Right of Reply
We read, with consternation, the speculative story published by LEADERSHIP, in its edition of yesterday, Monday, August 13th instant.
It is unfortunate that LEADERSHIP, a paper we hold in high esteem, could descend so lowly as to publish a story that is at best fit only for the trash-can. It is obvious that in the heat of production, the editors failed to observe the due diligence that would have enabled them see that the story is sponsored. The false story also seeks to pitch two great friends and colleagues, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on a collision course, by painting the former as being less popular than the latter. Such concocted-trash can only exist in the wild imagination of the authors of the story. It is as false as all the other spurious claims contained in the sponsored story.
As the Hon. Commissioner for Information of Gombe State has explained, it is a normal practice for friendly governors to invite each other to commission projects executed by their administrations. Such is the closeness between Dankwambo and Tambuwal that the Gombe Governor went a step further to name an important street in the state capital after the Sokoto Governor.
If anything, that should have been appreciated as yet another proof of Governor Dankwambo’s trademark policy of politics without bitterness, which he has been exhibiting since his assumption of office seven years ago; and which has seen his administration recording unprecedented achievements across all sectors of development.
In Nigeria’s contemporary history, of all the aspirants to the office of president, across all the political parties, only Dankwambo can boast of governing a state that is a true reflection of the diversity of the Nigerian nation. Gombe is as heterogeneous as Nigeria itself. Yet, there is no farmers-herders clash. Gombe has since earned the moniker of being the safest state in the entire north-eastern plank of the country. All segments of Gombe society have been accorded a clear sense of belonging by Governor Dankwambo, such that religious and tribal tolerance in Gombe is the highest of all the other 35 states of the federation.
For a country that keeps getting polarized along premordial lines, only a tested and trusted leader, who has succeeded in managing diversities and welding fractious lines should be supported to be the next president of the country. It is for that reason, alongside the unprecedented achievements recorded by Dankwambo, that Nigerians from all walks of life succeeded in mounting enough pressure on Dankwambo to accept to throw his hat into the ring. As an economist of no mean repute, and with all humility the most educated of all the aspirants, only a sick mind could conjure the image of Dankwambo stepping down for anyone.
It is our hope that as 2019 approaches, editors of LEADERSHIP and all other news platforms will continue to be more careful in analyzing stories that are fit for publication in the great newspaper, more so as readers who part with their hard-earned money to buy the paper are capable of reading between the lines and sieve the grain from the chaff. Circumspection is therefore the key word here, as papers who take their readers for granted have since been consigned to the dustbin of history.
LEADERSHIP, clearly a leading newspaper should not allow itself to be reduced by desperate politicians, patronizing equally-desperate journalists to publish falsely-concocted stories.
The Dankwambo presidential project is all about Nigeria. He is a proven achiever who has all it takes to get Nigeria out of the clutches of darkness it has been forced into. We are positive that not only will Dankwambo emerge the presidential flag bearer of the PDP, but will also be overwhelmingly voted for by generality of Nigerians in the next presidential election. It remains the only realistic way to save the drifting Nigerian project with the needed dispatch.
Junaidu Usman Abubakar Senior Special Assistant On press affairs to Governor Dankwambo Talban Gombe