capacity for the healthcare sector, Governor Dankwambo constructed the College of Nursing and Midwifery at Dukku, as well as setting up of a snake bite treatment centre at Kaltungo.
That is in addition to the quarterly disbursement of 8 Million naira for the purchase of anti-snake venom to the snakebite centre, coupled with free geriatric medical care.
In the area of youth development and economic empowerment, Dr. Dankwambo made a huge impact on the lives of young people in Gombe State. One of such great initiatives is the rehabilitation and reformation of streets urchins, otherwise known as Yankelere.
The youth were empowered with skills and in a space of two years, the results were evident as those who took advantage of the skill acquisition programme became a source of envy to others. The scope began to expand as young people willingly turned up to register for the programme.
The construction of a Tricycle Assembly line in the state capital for the assemblage of Completely Knocked down (CKD) parts of Rickshaw’s (Keke NAPEP) was a masterstroke and pointer that Gombe State can easily emerge as an industrial hub in the North East. Added to this, is a Technology Incubation Centre for small and medium scale enterprises and skill acquisition centers.
Agriculture as the main driver of economic diversification and stabilization received a huge boost. With this, Governor Dankwambo showed his midas touch in scaling up the value chain of agro-products. Establishing agro-processing industries and increasing the penetration of mechanized farming, became like icing on the cake.
All the positive initiatives of Governor Dankwambo are just too numerous to mention and will take up a lot of space.
Suffice it to say that the people of Gombe North have decided to keep Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in leadership, at least at the senatorial level. Therefore a win by him is a foregone conclusion because it is the voters who have clamoured for him.