Friday July 27, 2018 in Nigeria’s North-East Sub-region of Gombe brings to nostalgic memory, October 1, 1996, the date of the creation of Gombe State. It is the faithful day when the curtain fell on the life of the first democratically-elected Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency, Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu.
Late Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu joined the progressive wing of the political class led by Alhaji Usman Faruq, former Governor of the old North-West State and Ambassador Ibrahim Yarima Abdullahi, Diplomat and former Nigeria Ambassador to the Republic of West-Germany and Chairman for the Movement for the Creation of Gombe State.
Late Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu as Executive Governor between 1999 and 2003 and as the former Federal Minister of Agriculture characteristically embodied the unity of purpose, equity and justice representing the State’s Vision and Mission Statement, anchored primarily in favour of a state where there is inhibited access to job opportunities and the basic necessities of life by everybody, also exemplified by the current state executive governor, His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo Talban Gombe whose inclusiveness of governance has remained the stabilizing factor in Gombe states politics. The economy is another policy area of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo Talban Gombe worthy of note, that illustrates the importance of his governance at all levels which elevate Gombe State from the lowest economic index from its lowest ranking up to the top bracket among the top performing IGR States in the Federation. In difficult economic times such as the nation is passing through, what Governor Dankwambo did in economic professional terms was to balance the state budget by cutting spending and increase the states taxation profile. He propelled the states investments meager reserve of N200million to a whopping N12 Billion within the 7 years of his administration.
Under the Late Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu-led administration in 1999, the political structure of Gombe state changed from its military dictatorship to the presidential system of governance. His administration marked a massive political reorientation and dynamism which helped in no small way to create a new approach to political activities in the state. The relevance of the construction of the multi-billion Naira Gombe Regional Water Supply Scheme drawn by the Late Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu-led administration which also included the current Governor, Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Talban Gombe,then the State Accountant General, AG. in the planning process represented the panacea to the endemic water problem that confronted the state for over a century.
Alhaji Habu Abubakar Hashidu’s death at 74 should create the reawakening of patriotism on the part of the state political leaders, reassuring the citizens about the future. The priorities of the political class in the state should be about consolidating the gains of past administrations in the transformational drive of making the state one of the best among its compeers within the federation. The tutelage in universal terms is the responsibility of a leader to the followership which defines reality in the strongest political terms which also defines perfection as doing the right thing.
Junaidu Usman Abubakar
Government House Information Unit,