By Ben Ngwakwe
The Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has clocked two years as the Executive Governor of the state in May 29, 2021 as the fourth Governor to run the affairs of the state by God’s providence when democracy was ushered in 1999 in the country while Gombe State was created in 1996.
Gombe State since its creation have had four elected Civilian Executive Governors namely Alhaji Abubakar Habu Hashidu, Alhaji Mohammed Danjuma Goje who is now the current senator, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and the current Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya but of all the past Governors, Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje said the current has performed better than them within these two- years considering the visible infrastructural Developments recorded so far.
Also, note that political pundits in Gombe State strongly believed that Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje who served the state contributed immensely in installing Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as the Governor of the state before the frosty relationship under the Plaform of People’s Democratic Party.
Arguably, some people in the state also strongly held the notion that Senator Goje also helped to install the current Governor , Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya under All Progressive Congress which could be either right or wrong depending from the angle of interpreting the political events in Gombe State.
Also, Political thinkers in Gombe State believe that Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje is a political colossus that have served the state as a two- time Governor of the state and he is a “nonsense” political gradiator that made him to ” stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone”, according to Suzy Kassem.
For Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje to come out publicly to pay glowing tributes to Governor Inuwa Yahaya for two years in office as a performing Governor is not wonderful but eminently justifiable considering the massive infrastructural developments recorded within two years of his stewardship in the state.
True to the words of Senator Goje, but we can conclude that Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya is not an “accidental Governor” who came on board without agenda and plans of actions but recircling himself as Governor with no purposeful direction for his Government as witnessed by some Governors in other States.
For Sen. Danjuma Goje who is a model administrator, Political guru, strategist, a transformer, modernist to Commend Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s achievements and his performances as remarkable went along way to justify the mandate given to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya by the good of people was not wasteful and purposeful for a dedicated, committed and focussed administrator.
It will known that the former Governor , Sen. Muhammad Danjuma Goje is not known for hiding his feelings when he notices something usually not right particularly to Gombe State he contributed greatly in building it which challenged incoming Governments to work harder.
Seeing the manginitude of works done, Send.Goje didn’t hesitate to say his views “describing Governor Yahaya stewardship in the last two years in office as remarkable”.
The Senator made the commendations when he led members of the senate committee on the review of the 1999 constitution ( North East Zone) on a courtesy visit to Governor Inuwa Yahaya at the Government House Gombe.
Senator said,”this Governor is our Governor, he is doing very very well, he has picked up from where we left and is even doing better than we did and therefore he deserves all our support. So I want to use this opportunity to call on the people of Gombe State particularly the political elite to rally round the Governor and give him the moral boost that he needs so as to do better”.
Equally added that “he, alongside senators Saidu Alkali and BK Amos as well as other members of the National Assembly are very much satisfied with the performance of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, urging him to continue with the good work”.
The transformation and the way and manner , Governor Yahaya has distributed developments cutting all the eleven Local Government Areas with road construction and rehabilitation of old ones, transformation in education sector through declaring a state of emergency, Agriculture through revolutionizing the sector, health with the Covid-19 pandemic which the pragmatic Governor systematically handled and continues to handle to save the lives was very commendable.
No areas of Governance under Yahaya led administration for the past two years had not received a new rebirth,renovation, transformation, construction of brand new projects and above all, prompt payment of salaries and allowances as when due despite the meagre resources available to the Government.
Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje also went further to confessed that saying it was the first time he paid a courtesy visit to the Gombe Government House since he left office in 2011.
“Before I talk on what brought us here to Gombe, I think it’s important to let the public know that since I left this government house ten years ago, this is my first courtesy call” “For obvious reasons, in the last dispensation, I was never here and I never came to the government house, of course there’s no need for me to be here then”,
With these comments,from distinguished Senator was an indication that the last administration was a” colossus lost”, which Governor Yahaya came on board to correct some of the notable narratives in Governance through embarking on people’s oriented projects and programmes that have direct impact to the people of Gombe State such as addressing issues of women’s empowerment, gender inequality by appointing female politicians more in his cabinet, Local Government Areas as Chairman and councilors encouraging them to contest various positions of their choices, agriculture, health, security, welfare of civil servants, pensions by paying some of the arrears inherited from the previous Government to pensioners and other challenges he met on ground on assumption of office. But the negative narratives have changed under “Inuwa Gidan Gidan”, and “No shaking Governor” as he was popularly known.
For instance, education in particular was in a sorry state at inception of the administration, a development which necessitated a pragmatic reevaluation and renewal through basic reforms that have since birthed a modern system with huge enrolment in the primary and secondary education cadre and we are getting good results especially from the external examinations as a major concern to the governor on assumption of office. This is the culmination of the declaration of emergency in education in the state at the outset. It was a holistic reform which took into account the urgent need to build modern and conducive infrastructure in the various new classrooms and boarding schools across the state as well as instituting a system that brought in only qualified teachers. The achievements in the education sector won’t be complete without mentioning the major task of taking the hundreds of thousands of Almajiris out of the streets and put in formal education setting just as the girl child education, a key issue in the reform process remains a bold achievement of the Yahaya administration in the last two years.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya also believes a good network of roads was critical to the economic revival and development of the state. Being an agrarian state in spite of the ongoing ambitious work to industrialize the state, we have come to see a new Gombe where the various parts are now well linked up via good roads, starting from the initial Network 11-100 Project, (100 kilometers of road in each of the 11 local governments) to the mega revolution in the construction of over 150 other strategic roads across the state till date.
From health to agriculture, the modernizing mentality of the state government to create an enabling environment and institute clear headed policies in tune with the required development goals have also informed key policies and programmes in these two major sectors.
Now, health, terribly neglected by the previous administration, is enjoying a close watch with better funding, facilties and programmes for the good health of our people. Apart from the state- of- the- art- Specialist Hospital in the state, the new lease of life in the critical sector is experienced in the various cottage hospitals, general hospitals, strengthened State Primary Health care programme to the revitalization of at least one PHC in each of the 114 wards and of course the introduction of the State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency which has improved access to healthcare in the state, the Governor deserves accolade for its responsible response to the Covid-19 pandemic which ensured we had one of the least incidences and fatality throughout the country.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Gombe State’s economy hence the state has benefited from the government’s proactive management through generous funding, contrary to the past, as we see in procurement and distribution of subsidized fertilizers to farmers, built research centres and adopted modern techniques to increase yields and productivity in both animal production and fisheries.
Again, Rural Development and challenge of Environmental degradation have been well addressed through provision of diversified infrastructure and the hugely successful tree planting project to reclaim and protect the devastated northern region of the state respectively. Also another area of concern is the provision of water, a major issue in the state before the Governor came on board.
Perhaps two other areas of the far-reaching reforms which represent major achievements of the Inuwa Yahaya administration are the civil service and economic reform. While the former has ensured an invigorated and high performing bureaucracy, the latter has led to a repositioning of the economy to properly tackle the challenge of underdevelopment in the state.
The high point of the economic reform was the launch of the 10-Year- Development Plan in February as a long term vision for growth and sustainable development.
Known as the Gombe State Development Plan (GSDP) 2021-2030), the plan, first in the country, identifies five development pillars namely: Economic Development, Infrastructure Development, Social Development, Sustainable Development and Governance, Administrative and Institutional Development. The plan, essentially, has a wide range of underlying activities that border on the greater good of the people as government performs its duties within some basic institutional framework detailing the policy thrust, policy target and policy objectives and overall betterment of the people.
As Governor Inuwa Yahaya noted during the launch, the plan has “inclusive strategies to empower our people’, adding that “the decision to develop the plan is a clear indication of our determination to have lasting legacies for succeeding generations of our people”. Pointedly, the gamut of the plan aligns with the UN’s SDGs to tackle the challenge of poverty and underdevelopment.
Despite the paucity of funds in the state, the governor, through prudent and judicious management of resources, has lived up to the billing as a leader of substance, being a dedicated and focused leader who knows his onions and why he ran for office of governor, he has agenda of Governance at hands and went progressively to execute it.
He institutionalized the idea of partnership, bringing development to the state by forging partnership with various government agencies and institutions locally and internationally. Indeed it’s due to his acknowledged prudence; leadership character and credibility that the various development partners have continued to come to the state and the results are so far remarkable.
As Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya hits mid- term and enters the second phase of his 4-year tenure, it is gratifying that he has kept his promises to the good people of Gombe State even though ” the greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people would think”.
No doubt, that Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje seeing some of these remarkable and model achievements in various sectors of the state’s economy,made his position known by acknowledging and even promised to mobilize members of the National Assembly to support Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya led administration because of these strides achievements made within the last two years in office.