For those with the eagle eyes, the recent turn of events, following the political routing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential and National Assembly elections in Gombe state, is a harbinger of a plan to intimidate and incubate an atmosphere of fear ahead of the governorship and state houses of assembly elections, to create voter apathy that will leave an opening for manipulation.
The PDP had eight years to deliver the dividends of democracy and endear itself to the good people of Gombe, but they turned to the sour path with their massive looting of the common wealth of the people, excessive borrowing that puts the economy of the state in danger, accumulation of gratuities worth over N10 billion, neglect of critical infrastructure and exercise of ingenuous financial recklessness. These have made life unbearable for the common man of Gombe under Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s administration.
With their experience under the PDP, the people of Gombe have moved quickly to salvage their state from the hands of those who have made democracy more devilish than expected, by impressively taking sides with the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the ballots. This has been brewing anger from the awaiting opposition party—the PDP, who have decided to punish the people by out-rightly threatening the citizens of Gombe and destroying their properties, including campaign offices and materials of the APC.
By this article, we want to expose the political madness of the PDP in Gombe as well as hatch the PDP’s egg of using thugs and hoodlums to regain the already lost grounds in the race for Gombe Government House.
If signs still play sacrosanct part of human existence, then what happened in Gombe State on Saturday, March 2, is a clear indication that democracy has been slaughtered on the altar of tyranny, thuggery and political rascality. There is a video evidence to show that the thugs of the PDP went to Gombe Airport to welcome a sitting governor with weaponry of different sorts. And shortly afterwards, the thugs accompanied their general on a destruction spree burning shops, threatening the peace of many, destroying the campaign materials of the APC. Surprisingly, the hoodlums also attacked a private radio station, Progress FM, a move many have described as a trend that can discourage investments from coming into the state. They attacked the block industry belonging to an APC faithful, Alhaji Kurugu Na Babayo Goje, (Excellent Block Industry Investment Quarters Tumfure), destroyed it, and all APC properties on sight. They also burnt some houses. As if that was not enough, the family house of Alh. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, the Gombe State Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Jekadafari was also attacked, endangering the lives of members of his family.
All these happened under the watch of Sen. Bayero Nafada and Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, all in the quest to assert political dominance which to political analysts is an absolute abuse of the peoples mandate as a senator and as a governor respectively.
This has resulted to situation where there are more questions than answers. Do people not have the right to associate themselves with a party they feel can protect their interests? Should we all keep mute and allow the recklessness of the PDP to go without consequences? Must our youths be their agent of political rascality? Should our leaders stoop so low as to begin to supervise wanton destruction in broad day light?
When the state government said they spent over 170 million naira annually in rehabilitating youths indulged in cultism and other social vices, many were quick to welcome the idea while few were wary of the motive behind the action. Time being the gentleman that he is has revealed the reason for that humongous spending; political thuggery. Now, it is clear that such payments were made to bake some youths for their self-centred ambition during electioneering year.
In a recently released video, Gov. Dankwambo had attributed his lose to an ‘act of God’. In as much as I agree, I would also like to add that the voice of the people is the voice of God, so whichever way one looks at the act of God and the voice of the people, it is a matter of six or half a dozen. I think what is more important is the recognition of the voice of the people and the unhidden quest for change. For a state that has given Gov. Dankwambo eight years to run its affairs, the best way to return the favour is to allow the same ‘act of God’ he attributed his lose to, to take prominence in the forthcoming governorship election and not to force an ‘ungodly act’ on the good people of Gombe State which may end up turning Gombe into a state where peace may become a scarce commodity.
Gov. Dankwambo also, said in the video, “we have also noticed recent developments, some people going out in the night to destroy various properties of other people and to also threaten peace of cordial existence of people in the state. They do not deserve the kind of treatment some people are treating them but this is the signals of the things that are coming if things go wrong in Gombe State.’’
From his speech, there are so many questions begging for answers: when did the governor start seeing these signals of things that are coming? When exactly, did things start going wrong in Gombe State? Your answers are as good as mine. As a good citizen of the state and a stakeholder in the affairs of the good people of the state, I would like to tell the people to remain peaceful and undaunted in the face of severe provocations. I also want to charge the security personnel to study the antics of democratic terrorists who want to circumvent the wishes of the people of Gombe State in daylight.
At the end of Gov. Dankwambo’s speech, he said that the choice for the people of the state was to choose between peace and violence, by this, having lost his bid for the Senate, is a direct call for his supporters to cause violence and mayhem. In the face of all this, the chairman of PDP publicity council, Dahiru Kera, is busy sending secret press releases to journalists to cover the political rascality and undemocratic sceneries created in Gombe, by trying to twist the story of what happened to gain cheap public sympathy. However, the people who witnessed the ugly events are aware of their antics. This was what many bigwigs saw that made them defect from the PDP in a Tsunami-like manner. By that defection, the PDP has become nothing but a party of no chieftains, other than the political twins of our time; Gov. Dankwambo and Sen. Bayero.
Muhammad Baba Gombe can be reached at Mohdbaba@yahoo.com