By Adamu Saleh
In Africa, the words of elders are always food for thought and a panacea for future challenges as one grows with nature. Such words are used by the wise and brave as prevention for pains and discarded by others who prefer to complain in their pains. I have chosen to be wise by regurgitating the words of our elders in proffering solutions to the current challenge of passing the baton of leadership in Gombe. A wise man once remarked and I quote: “ the beauty of every relay is not only in the speed or charisma of the athlete but also in the ability of such athlete to pass the baton in time, accurately and efficiently; as the combination of these three with speed makes a champion in a relay’’. Life is often seen as a relay and the beauty of this kind of race is embedded in the truth that a man, woman, father, mother, leader can only be successful if his or her successor is successful. Therefore, every success must be maintained by consistency, hence the need to pass the baton to the right man or woman.
As 2019 approaches, the hots of the Nigerian (Gombe) politics are gradually being heated up by politicians across divides with a view to wooing endorsement and acceptance. Many are crisscrossing the perennial terrains in Gombe just to ensure that their popularity is enhanced and awakened in the minds of the electorates while banking on the media to help out in that regard. Billboard and posters, littering the geographical walls of most towns in Gombe State (the villages are not free of this as well) and this is no surprise to political observers and students of the history of elections in Nigeria. As the trees shed leaves with no measure of restraints, so also the trees of political parties are losing their candidates. Speeches are being made to discredit as well as make opponents seem more demonic than Satan with a view to justifying their ambitions by making themselves politically righteous for the positions they are vying for. As a student of history, I would not be too forgetful not to recollect the failures of some of these leaders whose political image I wouldn’t want to comment on to avoid being accused of discrediting their characters for personal purposes. Aside the beautiful corruption, mismanagement of the abundant resources that have been deposited in our land even when most nations, boast of nothing but human resource; Nigeria has a problem of poor leadership.
However, over the years, the crop of leaders in Gombe State has provided the lights for the lamp of state to shine gold as a true Jewel in the Savannah. In April 1998, Nelson Mandela, unarguably the best black leader of the 21st C and whose 100th birthday was celebrated recently with the consciousness of global audience, remarked that “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” In another development, McGregor in 2011, defined leadership on ‘The Washington post’ in justifying some of the decisions of the then President Barack Obama, by saying that “The best leaders really are people—or countries—who make it possible, when the time is right, for others to step up and help form the coalitions and alliances that will be needed to succeed’’. In Gombe, our leaders past and present have performed in their own capacities as either governors or commissioners as the case may be to the best of Mandela and McGregor’s definition of leadership or leaders. Of all these leaders, Gov. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Talban Gombe) has unarguably out-classed all leaders from the creation of the state up to recent. He is a very fine gentleman and a perfect frame for the picture of a great political leader of an in-depth requisite ability to man any geographical and political entity beyond Gombe.
As elections beckon and the numbers of political Father-Christmas multiply by the day, I like to remind by way of sensitising the minds of the people of Gombe to the fact that every time we elect purposeless leaders to take the helm, the beauty of democracy dies. Over the last seven years of Gov. Dankwambo’s leadership, we have seen the beauty of democracy come alive a million times. This has created fears that we may not get an equal in a very long time.
If we say we do not have the leader of Talban Gombe’s similitude, then we have not critique enough to uncover the hidden leadership of the man of the MOMENT. In Gombe, I have seen a leader whose fine performance in both public and private sectors as exemplified by the definitions of leadership by Mandela and McGregor in Dr Jamil Isyaka Gwamna; a rare gem, a lover of the people and a man whose achievements have become a cliché and an open secret at various levels of managerial callings. A Ph.D. holder as well as a technocrat who has earned the popularity of Gombites not by deceit but by purposeful leadership driven by vision in the quest to ensure a better life for everyone; a man that is not guilty of religious bias, a de-tribalized leader whose style of leadership has been described as the harbinger of Gov. Dankwambo’s vision of modern Gombe.
With all the accolades and achievements of our amiable governor, it would only be fair to Gombites, if we maintain or better yet surpass the standards set by Gov. Dankwambo by democratically anointing another political prophet to keep us in the promise land; a man that can match the leadership traits and trainings of any Governor by all standards.
Based on educational training, financial prudency, resource management and political prowess for galvanising developments from the grassroots; we found worthy, a true son of the soil, a man whose heart beats for the interests of his own people, a humble man who has never been bankrupt in integrity. He is no other than the ‘SARDAUNAN’ Gombe, Dr Jamil Isyaka Gwamna. Sardaunan Gombe holds a Ph. D in Economics, M.sc in Business Economics and Finance as well as B.sc in Accounting. He is a managerial technocrat who is reliably professional in Economic analysis and policy options associated with Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Public Finance Initiative (PFI) and other approaches to privatizing or commercializing State owned enterprises which is a needful key to industrializing the state and an asset for diversifying the economy of Gombe state.
Based on his training and financial know-how, it would only be fair to replace a Ph.D. holder with another Ph.D. holder, an Accountant with an Accountant as well as an Economist, an Achiever with an Achiever, a lover of education with an educationally passionate Sardaunan who has given unconditional scholarships to students of Gombe descent. Time would fail me to mention the many good sides of Dr Jamil Isyaka Gwamna that earned him the title “SARDAUNAN” which was given to him as a result of his unrepentant human value driven investments to bring out the joy that men have been created and ordained to do for their fellow brothers in the journey of life.
As the whole of Gombe anticipates in curiosity the last good of Gov. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, we raise our voice in a clarion call for the Sardaunan Gombe to take the wheels from Talban Gombe as our last demand from our quintessential governor of modern Gombe.
Adamu wrote this piece from Gombe and can be reached on email@example.com