By Chinemelum Igbokwe
There is an old cliché in Nigeria that politics is too important to be left to politicians alone. That thinking is the driving ambition behind the governorship bid of Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna ahead of the 2019 general election in Gombe State.
With less than one year to the poll, the governorship race has begun in earnest. Many contenders are declaring their interest in the seat currently occupied by Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Aspirants, especially those from the two major parties in the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), are not leaving anything to chance.
Some of the aspirants claim to have the ears of some political bigwigs in the state, particularly the incumbent governor and his predecessor, Senator Danjuma Goje. The political bigwigs on their own part want to assert their strength and supremacy by ensuring that they install the next governor or that whoever that emerges, is their own making.
Among the big names that have already made their ambition known is Gwamna, an aspirant on the platform of PDP described by many as a silent servant of the people, who has impacted heavily on the development of his state. Gwamna has also been described as a source of inspiration to many, especially, people of his age and the younger generation.
His humanitarian services have touched many indigent students who benefit from his scholarship scheme at the secondary and tertiary levels.
Enumerating some of the humanitarian works of the aspirant, an indigene of Gombe State, who preferred anonymity and said he was a beneficiary of Gwamna’s philanthropy, said, “Over 20 students are on scholarship at the Kebbi State Yamasa Science and Technical School in Zaur town and many more students are also in the university on his scholarship scheme. Also his contributions to the sustenance of his party, PDP, cannot be quantified.
“Alhaji is a detribalised Nigerian in all its ramifications. He employs his staff based on qualification and merit, not on religion or tribe. He has given employment to over 2, 000 graduates from all over the country in his capacity as a loyal servant of this country.”
Recently, he distributed six vehicles to different religious groups in Gombe State.
Gwamna is currently the managing director and chief executive officer of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO). He has promised Gombe people a new lease of life. Although he commends the efforts of the past and present administrations in the state, he believes that Gombe is a work in progress.
On his Facebook wall, the businessman-turned politician, notes, “Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it.”
Gwamna believes his aspiration to become the governor of the state cannot come on a platter of gold, despite his past achievements, but through conscious effort to tell people what he has in stock for them. He has also urged Gombe indigenes to get involved in the politics of the state in order to bring the desired development.
“Politics is too important to be left to politicians alone, get involved,” he says.
Gwamna holds the national honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) and the traditional title of Sardaunan Gombe. After his graduation from the Ahmadu Bello University he started his working career with the Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry in Abeokuta. He later switched from finance to industry, when he joined Kaduna Aluminum Limited from where he moved to Kaduna Machine Works as Group Chief Accountant. While he was preparing for an executive position, he was initially promoted to the post of Marketing Manager before being appointed the general manager of Kaduna Machine Works.
In 1990, having gained ample experience as a result of his commercial and managerial exposure at the executive and board levels in the utility, heavy equipment distribution and manufacturing businesses, Gwamna left to manage his own business, the Amstrade Ventures Limited, a company which imports and sells heavy duty, earth-moving equipment.
Gwaman was also Managing Director and co-founder of Jamen Consultancy.
In 2000, he started work in the utility sector when he accepted the position of first Executive Chairman of Gombe State Water Corporation. He had also served as Managing Director of Sahelian Energy and Integrated Service Limited before taking up the position of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of KEDCO.
KEDCO is one of the 11 distribution companies that emerged from the privatisation exercise in the Goodluck Jonathan administration as part of the electricity power sector reform programme implementation. It is located in the North Western geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The company has the licence to distribute and market electricity in the three states of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina. The geographical coverage of the company is 67,128 km2.
The KEDCO boss obtained his doctorate degree from the London Metropolitan University in 2008.