The political atmosphere is already charged to a great length in Gombe State and gladiators eying Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya’s seat in Government House seem battle ready for the task ahead.
Before now, the polity in Gombe was already heated up because of the many political maneuvers and public statements by politicians.
Many government activities as well as that of the ruling party and the opposition clearly shows how politicking has taken the centre stage.
Going by INEC’s time table, at about this time next year, Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect The President, Federal legislators, State Governors and legislators if the all mighty Creator permits.
In Gombe State, it seems as if the election will hold by next month following the hype in political activities as politicians have already begun switching loyalty.
Of note and already putting pressure on the ruling party is the resignation of many top politicians either from the party (APC) or from government appointments, thus piling the pressure on Governor Inuwa.
Confirming this developments, the State Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Mr. Moses Kyari said, they are not ruffled as they are also assiduously working behind the scenes to receive thousands of members into the party from all the 114 electoral wards of the State soon.
One election that has already put the people of Gombe on alert is that of the Governorship because a handful of top politicians have shown their interest in stopping Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya from achieving his dream of securing a second term of four years in Gombe Government House.
Majority of these top politicians targetting Inuwa’s job were APC members who recently dumped the party and have made it loud and clear that they are heading to Gombe Government House by 2023. Two aspirants are outstanding:
ALHAJI MOHAMMED JIBRIN BARDE. He is a strong willed and very zealous politician whose entry into politics launched him into unimaginable height never achieved by any young Gombe man.
Though reports has it that he identified himself with the APC in 2013 at the national level when it was formed, he vigorously campaigned for the victorious Buhari campaign team in the 2015 general election.
What has remained a big wonder in 2019 in Gombe State was how Jibrin Barde, popularly called ‘Danbarde’, shook the political landscape with his latest entry into mainstream politics in Gombe.
It would be recalled that beyond all expectations, Danbarde beat many political household names such as Abubakar Habu Mu’azu, Bamusa and many others to clinch the second position with hundreds of delegates votes during the APC governorship primary election held at the Gombe International Hotel.
Danbarde’s political swerve was strong in the APC that his property was used as APC’s party headquarters in Abuja in 2013. He also donated same to the party in Gombe.
His shot to gain a governorship ticket of the APC, his first attempt ever, was so significant that many look at him as a future Governor of Gombe State waiting for his time.
His humble background clearly attests that this young business conscious and entrepreneur can spring pleasant surprises by uplifting the plight of the common man if given the mandate to govern in Gombe State.
One advantage he has over others is his ability to bring resources together to uplift the society.
Mohammed Jibirin Barde, former Pioneer CEO, founder of SunTrust Bank, is the first and youngest individual in the entire northern Nigeria that single handedly, established one of the most successful Banks in Nigeria from ordinary micro finance bank to a fully operational commercial banks. Today, SunTrust bank is among the 10 most successful banks in Nigeria.
After toiling and ensuring the victory of the APC in Gombe in 2019, Danbarde recently looked back and realized that the APC had failed the people of Gombe State under Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya.
On July 12, 2021, when Danbarde declared for PDP at it’s State Party Secretariat Gombe, he was given a rousing welcome by a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters and officials led by its chairman, Abnon Kwaskebe.
Many see this triumphant entry into the PDP as timely and show how serious he is to build the party. Since his entry, he has contributed much including supporting the party and its contingents to the last PDP national convention in Abuja.
Apart from this, Danbarde is known to have toured all the 114 electoral wards of the State meeting PDP stakeholders since joining the party, thus, giving him enough time to familiarize with the party.
He had also long time ago, visited the State party leader and immediate past Governor of the State, Ibrahim Hassam Dankwambo.
This is something other aspirants have tried to emulate but, Danbarde had gone miles away, winning the hearts of Dankwambo and other party members.
Another attribute that has already endeared Danbarde with the party is his determination and loyalty towards the party, making him the favourite candidate in the party’s primary election.
He is not known to have had the history of controversy in his political life but many see his precision and political doggedness as arrogance.
For now, in the race for the slot of the PDP ticket is resting on these two candidates but certainly, Danbarde seems good to go in getting the ticket of the PDP.
Dr. JAMILU ISYAKU GWAMNA. Is a well known Politician since the beginning of the current political dispensation in 1999 when he was made the Executive Chairman of the Gombe State Water Corporation under former Governor of the State, Late Abubakar Habu Hashidu.
He shot to political limelight and became a household name following his antecedents. He is the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kano Electricity Distribution Company KEDCO.
He is known for his philanthropic gesture in the State especially making way for many Gombe youths to secure appointments in different establishments especially KEDCO.
He started angling for the top job of Gombe State in 2007 and in 2019, got closer to clinching the PDP ticket but failed and in anger, joined forces with the opposition party then and glaringly helped the APC to clinch power from the ruling PDP.
He is quite popular and a favoured candidate but the case against him is what many diehard PDP members term as his betrayal of the party which cost the PDP victory in 2019.
It is also reported that he did similar thing to his erstwhile boss, Late Abubakar Habu Hashidu, the former Governor he served, from 1999 to 2003 when he shoved him aside in the then ANPP and held the party’s ticket for the 2007 governorship election.
These are wounds that seems hard to heal which only time can tell especially the recent one in 2019. However, the leader of the PDP in Gombe State and immediate past Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanbo seems to be the bride for all aspirants in the PDP for now.
This is coupled with the fact that he is yet to formally declare for the PDP after dumping the APC in January 2022. Many feel that it is not enough meeting Dankwambo in Abuja, he has to first start from his Jekadafari ward in Gombe and test his popularity.
So, much is expected from him as one who has been supporting and contributing to the PDP by now that election is fast approaching.