There’s an adage that says, having had the privilege of noble birth is not as important as giving oneself a nobler rebirth. This proverb aptly captures the lifetime efforts and determination of Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, governor of Gombe State. He has strived to convince every naysayer that pressure could actually squeeze winning out of losers and winning out of achievers.
Faithfulness of Almighty Allah is another key factor in the life of Dankwambo. He is unusually gifted. The miracle worker of Gombe, in his 56 years of existence, has not found himself in a wrong place at a wrong time. This for sure could have only been guaranteed by Allah’s faithfulness. Dankwambo has thus far enjoyed a steady career and political progression.
Dankwambo is now serving his second term as the governor of Gombe State, having won his first mandate in 2011 and survived the political tsunami of 2015 to get re-elected. He is undoubtedly the best thing to have happened to Gombe State in terms of good governance. The fact of his noble birth and aristocratic background are indisputable. He proved himself a special gift to Gombe State and Nigeria when he breathed the first air of this earth planet on the April 4, 1962, in Gombe Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Dankwambo had his primary and secondary school education in his native Gombe State before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He also bagged an M.Sc in economics from University of Lagos. He has also displayed his academic genius by obtaining a Ph.D in accounting from Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. Dankwambo also earned a post-graduate diploma in computer science from Delta State University, Abraka. In addition to these intimidating academic qualifications, he is a fellow of frontline professional bodies in Nigeria. He is fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers; fellow, Chartered Institute of Taxation; fellow, Chartered Institute of Management; fellow, Chartered Institute of Marketing; and fellow, Nigerian Economic Society.
Dankwambo began his glowing career at Coopers & Lybrand International, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers, as a chartered accountant from 1985 to 1988. He became a chartered accountant in the record time of one year after his graduation from the university. He later joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1988 and worked with the apex bank till 1999. He was subsequently appointed the accountant-general of Gombe State, in view of his evidently unique qualities.
The unprecedented achievements of Dankwambo as the accountant-general of Gombe State was noticed by the then Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who appointed him the accountant-general of the federation on April 20, 2005, to succeed Mr. J.K Naiyeju. Meanwhile, before this appointment, Dankwambo had served at various committees of the federation account, where his brilliance, innovativeness and resourcefulness became too evident to go unnoticed by all and sundry.
Dankwambo has had numerous global exposures to cutting-edge trainings that have ultimately distinguished him as a well-grounded and seasoned accountant, economist and administrator. He nonetheless achieved monumental successes that have already etched his name in the sands of time while he served as the accountant-general of the federation. He resigned from that appointment in 2011 to contest the governorship election of his home state, Gombe, in which he recorded a landslide victory.
A few of his legacies as the accountant-general of the federation include ensuring the construction and completion of the Treasury House, ensuring up-to-date financial statements of the Federal Government, which were then in arrears, revolutionising of the public sector towards a cashless economy with the implementation of e-payment system and introduction of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS). This system made it possible for staff salaries in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to get paid centrally using an automated system. His other legacies also include the institution of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which allows government financial position to be easily determined for the facilitation and timely reconciliation of cash balances, installation of a financial management system (GIFMIS), which is an ICT integrated system that computerised the public financial management processes from budget preparation, execution, accounting and reporting and ensuring the removal of centralisation which had hitherto caused bottlenecks and delays in implementing projects, thereby enabling ministries, departments and agencies to process and make payments for contracts awarded after obtaining due certification for the projects.
Dankwambo has brought his deep intellect and rare administrative acumen to bear on Gombe State. The Jewel of Savannah, as Gombe is known, has practically experienced transformation since Dankwambo assumed office as the governor. His giant strides in the state got him adjudged as the best northern governor in 2017. He has set standards of performance and has also surpassed himself in delivering dividends of democracy.
The performance of Dankwambo as Gombe State governor has effectively cut across all sectors. He has so far constructed over 3,000 kilometres of roads with solar-powered lighting in the state. He has achieved the beautification of the capital city of Gombe, just as he is upgrading and maintaining all sporting infrastructure in the state. Regular funding of the state football clubs has being of priority to him.
The educational fortunes of Gombe State have been turned around by Dankwambo. It is heart-warming that virtually all schools in Gombe are now renovated and equipped with modern facilities such as e-learning centres, e-libraries, ICT centres, laboratories, expansive and conducive classes, modern furniture, conducive ambience and well-motivated staffers. These factors have largely contributed to the successes recorded so far by primary and secondary school students of Gombe in their external examinations. He has constructed over 502 classrooms and recruited well over 1,000 degree and NCE graduates. He has also taken it upon himself to train over 5,000 teachers for enhanced productivity.
Dakwambo has likewise embarked on the establishments of School of Basic and Remedial studies, Kumo, College of Education, Billiri, State Polytechnic, Bajoga, and College of Legal and Islamic Studies, Nafada. The promise-keeper of Gombe has also undertaken the sponsorship of 25 students in Maritime Studies in India and the United Kingdom.
The leadership ability of Dankwambo is beyond doubt. His political career has been enjoying steady progression on account of his integrity, intellectual wizardry and vast experience in the private and public sectors. A disservice that could be done to this nation is to deny this proven sterling performer the opportunity of administering the badly needed solutions to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria today. He has undoubtedly proven his mettle at the state level and he is best positioned to take Nigeria out of the woods.
•Yusuf wrote in from Gombe.