If what we are hearing currently is true, that many leaders and other strategic stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are narrowing down their choice of presidential candidate for the 2019 Presidential election to the Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, the reasons for their preference of him may not be far from the following factors:
1. Education and quality leadership training
Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, the Talban Gombe is a well educated and highly accomplished technocrat. He is the most educated among all the aspirants seeking to contest the President’s office from across all the serious political parties for the 2019 race. Dankwambo is an accountant, banker and financial administrator before becoming a politician.
He holds a degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, a Masters Degree in Economics from University of Lagos and Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science from Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State before proceeding to Igbinedion University where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD).
The Gombe State Governor has trained at some of the most prestigious financial and leadership institutions in the world among which are Harvard University-on Global Financial Systems (Crisis, Prospects and Solutions); Duke University DCID, Durban on Budgeting and Finance Management programmes; Stanford University, Stanford Business School for Financial Management Programme;
Crown Agents Management Development Centre United Kingdom for Financial Management and Development Projects; University of Cape Town South and Duke University Centre for International Development (Management of Foreign Aides) and West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management, Ghana, specialising in External Debt and Reserves Management.
2. Accountability and Transparent Service Record
Although he has served in different capacities both at private and public institutions, Dankwambo still maintains the best service records of accountability, transparency and high level of morality and decency.
In spite of occupying different positions where he took major financial decisions, no one has accused Dankwambo of stealing or misappropriating public funds.
He started his career at the Coopers and Lybrand International (Chartered Accountants) which is now the famous PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and later joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from where his state government identified and invited him to serve as Accountant General of Gombe State
and later appointed as Accountant General of the Federation where he served two presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in that capacity before resigning to contest the 2011 governorship election with a sound victory that made him the Governor of Gombe State.
It is on records that Dankwambo was the only governor that survived the 2015 political tsunami that swept all PDP governors in the North from their seats. He has also resisted all attempts to persuade him to leave the Peoples Democratic Party.
At 56 Dankwambo is one of the youngest among all the contenders for the PDP presidential flag. Most of the other aspirants are either in their 60s or 70s which makes Dankwambo a youth friendly candidate.
As Governor, he has demonstrated in practical terms that youths are very critical partners and stakeholders in nation building by initiating and executing several youth-focused policies and programmes as well as appointing many young people as commissioners, advisers and assistants.
4. Versatility and National Outlook
Maybe because of the many schools he attended as well as his working experience which has made him see and interact with many people from across many part of Nigeria and the world, Dankwambo is said to be very accommodating of others, irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds or leaning.
Some have described him as the most detribalised leader Nigeria would ever have if he eventually becomes President, which they say is very necessary for the country to dig out its best eleven to unleash their innate potentialities to rescue Nigeria from its current sorry state in terms of economy, unemployment and poverty.
5. Track Record of achievements
Among all the spirants gunning for the PDP flag, Dankwambo boasts of the best record of achievement both as Accountant General of the Federation and as State governor.
One cannot but agree with some analysts that he has been an inspiration to young people while serving as example to other leaders in Nigeria due to the fact that he has built a reputation as a prudent manger of scarce resources and meticulous administrator.
He is reputed to have recorded the highest level of achievements since the creation of Gombe State. Among the areas he has been scored number one are security, education, health, agriculture and food as well as poverty alleviation.
The creation of a unique version of the almajiris educational formula known as Tsangaya Primary School system by his administration has also earned him commendations and awards from local and international agencies while Gombe under Dankwambo has been rated as one of the most peaceful states in recent years.