Goje, Yahaya and battle of supremacy - by Abubakar Adam Zayyan



Abubakar Adam Zayyan writes that the political fight between the men of power in Gombe is needless “Be aware when distractions come your way. You’ll know it’s a distraction when you stop doing what you’re supposed to be doing and find yourself pondering things that have no value.” – Beverly R. Imes

Gombe State is one state that has been making the headlines for good reasons since the coming on board of the Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya administration on May 29, 2019. These are all thanks to the ingenuity, people-oriented and purposeful leadership of the governor, who is deeply engrossed in making the state occupy its rightful place.

In laying the foundation for a new Gombe State, Governor Inuwa Yahaya has instituted and executed many laudable projects that are not only beneficial to the Gombe people, but will also stand the test of time. These laudable projects have been mentioned variously and are there for the people to see.

However, there are now calculated attempts by some elements bent on distracting the governor. Sadly Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje, who represents Gombe Central Senatorial District is one of them.

It all started clandestinely, but there is no more pretence about how Goje is trying by all means to bring down the APC and Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya administration or better still, distract the governor from facing the work he has sworn to do in Gombe State, which is providing good governance for the betterment of the people.

One begins to wonder what Goje wants to achieve with his unnecessary political battle of supremacy with Governor Yahaya. It is on record that the governor accorded Goje all the respect and courtesies that their relationship demands as political friends for years. At different public events, Governor Yahaya referred to Goje as ‘my leader’ or ‘our leader,’ even when the latter did not deserve to be called so.

This is a clear departure from what we see in Borno State, where the immediate past governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, publicly refers to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum as ‘my leader’ or ‘our leader,’ despite the fact that the latter was more or less handpicked by the former as a successor. Unlike Goje that left office eight years before the coming of Yahaya, Shettima handed over to Zulum, yet he calls his successor his leader, and he is not ashamed to say so publicly.

During the governorship primary election that saw the emergence of Inuwa Yahaya as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gombe State, Goje had another candidate, meaning he did not support Yahaya’s candidature ab initio.

But after Yahaya’s victory at the primary, seeing that there was nothing he could do about it, Goje called on the other aspirants that lost to the governor, including his own preferred choice, to join hands and ensure APC’s victory. He did not do that out of love for Yahaya but out of his resolve to ensure that whoever Ibrahim Dankwambo brought from the PDP to succeed him as governor did not emerge victorious. That’s the simple fact. His political fight with Dankwambo at the time was in the public domain.

Despite that, Yahaya, after his victory at the governorship poll, ensured that he carried Goje along. The governor did not stop there as he also appointed key loyalists to Goje into the state cabinet. First was Goje’s daughter, Hussaina, who was appointed as a commissioner sitting in the State Executive Council with the governor. He also appointed Goje’s son-in-law, Dasuki Jalo Waziri, as a commissioner.

Other Goje loyalists were appointed as special advisers,special assistants and even heads of some government agencies in the state. It is only a man with a large heart that could do this.

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya even extended his magnanimity to the PDP family in the state by appointing some chieftains of the opposition party, who defected to the APC at the twilight of the Dankwambo administration, as commissioners.

It would be recalled that for appointing Goje’s loyalists into his cabinet, a rights group, Campaign for Democracy (CD), took a swipe at Governor Yahaya in October, 2019, describing the appointments as “the promotion of aristocracy and demotion of democracy.”

In a communique after its national convention held in Owo, Ondo State, the group said: “Such appointments fall short of the basic principles of fair play, natural justice and tenets and norms of democracy.

“It is extreme display of greed and a ploy to ambush dividends of democracy from getting to the grassroots. It makes the wealth of the state to be concentrated in the hands of a few members of the family of the former state governor and it can best be described as myopic and senseless appointments….´

As a matter of fact, the group incited the Gombe people against the governor by saying “We, therefore, urge the people of Gombe State to protest the appointment without further delay.

“We must stop impunity in our political system if we must move on as a nation. A situation where the wealth of the state will be in the hands of a few will be vehemently stood against,” the group had said. I copied copiously from the CD statement to show what Governor Yahaya went through just because he appointed Goje’s daughter and his son-in-law into the state cabinet. But as it is in his character, the governor was unshaken by the vitriol, believing that he did the right thing for the people of Gombe State.

Goje knows all this, yet he has chosen to fight a man that has respected him so much. Politically speaking, both Yahaya and Goje cannot contest for each other’s seat either now or in future, because Goje had served his constitutionally allowed two terms as governor, and Yahaya is not from the same Senatorial district with him. So why Goje’s resolve to fight the governor?

Well, I believe it is all part of Goje’s antics to distract Governor Yahaya and make him achieve little during his first term in office. Goje has since deployed all his political arsenal into a fight that he knows too well is needless. He has no serious work to face, so he has all the time to engage in a political fight that will take him nowhere.

Let Goje know that his media trial and campaign against the people’s governor will not work as the Gombe people have since unraveled the antics and are solidly behind their governor.

Those that followed Goje’s administration when he served as governor would agree with me that he wouldn’t have condoned a quarter of what he is now doing to Governor Yahaya. But because of Yahaya’s humility and magnanimity, he appears not to care about Goje’s moves against him.

I am so much in love with something that the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg once said: “I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.” I believe Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya is governing Gombe to build something for the long-term, and anything else is a distraction and should be treated as such.

Zayyan wrote from Abuja

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