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As Inuwa Yahaya takes the driver’s seat in Northern Governors’ Forum

As a saying goes, “If you possess the qualities of a champion, you can’t stay too long in the abyss of the minnows.” Such is…

As a saying goes, “If you possess the qualities of a champion, you can’t stay too long in the abyss of the minnows.” Such is the fate of Gombe State governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya CON, when his colleagues across the northern region unanimously elected him to chair the highly influential Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF).

Governor Inuwa took over from immediate past Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, with effect from 29th May, 2023.

The former chairman of the Forum had while handing over to the new chairman, said Governor Inuwa was elected to chair the NSGF in view of his experience, sterling leadership qualities and commitment to good governance.

That Inuwa was unanimously accepted to lead the governors from Northern Nigeria under the auspices of the Northern Governors’ Forum is not fortuitous at all. It was a deliberate consensus of a people who have come to recognize the sterling leadership ambience of the man who shines in tandem with the slogan of his state ‘Jewel in the Savannah’.

The Gombe governor has been consistent in performance. He has been outstanding in political dynamism. He has been persistent in the delivery of quality projects that have drawn the binoculars of writers and historiographers to Gombe State.

He has become an epitome of political altruism. He stands shoulder high among political promise keepers. Among nobilities, he is a super power. All these goodness cannot be overlooked.

The governors from Northern Nigeria are therefore not playing with the destiny of their zone in any way. They needed a man capable of taking the zone to the next level of infrastructural advancement. Yes, in Inuwa they found worthy treasures.

The Gombe governor has crossed the threshold of history in performance and superlative achievements to merit the historic position.

Inuwa symbolizes tangible hope, palpable progress and capable leadership. There is now a new horizon of industrial transmogrification of Northern Nigeria under the chairmanship of Dan Majen Gombe. I see the north shining so brilliantly under the leadership of Inuwa Yahaya as the truly Northern Star.

Remember what he said while taking over the mantle of leadership from Lalong?  “We will work hard to ensure that we catch up with the rest of the country, possibly with the developed parts of the world so that our people will feel the impact of good governance we all pursue.”

He also said that the NEGF will continue to work with past leadership of Forum in order to consolidate on the gains so far recorded and to properly place it on the smooth trajectory of social cohesion, economic emancipation and infrastructural development.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya expressed delight with the commencement of drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin which has brought to three drilling sites in the North to include Kolmani in Gombe and Bauchi and the one in Nasarawa State.  He assured that the Forum will see to the actualization of the exploration of the large oil and gas deposits in the North for the benefit of the people.

He is a born leader who doesn’t joke with his beat at all. He may look unassuming, but he’s a serious-minded personality who cannot stand mediocrity nor have patience with non-performers. You have to be downright hardworking and finicky in your delivery of assignments to fit in into his team. He thinks on his toes and philosophizes upstairs about the best options always and settles for it.

If you look at the podium of applause Inuwa Yahaya has graced receiving awards for quality output, you cannot but agree with the governors from Northern Nigeria that they have found a wonderful and worthy leader in the Dan Majen Gombe.

Afterall, governance is all about people and what their needs are. Inuwa stands so tall at the roll call of promise keeping governors in Nigeria. Like a performance generalissimo, Inuwa has a chart in his office and room where he keeps gazing at the list of promises he made to the electorates. He keeps all and sticks to delivery timelines.

Talking about development and infrastructure, Inuwa Yahaya has a ready blueprint that any state in Northern Nigeria will gladly love to replicate.

When the issue of stopping nomadic herdsmen’s movement across Nigeria came to the national foray, Inuwa Yahaya was the one who went to the Presidency and put down Gombe State’s 144,000 hectares Wawa Zange Grazing Reserve as a panacea for the herdsmen debacle.

His infrastructural pursuit is very emulative. In Inuwa’s Gombe, all the eleven local government areas have at least a hundred kilometres of road network under the Network 11-100 Project. The ease with which people and goods move in Gombe State is quite fascinating.

He initiated a 10-Year Development Plan for Gombe State, the first in the 26 year history of the state. He itemized the timelines for attainable landmarks and put capable individuals in charge of each task, monitoring them like a farmer monitoring his very first harvest.

Go-Health is an initiative that brought quality healthcare to the high and low citizens in Gombe State. His exemplary execution of the COVID-19 programme and subsequent commendations by WHO and UNICEF merited his invitation to the world acclaimed Chartham House to share his Universal Health Coverage with the whole world. Under him, Gombe now boasts of three specialist hospitals and 114 functional primary healthcare centres.

His education reforms are huge indeed.

GOINVEST, the first ever investment summit in Gombe State has turned the ‘Jewel in the Savannah’ to investment destination at the moment. Both local and international development partners and investors are falling head over heels to have a taste of Nigeria’s investment bride. Yes, you can say this about Gombe State without equivocation.

Gombe State has won Nigeria’s Best State in the Ease of Doing Business back-to-back 2021 and 2023. You can do your business with a modicum of equanimity and requisite business speed and expected pace. This is empirical evidence about Gombe State.

Talk about safety, Gombe State is the safest in Northern Nigeria at the moment.  The topography of the state is such a scenic picturesque which also serves as a security buffer against unwanted intruders is an advantage for the peaceful Gombe.

Gombe State is blessed with the Kolmani Oil project which Governor Inuwa Yahaya worked tirelessly to see that Muhammadu Buhari flagged off during his tenure. Gombe has oil that can benefit Northern Nigeria.

What is more, under the focused, dynamic and dedicated leadership of Inuwa Yahaya, the Dadinkowa Hydro Electricity Powerplant stunted for over 40 years was commissioned in the last week of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Power generation into the national grid and its cascading effects among the states in Northern Nigeria has received a big boost by the commissioning of the Dadinkowa Power Plant. Gombe is indeed a beacon of hope for the northern states.

Most importantly, the industrial revolution going on in the state cannot be overlooked. The 1000 Hectares Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park is an industrialization bravado which chain reaction in employment and development of the region cannot be overemphasized.

The choice of Governor Inuwa Yahaya at the moment for the position of Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman is therefore a good vehicle on a smooth road. A beautiful destination is in sight for the Northern region.

Ismaila Uba Misilli writes from Gombe


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