Although many so called young people that have assumed leadership positions in the country have turned out to be huge disappointments of what the Nigerian youths have been clamouring for, the case of Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is positively different.
From the age of early 40s when he assumed the enviable position of Accountant General of the Federation to the nearly eight years that he has presided over the affairs of Gombe as its state governor, Dankwambo has distinguished himself and has therefore become a source of pride to young people who have come to see him as an inspiration to them and to generations to come.
While some others failed to live up to expectations, Dankwambo has proved that youth are indeed the leaders of both today and tomorrow.
Many written and oral accounts have described him as a trailblazer and silent achiever, who demystified leadership and redefined development in Gombe State.
What is it about Dankwambo and the Nigerian Youth? It is the spectacular style of his leadership and the left far-reaching impressions on most people like me, including those that work under his leadership like me.
The relationship between Nigerian Youth and Dankwambo has convinced me that of far Nigeria could go to realize its huge potentials if young people come together and decide to work for a better future of the country.
The simplicity and humility with which a state governor could offer himself for the betterment of his people with so many projects targeting at young people could be so amazing.
There is no single day that passes without my thinking over the spontaneous love and show of affection and understanding that Governor Dankwambo extends to Nigerian Youths.
The development has led me into researching a conclusion that given the opportunity, the Nigerian youth could bring that positive change we have all been craving to have., especially through politics.
It is a well known fact that before Governor Dankwambo came in to political arena most of us young people in Gombe State do not think it fashionable to participate in politics (example of my humble self) or even take interest in discussing issues of politics and governance because we have been made to understand that young people have nothing to offer. Dankwambo has changed all that.
And is for the same reason also that one feels that the relationship between Dankwambo and the youths is not complete yet as there is still a big window of opportunity for them to make more meaningful contributions while Dankwambo is yet the Governor of the state. Young people can rely on him to make bold statement in the Nigerian politics.
We need to show that of a truth the future belongs to us and that we are among the people to shape that future.
Dankwambo and Nigerian Youth working together should begin the crusade of making young people become active participants in politics, not as thugs but as political drivers.
I believe that it is only by participation of youth and making their voices heard during leadership selection process that issues that pertain to young people can take the front burner.
Dankwambo can undoubtedly minister effectively to Nigeria’s youth on what next they can do based on his accomplishments in office.
Young people on their part should stop showing apathy towards politics even though all must not be equal, but voting the right leaders is key to asserting our demographic advantage.
“Participating in politics by our young people, particularly voting during every election would be our own way of holding our political leaders to account.
Furthermore, young people taking part in election would help to bring about good governance in the country, thereby promoting a merit-based and crime-free society that generations unborn would be proud of,” Dankwambo once said and interestingly he has good tales to inspire young people about the importance of education in talent development.
For instance, the governor has made Gombe a reference point in educational development and youth empowerment.
It is instructive that without education there is little that we can achieve in today’s world and Dankwambo is a living testimony of what learning can bring to our individual lives as well as to the development of our communities.
Dankwambo’s insistence on academic pursuit early in life and all through his youthful days helped him climb the ladder of social progression, enabling him to serve as the youngest Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
He has become a role model to many young people and succeeded in weaning many away from streets through skill acquisition and responsible conduct.
Having been a governor and yet still level-headed as to encourage young people to join hands with him to move Nigeria forward, Governor Dankwambo has shown remarkable evidence of his capacity to inspire young people to do great things for God and country.
One could imagine what Nigeria would become should someone like Dankwambo eventually emerge as the President of this country.
There is no doubt we the young people will rejoice knowing that he would have more resources to make greater impact in our lives than he has done at the state level.
There is therefore the need to raise the very cordial relationship between Governor Dankwambo and the youths to a higher level.
Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna
Special Assistant to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo on New Media