May 29, 2018, Nigeria again celebrated another Democracy Day, marking the return of civil rule in 1999 after many years of military dictatorship. While leaders at the national, states and local government levels and their aides celebrated how many years they have been in office, the people of Nigeria were concerned about how their lives have been touched positively or otherwise by the actions and inactions of their leaders.
From available records, majority of Nigerians were of the view that the administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Talban Gombe, had the most thumbs-up having delivered on the dividends of democracy over the last seven years.
Talban Gombe’s achievements and contributions to the development of the state was part of the strongest points for campaign and still is a reference by his party the PDP. His government is being showcased by the PDP and many Nigerians as “the face of good governance in Nigeria.”
Governor Dankwambo’s performance has won him many laurels with and outside Nigeria including many significant nicknames like “Talban Aiki’, ‘Super Governor,’ ‘Tomorrow’s President’ and many more accolades.
Before highlighting some of the achievements of the present administration in the state, there is the need to state that despite political witch-hunt and distractions from the opposition, the governor has not lost focus of the real essence of governance, especially in the area of improving the lives of the citizenry by ensuring delivery of infrastructural development that will affect the people both directly and indirectly.
The above is in addition to crunched economy and technical recession. Yet the governor is able through dogged determination and commitment, improved the living condition of Gombe People by providing human development oriented projects across all the local government areas and senatorial districts without discrimination.
For instance, Dankwambo has been commended for achieving several things much more than all his predecessors put together. One is his ability to dismantle the menace and excesses of the Kalare hoodlums turning them into worthy ambassadors of the state through different skill trainings and jobs. Before his coming into office and the subsequent solution, the Kalare issue was a huge problem which for many years portrayed Gombe state in a negative perspective.
In the health sector, Governor Dankwambo has so far upgraded the 1,500-bed Urban Maternity to Children & Women Hospital Idi, constructed a Dialysis Centre in the Specialist Hospital Gombe, built a College of Nursing and Midwifery, Dukku, a Snake-bite Centre in Kaltungo as well as supply and installation of 4 Dialysis machines and 2 chairs, among many others.
He has rehabilitated and reticulated pipelines and extension to Kwami, Gadam and others while providing extension of water supply to Baure, Dangar and others communities, not forgetting the construction of Earth dam at Boh, Shongom LGA.
In order to empower the people and help them become self sufficient, the Dankwambo administration has been established a micro finance bank for farmers and Small/medium enterprises (SMEs) in all of the local Govt areas in the state.
The Talban Gombe has also constructed 50 times more roads than all of his predecessors put together. Each of them had constructed one dual use road while Dankwambo has so far constructed eight and more are expected before the end of his administration.
Gombe State being known as an agrarian state has been transformed within the past seven (7) years through the procurement of 225 tractor units while several markets have been constructed to help farmers sell their produce. Poultry farming has received massive boost through the governor’s intervention initiatives, among others.
Still in the areas of empowerment, Dankwambo has trained over 320 youths in six different trades and skills acquisition while a centre has been built for that purpose.
Hundreds of Gombe youths have been sponsored to obtain training from the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Jos while 1,500 youths as have been as trained to control traffic. The government has also trained Environmental and Security Marshals, trained 5,000 youths in welding, fabrication, POP and tiling.
The state equally brought back to normal, the lives of 1,200 former violent youths under the Talba Youths Reorientation and Rehabilitation, empowered 1,500 less privileged and ‘Poorest of the Poor’ through conditional cash transfer (CCT), disbursed loan obtained from Bank of Industry (BOI) to 150 Co-operative Societies as well as and released N500 million Trade Intervention Funds to traders in the State.
As the most educated person to govern Gombe so far, Damkwambo takes education of the people as one of his first line charge priorities.
Among the numerous projects in this all-important sector include the renovation and (or) constructed of over 502 classrooms, recruitment of over 1,000 Degree/NCE graduates apart from training of over 5,000 teachers.
He also established a School of Basic and Remedial studies in Kumo, College of Education In Billiri, State Polytechnic in Bajoga, College of Legal and Islamic Studies in Nafada and sponsored 25 Students in Maritime Studies in India and the United Kingdom as well as established a University of Science and Technology in kumo Akko.
The Dankwambo administration has upgraded and renovated the Gombe International Airport which has been fully functional since his assumption of office as regular flight schedules by Arik and Azman airlines have been maintained.
Due to the way and manner his administration has been treating public servants and other workers in the state, Dankwambo has been recognized as the best labour friendly Governor, especially in terms of regular payment of salaries and as at when due.
Among his awards in this instance is his decoration by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Many developmental and political pundits have posited that Dankwambo is best governor in the country, especially in the current dispensation. Curious to those that hold this thought-line is the question of how, in spite of the inadequate funding from Federation account and state internally generated revenue, the governor manages to churn out many projects and complete them timely.
To further buttress the assertion that Dankwambo is the best among his peers, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in New York singled the Gombe State out for a special recognition and award for his contributions towards the historic revolution of education and other basic sectors in Gombe. It is also worthy of note that the award itself was presented to him in the United Nations’ Headquarters.
Junaidu Usman Abubakar is the Senior Special Assistant, Press, to Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo