A few days ago, media outlets were awash with the news of the triumphant return of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to Gombe after a three-week-long working vacation overseas.
Perhaps, this media hype became necessary and unavoidable because since coming into the office about three years ago, the governor had never travelled this long. However, like a typical leader with an inductive sense of reasoning; enmeshed in the unquenchable thirst for developing his state, the governor’s three weeks sojourn was not only for a rest but was designed to market Gombe’s abundant human and natural resources and to woo potential investors along the process. This is not forgetting the fact that Gombe State still ranks number one in the ease of doing business in the country due to favourable policies, programmes and infrastructural development initiated by the governor among which is the multi-billion naira Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park currently under construction within the vicinity of the already completed 40 megawatts Dadinkowa hydropower plant.
And so, like a father, which indeed he is, the governor’s return was greeted with pop and pageantry beginning from the Gombe International Airport to the state capital. The record number of supporters that trooped to the airport and those along the way to welcome the governor was incredibly massive and security personnel had a hectic time controlling the jubilant crowd who wanted to catch a glimpse of the governor.
As usual, Governor Inuwa did not stop short from waving back and exchanging pleasantries with them. Irrespective of age and social status, the theme song for the reception was “Inuwa Oyoyo”. At the city centre, it was a battle for the strong and the brave to catch a glimpse of the ever-smiling governor. Businesses, particularly those of tricycles and motorcycles riders, commercial transport drivers and roadside traders temporarily came to a halt as most of them joined in the reception to welcome a man they said brought sanity and decorum into their businesses through the provision of enabling environment. The time of the governor’s arrival equally coincided with the closing time of most schools in Gombe metropolis and the students could not stay aloof on seeing their governor who has done much to reposition the education sector.
At the Government House, it was entirely a different ball game as the ecstasy that enveloped the atmosphere is better seen than imagined. The aged who could not make it through the rigours of the governor’s motorcade took vantage positions at the Government House in order not to be left behind.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, an elated Governor Inuwa Yahaya thanked them for coming out en masse to welcome him back to the state in spite of the long-distance travel from Gombe to the airport and restated his commitment to champion their course as he pilots the affairs of the state.
The rapturous reception accorded to the governor is indeed an attestation to the fact that Mr Inuwa is fully on the ground and enjoys the support of not only for the ordinary masses but all and sundry.
Coming to the bountiful harvest from the journey, Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s epoch-making trip, though for vacation, provided ample opportunity for engagement with development partners and foreign investors in furtherance of his continuous drive to transform his beloved Gombe State into the economic, industrial and infrastructural hub of the North East.
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At present, Gombe State is working with numerous development partners, including the Qatar Foundation, UNICEF, WHO, USAID (SENSE), SEPIP, IDEAS, the Norwegian government amongst others and these solid partnerships have been pivotal in advancing the sustainable development agenda of the State government. With the high level of infrastructural development of this state that is boasting of a sophisticated road network, modernised urban and rural infrastructure, eco-friendly facilities, literate and ICT savvy workforce, state of the art health facilities, international standard airport as well as its centrality and peaceful atmosphere, Gombe is indeed an investor’s paradise. Little wonder, Governor Inuwa, the prolific Dan Majen Gombe, visited several destinations to woo investors and undoubtedly, he received a warm reception as many of the prospective investors he met were dutifully impressed with his giant strides in Gombe State and therefore pledged their readiness to forge a partnership that would mutually benefit both sides.
As part of his tightly packed itinerary, Governor Inuwa visited the Nigerian Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates where over 20 mineral resources and agricultural produces from the state were on display. He also interacted with numerous investors, exciting his audience with the state’s agro-entrepreneurship, agro-allied and agro-processing potentials which will be adequately harnessed with the completion of the 1,000 hectares Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park with the complement of the 40 MW of electricity to be supplied by the adjacent Dadinkowa Hydro-Electric Power Station. The industrial park is meant to camp hundreds of firms, companies, industries and is projected to create over 100,000 jobs for the teeming youth of the state.
Indeed, the Dan Maje’s overseas trip will undoubtedly translate into a positive outcome for the state to further bolster his administration’s remarkable achievements and the untiring efforts of same towards putting the state on the trajectory of sustainable socio-economic development in line with his campaign promises.
Misilli is Director-General (Press Affairs) Government House, Gombe
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