Gombe 2027: Situating Prof. Pantami on the political radar
By Sani M. Adamu
As widely postulated, politics is a dirty game! But the question of how the system could be clean is what concerns many, especially those who care about the personality and credibility of those piloting their affairs in the position of leadership. The more the system is left for questionable characters, untrained officials and those who have turned politics into a full-time job, the more flawed the system will remain.
It is, therefore, imperative to encourage those who have what it takes in terms of educational credentials, moral uprightness, and requite expertise to participate in all the democratic processes, particularly vying for elective positions so long as we want to be reaping from the attendant dividend of democracy. In fact, when the learned and the experienced are indifferent and refuse to participate in the decision-making process, their future and that of their children would be undoubtedly managed by the most inferior persons in the society.
Like the typical talent hunt in other human dealings, also early chase, and cajoling for competent contenders to consider throwing their hats into the ring cannot be overemphasised in politics, especially nowadays when corruption and misrepresentation in governance are the order of the day. It is on this premise that I feel indebted as a bona fide citizen to bare my mind on the leadership issue in Gombe state. Although it may seem too early to bring this issue to the fore, but taking into cognisance the fermenting political permutations ahead of the 2027 general elections, my piece will hit the spot.
In a fair and general assessment, Gombe is one of the states endowed with purposeful leadership since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. Successive governors of the state have, in their own wisdom and capacity, transformed the Gombe state to an enviable status. Today, we are competing with all the older states in the North-east zone in areas of economy, education, infrastructure, etc; this includes Bauchi state where Gombe state was originally carved out from to metamorphose into a sovereign state in 1996.
In today’s Gombe state, signature projects like the Gombe State University, which has produced several indigenous medical doctors, PhD holders and professors; Gombe International Airport (now Brigadier Zakari Maimari Airport), which is the busiest airport in the North-east with regular and daily flights throughout the week by different scheduled carriers; Gombe Internal Hotel, which is also one of its kind; the International Conference Centre and Pantami International Stadium, among others, are edifices you can hardly find anywhere within the northern part of the country.
The recent hosting of the annual convention of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, by Gombe and all other conferences and events hosted, illustrate the fact that Gombe state stands tall among equals and that is as a result of the calibre of leadership we have enjoyed within 28 years of statehood.
To maintain and sustain the glowing pace, there is need to rally round a candidate with huge potential in 2027, irrespective of his political affiliation. We should be curious to the general discourse when and wherever people gather to discuss their future on settling on who to succeed Governor Inuwa Yahaya to further take the state to greater heights. One prominent name resonates – Professor Isa Ali Pantami, the immediate past minister of communication and digital economy.
Although, Professor Pantami has successfully built a brand around his name, being an erudite academic, globally renowned ICT expert and an Islamic scholar of world repute, the herculean task hinges on how to successfully convince him for the job.
By all definitions and requirements, Pantami has what it takes to be an exceptional governor in Gombe state. His stint as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, justify the fact that he is the rare gem Gombe state direly needs.
Let me unequivocally say that in the political history of the state, there was never a time a federal appointee has influenced the appointment of sons and daughters of Gombe state into the federal civil service, political offices including executive positions than Professor Pantami.
Also, the recast of this journey of impact will start with Pantami’s siting in Gombe state of the zonal offices of agencies and parastatals that make up the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy. These agencies include the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone Limited North-east Zonal Office and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited Zonal Offices.
This makes sense considering the fact that Gombe and perhaps Bauchi have enjoyed far more peace than all other states in the zone. However, Gombe edges out Bauchi in terms of intra-city infrastructure and having one of our own as the minister which, in my view, makes it most ideal.
Pantami’s plethora of projects in the state continues by building of the Digital Economy Centres (DEC & E-Learning) domiciled at the Gombe State Federal Polytechnic, Kaltungo, College of Education and Legal Studies, Nafada, Deba Emirate Council, Progress Association, Science Intensive School, By Pass, Akko LGA, Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School, Talasse, Balanga L.GA, Polytechnic, Bajoga Funakaye LGA, Hajarat School of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Gombe, Government Science Secondary School, Malam Sidi, Kwami LGA, Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Dadinkowa, Yamaltu Deba, among several others.
This piece is not mainly to chronicle the achievements of Prof. Pantami, but I decide to recoil few as mentioned above to buttress my standpoint that those close to the man should do us a favour by convincing him to consider throwing his golden hat into the governorship ring in 2027. Gombe state is in dire need of a competent and experienced hand and he has what it takes to be there.
Sani writes from Gombe, Gombe state.
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