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GOMBE @ 25: Racing to the promised land

The critical point to note as Gombe State marks its 25th anniversary is that the ideals behind its creation have been largely defined and shaped…

The critical point to note as Gombe State marks its 25th anniversary is that the ideals behind its creation have been largely defined and shaped by the power of leadership and vision over time, making it imperative to contend with the relevance of these development factors now and in the future.

It is important to go down memory lane to recollect the patriotic endeavours of the founding fathers, who, against all odds, ensured Gombe was created out of the old Bauchi State for the essential concern to bring development closer to the people and move as quickly as possible in the ladder of progress. It is therefore adequate to salute the vision and courage of these founding fathers.

In tune with this season of silverjubilee, therefore, we extend our profound gratitude to the pioneering military leaders in the persons of Group Captain Joseph Orji and Col.  Mohammed Bawa ( late) who though had short stay in office but were important part of our history.

Due recognition also goes to the civilian leaders, namely, former Governors Abubakar Habu Hashidu, Mohammed Danjuma Goje and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as well as the current Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who, no matter the differences in the level of evaluation, contributed to the development of the state.

Now, the question arises: can we justifiably celebrate Gombe at 25? This may be subjective but certainly, I think we can and should roll out the drums and celebrate because Gombe State, based on the gigantic development efforts and expanded big vision of contemporary leaders in particular, is living up to its promise as a model state and in quantum leaps of socio-economic progression to the greater happiness of the people.

Gombe, the state capital, like most of the other towns around the state, has now grown so phenomenally big as modern city with mind-blowing infrastructure and amenities as envisioned and we are certainly making history.

While it is appropriate to recognize the various roles played by the successive leaders and allied patriots, I cannot but pinpoint the new vistas being heralded and engineered by the current leadership in the state chiefly on the fundamental issue of real growth and development.

In particular,  there has been a strategic inter-linkage between the then Goje’s administration and the current governor who was a key member of the Goje administration as Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning and indeed consequential to the reforms and development trajectories of that era now bolstered under his watch as Gombe State chief executive.

Since he took office in 2019, Governor Inuwa has matched effective leadership with a broad vision, imbued with hard work, sacrifice and innovative thinking and thus turning the tide even in a challenging political environment as well as a tough economic climate.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya is moderating a new clime of conscious idealism placed side-by-side with realism on the journey so far especially on the challenge of translating the great potentials of the state into real socio-economic enterprise. He’s evidently delivering on the promise envisaged at inception to make Gombe a model state.

Indeed, in 2021, Gombe State, by a landslide, won the number one position in the Ease of Doing Business Index as certified by the National Economic Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

By major parameters, Governor Yahaya has excelled and even surpassed the records of his predecessors in all critical aspects of the state’s economy: roads, rural infrastructure, pipe borne water, health, education, power, transportation, urban renewal, agriculture, civil service reform, manpower development and women and youth empowerment. The specific cases of roads construction across the state as well as health centres, greater access to education and water provision will forever be reckoned to be the high points of life changing development incentives of the administration and indeed lasting legacies.

A new clime of possibilities is booming as Gombe State has become the most favoured destination for high net investors who have taken advantage of the relative absence of bureaucratic bottle necks in the issuance of business permits, contract awards, procurement process and tax payments in the state.

All these did not happen by accident, but a product of painstaking preparation. As a practical and innovative leader, Governor Yahaya had prior to his election as governor understudied the Asian leadership and economic revitalization and he was fascinated by the Singapore model under the legendary Lee Kuan Yew as a fitting example of what modern Gombe State should look like.

The Gombe 10- year development plan,  is another initiative of Governor Yahaya with the mission to create an enabling environment for sustainable peace,  cohesion and an all- inclusive development for the people to leave lasting legacy for succeeding generations.

Governor Yahaya has also led by example as an apostle of peace amidst diversity, as he continually preaches peace, tolerance, co-operation and peaceful cohabitation among the diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic groups in the state. That Gombe State has not turned into a haven for Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and assorted kidnappers as other states in the North-East can be ascribed to Inuwa’s One Gombe, One Destiny philosophy which has permeated all nooks and crannies of the state, thus translating into a peaceful, prosperous and progressive society.

Thus, as Gombe marks its 25 years of existence, it is gratifying to note that the state has delivered on its promise at inception to be a model state to the greater good of the people through accelerated development in a stable polity. Gombe is certainly racing to the promised land.

Ismaila Uba Misilli is the Director-General ( Press Affairs) Government House,  Gombe

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