By Muhammad Musa-Gombe
Many may think that Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State is terrible at one thing: He sucks at not knowing how to blow his trumpet. Many think he is averse to self-promotion in a system where public perception is of utmost importance. It makes you wonder what he is doing in politics if he does not know how to blow his trumpet.
While doing this may be wrongly construed as bragging or boasting, some believe it is necessary in the murky world of politics.
And though many Gombe residents, and indigenes outside the state, are proud of the achievements of Inuwa Yahaya, he is certainly not amongst those conceited leaders steeped in propaganda; because he believes his work should speak for itself.
Over the last two years, the Inuwa Yahaya administration has taken bold steps to address the pressing developmental challenges facing the state, by employing an all-inclusive, needs-driven developmental approach which has led to significant progress in the health delivery system, basic education, environmental sustainability, rural development, urban renewal and institutional reforms. This the administration achieved while ensuring the security and safety of lives and property of Gombe people.
Today, the results are evidently clear for everyone to see.
The state government, upon inception, declared a state of emergency in the education sector and consistently increased the capital allocation to the sector by over 60% in 2020 and 2021. This has translated into the construction, renovation and equipping of 584 classrooms in 156 schools across the state.
A former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya is clearly displaying good leadership, paying gratuities to the state retirees, a move that demonstrates his commitment to the welfare of not just serving civil servants but retired ones, too.
Economists and analysts say the 2021 Appropriation bill of N119.6 billion presented to the Gombe State House of Assembly, for consideration and subsequent passage into law, indicates a paradigm shift from years of recurrent expenditure-centred budget to capital expenditure-based budget, especially when taking into account sectoral allocations contained in the budget estimates.
This area of concern by Yahaya are by no less a comprehensive coverage of a holistic physical and human capital development of the state. This was perhaps the more reason why the sectoral allocations in the 2021 budget leaves no one in doubt as to the political will and sheer determination of the governor to transform the state and make it a model.
Going by his achievements in the past two years, his administration appears more determined and committed to build on the successes recorded, and though it has yet to reach its apogee, the state government is harnessing new thinking as well as the energies of youths to consolidate on these gains.
The governor has said that with quality education, he will change the psyche of the people because education is an eye-opener that makes the people see from different angles and widens their horizons.
With a total of out-of-school children put at at 700, 000 out of a population of 3.2 million, his target is to reduce the number of out-of-schools in the state before the expiration of his four-year term in office.
Similarly, the state has constructed over 350 kilometers of roads network under the Network 11-100 initiative that aims to construct at least 100 km of roads in each of the 11 LGAs.
Similarly, arrangements have been concluded for the take-off of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) in collaboration with the federal ministries of Finance and Agriculture to further open up rural communities.
Government has also commenced work to establish the Gombe State Citizenship and Leadership Training Center in Boltongo and the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Training Center at Garin Tafida that will train not less than 3,000 of youths annually on various skills and vocations.
In this era of heightened ethnicity, it is refreshing to note with appreciation the appointment of an Igbo man as a Senior Special Adviser (SSA) on community relations in Inuwa’s government.
Water is life, hence the emphasis by the Yahaya administration to resuscitate the hitherto neglected Gombe regional water supply scheme which suffered years of neglect under the immediate past administration leading to the restoration of regular supply of about 50 million litres of water daily to the metropolis and its environs.
Similarly, in order to enhance water supply to remote communities, over 300 boreholes have been drilled across all the 11 LGAs by the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA).
There is a fine line between blowing your own trumpet and arrogance and surely people will easily see through unsubstantiated claims but more than half the battle is won when you allow your work to sell you to the people and that is the mantra of services for the greater good.
Not shy of taking credit, Inuwa Yahaya may not want to put down his modest successes to luck or coincidences, rather it’s the dint of sheer hard work and perseverance, those ingredients of success.
Optimism and resilience are watchwords that mark Inuwa Yahaya’s administration and no doubt strike an unquenchable spirit of patriotism and a burning desire to leave Gombe better than he met it, and to inspire hope in the minds of the people for a better tomorrow.
Hugging the lime-light and being in the spotlight may be frowned upon as an arrogant act, but in Gombe it is all about humility, focusing on one’s goals and not bragging about accomplishments.
There is no doubt Inuwa Yahaya is upholding the principles of accountability and transparency in governance, and his government has promised to continue to faithfully deliver on all the promises made to the people before the end of his tenure.
It is therefore refreshing to see our leaders’ determination and commitment to serve his people to the best of his abilities with equity, fairness and justice.
▪︎ Gombe, a media practitioner writes from Abuja