By Ismaila Uba Misilli
“If you possess the stuff of a champion you can’t stay too long in the abbys of the minnows”. The above aphorism is a terse formulation of a truth that captures the fate of Gombe State governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON, when his colleagues across the northern region unanimously elected him to chair the highly influential Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF).
Governor Inuwa took over from the immediate past governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, with effect from May 29, 2023. The former chairman of the forum had, while handing over to the new chairman, said Governor Inuwa was elected to chair the NSGF in view of his experience, sterling leadership qualities and commitment to good governance.
That Inuwa was unanimously accepted to lead the governors from Northern Nigeria under the auspices of the Northern States Governors’ Forum is not fortuitous at all. It was a deliberate consensus of a people who have come to recognise the sterling leadership ambience of the man who shines in tandem with the slogan of his state, Jewel in the Savannah.
The Gombe governor has been consistent in terms of performance. He has been outstanding in political dynamism. He has been persistent in the delivery of quality projects that have drawn the binoculars of writers and historiographers to Gombe State across the globe. He has become an epitome of political altruism. He stands shoulder high among political promise keepers, and among nobilities he is a super power. All these attributes cannot be overlooked.
The governors from Northern Nigeria are, therefore, not toying with the destiny of this great zone in anyway. They needed a man that is capable of taking the region to the next level of infrastructural advancement.Yes; in Inuwa they found worthy treasures. The Gombe governor has crossed the threshold of history in governance and performance. and he is creditably recording superlative achievements in his State to merit the historic position.
Inuwa symbolises tangible hope, palpable progress and capable leadership. With him in the saddle, there is now a new horizon of industrial transmogrification of Northern Nigeria. Under the chairmanship of the Dan Majen Gombe, I see the North shining so brilliantly as the true Northern Star.
While taking over the mantle of leadership from Lalong, Governor Inuwa did not mince words when he said, “We will work hard to ensure that we catch up with the rest of the country, possibly with the developed parts of the world so that our people will feel the impact of good governance we all pursue”.
He also said that the NSGF will continue to work with past leadership of the forum in order to consolidate on the gains so far recorded to properly place it on the smooth trajectory of social cohesion, economic emancipation and infrastructural development.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya expressed delight with the commencement of drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin which has brought to three drilling sites in the North, including Kolmani in Gombe and Bauchi as well as the one in Nasarawa State. He assured that the forum will see to the actualisation of the exploration of the large oil and gas deposits in the North for the benefit of the people.
Inuwa is a born leader who does not joke with his beat at all. He may look unassuming, but he’s a serious minded personality who cannot stand mediority. He has no patience with non-perfomers.You have to be downright hardworking and finicky in your delivery of assignments to earn membership of his team. He thinks on his toes and philosophises upstairs about the best option always and settles for it.
If you look at the rapturous applause Inuwa Yahaya has been receiving, with awards for quality output, you cannot but agree with the governors from Northern Nigeria that they have found a worthy leader in the Dan Majen Gombe. Afterall, governance is all about people and what their needs are. Inuwa stands so tall at the roll call of promise-keeping governors in Nigeria.
Like a performance generalissimo, Inuwa always has a chart handy where he keeps gazing at the list of promises he made to the electorate. He keeps all and stick to delivery timelines.
Talking about development and infrastructure, Inuwa Yahaya has a ready blueprint that any state in Northern Nigeria will gladly love to replicate. When the issue of stopping nomadic herdsmen’s movement across Nigeria came to the national fore, Inuwa Yahaya was the one who went to the presidency and put down Gombe State’s 144,000 hectares Wawa-Zange Grazing Reserve as a panacea for the debacle.
His infrastructural pursuit is worthy of emulation. In Inuwa’s Gombe, all the eleven local government areas have at least a hundred kilometers of road network under the Network 11-100 Project. The ease with which people and goods move in Gombe State is quite fascinating.
He initiated a 10-year Development Plan for Gombe State, the first in the 26-year history of the state called the Jewel in the Savannah. He itemized the timelines for attainable landmarks and put capable individuals in charge of each task, monitoring them like a farmer monitoring his very first harvest.
Go-Health is an initiative that brought quality healthcare to the high and low in Gombe State. Governor Inuwa’s exemplary execution of the COVID-19 programme and subsequent commendations by WHO and UNICEF merited his invitation to the world acclaimed Chartham House to share his Universal Health Coverage with the whole world. Under him Gombe now boasts of three specialist hospitals and 114 functional primary healthcare centers among other healthcare facilities.
His education and public service reforms are huge.
GOINVEST, the first ever investment summit in Gombe State, has turned the Jewel in the Savannah to investment destination at the moment. Both local and international development partners and investors are falling head over heels to have a taste of Nigeria’s investment bride.Yes, you can say this about Gombe State without equivocation.
Gombe State has won Nigeria’s Best State in the Ease of Doing Business award back to back, in 2021 and 2023. You can do your business with a modicum of equanimity, requisite business speed and expected pace.This is an empirical evidence about Gombe State.
Talking about safety, Gombe State is the safest in Northern Nigeria at the moment. The topography of the state is such a scenic picturesque which also serves as a security buffer against unwanted intruders. This is an advantage for the peaceful Gombe.
Gombe State is blessed with the Kolmani Oil project which Governor Inuwa Yahaya worked tirelessly to see that Muhammadu Buhari flagged off during his tenure.Gombe has oil that can benefit Northern Nigeria.
What is more, under the focused, dynamic and dedicated leadership of Inuwa Yahaya, the Dadinkowa Hydro Electricity Powerplant stunted for over 40 years was commissioned in the last week of the Buhari administration. Power generation into the national grid and its cascading effects among the states in Northern Nigeria have received a big boost by the commissioning of the Dadinkowa Power Plant. Gombe is indeed a beacon of hope for the northern states.
Most importantly, the industrial revolution going on in Jewel in the Savannah cannot be overlooked. The 1000 Hectares Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park is an industrialisation bravado whose chain reaction in employment and development of the region cannot be overemphasised.
The choice of Governor Inuwa Yahaya for the position of Northern Governors’ Forum chairman is therefore a good vehicle on a smooth road. A beautiful destination is in sight for the Northern region.
- Misilli wrote from Gombe