Nigerians are quick to look at what their elected officials have done or what they have been doing in office. They expect their leaders to start hitting the ground running, no matter how early. That is why they usually give a casual assessment of what their leaders have been doing in their first hundred days in office. Have they, in any way, positively impacted on the lives of those who voted them in them in office?
In Gombe State where Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is doing his second term, nothing fresh has been put on the ground yet, except the annual rituals of procurements, sales and distribution of fertilizers to farmers.
This year, distributions of 12,000 metric tonnes of fertilizers (NPK 15:15:15 and Urea) and 35.5 metric tonnes of improved varieties of maize (Samaz 18 and Samaz 14) to farmers were flagged-off in the state for this year’s wet farming season.
Another noticeable activity was the inspection of the ultramodern Gombe Mega Motor Park and Trailers’ Parking Bay. Though both projects were initiated in the first term, the avowed determination to commission and put both projects into use before 2015 runs out gives it a new angle.
Some reports indicated that the state government has entered into some memoranda of understanding with some development partners regarding immediate commencement of construction of the convocation ground of Federal University, Kashere, FUK, as requested by the first ever pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council of the institution, Otunba Gbenga Daniels when he paid a courtesy visit on the state governor.
In the same vein, the high expectations of the people in terms of formation of cabinet have not been met yet. So far, only the acting Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in the person of Mr. James Pisagih, has been appointed. Additionally, caretaker committee chairmen were appointed for the eleven local government councils, following the dissolution of the elected ones which have served out their tenure.
But the issue of delay in appointments has neither come as a surprise nor has it been a barrier to driving the state’s economy, bearing in mind that in his first tenure, the governor spent about eleven months in office before appointing commissioners and subsequently aides. He made do with inherited SSG, personal and private secretary, PPS which he still maintains.
Speculations are rife that he is taking his time because the action and inaction of many of some of his aides almost jeopardised his second term bid. It was learnt that many of them either worked against him or sat on the fence because they thought he would not survive the odds against him by the ‘APC/Change Sak Fever’.
Some thought that Governor Dankwambo is waiting to announce his cabinet and some other appointees a part of the activities to mark his one hundred days in office. That has not happened. A few others are of the impression that he is marking time, pending the decision of the tribunal on the petition filed against his victory at the April 11, 2015 polls by the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Whatever the reasons might be, the worrying issue now is the widely held views that most second term governors hardly initiate anything fresh to the table. Adamu Saleh, a civil servant under the Federal Government expects the Gombe state governor to complete his first term projects, most especially the education, agriculture and health sub-sectors instead of embarking on new ones.
He rates the governor performance as very high and impressive over the last four years, believing that by concentrating on the completion of those projects, Dankwambo would have made his mark as an achiever even without embarking new projects.
“If you look at the governors who have served for eight years in office since the present democratic dispensation, their second term in office is more often than not used for the completion of the projects they started during their first four years”, he said.
The present economic downturn of the country and the fact that some of the ongoing projects have not been paid for in full as revealed during inspection of the Mega Motor Park and Trailers’ Parking Bay under-construction kind of gives bite to Saleh’s view.
Yet, the governor himself is still talking about embarking on some more lofty projects like establishing state University of Science and Technology, providing more health facilities, constructing more roads and many more.
A builder who simply identified himself as Oludare adjudges the first one hundred days as not being too spectacular in the state but believes that the governor is capable of taking people by surprise when he gets straight down to business.
He said, “It will be unfair and harsh to say he has failed so far because though he started a bit slowly during the first tenure, a lot of tongues that wagged against him then rolled back to sing his praise as time progressed. So I’ll say let’s just keep our fingers crossed”.
Abubakar Adamu Modibbo, an APC strongman in Gombe State on the contrary rates the governor poorly on the first one hundred days in office, accusing him of incompetence and running a one-man government. He said “In Gombe State where we have a re-elected a governor as he claimed running a government without a cabinet is bringing serious ill to the state.
“It is not a surprise because he spent almost over a year of his first tenure without a cabinet. It shows confusion and lack of preparedness for the responsibility and it is unfortunate. It is a shame if Governor Dankwambo suffered any form of betrayal by his aides during the immediate past election, and that tell you something is wrong somewhere. But it is not an excuse to keep the people waiting while he continues to do a one man show.
“After all, the law does not bar him from getting people from the nook and cranny of Gombe state to come and help him to work for the betterment of the state”, he said.
Okechukwu Collins, a salesman is indifferent about the whole thing and unperturbed over the 100 days in office hype. This stems from his confidence in the government of the day. Although he agreed that one hundred days could give an inkling into what to expect in the remaining days, but he insisted that it is too short a time to judge the performance of someone who still has well over three years ahead.
“Look, this man has just spent only one hundred days out of four solid years. Do you know what will happen in the remaining three years, eight months and twenty days he still has left? Dankwambo has done much and I think he still has a lot to offer. I will continue to think so till maybe if the situation remains the same after the next one and half to two years”, he said.
While still x-raying the past three months and ten days of Governor Dankwambo’s stewardship, Williams Edache said the period was too short judge what the governor fairly. He acknowledged the hardship in the state but quickly added that it was not peculiar to the state. He therefore called residents of Gombe State and Nigerians generally to look at the broader picture and support President Buhari’s crusade against corruption, even as he advised that it should start from 1999.
“That way, more money will be recovered, more people will be humbled, more cleansing will be done and above all, the anti-corruption crusade will be more justified.
“But the President should not stop with tracking our stolen money; he should create a structure will protect the system from future looters. If that is all he is able to do in throughout his four years, I think Nigeria and Nigerians will be better for it.
“Besides, I wish to have Mr. President adopt Professor Jega’s initiative by setting a time frame with randomly selected judges per sitting for special trial of those indicted of economic crime in order. This will make for speed, confidence in government’s commitment, transparency and sustainable crusade’ he added.
But by-and-large, having spent his first one hundred days doing a few new things and making some promises, a lot of people feel the period of grace is over. All they now wish for is that the Governor should cut down on the frequent travels, sit down and start proving himself.
From the records, Governor Dankwambo’s promises are as good as delivered in as much as they are in the overriding interest of the generality of the people. But the financial state of the country, coupled with poor internally generated revenue from the state might become a cog in the wheel of progress.

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