Indeed history was made at the Leadership Newspapers annual award ceremony recently when His Excellency, Alh. (Dr) Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo was conferred with the prestigious Award of Governor of the Year to the thunderous applause, admiration and probation of thousands of his supporters, admirers and well-wishers alike who were seemingly overjoyed at the doubly deserving honors for a leader who epitomizes courage, resilience, honesty, integrity and deeply felt compassion for the common man.
Basically, the award was to celebrate the uncommon people and their unique and outstanding performances in entrenching good and corporate governance cum democratic sustainability. The nomination of His Excellency, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo lies in the fact that, he has remained the personification of courage and resilience under immense and daunting pressure which would have ordinarily overwhelmed a lesser man or a less tenacious personality. Dankwambo has performed creditably in all spheres of socio-economic reckoning in Gombe state with his sterling achievements in the area of road construction, provision of affordable health and maternity care, revolution in the educational sector, manpower development, potable water to urban and rural communities, support for boosting of agricultural production, youth and women empowerment and the beefing up of critical security apparatus across the length and breadth of the Jewel of the Savannah.
However, despite the superlative performance of the Talban Gombe who former President Goodluck Jonathan famously referred to as ‘a man of action’, atavistic and reactionary forces within and outside Gombe state were stoutly determined to oust him from power by all means necessary, whether legitimate or illegitimate as the case may be, leveraging on the APC’s fallacious political catchphrase of Change Mantra. The arrowhead of the power hungry cabal was no other person than the former Gombe state governor, Senator Danjuma Goje who felt he could perversely exact his pound of flesh from Dankwambo for having frustrated his efforts of controlling the affairs of the state from Abuja. Goje being his predecessor, has wrongfully felt and claimed that he had installed Dankwambo as the governor of the state and so should tele guide and micromanage the running of the state with the governor as the puppet while he remained the puppeteer.
In most contradicting way, a steadfast Dankwambo firmly rebuffed the shenanigans of the former governor who out of frustration, dumped the PDP for the then newly formed APC with the aim of hitting back at his former associates by sending him packing from Gombe Government House. Goje has went to great lengths to mobilize thousands of unemployed youths, motor parks touts, indigent denizens, who he brought out to chant slogans and carry placards against the Dankwambo’s administration at numerous rallies and political campaigns throughout the state as a build up to the 2015 governorship elections with an aim to denigrate the government and oust the Dankwambo. In fact, Goje and his party APC have exploited the popularity of General Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential candidate in order to garner support for the party as a means to toppling Talban Gombe from the seat of power.
It was certain, when President Muhammadu Buhari emerged victorious at the presidential elections, all hell was let loose as key members of the Gombe state PDP including the State’s Deputy Party Chairman, members of the National and State Assemblies and countless other top party officials defected to the APC fearing that the hurricane that swept in President Buhari to power would also sweep out Governor Dankwambo out of power. In the reckoning of those desperate defectors, it was better to jump ship and find relevance in the APC before it was too late. In fact, a visitor to Gombe Government House felt that he was in a ghost town as an eerie silence prevailed while turncoats and traitors were busy sabotaging the machinery of government for their political self-serving interest and gullibility to Goje’s deceits, who openly boasted that the end was nigh for Dankwambo.
Indeed the ebullient governor was truly the last man standing as he remained undaunted, unfazed and unmoved as the political earthquake reverberated around him, confident that the vast majority of the Gombe people were solidly behind him due to the infrastructural, social and economic revolution he had engendered for the benefit of the populace. Like Winston Churchill who stood alone in 1941 against the onslaught of Nazi Germany, Dankwambo equally braved the odds of the political chicanery launched against his administration, only to emerge victorious at the 2015 gubernatorial elections by routing the APC and Goje’s imposed candidate, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya in 10 out of the 11 local governments in Gombe state with a landslide margin unprecedented in the history of the young state.
Dankwambo, a fearless, resolute, astute and incredibly tenacious personality had not the slightest in liking of doubt that he would emerge victorious and even when he was inundated with numerous appeals to defect the APC or seek common cause with his traducers, the stalwart Talban Gombe remained steadfast in his loyalty and dedication to the party that gave him the ticket in the first place. The only PDP governor that standout against the fallacious hurricane in the northern part of the country before the later emergence of his Taraba State counterpart, Indeed that, has earned him many awards and it was the true essence of the award bestowed on his Excellency by the Leadership Group of Newspapers; always remain committed, focused and dedicated to your ultimate goal and endeavor in life and never be daunted or discouraged by the enormity of opposition or hostility to your noble principles and objectives in life. It is Without doubt that, Dankwambo is a testimony to the triumph of courage, determination and steadfastness in the pursuit of truth, service and principle and the recent Leadership Award of Governor of the Year 2015 and many of its kind did not come to us as surprise.
– Hassan Kera was the Chairman Media and Publicity Committee for Dankwambo 2015 Election Organization.