The Oasis Reporters
November 25, 2023
When the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) made a seemingly innocuous but seen as uncharitable statement concerning the ways towards reaching some difficult areas in Gombe State in early 2019 before the general elections, the government of then Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo seemed miffed and someone obviously close to the government fired a response which was received by The Oasis Reporters.
We not only published it, we marked it for fact checking a few years after.
“INEC’s Uncharitable Statement about Reaching Difficult Areas In Gombe State
The statement ascribed to the honorable 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 honorable Resident Electoral Commissioner.
Indeed, in times past, villages located in Yamaltu-Deba and Shongom Local Government Areas of the Gombe state were difficult to access, but not impossible. This is not strictly so anymore.
For further reading:
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.
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.
Till date, construction of roads remains an ongoing project, three months to the end of this administration.
Therefore if the honorable 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 honorable 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.
Written by Usaini Musa Abubakar, from Gombe”.
What caught our eyes was the matter of access in Yamaltu Deba that needed a bridge as mentioned, which construction Dr Dankwambo had commenced.
Dankwambo lost his election bid to the Senate in 2019. Although he won it in 2023 and now represents Gombe North in the red Chamber.
Senator Bayero Nafada equally lost in his gubernatorial campaign in 2019. The All Progressive Congress (APC) won it.
With Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya as the APC governor of Gombe state, speculations were rife as to what would become the fate of the yet to be completed bridge in Yamaltu Deba local government area.
So we sent checkers to the bridge a few days ago in this month of November 2023, slightly more than four years after.
Our findings are that Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state duly completed the access bridge in Yamaltu Deba lga that former Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo started.
Kudos to the spirit of continuity.
By Greg Abolo.