After his re-election and swearing-in for his second tenure, Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo renews fresh social contract with the people of the state, writes OHONBA VINCENT, our Gombe State Correspondent
Over the last four years, going by popular observation, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s administration in Gombe State was given a pat on the back in terms of performance considering the lean resource accruable to the state from the federation accounts. But that is now in the past. The second tenure of the governor must now face new challenges.
Many had thought that a governor who had achieved that much should have an easy ride during his second tenure bid campaign but it was not so for Dankwabo. Instead, he would have failed woefully if not for the last minute effort, he would have lost the electoral battle. He defeated his opponent by 80,000 votes.
Expectations are very high in the state that the governor would perform, perhaps, better than he did in the last four years. For instance, Ahmadu Mohammed, a businessman and politician said, “Dankwambo in the process of campaigning for his second term transformed from the technocrat he was in the first term, to being a politician indeed.
“So I expect that he would have formed his team and should be able to announce his cabinet in good time. This is unlike his first tenure when he was pardoned for spending one whole year in office before appointing commissioners and then most of the special advisers, special assistances and personal assistances much, much later.
“What I mean is that he should name his commissioners within the shortest time possible. He should also appoint advisers and assistances quickly, not at the tail end of his administration because that is the only way he can reward us for our supports. We cannot do anything to him but we can pray for him”, he said.
A non-governmental organisation worker who identified himself as Ubale Dankauye looked at issues from the political dimension. His concern is how to resuscitate the national spread of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, generally and uphold its tenacious grip in Gombe state in particular.
“Well, we all saw what happened to PDP during the last election. It was mostly as a result of mock or inexistent internal democracy. And here in Gombe, most of the candidates that failed to win the state and national assemblies’ seats were imposed candidates.
“If Dankwambo wants to succeed or lay a good foundation for the party in this state, he should lay aside sentiments and always go with the popular choice because the more you suppress the people, the more problem you bring upon yourself and the party. If not, you’ll be surprised what will happen. Mark my word”, Dankauye said.
Usman Aliyu, a journalist in the employ of the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA who has been practicing in the state for some years now took a cursory look at some of activities that defined Governor Dankwambo’s leaning towards human development during the first term and advocates their continuity.
“It is pertinent to know that this administration is adjudged to be one of the best in the country because of the human development programmes which the government came with since 2011. And it is the expectation of the people of this state that he should carry on with the legacy he started, especially building the hope of the people on human development, empowerment to bring economic prosperity to the state.
“With the minimal resources that we receive from the federation account, it is equally expected that he will devise other means of making it in the state”, he said.
There is a feeling in the state that Dankwabo came with a difference because he has action plans of making Gombe one of the best states in the country in terms of development. Particularly the gross domestic product is improving in the state; more people are becoming engaged in different sectors; those that are not employed are being engaged under some sort of empowerment programmes.
Slightly differing on the issue of human development is yet another colleague, Adamu Saleh. He looked at it from the eye of most people in the streets and expects the state government to find a legal and acceptable way of dancing to their tune spreading money around while still being prudent in managing the state’s resources.
His words, “The human development that people are talking about is that, you see, there is this diversion from the past. I’m sorry to say, I wasn’t around during the previous administration, but from what I hear from the people, the previous administration paid more attention to human development.
“Human development in this sense means people getting more money from government; money that some of them in my own opinion don’t even deserve to get. That is what people are saying is human development. Human development means giving money to people.
“Well, if that is what the people want, there are so many ways the governor would do that. The development of local contractors, for instance – if you look at it critically, you don’t even know the contractors handling most of the projects undertaken by this government because they are from outside the state.
“But if you could pay attention to local contractors by giving them contracts, definitely the money paid to them will remain in circulation in Gombe because these local contractors don’t know anybody other than Gombe people – they will employ labourers, both skilled and unskilled from Gombe and you will find out that the money will remain here in Gombe.
On his part, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo pledged a second tenure that he would continue to pursue the principles of probity, transparency and accountability with an assurance to carry all stakeholders along. This according to him is predicated on the conviction is that an open, participatory and consultative administration promotes good governance and sustain peaceful coexistence.
He said he would continue to provide as many socio-economic infrastructural facilities as possible because his mission in governance is to achieve a threshold where such facilities would form the bases on which sustainable development hinges. Top in this light is to continue to provide infrastructure (roads, water and electricity) in rural areas to reduce rural-urban migration, significantly increase the sense of belonging of the people and stimulate economic and social activities in these areas.
Agriculture is a top priority in the new administration’s task of developing Gombe into a viable economic hub. More funds therefore should be injected into the sector in order to create jobs and favourable environment for the growth of agro-allied industries.
Regarding wrapping up uncompleted projects in health sector, Governor Dankwambo spoke of plans to finish upgrading equipping the hospital for women and Children, the Gombe specialist hospital, on general hospital and one cottage hospital in each of the Senatorial districts.
He also assured that projects like the Mega Motor Park, International Conference Centre, Trailers’ Parking Bay and tourism resort would be completed during his second term because they would increase the state’s revenue base and complement monthly subventions from the Federation Account.
“It is clear that the era of our relying on Federal Government subventions to oil the machineries of government has gone”, he said.
Government interventions according to him are geared towards empowering the citizenry and supporting them to be self-reliant and employers of labour in their own right. This would be iced with continued efforts to open windows of opportunities for the electorates to be more prosperous and less dependent on government.