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Gombe State’s Meteoric Rise To National, International Prominence Under Inuwa



By Ismaila Uba Misilli

When the green white green flag of Nigeria rose jubilantly in ecstatic mood across the length and breath of the country on October 1st, her independence day, and glasses were clinking in every State House in celebration, Gombe State’s was unabashedly louder in the mix because of it’s current beautiful standing as a brilliant shining star in performance and class, going by all social and economic indicators which have positioned the state as one of the best in Nigeria at the moment.

Yes. Gombe State under the dynamic, inimitable and very technocratic administration of Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has become a benchmark of good governance, and the governor is fast becoming a pride of the present dispensation. Little wonder he was given a rosy positioning recently on the highly political podium of Chattam House in the United Kingdom to showcase some of the stellar performances of the Jewel in the Savannah. Inuwa Yahaya is the first governor of Gombe State to be so honoured. He simply lived up to the billing.

As Nigeria takes stock of its nationhood trajectory, it will not be out of place for Gombe State too to look back and look through Its quantum leaps in recent years.
This is necessary to chart the course into the foreseeable future of the State, that is, changing the dynamics of the political economy of Northern Nigeria if not the whole of the nation.
Adjudged as the Best State in the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, chosen as the best investment destination, described as one of the most peaceful states, choosen as the best manager of human diversity, among many other bests, Gombe State has a lot to show especially under the present administration.

While Nigeria celebrated 62, Gombe State is in its 26th anniversary as a state.
At its 26th anniversary it is very obvious that the ideals behind its creation have been largely defined and shaped by the power of leadership and vision over time.
The quality of leadership has been the propelling factor of its developmetal strides.

At some time, the leadership was like a crescendo. At some other times it seemed as if the state was in a comatose and another time it revved up like an upswinging parabola.

To which of these political phase do we ascribe to the incumbent administration?
Since facts are sacrosanct, it is pertinent and absolutely a sure footed move to count the blessings of Gombe State under Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and then cast a binocular into Gombe’s forseeable future as outlined by the roadmaps of succeses as succinctly elucidated by the plans, policies and program implementations under Inuwa Yahaya.

From its creation on the 1st of October, 1996 till date, the leadership of the state had changed in quick succession from the military era to the civilian and in particular those who have led the state in this 4th Republic and whose commendable efforts deserve some appreciation at this momentous occasion even in relative terms.

Group Captain Joseph Orji and Col. Mohammed Bawa ( late) who though had short stay in office were important part of the history of Gombe State.

Gombe State also had the civilian leaders, namely, former Governors Abubakar Habu Hashidu ( late), Mohammed Danjuma Goje and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and the current Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who, no matter the differences in the level of evaluation, contributed to the development of the state most meaningfully and very significantly too. Gombe no doubt seems to be moving in double strides under Inuwa Yahaya.

From the earliest days of the creation of the state often known as the Jewel in the Savannah, the conviction was very clear even to the founding fathers that Gombe was brimming with human and material resources and justifiably this position was at the heart of the spirited proposal to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha on the need to create the state. As a matter of fact, the viability of Gombe State at creation and as presented to the late head of state hastened its approval even though without any take-off grant like other states.

The rest is now a matter of historical revelation as the state has moved from one development trajectory to the other with particular attachment to the leadership at a given point in time, emphasizing the leadership question as a major factor in societal regeneration.

Gombe, the state capital, like most of the other towns around the state, has now grown so phenomenally big as modern city with mind-blowing infrastructure and amenities as envisioned and we are certainly making history.

To some development experts, 26 years may not be so long a period in the life of a state or nation but what counts indeed is the level of achievements relative to expectations.

While it is appropriate to recognize the various roles played by the successive leaders and allied patriots, I cannot but pinpoint the new vistas being heralded and engineered by the current leadership in the state chiefly on the fundamental issue of real growth and development.

In particular, there has been a strategic inter-linkage between the then Goje’s administration and the current governor who was a key member of the Goje administration as Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning and indeed consequential to the reforms and development trajectories of that era now bolstered under his watch as Gombe State chief executive.

However, we have also seen a marked shift and expansion of good governance in the state, a desirable shift which essentially has changed the attitude of how government business is conducted in deft appreciation of the people’s mandate for renewal and the zeal to develop the state. Governor Inuwa’s strategic leadership is confounding in the context of the array of accomplishments during his short stay in government.

A cursory assessment of Gombe at 26 will require an objective retrospective look at what Governor Inuwa Yahaya met on ground at the assumption of office and compared with the realities today in terms of basic levels of development not only in the state capital but also across the state and in major strategic areas and indices. He has actually made a world of difference in changing our collective narrative amidst socio-economic and political stability.

Since he took office in 2019, Governor Inuwa has matched effective leadership with a broad vision, imbued with hard work, sacrifice and innovative thinking and thus turning the tide even in a challenging political environment as well as a tough economic climate.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya is indeed moderating a new clime of conscious idealism placed side-by-side with realism on the journey so far especially on the challenge of translating the great potentials of the state into real socio-economic enterprise. He’s evidently delivering on the promise envisaged at inception to make Gombe a model state.
Inuwa Yahaya had a clear cut blue prints of the level of development he desired to bequeth on Gombe State.He therefore wasted no time in employing the best of brains in his cabinet and the State had been posting remarkable results. Between May 29 2019 to October 1st 2022, barely 3 and a half years Gombe’s phenomenal lift in developmet indices is quite historic.

While the North East Nigeria is dreaded as the theater of brigandage by insurgents, Gombe remains a safe haven and a beckoning ambience for tourists and investors both local and international.
Let’s visit some of the legendary footprints of Inuwa’s administration in the anals of Gombe State.

Indeed, in 2021, Gombe State, by a landslide, won the number one position in the Ease of Doing Business Index as certified by the National Economic Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Both the education and health sectors which were at a comatose status on the assumption of office by Inuwa Yahaya, warranting a declaration of the state of emergency have now been brought to vibrancy.

The educational status of Gombe which was at the base among the 36 States of Nigeria, with secondary school students success ratio of 29% is now at 87%.

Just in August 2022,Inuwa Yahaya led administration pumped over 4Billion Naira into the sector and declared an end to the state of emergency earlier declared.

Whereas the out of school children at the inception of his administration stood at almost 700,000,over 350,000 students have been returned to school with better facilities and equally well kitted for uptimum academic performance.

He equally pioneered the new model schools with modern school buildings comparable to the best schools anywhere in the world.
On health, there is now at least one Primary health care center in every ward in all of Gombe State.

He set up Gombe State Health Management Board formerly non existent in the state for better management of the health of the citizens.

What about the GoHealth, a health insurance package that brings all the citizens of Gombe under an umbrella of affordable health delivery via contribution of a token fee but full access to a full compliment of health care services. Gombe State is now listed among the rising status of higher revenue generation states in Nigeria.

Bravo! Gombe State is now among the oil prospecting states in Nigeria.The Kolmani oil possibilities latent for years has been brought to stream by the Inuwa Yahaya’s pragmatic administration.

For the first time in the history of the State,an Industrial Park has been flagged off and construction ongoing in earnest. Named Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, the exponential implications of the Park on the industrial revolution in the state is unimaginably huge. Gombe is set for the top among the industrialized states in Nigeria.

By major parameters, Governor Inuwa has excelled and even surpassed the records of his predecessors in all critical aspects of the state’s economy: roads, rural infrastructure, pipe borne water, health, education, power, transportation, urban renewal, agriculture, civil service reform, manpower development and women and youth empowerment. The specific cases of roads construction across the state as well as health centres, greater access to education and water provision will forever be reckoned to be the high points of life changing development incentives of the administration and indeed lasting legacies.

A new clime of possibilities is booming as Gombe State has become the most favoured destination for high net investors who have taken advantage of the relative absence of bureaucratic bottle necks in the issuance of business permits, contract awards, procurement process and tax payments in the state. The high level of partnerships with several agencies of the Federal Government, international bodies and multilateral agencies and development partners is also a huge mark of leadership integrity and performance by the administration as agent of positive change. Indeed the state’s GDP has quadrupled while the GDI has similarly reached record high especially with a newly improved civil service witnessing a momentous leap in workers’ morale and productivity occasioned by incentives, modern work tools and ethics, adequate remuneration and punctual payment of staff salaries and emoluments.

But all these did not happen by accident but a product of painstaking preparation. As a practical and innovative leader, Governor Inuwa Yahaya had prior to his election as governor understudied the Asian leadership and economic revitalization and he was fascinated by the Singapore model under the legendary Lee Kuan Yew as a fitting example of what modern Gombe State should look like.
He had then come to the conclusion that the most effective way of guaranteeing the fast track of economic growth and infrastructural transformation of the state was the enthronement of a virile, productive, efficient and incorruptible civil service, without which any policy or structural reform would be a waste of time akin to erecting a structure on shaky foundations. Thus one of his first priorities was urgent civil service reform and this was kick-started with the establishment of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) which took the lead in identifying those sectors in need of drastic reform and implementing them without let or hindrance and at full capacity, a feat unprecedented in Gombe history.

The Gombe 10- year development plan, is another initiative of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya with the mission to create an enabling environment for sustainable peace, cohesion and an all- inclusive development for the people to leave lasting legacy for succeeding generations.

Governor Inuwa has also led by example as an apostle of peace amidst diversity, as he continually preaches peace, tolerance, co-operation and peaceful cohabitation among the diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic groups in the state. That Gombe State has not turned into a haven for Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and assorted kidnappers as other states in the North-East can be ascribed to Inuwa’s One Gombe, One Destiny philosophy which has permeated all nooks and crannies of the state, thus translating into a peaceful, prosperous and progressive society. Just a couple of days earlier, the conference of state directors of security, North East zone declared, rising from their meeting, declared Gombe as the safest and most peaceful state in the sub-region.
Politically,we cannot but recognize the rising to national and international reckoning of Gombe State under Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya.

Apart from the indigenes of the State holding key national and international appointments, Governor Inuwa Yahaya has been called upon to handle very sensitive national assignments.
When the South East family of the ruling All Progressive Partyin Anambra State had irreconcilable rift,It was Inuwa Yahaya that was found worthy of being the chairman of that Committee.Inuwa Yahaya posted a remarkable record of reconciliation of the feuding parties in a historic time.
Inuwa Yahaya was also found worthy to chair the Finance Committee of the recently concluded APC’s Presidential Elections Primaries at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

It is no fluke that Inuwa Yahaya has won the Best Governor Award, Most Outstanding Governor of the Year and Best Performing Governor from three major Nigerian Newspapers,The Vangaurd, Leadership and Blueprint Newspapers.

Thus, as Gombe commemorates its 26 years of existence, it is gratifying to note that the state has delivered on its promise at inception to be a model state to the greater good of the people through accelerated development in a stable polity. Gombe is certainly racing to the promiseland under Governor Inuwa Yahaya.

Misilli is the DG ( Press Affairs) Government House Gombe

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EDSG Trains Batch- 9 Vigilantes, Hunters.



….. As Gov Obaseki Signs Edo Security Corps Bill into law

By Sim Omo- Benin City

As part of efforts to combat crimes, criminalities, cultism and other social vices bedeviling the state, the governor Obaseki led administration has commenced training of batch Nine hunters and operatives of Vigilantes, bringing a total of over ten thousand Vigilantes and hunters so far trained by the state to tighten security in every nook and cranny

Similarly Governor Godwin Obaseki has signed the State security Corps Bill into law

Speaking at the commencement of the batch- nine training exercise at the Police Training School in Ogida, the State Co-ordinator of the Edo security and Vigilantes network , Col. Kole Omomia( Rtd) commended Governor Obaseki and the state government for prioritizing security in the state and its continuous commitment to providing the necessary logistics for the state’s security apparatus to function

He noted that the training of the corps operatives which included the hunters, as in the instance of the batch- 9 who are currently here today, are concerted effort and determination of the state government to put her citizens at the fore front to enjoy peace, tranquility and have an enabling environment that would promote growth, development and investments.

Col. Omomia reiterated that the trainees would undergo series of exercises such as medical fitness, bio-data, teekwando, Judo, Drills, Parades and mental fitness and other activities ancillary to the job

According to the State Cord, the training would cut across the three senatorial districts in the state , with about One thousand, three hundred,(1300) Vigilantes and hunters expected to be trained in Batch- 9

He, however,urged the trainees to key into the program with keen interest and participate fully.

Recall that only recently, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, singed the Bill establishing the State security Corps, formerly known as the Edo State Security Vigilante Network,ESSVN, into law

By the establishing Act, the Corps is now a statutory body recognised by law and would perform its roles as provided by the Act

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Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN,CON, OFR

The supreme court judgement on

July 11, 2024, directing the Federal Government to pay allocations due to Local Government Areas directly to their account thereby abolishing the old practices of State-Local Government Joint Account,is timely and courageous.

What the judgement has done is more like interpreting section 162 of the Constitution, which provides for a joint State-Local Government Account. In which case, money is normally paid to state governors’ accounts and then for them to disburse to the local governments for them to share. But what has been happening is that, as I noted in 2020,over three years ago, the state governors, have been behaving like ”bandits”, waylaing local governments funds along the way and thus impoverishing them leaving them with nothing to work, just a little for salary. And nothing to actually work for the people whom they represent.
I agree totally with the judgement of the supreme court to grant full financial autonomy so that money is released and paid directly to the 774 local government councils which constitute the third-tier of government,to develop their places because the LGAs are grassrooted and nearest to the people. Rather than allow overbearing state governors throw their weight around and muzzle the local governments and seize their purse,they will now allow LGs breath some air of freedom.

If you take a look at our situation, Nigeria is operating a very lopsided federation,more like a unitary system of government. Where the federal government is supposed to be a small government,it is controlling 67 items on the exclusive legislative list. That is why the federal government gets the lion share of the federation account , the lion share of the money that comes to the federation account to the tune of 52.68%. The states get 26.72% while the entire 774 local government councils in Nigeria get just 20.60% of the monthly allocation by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RLASMC.

The question is, what is the federal government doing with almost 53% of the national income? That is because it is a government that is behemoth.That is elephantine. A government that intrudes and intervenes in areas that should not concern it at all. What is the federal government’s business with licensing cars and trucks for states? What is its business with the Marriage Act, dealing with how people marry and wed in Nigeria and how they live together as husband and wife and separate or divorce? What is the federal government’s business with unity schools? A whole FG operating secondary schools? What is their business? Why is the FG not allowing states generate their own power, operate their own railway stations, if they have the capacity? Why should the federal government not allow states have their own police force? Even for the local governments to have their own police force as we have in the United States and other advanced countries of the world where even tertiary institutions have their own police?

The truth is that the federal government is overbloated and overpampered. That is why it is using too much money and make the centre become too attractive,eating deep into funds that ought to be meant for the states and local government areas. The states take not only that which belongs to the states, but also waylays at source that which is meant for the local government areas. No Nation grows that way.

So, I see this judgment as epochal,having

far-reaching effect because money will now be made available directly to the local government areas who will no longer be subservient, like fawning slaves to state governors. In fact, the judgement even went further to say that no state government has the power henceforth to dissolve local government areas. This is because we have been seeing cases where inspite of the provisions of section 7 of the 1999 constitution that give autonomy to local government areas, states normally go ahead and dissolve local government areas ND appoint caretaker committees for them.This is whimsical and capricious.The Supreme Court has said this can no longer go on and that henceforth, no state government should ever be able to dissolve any local government area in Nigeria for any reason whatsoever and howsoever.

The judgement is salutary, timely and regenerative. It should be upheld by all governments and people in Nigeria for better democratic dividends.I see this as victory for our wobbling democracy, even if we are far removed from true fiscal federalism where the federating units control and utilize their God-given resources while paying royalty or tax to the central government. This case is one big plus for tested court room gladiator, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation, who initiated the case at the apex court, invoking its original jurisdiction.Surely,to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. God bless Nigeria.

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Ex+Abia gov, Senator Kalu backs part-time legislature




Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has backed calls for part-time legislature at both federal and state levels.

Senator Kalu (APC Abia North) said this would help the nation cut costs and enhance the citizenry’s trust in the polity.

The former Abia governor said this in an interview published on his verified Facebook page over the weekend.

On calls for part-time legislature, Senator Kalu said, “I think it will be a very good idea if my colleagues and other members of the Houses of Assembly will agree that we can sit for three months and do constitutional amendment first.

“So we can sit four times a year and if there’s any emergency, there will be emergency sitting. We can come to do a presidential bid on that basis and go back instead of sitting on a full-time basis.

“Not only the Senate and the House of Representatives, but all the legislative houses in Nigeria will be part-time.”

Senator Kalu maintained that this would be part of austerity measures to reduce cost of governance, arguing that regional government is another viable alternative.

“If we’re going for regional government, it also means that the ministers, the legislators, will be the same. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of how we can save money to run Nigeria because the country needs money.

“I will encourage the President, the National Assembly to make these kind of laws. This will help him, and this will help the system, and this will help everybody,” he said.

The ex-governor explained that contrary to misconceptions among Nigerians, senators are not paid enough.
“But I want Nigerians and my colleagues to do a quick constitutional amendment so we can go and be a part-time sitting Senate and part-time sitting House of Representatives, and other 36 state houses of assembly in Nigeria.

“That will bring trust and bring relief to the Nigerian people,” the ex-governor said.

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