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Gombe will see change they yearn for – Governor-elect Inuwa

Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya is the governor-elect of Gombe State. The businessman cum politician was also the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)…

Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya is the governor-elect of Gombe State. The businessman cum politician was also the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 but lost to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of the PDP. In this interview with Daily Trust on Sunday, he speaks on how the APC wrested power from the PDP, caliber of people to expect in his cabinet and priority areas.


Your party, APC swept most seats during the just concluded general elections in the state. How did you achieve that feat?

We achieve that feat because Allah has made it possible for us and also because of the experiences we had in 2015 which made the APC to lose because we could not organise ourselves properly. That experience of 2015 helped us this time to galvanise our forces, join hands and support one another and that is why this time Allah has made it possible for us to not only get the votes but to defend the votes. We are now virtually in total control of Gombe State. I use to say that Gombe is an APC state and with the outcome of the election I have been vindicated.


How do you intend to carry along people that contributed towards your success at the polls?

APC is a political party for all and different categories of people have knocked on our doors and said they want to join. However, they didn’t join the party to be ordinary party men majority joined and contributed towards our success. Therefore, where you contributed in building a house and you shouldn’t be denied the benefit of being in that house or that environment. So, as they are all in the APC, we intend to carry everybody along, so long as they remain within the confines of the party’s rule and regulations. As such, we hope we will get that understanding from our people when forming the next government by May. But I believe my focus and all the people that contributed towards our victory is to work hard and bring the desired change we need in the state.


What kind of people should the people of state expect in your cabinet?

We are going to have the mixture of both technocrats and politicians. And we will go with the people that will be able to help the government to deliver the dividend of democracy we promised to the people during our campaigns. So, we will engage all and whoever is an indigene of the state has the right to join the system. We will give all people equal opportunity and will not disappoint the technocrats or politicians. And we will all work hard to ensure that we shall deliver by the grace of God what the people expect from us. But we will emphasise on people that will contribute positively towards the development of the state. I assure that the people that will be appointed will work hard and will not disappoint the populace. I can also assure you that all the caliber of people that will be appointed will be acceptable to all.


What do you intend to do in your first 100 days in office?

When we get to the bridge we will cross it. But I can assure you that the people of the state will see the change that they have been yearning to get for a long time. We will do our best to achieve tangible changes and put the state on the right track of development and we hope that it would start manifesting within the first three months of our administration.


What would be your priority area when you take over on May 29?

Prior to the election, I have issued a manifesto which touched on virtually all aspects of human endeavor. However, we will study the situation based on the demands of the people, prioritise and take the state to the next level. My aspiration and that of all the APC people that are going to form the government is to take the state to a better position than it is now. Also, I will emphasise on all sectors and areas that will bring succor to the people. We will improve education, small and medium scale enterprises, healthcare services, water supply and agriculture, among others. These sectors will be prioritise to prepare our future generations and improve the economy of the state. But I will give much attention to the education sector because without good education there will be no development and the future will be bleak.

Moreover, improving education doesn’t mean mere awarding of contracts for the construction of classrooms, the way the current government assumed that after classes were constructed, the children will automatically be educated. But the teachers need to be well trained and taken care of. We need to look into their welfare, train and re-train them, provide books, and other learning materials for the pupils and students. When you have all these in place, learning can take place even under a tree and you will find out that the quality of education will be better than other schools where classrooms are constructed without taking such important factors into consideration.

So, when I take over, I will give more priority in these areas, to improve the standard of education. I have been saying it, in the last seven years, Gombe State has always been number 34 in the index on performance in schools examination, like WAEC and NECO. I will work hard by following clearly outlined steps to ensure that we move the state to at least number 24 on the table in the next two years.


How do you intend to meet the high expectations of the electorate who assume you can solve their problems within a short time?

It took a lot of years for things to be destroyed to this level. I am aware that people have expectations on my government and also hopes that I can deliver, but we need time because it easier to damage than to repair and put things in shape. We shall do our best and I have a belief that with the plans we have and the support we are going to get from our leaders in the APC, we shall take the state from the current situation to a better situation that we all aspire to have.

But I will ask people to give support and cooperate, to first ease the process of receiving and taking over the government, and secondly in implementing the policy of government so that each and every one of us will see improvement.


What do you intend to do differently soas to leave a legacy at the end of your tenure?

All I aspire for is for me to leave a legacy that people will come and appreciate that I came and left an indelible mark in history. God-willing I will do my best to see that I didn’t fail the people of the state and leave the office with my integrity intact. Therefore, I will use this opportunity to urge the people of Gombe State to continue to cooperate with us and keep the hope alive.

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