May 29, 2019 will go down in history as a memorable day in the hearts and minds of the people of Gombe State as they heralded the coming of the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who did not only promise to better their lives but also demonstrated that he has more than enough capacity and sincerity of purpose to deliver on his promises.
Beyond the pomp and pageantry that greeted his inauguration at the popular Pantami Township Stadium in Gombe, where the Chief Judge of the state, Honourable Justice Hakila Y. Heman administered the oaths of office and allegiance on him, Governor Yahaya has since settled down to face the task ahead.
In demonstrating his seriousness and in line with his carefully crafted manifesto, ‘Building A Better Tomorrow for Gombe State,’ the Governor did not mince words at the inauguration venue when he sounded a serious warning which he matched with appropriate action by suspending all appointments, contracts and allocations made by the immediate past administration in the state from March 10.
To prove to Gombe people that he is not going to play with the mandate they gave him to pilot their affairs, the Governor said the era of ‘business as usual’ has since come and gone forever in the state.
To majority of the people of Gombe State, the swearing-in of Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya as the Executive Governor is a harbinger of sort as it comes at a time when the entire citizenry of the state are clearly desirous of a drastic change in the style and substance of governance with a greater emphasis on transparency and accountability, tenets that have been in rather short supply during the tenure of the past administration.
A major concern to the people of Gombe State is the concept of deficit spending and huge interest payments which can really hinder the economic growth and infrastructural development indices of the state thus negatively impacting on the welfare and wellbeing of the people. The resort to last minute execution of gargantuan and phantom projects of doubtful benefit to the state and its people is another issue that needs to be addressed as the previous government had signed off on some massive infrastructural undertakings that have either been abandoned or left for the present administration to complete thus creating additional burden for it even before its proper take-off.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya , after he was sworn in along with his deputy, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau immediately tackled those festering issues head on by announcing the review of the operation of tertiary institutions established by the immediate past administration in order to assess their continued viability and sustainability in view of the huge debt profile of the state that currently stands at over 110 billion naira.
As a further reflection of Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s commitment to the enthronement of transparency, accountability and due process in the state’s governance , the Gombe helmsman announced the immediate suspension of all appointments , contracts and allocation of plots of land made by the Dankwambo administration after March 10, 2019, as many in the state had raised alarm that they were hurriedly rushed through in order to set a trap for the new administration and present it with a fait accompli.
At the core of every government’s policy thrust objective is its commitment to the citizens’ welfare and wellbeing, and Governor Inuwa Yahaya displayed his resolve to further this objective by directing the immediate review of the conditions of service of the state’s workers to put the civil service on a sound footing in order to meet its obligations to the people.
The Gombe State chief executive also reiterated the commitment of his administration towards operating an open door, inclusive and accommodating style of governance which welcomes all manner of opinions, ideas and views including constructive criticism of whatever stripe. Therefore, with Governor Yahaya, there will be no resort to witch hunting, harassment or intimidation of dissenters, opponents or adversaries who legitimately express their divergent viewpoints within the ambit of the law.
On this score, Governor Inuwa Yahaya hailed the courage and iron willed determination of the Gombe State people to effect a change in the state’s administration not withstanding the official oppression and harassment they were subjected to : ‘ I salute their resolve to cast their votes and also their willingness to see that it was counted. I am gratified by the support of fellow governorship aspirants in our party and other party candidates . I’m glad at the neutrality of our traditional rulers and the resolve of our women and youths who resisted overwhelming intimidation’.
Moving on to the infrastructural, developmental and social services spheres, Governor Inuwa Yahaya unambiguously declared that the abundant human and material resources of the state would be harnessed to improve the quality of social amenities available to the people. He also expressed concern at the massive debt profile inherited from the previous administration, while resolving to create employment opportunities for the teeming women and youths across the State,
According to a resolute Governor Inuwa Yahaya : ‘ Gombe is blessed with enormous resources . it is unfortunate that our people are battling with lack of portable water, irregular power supply etc, the transition committee revealed the huge debt profile of the state, lack of maternal and child care, high number of out of school children. We have resolved to formulate policies aimed at creating jobs. It is not going to be business as usual. We shall provide an enabling environment, we will increase the water supply , we will explore Balanga Dam. The Water Board is hereby directed to supply water to Gombe metropolis and its environs daily’.
Indeed the Gombe State chief executive’s inaugural address touched on virtually all aspects of the state’s society that needed to be tackled, revamped, rehabilitated or overhauled in order to meet the inherent challenges of the day and thus deliver on his campaign promises to the people.
Without doubt, Governor Inuwa Yahaya has correctly identified the obstacles and challenges facing his administration but as he has declared before and now, they are not insurmountable if all and sundry join hands with his government in order to take the political, economic, developmental and infrastructural indices of the state to the next level in the relevant scheme of things.
This is why the administration of Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya needs the support of all the people of Gombe State for him to bring back development for the state to regain its past glory.
The Gombe people in the past eight years yearned and aspired for good governance, which became illusive. But God in His infinite mercy has answered their prayers by bringing in a perfect gentleman who is willing, prepared and determined to make their aspirations come to fruition.
Indeed, with Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, ‘Building A Better Tomorrow for Gombe State’ is a task that must be done diligently, committedly and dedicatedly with all the well-meaning sons and daughters of Gombe State on board.