By Magaji Kuji Pilam
When it dawned on Goje that he could not impose his son in law on the people as governor, he had to look for an acceptable candidate. Among the 11 candidates that indicated their interest in the governorship of Gombe State in 2011, including 2 of his commissioners, Dankwambo was the most acceptable candidate to the people of the state, having worked with Hashidu, Goje and President Obansanjo, Yar’adua and Goodluck as their Accountant General. He was the people’s choice and it was very clear to Goje that unless it was Dankwambo that clinched the ticket, it would be near impossible to deliver the state to PDP. This was because far before the election year of 2011, groups and associates had started to clamour for Dankwambo to resign as Accountant General of the Federation to contest the Governorship with Talba Dawo, Dawo as their mantra.
While the campaigns of 2011 were in progress, it was obvious that people were more particular on Dankwambo to win the election than anybody else, hence Goje’s constant warnings and threats that if he was to lose the election as Senator representing Gombe Central Senatorial District, every candidate that was standing for the election would lose his/her seat, including Dankwambo himself. The election came and although Goje won his eat, his son in law was defeated. Dankwambo won with a very wide margin by scoring about 600,000 votes giving a wide gap to his closest opponent of the CPC who scored about 100,000 votes. This more than anything else, is enough evidence of Dankwambo’s acceptance and popularity with the people of GombeStaate. Little wander therefore nobody contested his victory at the tribunal.
After the handing over to Dankwambo, Goje wanted to control the new government by dictating to him who was to be appointed what, which Dankwambo stoutly resisted and here in lies the beginning of Dankwambo’s problem with Goje. To add salt to the injury, the EFCC came up with charges against Goje, which he erroneously believes that Dankwambo was the architect of it, forgetting that the EFCC is a statutory agency of government carrying out its legitimate duties, which does not report to Dankwambo. The removal of the Emir of Pindiga, Alhaji AdamuHaruna Yakubu, and appointment of Alh. Seyoji Ahmed, the former Emir that Goje deposed was another “sin” of Dankwambo which Goje was all out to ‘punish’ by ‘removing’ Dankwambo from office as governor.
Although Dankwambo has done well in three years, and these achievements by Dankwambo have made Gombe the model state which many continue to envy Every person from Gombe or who visited the state recently knows what Dankwambo is doing and indeed all the eleven Local Government Areas of the State.
Massive township, inter and intra local government roads, reticulation and expansion of Gombe water scheme to cover other local government areas, improved health care facilities with the establishment of a snake bite hospital at Kaltungo, rehabilitation of schools and creation of State Polytechnic at Bajoga, College of Education at Billiri, School of Remedial Studies for Gombe State University at Kumo, to mention but a few. While the people of Gombe State remain appreciative of Governor Dankwambo and his efforts to transform the state, Goje, for no reason wants Dankwambo removed regardless of his performance and irrespective of the fact that the people he governs are happy with what he is doing for them.
One would like to remind Goje of what he always says that it is God that gives power to whom he wants and it is by His grace that Dankwambo is now the Governor of Gombe State. That he contributed to the success of Dankwambo at the polls, is not a license for Goje to be always grand standing that he was the one who made Dankwambo the Governor but now he is regretting and will remove him come 2015 unless he is claiming to be God. Electoral contests are usually a collective responsibility and we all contributed in one way or the other in making it possible for Dankwambo to win just as many of us contributed in Goje;s electoral victories of 2003 and 2007. After all, if Dankwambo is his ‘godson’ he too was a godson to some people long before Atiku and none of them, dead or alive, can say he Goje remained faithful to him.
Magaji Kujni Pilam is a former Gombe state sport commissioner