By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
The recent visit by the wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, to Gombe, to commiserate with former governor, Danjuma Goje, on his wife, Yelwa’s death, has sparked a row between him and the incumbent governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo.
The wife of the President visited Gombe, last Friday.
The condolence visit has left a dust behind that is yet to settle as supporters of the governor alleged that Goje disrespected the office of the governor by rebuking Dankwambo in public.
During the visit and in his response to the President’s wife, Goje publicly rebuked Dankwambo for allegedly betraying his family after he became governor in 2011.
Goje, while expressing gratitude to the President’s wife for bringing Dankwambo to his residence, stressed that since becoming governor, he had failed to visit his residence even while the late Yelwa was sick.
“He used to be part of this household. My wife was his godmother. For seven months she was sick, he didn’t come. He only called after she passed on. Since we inaugurated him from Pantami he didn’t visit this house.”
I have had series of misfortunes, ill-health with even a death recorded but he has not seen it fit to identify with me and my family. He didn’t even call to sympathise with us. I really appreciate you, Your Excellency, for bringing him back to this house. This used to be his home, he was a godson to my late wife,” Goje said.
The apparent rebuke in public glare, however, did not go down well with supporters of Dankwambo who alleged that Goje attacked the person of the governor before the President’s wife, merely to score cheap political gains.
Rising in defence of the governor, Gombe State Concerned Citizens, an umbrella body of elders in the state, condemned what they termed “unwarranted attack on the person of Dankwambo and his wife by Goje.”
At a press conference, yesterday, the group equally condemned the choice of venue and timing on the alleged attack.
They commended Dankwambo “for the matured manner he handled the situation. First and foremost, we would like to tender our unreserved apology to the wife of the President and her husband, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for this unfortunate embarrassment she encountered during her condolence visit to Gombe State,” the group said.
Spokesman of the group, Amb Abulmumini Abubakar said it was necessary to refute “the tissues of lies dished out to the public by Goje because there is every tendency for people to believe such lies.”
Abubakar accused Goje of choosing the time of the visit by the President’s wife to “Castigate and ridicule the governor, in order to enhance his political ego.”
The group denied Goje’s claim that his late wife facilitated the emergence of Dankwambo as governor in 2011.
In his response, one of Goje’s aides, Alhaji Ahmed Isa chose to pose some rhetorical questions to the group.
“Did the governor call Senator Goje or any member of the family, during the seven months Hajiya Yelwa was sick, not to talk of visiting her on her sick bed? Why did the governor call Senator Goje the very day she died as if he was just waiting for her to die? Did the governor pay any condolence visit to the Goje family house before the wife of the president did?
“Do you expect the family to be deceived by the opportunistic visit of the governor, many days after the death of Hajiya Goje? Why did the governor not visit the family house in Gombe on his own, long before the visit of Hajiya Aisha?
“Did Hajiya Yelwa not support or assist Dankwambo to become governor in 2011? Was the governor not a frequent visitor to the Goje family house in Gombe, long before he became governor and finally, did the governor ever visit the Goje family house in Gombe since May 29, 2011, after he was sworn in, even though the family lost several loved ones during this period?
“Let him answer these and we will respond adequately.”