By UMAR DANJUMA GOMBE
I read with utter indignation an article written by one Mela Jonathan with the above headline published by The Nation newspaper of Thursday, November 18, 2021, where the writer made some disparaging and unsubstantiated claims against the people’s governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, a man whose major preoccupation at the moment is to right the wrong of the past and transform Gombe State.
Before delving into the ranting of the so-called writer, let me say that it was more than evident in the thrash he dished out that the whole thing was part of the ongoing sponsored smear campaign against Governor Yahaya by some disgruntled elements.
To start with, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya is known all over Gombe State and beyond as a man of good character, humility, an accommodating mind and peaceful nature, against the portrayal of the writer and his paymasters. It is for his good leadership qualities that Governor Yahaya remains number one among all the governors Gombe State has had in carrying along people from different parts and strata of the state in his government. We, the Gombe people, are proud of this.
All Nigerian political parties have hierarchy and structures. For all of them, it is just natural that a governor is the leader of the party in the state, Gombe inclusive. So far, Governor Yahaya has been discharging his functions as the leader of the APC in Gombe State diligently and committedly. If there is any complaint, that is for selfish considerations.
It is rather calamitous that at a time the good people of Gombe State are rallying round their leader to enjoy the benefits of their sacrifices and in fulfillment of the promises Governor Yahaya made during his electioneering campaigns that some unscrupulous and unpatriotic elements in the state have taken the path of perdition, of which Jonathan – or whoever it is – seems to be an eminent member or a willing tool.
In an attempt to make real what does not exist, Jonathan ended up perambulating aimlessly. Anybody that wishes to see the failure of Governor Yahaya is, first a failure in his own right, and shall live to see Gombe in a different form and shape – positively speaking of course – under Governor Yahaya.
To say that Governor Yahaya has chosen the path of destruction is to throw insults on the faces of the good people of Gombe State who, for all intents and purposes, have in the last two and half years had cause to rejoice and celebrate their leader for the way he has been diligently and efficiently executing people-oriented projects in the state.
What the likes of Mela Jonathan and his sponsors are not happy about are the kinds of good news coming out of Gombe State since the assumption of office of Governor Yahaya. Is it the rating as the best state in the entire country in the Ease of Doing Business? Or that on the Transparency and Accountability Index? Or the one on Fiscal Responsibility Index? Gombe, under Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, has changed for the better, and is now in the world map as one of the safest destinations for investments in Nigeria. This is the kind of news that the Male Jonathans of this world do not want to hear, because their interest is not about Gombe but about their ego.
Another good news Jonathan and persons of his ilk do not want to hear is the massive road constructions going on across the nooks and crannies of Gombe State under the Network11-100 initiative which targets the construction of at least 100 Kilometers of roads in each of the 11 LGAs. They also frown at the modest achievements in terms of the total overhaul and revitalization of 114 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across 114 wards in the state. They are also angry that the Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya administration is building new or upgrading hospitals in Kumo, Kaltungo, Bajoga and Kuri among others.
All the above and others too numerous to mention are in the public domain, and Jonathan as well as his co-travelers and sponsors know this too well. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has been doing all this much to the chagrin of the enemies within, whose number is so insignificant that no one should bother.
Talking about borrowing, it is public knowledge that governments all over the world exist under borrowing, so there is nothing wrong with it. However, what is wrong is when you borrow and mismanage the funds, which is what Governor Yahaya has been saying about the past administration.
An administration that took loans running into billions of naira in the name of some projects only to abandon those projects and leave behind huge burden on the new administration both in terms of the money and completion of the projects deserves excoriation. So, it is natural that Governor Yahaya, or whoever it is as governor of Gombe State, to complain about the excesses of the immediate past administration.
If Mela Jonathan had done his background checks before coming out to castigate Governor Yahaya, he would have discovered that as recently published by the Gombe State Government, when the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya came into being on May 29, 2019, it was confronted with an empty treasury and a burden of billions of naira.
Mela Jonathan would also have come across the fact that as of today, the Gombe governor has succeeded in stabilizing the local government councils that hitherto had liabilities running into billions of naira too.
For the provision of critical infrastructure, people can go and see that today, most township road networks and some regional roads have been completed in less than two years while many more are at various levels of completion.
One should really pity the Yahaya administration because it pays hugely monthly to service the inherited facilities. To think that the loans taken were not utilized for the reasons they were obtained is not only annoying but also heartbreaking. To date, the Yahaya administration has cleared billions of gratuity arrears for our senior citizens and other retirees.
Again, in his own case, whatever amount that he borrows is being used for what it is taken. This is a verifiable claim that anybody that cares to know can effectively do so.
The Gombe people are ready to defend their leader, especially against the sustained campaign of calumny waged by those who do not wish the state well.
Let the world know that the Gombe people are not complaining. Those complaining are in the minutest of the minority. They are the business-as-usual people, who do not have the interest of the people at heart. For Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, we say thank you for your leadership, and we are ready to return you in 2023.
Umar Danjuma wrote from Gombe.