There is no gainsaying that the last 11 years in the life of the 27-year-old Yobe State was indisputably the best. The period recorded unprecedented infrastructural development and robust social services ever enjoyed by the people since the creation of the state. The period is often referred to as “The rebirth of new Yobe”.
The Governor Ibrahim Gaidam-led administration, during the period under review, launched a deliberate policy to reposition the health sector. The government declared a state of emergency on the health sector through rehabilitation, expansion, equipping and staffing of existing general hospitals in the state and established a teaching hospital in Damaturu.
This made healthcare delivery accessible and affordable to the people. It provided qualitative healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people. It was a revolution that earned Governor Ibrahim Gaidam meritorious awards from various professional medical associations including the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Society of Gyneacologists and Obstetricians Association of Nigeria (SGOAN) and, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).
The Gaidam administration would also be remembered for the construction of over 1,000 kilometers of road network across the state. It was the largest road network ever constructed by any government in the state. The increased economic activities influenced by the famous Trans Sahara road, which cuts across five local government areas of Yunusari, Geidam, Yusufari, Nguru and Machina, remains a major milestone in the history of the state.
From 1999 to 2015, Yobe State was been in the opposition in national politics, it suffered gross neglect and was denied developmental projects and programs by the previous administrations and federal. The protracted security challenge of Boko Haram insurgency compounded pressure on the state’s lean economy but, the Gaidam administration remained financially prudent and focused, ensuring prompt payment of salaries, gratuity and pension just as it remained focused on execution of various people oriented-projects.
However, the period from 2015 to date introduced a new chapter in the political history of the state. Yobe state, for the first time belongs to the ruling political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and remain in the mainstream national politics. Again, for the first time ever, the state produced the National Secretary of a national ruling party in person of Alhaji Mai Mala Buni,
This has not only changed political equation of the state but also provided the state with massive unexploited opportunities to improve peace and security, establishment of federal projects and attraction of social services through lobbying from the federal government.
Now, as the Gaidam administration rolls into the last lap of its tenure, the quest for a credible successor remains paramount in the interest of continuity of the legacy projects and programs initiated by the out- going administration.
The question of who succeeds Gaidam in 2019 has become a common topic of discussion at homes, work places, markets, places of worship and all other public environments. In some quarters, people resort to prayers for God to direct the emergence of a credible and trustworthy successor with passion for development and improvement in the lives of the people.
To others, 2019 provides an opportunity for the state to get connected with the federal government to enhance speedy development. They believe that this is achievable with a governor who understands the chemistry of the ruling party. A person who has built strong relationships with party stakeholders and above all, somebody who enjoys enormous respect from President Muhammadu Buhari. Somebody whose personal relationship with the president can be an investment that will attract federal projects for the benefit of the state and the people.
At this point of our life as a state, it has become necessary to address the faint, diversionary and retrogressive voice trying to subvert the good foundation of development laid by the Gaidam administration. The one man agitation for power rotation by a desperate power hungry politician exposes the preference of selfish interest against public interest by the agitator. At this moment, all we need is to have a regime that would ensure continuity of the good works started by the Gaidam administration. A government that would consolidate the gains recorded to speed up the socio-economic development of the state and improve the lives of the people..
Again, a very disturbing trend employed by the selfish agitators was the alleged attempt to acquire the APC candidacy, through fraudulent means of rewarding party officials with houses and handsome monetary packages to secure the governorship ticket of the APC.
There is no doubt that any politician or group of persons sabotaging the anti-corruption crusade of the APC-led administration and, attempting to move the party away from civility to the primitive atavistic behavior of corruption, does not deserve the ticket of the party and is not worthy of any political leadership position in the state.
As we continue to pray to God to give Gaidan a credible successor, it is also obligatory on the incumbent, the APC structure, stakeholders and party members to focus on a grassroots politician who understands the challenges in our rural areas, somebody who is competent, loyal and trustworthy to the cause of the people. Someone who can execute the vision and mission contained the APC manifesto with high sense of commitment.
For those who assume they can mortgage our collective future or trade our fate like a commodity on a store shelf, they are mistaken. Our 27 years experience as a state has made us to appreciate what is good for us. The Gaidam regime has raised the bar of good governance and service delivery which must be sustained and improved upon.
Yunusa sent this piece from Maiduguri Road, Damaturu and can be reached at yunus a Ali firstname.lastname@example.org