Thursday, May 13, 2021

Gombe 2019: The rough guy on prowl, by Dahiru Hassan Kera


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
tiamin rice

In as much as democracy is an all-comers’ affair, where the good, the bad and ugly can also delve into, on another flip side, it is an aberration.

Because of this loose base, so it seems, the bad and the ugly spoil the show for a system that was supposed to engender human development. In our clime here, where our old tradition places very high premium on morality and good character, not everyone in those days is given responsibilities to manage state matters if one is not found to be fit, able and sound. In fact, you do not present yourself for any community responsibility. If there was need for such, it is decided by the elders and one will be anointed.

We don’t have to dig deep to know why this is so, but for generations yet unborn, that system of raising community leaders actually checkmated any excesses such as we currently experience, the excesses that had debilitating setback for Nigeria of today. The fear that family names might be dented made leaders of those days to do the right thing so that all can benefit from the community’s commonwealth.

Can anyone tell if the current democracy we are practising has any semblance with the scenario explained above? And again, it would be too much of day dreaming for anyone to begin to wish for that old beautiful system. We have since embraced democracy, and as some political observers would say, for Nigeria it appears it is a curse rather than a blessing.

When people of questionable character jump into the fray in the name democracy to also seek to run the affairs of the state, we become nostalgic of the good old past we talked about above. Against the risk of repeating the obvious, it is chiefly one of the reasons that brought setbacks in the effort to move the nation forward and be counted among egalitarian society.

We are in feverish electioneering period in Nigeria where aspirants of all shades of characters have thrown their hats into the rings to grab power by all means. Yes, by all means that’s what we’re seeing currently. And as experience has shown it would include the good, the bad and the ugly.

Gombe State indeed is not an exception and as expected it is an all-comers’ affair. In the army of the 2019 governorship aspirants, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. And in this starting line-up, there is certain political clown, Mohammed Jibrin Barde, donning the veneer of a saint. In fact, the man has traces of destructive tendencies in his trail. In the first place where is this fellow, an unknown quantity coming from?

Indeed, a check on Barde’s back ground in Gombe State reminds me of the history of a wayfaring and jet setting being integrated into the Gombe community and was raised and given the status of a bonafide being as part of the Fulani’s known culture of being accommodative.

Therefore, a tail will not wag the head and now someone with this ‘wayfaring’ background should have humbled himself and remain descent. Instead, he is joining issues with the sons of the soil, effortlessly trying to destroy hard-earned reputations.

Simply because he wants to be governor of Gombe State, Barde is spuriously on vendetta against Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and other well-meaning people who are working for the development of the state. It is on record that the state has never witnessed accelerated development in its history like it is now under Dankwambo. And this is not concoction of lies but a reality, which everybody including Barde himself can testify. May be an example could suffice here. In the whole of North East of Nigeria, it is only Gombe State that has still remained a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state. Against the sweeping tide of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 general elections, the people of the state chose to remain with Dankwambo and the PDP. Yet, Barde has said this was failure. Now one can understand why he could not nurture a quasi-commercial bank to success.

Nobody has come up either secretly or openly to stop Barde from realising his governorship ambition, but how in achieving this ambition he has become inordinate is what remains baffling. If he does not have selling points to market himself, it is not retorting to cheap blackmail and back stabbing that would make him become Gombe State governor. It is hoped he realises that and retraces his diabolical steps.

Here is someone whose puzzling pedigree is in public domain casting aspersion on people of repute. He did not just fall from heaven which is even a good thing, he is known to be an unknown son of the soil.

What is Barde really made up of that he wants to be governor of our dear state? Talk of over ambition, this is one coming from him. Instead of starting at a very humble level of, say councillor of his local government area, he is dreaming of rubbing shoulders with the high and the mighty.

This same Barde was unable to manage a miniature financial venture where he was a CEO. Under him, this nymph of a bank was rated as moderate risk as at the end of September last year. Now for a bank just incorporated the previous year i.e. 2016, this speaks volume of shortfall in managerial acumen.

It is on record that Barde lacked the requisite creativity to engender profit for the bank and as a result he recorded a total non-performing loans of N1.06 billion, representing 25 per cent of the bank’s asset quality, which according to experts, was far above the maximum regulatory threshold of five percent. This huge deficit was against a dismal performing N60.51 million insider-related credit. 

There are other shortfalls Barde made for just the two years he was CEO of the bank. The commercial financial outfit recorded loan-deposit ratio of over 100 percent and experts declared that it is far above the maximum threshold of 80 percent in the banking industry in Nigeria; this is in addition the very volatile nature of demand deposit required in the sector.

It is with these huge pitfalls Barde wants to be governor. Without being told, Gombe as a state is far more complex than the small piggy-bank he ran aground, and that leaves us wondering what magic is he going to use, first to scale the primaries and win election.

Gombe is not a playing ground for kindergarten, piggy-bank-breaking politicians. People who know him should please advise him on this.

Mr Kera is Abuja-based communication expert.

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