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Gwamna tilts Gombe State towards APC


[FILE PHOTO] Jamil Isyaku Gwamna

Gombe State captured national attention in 2015 when it defied the Buhari-Tsunami to retain the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governor, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, for second term in office. Few years into his second term, a lot of people, including politicians and friends of the state began to show interest in who succeeds him next year.

Dankwambo disclosed in an interview that he had no preferred candidate for the position of governor, stressing that he was confident that Gombe people would choose a governor that would carry on with the multifaceted developmental challenges facing the state.

It was perhaps based on those avowals that many Gombe people decided to join in the search for credible, competent and capable indigenes that could steer the ship of the state on the path of unity, social harmony and economic prosperity.

The challenge of finding a fitting successor to Dankwambo, it must be noted, was equally taken up by the two major political parties in the state, namely, the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, the challenge seemed to be more acute for PDP, which is the party in power in the state.

Although some PDP stakeholders believed that the governor was sincere with the issue of his succession plan, others saw his decision not to interfere with the selection of the next governor as a calculated attempt to divert attention.

Even within the APC, some stakeholders kept on pestering the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Danjuma Goje, with questions about whom he is supporting for the governorship of the state.

Like Dankwambo, Senator Goje declared that he had no preferred candidate, stressing that he would not only support whoever emerges the governorship candidate of APC, but also work together with the candidate to win the election and continue the development of Gombe State.

It should be noted that the APC gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 election for Gombe State, Alhaji Inuwa Yahya, would have won the election then if not for the internal crisis that hit the party immediately after the primaries as those who lost to Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya worked against him during the main election.

Journey to 2019

However, as the buildup to the 2019 general election continued, some well-meaning Gombe citizens from different walks of life, including academics, civil servants, captains of industry, farmers, students and politicians saw the visionary Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, as the fit and proper person to step into Dankwambo’s shoes as governor.

After much persuasions and clarifications, Dr. Jamil Gwamna succumbed to the pleas of Gombe people and accepted to run for governor.

Like a harmattan haze, the name JIG caught up with the entire populace in Gombe State and it was taken for granted that PDP would retain the state through the next gubernatorial election.

But, during the recent PDP governorship primary election, something happened. While the majority of PDP members were waiting to affirm their choice of Dr. Jamil Isyaku Gwamna, there was a twist in the political orientation of the party, which had endured in the past seven years.

Unknown to the PDP delegates, the Senator representing Gombe North, Bayero Nafada, had enlisted the services of political thugs to disrupt the peaceful and convivial atmosphere that pervaded the Government House venue of the primary.

Intrigiungly, the outgoing governor, who is also associated with campaigns to be president, was present at the show of shame.

Yet, despite the disruption of the night before, PDP delegates and stakeholders reconvened the next day to take part in the primary although psychological trauma of the violence had frightened many of the delegates.

Without the party faithful knowing it, the orchestrated violence was just a ploy to manipulate the primary and disenfranchise most authentic delegates.

It was therefore not surprising that at the end of the charade, the organizers who were later discovered to be working in cahoots with Senator Nafada released a result tainted by fraud.

While they allocated 1, 104 votes to Nafada, the enemies of democracy grudgingly ascribed 147 votes to Dr. Jamil Gwamna, to give the impression that a contest took place.

It was surprising that the complaints and entreaties of well-meaning party men and women to have the fraudulent exercise reviewed, those who had contracted with Nafada to deny the people the free choice of an acceptable governorship candidate stuck to their guns. 

Possible implications

IT is obvious that PDP has shot itself on the foot. It cannot make further progress in Gombe State.

The popular candidate, Dr. Jamil Isyaku Gwamna has responded to the lack of fairness by moving to the APC alongside his legions of supporters.

What this means is that the thin balance of power between PDP and APC has been skewed in favour of APC and that would without doubt culminate in the stunning defeat of PDP in next year’s governorship election.

Gombe State APC has become very indomitable, because the combination of Dr. Jamil Isyaku Gwamna (Sardaunan Gombe) and Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya is a winning formula that no force can match. Sardaunan Gombe has carried his charisma, popularity and vision to APC thereby leaving PDP as a shadow of the bourgeoning stature it displayed with Gwamna’s acceptance to run for governor.
Speaking while announcing his decision to join APC, JIG regretted that rather than deepen democracy and good governance, the PDP administration has squandered much public goodwill, and advanced the cause of corruption and abuse of public trust.

He explained that he did not aspire to be governor of Gombe State for his personal interest, stressing, “I contested because you the people of Gombe state asked me to. Our expectations cannot no longer be guarantee under PDP.”

Now, it has emerged that Dr. Jamil Gwamna has gravitated towards a proper political circle, because of his integrity quotient and anti-corruption stance.

There is every possibility that due to this fortuitous political circumstance in Gombe, the state would begin the reap benefit of purposeful leadership as Dr. Gwamna gets ready to offer invaluable suggestions and ideas to deliver on good governance.

This is part of what PDP has lost in Gombe State.

As Gwamna correctly pointed out, President Muhammadu Buhari has done well for this country and for the state to belong to the President’s party means that deployment of social amenities and projects would be easier.

With his charisma and crowd pulling abilities, Dr. Jamil Gwamna could be said to have defeated PDP and given victory to APC in Gombe State before even the elections are held.

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