BEYOND celebrating her unity and landmark achievements, the 20 years anniversary celebration of Gombe State provided the opportunity to set the records straight regarding how some of the projects awarded in the state were executed. Indications also emerged that relationship between former Governor Mohammed Danjuma Goje, now senator representing Gombe Central and incumbent Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo may have turned frosty as argued publicly over claims by the former regarding some projects completed during his two-tenure reign. Senator Goje had on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 placed in a national daily an advertorial tagged: “Some of the Major Contributions of former governor Mohammed Danjuma Goje.” The former governor in the publication chronicled the multibillion-Naira Gombe Regional Water Supply, the Gombe international airport and Gombe central mosque among his achievements as governor. He also went on Progress Radio, Gombe to make similar claims while fielding questions on his watch as governor of Gombe State from 2003 to 2011. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in an effort to clear the air on the claims revealed how the said projects were executed, choosing to do so during the anniversary seminar in which former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was in attendance. The Governor’s revelation that contrary to the initial claims by his predecessor, he (Dankwambo) facilitated these projects while he was Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, was loudly applauded by the large crowd of participants at the event. On the issue of the Gombe international airport, Dankwambo dismissed Goje’s claim that he executed the project, stressing that it was his intervention while he was still AGF that made the project a reality. He narrated how former president asked him about how to raise funds for the completion of Katsina airport and he cashed in on the opportunity to talk Chief Obasanjo into including that of Gombe. His words, “In 2006, December, my
responsibility was to make sure that I collected all the money that are not spent in government and rule the line. Baba has gone to Ota for Christmas. Normally when I’m finished, I call him and tell him the opening and closing balance. So that day I told him we were short, that the balances were not so much but he said I shouldn’t worry in 2007 the balances would be better. The remaining is history. “But he said aah, I remember we have to improve on one airport, Katsina airport. So how do we source for money? I said we can save money if we extend the year to end by March 31. He said that is very good. “We extended it and the airport of Katsina was included but I said since you’re supporting Katsina, why don’t you also include Gombe? Baba said there was no budgetary provision. “I said no, there is N2.5billion, N1.5billion was for Kwara, N500million was for another airport and N500million was for Gombe but I said why don’t we round it up and give Gombe N2.5billion. “I’m not sure the total cost of Gombe airport would be more than N3.5billion. That airport we’re seeing today was as a result of that my intervention” Dankwambo explained. Regarding Goje’s claim that he initiated and built the Gombe regional water supply scheme, Dankwambo revealed how while he was first state Accountant General under first executive governor of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Habu Hashidu, the idea of the water scheme was muted. “In 2002, and earlier before then, I was Accountant General in Gombe State. We had discussions with Hashidu (the former governor) on the need to have and to dam Gombe water supply. The total contract sum was N7.2 billion. “The intervention of federal government for urban water supply was 30 percent, which is equivalent to N2.5billion. In 2002, November, Chief Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo reimbursed Gombe State the sum of N2 bilion for the water supply plant that was built in Dadin Kowa today.” Regarding the Gombe central mosque and contrary to the claim by Sen Goje, the governor said he personally mobilised N200million out of N420million being the total cost of building the mosque.