The Oasis Reporters
October 1, 2019
By Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna
Created by the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha in 1998 alongside Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Zamfara and Ekiti States respectively, Gombe State witnessed neither social peace, economic progress nor visionary leadership in the past twenty-one years, until the coming of Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as the third executive governor of Gombe state in 2011. He left office in 2019.
Dankwambo built Gombe state in harmony through his personal charisma and leadership style. He did not behave like the typical Nigerian politician by taking undue advantage of the multiple linguistic groups to cause disaffection among the people. Rather, he saw the differences in clans, dialects and demographics, not as a basis for the enthronement of cronyism, but as spices for social harmony and political inclusion.
In the distribution of social amenities and government projects, Dankwambo ensured equitable and fair coverage, thereby giving a sense of belonging to all segments of the Gombe State population.
And when he was the Governor of Gombe State, he continued to perform the duties and responsibilities of his office and it therefore did not take long before every indigene of Gombe State began to see him as a father, friend, brother and partner.
Most importantly, Dankwambo’s leadership style, which has been severally described as inclusive and empathic, turned out as elixir to the combative and winner-takes-it-all politics.
The first steps Dr. Dankwambo took immediately he came into office in 2011 was to stretch out the hand of fellowship to political rivals.
One of the legacies that will never be forgotten was the appointment of a son of his political rival as his adviser. That singular gesture was a foretaste of politics without bitterness that remains the hallmark of his leadership style.
He showed that the mandate he was given was not a personal property, but held in trust for the people. He has been performing his official functions as team builder and servant leader through out the 8 years of his stay as the third executive governor of Gombe State.
Foundation of what Gombe has become was laid in that fashion of teamwork. At inception of Dankwambo administration in 2011, he selected patriotic Gombe professionals into various committees for the purposes of identifying needs, assessing financial implications and recommending effective strategies and action plans.
It was in the overall planning and project conception that Dankwambo’s expertise as a consummate accountant came into great effect. Realising that Gombe State was not in the big league of states with fat receipts from the Federal Accounts Allocations, the master planner and administrator devised a foolproof method of blocking all loopholes for fund wastage.
The parsimony and frugality of his leadership style helped Gombe to achieve much with less. The former governor set the priorities of his administration and ensured that funds are tied to them appropriately.
….to be continued in (II)……
Written by Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna, former SSA (New Media to ex-Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo
Kuna writes from Gombe.