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INEC’s Uncharitable Statement about Reaching Difficult Areas In Gombe State

The Oasis Reporters

February 19, 2019









Mammoth crowd gathers as Gombe State governor flags off 51 roads construction project in Gombe State.

The statement ascribed to the honourable Resident Electoral Commissioner in Gombe State, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to hire donkeys and bicycles to distribute election materials in hard-to-reach areas of Gombe State in an interview on Friday, as published by Daily Trust has come to my notice as a well meaning citizen of the Jewel In The Savannah.




As much as we admit that some areas may pose a few challenges to access as it is in practically every state of the Federation as a result of developmental difficulties, we still say that the statement is uncharitable, however much we view it as an attempt at humor during a light hearted press interview granted by the honourable Resident Electoral Commissioner.



Indeed, in times past, villages located in Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom Local Government Areas of Gombe state were difficult to access, but not impossible. This is not strictly so anymore. Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom local governments are in Gombe Central Senatorial district. The current senator representing the district is Senator Danjuma Goje of the All Progressive Congress, APC, who incidentally was Gombe State governor from 2003-2011. He unfortunately did not deem it fit to give his home district the touch it deserves, leaving the areas exactly as he met them.



Gombe, Yamaltu-Deba road constructed by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo.


The story of Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom local government areas experienced a never before seen turn around with the coming of Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in 2011, when he succeeded Senator Danjuma Goje as governor.



Almost immediately on assumption of office, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo laid out an impressive Infrastructural blueprint for the development of the entire state, and to his eternal credit, constructed the first ever highway into the hitherto inaccessible Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom local government areas of the state.




Yes indeed, the road that leads to Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area from Gombe was constructed by the Dankwambo administration.



In addition to the road, a 6 span bridge across the river was also constructed to access Kuri. Hitherto, people found it difficult to access their homes and villages. The construction of the bridge connected over a thousand communities, and one could then access Balanga and Shongom from there.




It is remarkable that the people of Kuri put forward a request for an access bridge to former governor Danjuma Goje, and he was said to have told them to wait until their son becomes governor for them to get the bridge. This is in his own Central Senatorial district.



But Dankwambo came in after Goje’s tenure, to construct the bridge making transportation a lot easier in the local government.



The almost completed Zambuk- Lubo bridge, initiated by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo.



Till date, construction of roads remain an ongoing project, three months to the end of this administration.



Therefore if the honourable Resident Electoral Commissioner is talking about difficult to reach areas, they may be short feeder roads which are also in the Gombe State PDP master plan to put every village or hamlet on the entire statewide road network that would certainly be sustained and consolidated by the PDP administration for 100 percent development cannot be achieved in one fell swoop, due to financial, time and construction constraints.



Senator Bayero Nafada is the PDP gubernatorial candidate for Gombe State. A transition from Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo to Bayero Nafada is certain to ensure the continuity of the inner feeder roads network.



The Donkey story analogy made by the highly respected honourable Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, certainly served our good people in Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom local government areas in the distant past, but the motorization road revolution started by Governor Dankwambo, is bound to improve and get better with a seamless succession plan, for the good of Gombe State.




Finally, it must be borne in mind that elections have always been held successfully in Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom local governments in the past, since 1999.



We hereby urge the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to concentrate more on the job at hand for the delivery of a hitch free election devoid of rescheduling after a long three and half years preparation, rather than cracking humorous jokes at Press interviews. The time calls for utmost seriousness.

Written by Usaini Musa Abubakar, from Gombe.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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