By Muhammad Baba Gombe
If the lies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Gombe State were stored, we would have run out of space eight years ago because from the inception of the administration, nothing has been more certain than the lies told at every platform which they never envisaged would resurface in manners such as we now have it. It is often said that he that takes alcohol should be ready to become his own lawyer when he gets sober. For years, the PDP in Gombe had claimed to be developing the state while they were busy helping themselves to the wealth of the state in an alcohol-like manner but today they are busy looking for lawyers to defend them before the court of the people which even consumed the senatorial ambition of Gov. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
By the definition of democracy, it is supposed to be a blessing as in saner climes but in Gombe, the PDP has made democracy disgustful, distasteful and almost a taboo to many who love our darling state. The self-democracy of Gov. Dankwambo has resulted to more disasters than development as many have termed his administration the worst in the history of the state especially with the recent happenings that provided the newest evidence to kick-out the PDP with the kind of ballot-knock-out punch that was given to the party during the presidential election and the recent governorship result where the PDP was only able to win his Local Government Area through vote buying.
Evidence abound to prove beyond doubt that Dankwambo’s eight years of decep-cracy (coined from deception and democracy) administration is the worst looking at the available records in terms of debt profile, educational failures, please disregard Dankwambo’s first, second and third priority claim for education because the results from external examinations have debunked that, health disaster, political mayhem and outright declaration of war on citizens of Gombe and civil servants in the state as well as the white elephant projects.
By debt profile, many will remember how well-meaning Gombites have written on the debt profile but the ‘please’ man of the governor, Junaidu Abubakar: who seem to have run out of lies to feed the make-believe administration, was busy denying. But today, the issues are more glaring than the clouds, so no one can defend the governor anymore, not even the ‘please’ man who is on a political sabbatical.
When, we talk of debt, Gombe State is one of the most indebted states in Nigeria, all thanks to the one who seem to know a lot about figures, yet the state has a debt burden 63.89 billion naira in 2016 and 41.9 billion in 2017 as domestic debts while the foreign debt stands at 38.5 million dollars. The N30 billion bonds collected is not part of the debt. Also, to note, the Gov. Dankwambo has left an accumulated gratuity of N10 billion with some pensioners yet to be paid for seven or eight years. On 10th of December, 2018, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced that Gombe airport has been grounded, listing it as one of the four airports, with a debt profile of N2.6 billion. Surprisingly, Gombe state, was alleged a debt profile of N607 million.
The same government claimed to have constructed more roads and infrastructures than all the administrations put together but the roads linking many of our villages were those put in place by previous administration. With such claims by Gov. Dankwambo, the roads to several villages would have been sorted but a journey of 10 or 15 minutes will probably take 2 or 3 hours especially along Nafada and other rural locations in the state. The Gombe airport has been left un-attended to, the same with the Pantami stadium, the water project by the Goje’s administration and many others. Apart from the wasteful project in the International Conference center that the state government claimed it spent over N4 billion to build what else has been built?
In January, 2018 the government of Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo earmarked N20 million for the prevention of outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state, yet we have recorded more than 10 deaths in more than four outbreaks. Where then has N20 million taken a flight to? It is also during this present government that over N4.4 billion hospital equipment wasted away in the store. Yet, the government claim to have done marvelously in the health sector. This administration is a curse to democracy and these sins of the PDP is one that the people of Gombe State may not forget even if they manage to forgive the political brothers of the PDP, Gov. Dankwambo and Sen. Usman Bayero Nafada.
Gov. Dankwambo’s administration is an indictment of leadership at all levels of governance by any standard of leadership anywhere in the world. The PDP must be called to answer for their recklessness in finance budget unfaithfulness and infrastructural neglect.
In a recent video, where Gov. Dankwambo conceded defeat, he claimed to be the father of everyone in Gombe, old or young. Yet, as a father, made by the mandate of the people, he has chosen to punish his people for doing the right thing by voting for the APC. There were rumors that the governor had vowed to punish workers for not voting the PDP and it seemed as if it were a lie but as at March 7 even when the Federal Government paid their staff on the 20th of February to show their love for their workers, their counterparts at the state were yet to be paid. He has also taken to intimidating the people by violently fanning the embers of political violence through thuggery and recruitment of hoodlums to make the state ungovernable, knowing full well that the APC will coast to victory on Saturday. With what happened on Saturday, March 2, and the current salary starvation of civil servants in the state, I doubt if he is still the father of the state. A father that lost his children’s vote for a senatorial seat and lost the governorship seat to APC, should know that fatherhood is by responsiveness to the responsibilities that he has been mandated for and not by injustice and dictatorial might. I think, the people of Gombe have spoken with their ballots to give the direction as to where their fathers in leadership are.
If the state government must lie, must it be with education which holds the key to the brighter future for our kids? How can a state that in spite the Paris Club refund, bail out, budget supports, excessive borrowing and the huge Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and self-acclaimed transformation in the education sector by aides of Dankambo, be placed poorly on West African Examinations Council (WAEC) performance score card? For instance, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Gombe State has placed 34th respectively in what seem like a hat-trick in failure vis-à-vis WAEC performance. This abysmally poor performance is a show that the claim of the government that huge sums have been spent in education is nothing but politics of deceit.
The worst of it all is the fact that Gov. Dankwambo is leaving the people of Gombe State poorer than he meant them. A government that relishes the pauperization of her citizen is one too carefree to continue. The United Nations’ Global Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index report of 2015 put out a disheartening statistic of the level of poverty under this current administration. The report puts Gombe State incidence of poverty at 76.9% when the national average is pegged at 46.0%. One of the worst of these is that as the administration was busy impoverishing the people of Gombe, many of the aides were busy looting the resources of the state. We are not very worried as the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari would ensure that those who helped themselves to our collective wealth must have dates with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) soonest. We look forward to May 29 when Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, will be crowned Governor of Gombe State.
Baba can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org