Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Re: What does Danjuma Goje want? by Umaru Abubakar

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I read the laughable article written by one Ola Alao published in The Nation newspaper of Wednesday, November 10, with the caption – What does Danjuma Goje want?

Ordinarily, there would have been no need to dignify the writer who, from all indications is a stranger not only to the state but also to the events on which he has chosen to write on. However, to the extent that he chose to muddle up things in his efforts to justify his remit, going as far as serving weird concoctions to satisfy his paymasters while dragging the image and the hard-earned reputation of our leader, Senator Muhammed Danjuma Goje in the mud in the process, this rejoinder has become highly compelling to dispel the blatant falsehoods and to put things into proper context.

The background to the tendentious piece of course was the November 6 attack during which elements apparently sponsored by the state government sought to prevent the former governor from entering into the state capital.

Of course, the various accounts of how Senator Goje’s convoy was attacked by suspected political thugs while on his way to attend a wedding in the state capital have been widely reported in the media – both in print and electronic. Suffice to say that the different accounts were similar in their reportage of how some suspected thugs not only blocked the Gombe-Bauchi highway near the International Conference Centre, but set bonfires on the road to prevent the convoy of Senator Goje from passing through.

As a result of the tragic incident, one life was reportedly lost and many cars, including the senator’s, were vandalised.

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Rather than address the issue, the writer sought to cast the tragic incident as a sort of turf war between the former governor and the incumbent Governor Inuwa Yahaya; or worse, present it as a case of the former’s ambition – as against the manifest display of intolerance on the part of Yahaya – hence the tendentious title given to the piece– What does Goje want?

To begin with, had the writer not lacking the credentials to delve into the politics of Gombe State, he would have restrained from casting that rather audacious query on the revered Senator Goje.  Had be bothered a little research on that name that he and his paymasters desperately sought to stain, he would have found that Senator Goje’s public life is inexorably linked with the history of Gombe State. Not only was the senator a constant star right from the time Gombe was a mere local government under Bauchi State, to current enviable status not only among its contemporaries in the Northeast but also the entire 19 northern states.

What does Danjuma Goje want? As a two-term former governor, he is neither eligible not interested in returning to the Gombe Government House!

So much for the piper behind the tune; had these not been interesting times, that question ought to have been directed at the writer’s paymaster who was handpicked by the same Senator Goje as Commissioner of Finance for seven years and later in 2019 stood firmly to make him governor of Gombe State.

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But now that the question has come up, the simple, direct answer is that Goje wants the peace, unity and progress of the state and her sons and daughters within and beyond the boundaries of the state. He wants a Gombe State that stands tall among north-eastern states in terms of the multifarious indices of development – a state poised to sustain and surpass those remarkable feats achieved during his administration – those indelible legacies that are now the hallmarks of the modern Gombe.

It is no boast to refer to the several strategic road networks constructed by Goje administration both in the urban and rural areas of the state; the schools and hospitals and other signature projects like the state-of-the art Gombe International Airport, Gombe International Hotel, Pantami Stadium and Gombe State University, Gombe Central Mosque and Christian Association Nigeria, CAN Centre. These are feats without which the state could not have been in its present glowing and fulsome status.

And there are lots more. In the areas of human capital development and political mentorship, it is no secret that a good number of the present generation of politicians in the state were groomed and tutored by Senator Goje. To put it succinctly, even the current set of political leadership in Gombe are largely the products of Goje’s school of politics; and that includes Governor Inuwa Yahaya himself, almost all the members of the State Executive Council,  members of the national and state house of assemblies and party officials. Need one adds to the list the successful business men and women, indigenous contractors including the Inuwa Yahaya’s family construction firm, AYU Construction Limited and local farmers in the state, most of whom grew up through Goje’s patronage.

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The aforementioned are some of the things Senator Goje want; his desire is for the state to continue growing with sustainable legacies; in short, his utmost desire is to provide empowering leadership for the sons and daughters of the state, the like of which produced Inuwa Yahaya as governor.

As for the unfortunate attack on the convoy of Senator Goje, the only thing that needs to be added at this point in time is for the police to continue with their investigations. Nigerians not only deserve to know the truth, they yearn to see the criminals that perpetrated the mayhem punished.

Good enough, the police have not only confirmed the attack, they actually came to the rescue of the senator by escorting him to his house. While they are at it, they have just about enough exhibits to proceed in the damaged vehicles and other relics from the scene of the mindless attack. Those exhibits should trouble those who want to use media to hide their culpability in that shameful incident.

In the meantime, those accusing Senator Goje of breaching peace of the state on that fateful Friday have just enough time to also come forward with their evidence as against the specious narratives designed to bend the truth.

Mr Abubakar writes from Gombe.
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