By Ibrahim Sani
For those with the eagle eyes, the recent colour of events in Gombe State is an harbinger of a plan to intimidate, cow, frighten, terrify, discourage as well as an attempt to incubate an atmosphere of fear ahead of the governorship and state house of assembly elections in Gombe State to create voter apathy that will leave an opening for manipulation following the political routing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential election. The PDP had eight years to deliver the dividends of democracy and endear itself to the good people of Gombe but they turned to the sour path with their massive looting of the common wealth of the people, excessive borrowing that puts the economy of the state in danger, accumulation of gratuities worth over N10 billion, neglect of critical infrastructure and exercise of ingenuous financial recklessness that have made living for the common man regrettable under Gov. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
With all these by the PDP, the people of Gombe moved quickly to salvage their state from the hands of those who have made democracy more devilish than expected, by impressively taking sides with the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the ballot. This has been brewing anger from the awaiting opposition party (PDP) who have decided to punish the people by out-rightly threatening the citizens of Gombe and destroying their properties, not excluding campaign offices and materials of the APC. We want to expose the political madness of the PDP in Gombe as well as the PDP’s use of thugs and hoodlums to regain the already lost grounds in the race for Gombe Government House.
If signs still play sacrosanct part of human existence, then what happened in Gombe State on Saturday, March 2, is a clear indication that democracy has been slaughtered on the altar of tyranny, thuggery and political rascality. There is a video evidence to show that the thugs of the PDP went to Gombe airport to welcome a seating governor with weapons of different sorts. And shortly afterwards, the thugs accompanied their general on a destruction spree burning shops, threatening the peace of many, destroying the campaign materials of the APC. Surprisingly, the hoodlums also attacked a private radio station, Progress FM, a move many have described as a trend that can discourage investments from coming into the state. They attacked the block industry belonging to an APC faithful, Alhaji Kurugu Na Babayo Goje, (Excellent Block Industry Investment Quarters Tumfure) and destroyed it and all APC properties on sight and they also burnt some houses. As if that was not enough, the family house of Alh. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, the Gombe State Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Jekadafari was also attacked; thus, endangering the lives of members of Alh. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya’s family.
All these happened in the quest to assert political dominance which to political analysts is an absolute abuse of the people’s mandate. This has resulted to situation where there are more questions than answers. Do people not have the right to associate themselves with a party they feel can protect their interests? Should we all keep mute and allow the recklessness of the PDP to go without consequences? Must our youths be their agent of political rascality? Should our leaders stoop so low as to begin to supervise wanton destruction in broad day light?
When the state government said they spent over N170 million annually in rehabilitating the youths out of cultism and other social vices, many were quick to welcome the idea while few were weary of the motive behind such. Time being the gentleman that he is has revealed the reason for that humongous spending; political thuggery. Now, it is clear that such payments were made to bake some youths for their self-centered ambition during electioneering year.
In a recently released video, Gov. Dankwambo had attributed his lose to an ‘act of God’. In as much as I agree, I would also like to add that the voice of the people is the voice of God, so whichever way one looks at the act of God and the voice of the people, it is a matter of six or half a dozen. I think what is more important is the recognition of the voice of the people and the unhidden quest for change. For a state that has given Gov. Dankwambo, eight years to run their affairs, the best way to return the favour is to allow the same ‘act of God’ he attributed his lose to, to take prominence in the forthcoming governorship election and not to force an ‘ungodly act’ on the good people of Gombe State which may end up turning Gombe into a state where peace may become a scarce commodity.
Gov. Dankwambo also, said: “we have also noticed recent developments, some people going out in the night to destroy various properties of other people and to also threaten peace of cordial existence of people in the state. They do not deserve the kind of treatment some people are treating them but this is the signals of the things that are coming if things go wrong in Gombe State.’’
From his speech, there are so many questions begging for answers: when did the governor start seeing these signals of things that are coming? When exactly, did things start going wrong in Gombe State? Your answers are as good as mine. As a good citizen of the state and a stakeholder in the affairs of the good people of the state, I like to tell the people to remain peaceful and undaunted in the face of severe provocations while charging the security personnel to study the antics of democratic terrorists who want to circumvent the wishes of the people of Gombe State in broad daylight.
At the end of Gov. Dankwambo’s speech, he said that the choice for the people of the state was to choose between peace and violence, by this, having lost his bid for the Senate, is a direct call for his supporters to cause violence and mayhem. In the face of all this, the PDP publicity council chairman, is busy sending secret press releases to journalists to cover their political rascality and undemocratic sceneries of the Gov. Dankwambo and Sen. Bayero by trying to twist the story of what happened to gain cheap public sympathy but the people who witnessed the ugly events are aware of their antics. Alas! This was what many bigwigs saw that made them defect from the PDP in a Tsunami-like manner. By that defection, the PDP became nothing but a party of no chieftains, other than the political twins of our time; Gov. Dankwambo and Sen. Bayero