GOMBE: MIXED FEELINGS TRAIL DANKWAMBO'S STEPS
By John Bulus
NOT many people expected any form of celebration to mark Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo first 100 days in office in Gombe State. From the beginning, his actions or in-actions since he assumed office have been greeted by mixed views.
At the beginning there were speculations over what would form the compass of the new helmsman. The tempo was high. Many expected the governor to move with the speed of light. When that was not forthcoming there was disquiet in some quarters three months after. He is yet to appoint commissioners and aides.
The agitation for N18,000 minimum wage by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) only added fodder to the flickering flames and the development eclipsed the economy of the state as every institution including banks went on strike.
Perhaps, the citizenry expected swift appointment of commissioners and aides reconstruction of roads and perhaps, overturning of files and documents in search of apparent loopholes to probe and nail his predecessor and extension of patronage to political jobbers among others. But obviously, such expectations were dashed.
On his part, Dakwambo appears unperturbed by the growing concerns and seems both calm and calculative. Aside being a renowned accountant, he is also new in the murky waters of Nigerian politics.
Time was all he needed to learn the ropes and accustoms himself with the nuances of mainstream politics.
In a move that appeared to be his first bold step, Dankwambo stunned his critics by assembling a committee peopled by men and women of substance, which reviewed the critical sectors of the economy and submitted findings that were adjudged by many as the dais that will form the nucleus for development and growth.
The ceremony to mark that held at the New Banquet Hall, Government House, Gombe recently was simply a gathering of patriots who wished their state well. Since then, many believe that the economic plan and road-map for the state have been unfolded.
Another move that earned Dankwmabo applause was the flagging off of massive road projects penultimate week. To this end, a total of 12 roads in Gombe metropolis were earmarked for total reconstruction.
Of much excitement to the people was the payment of compensation to the people whose houses or shops, etc, were affected by the development.
Indeed, Vanguard observed many beneficiaries smiling to the bank with their cheques. Chairman of the compensation Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Walama told Vanguard that so far, 95 percent compensation had been paid.
In a similar drive for service delivery, the Governor recently commissioned about 60 new tractors and distributed them to the Local Government Councils to enhance their reach to farmers in the state. This is in addition to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to create jobs for the people.
Though, no road has been completed and commissioned by this administration to commemorate the first 100 days in office of the Governor, his supporters said so much had been done especially at the foundational level for the concrete take off of infrastructure delivery.
On the appointment of the commissioners and aides, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Abudlahi Mohammed Umar lent his voice: 'The journey is quite successful and it is gradual. Development is in stages and there are measures to see that things take their proper shape. These are technical necessities that are been carried out by the real civil servants.
The appointment of commissioners is a political thing. Whether there is a commissioner or not, the things he (governor) is doing, he is doing them gradually. But I believe he is taking his time to choose the caliber of people he would want to do what he wants. Not just assembling people that will come and become, maybe stumbling blocks. I believe he is going to come up with that. Things are moving'.
To this end, what has come to dominate the people's mind is that Dankwambo has not failed in his assignments since his debut into public service.
Having served successfully as Accountant- General of the State and subsequently called to higher service to be the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), analysts believe he will not fail the people who elected him as their Governor. But only time will tell.