By Femi Adeniyi
Governor Ibrahim Dakwambo of Gombe State is among those who have been tipped to pick the presidential ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections. A man of excellent performance and integrity, analysts say Dakwambo could readily appeal to the electorate in the 2019 presidential election.
Prior to the loss of the 2015 election by former President Goodluck Jonathan, allegations of fraud and manipulation hung on the neck of the PDP like the sword of Damocles.This was the more reason Nigerians elected to seek an alternative in the All Progressives Congress, APC. Now that the ruling party has demonstrated its inability to offer better governance, many people believe the PDP cannot afford to seek the trust of Nigerians with a candidate who is seen as not to be above board in the poll.
It is evident that the long suffering Nigerians have had enough of gerontocracy while majority of them are prepared to do away with this unworkable idea in 2019. What the nation needs at this time of untold economic hardship and insecurity is a young President who is fresh with new ideas and innovative concepts. This appears the only path to tread if the country is to experience true progress beyond 2019. PDP being the major opposition party could not have hoped for a better opportunity and time to return to power than now. Dakwambo, a man of proven record of achievements and who has never had an appointment with any of the anti-corruption agencies, can get the votes of Nigerians in any presidential poll.
The great, 55, would have only turned 57 by 2019. Our youths who dominate the nation’s population must resolve never to submit the leadership of this country to any man whose age is above 70 years. The youths need to wake up from their slumber and rescue this nation from retrogression with their votes in the forthcoming election. The ruling class comprising mostly of the elders has held the nation down for too long and there cannot be a better time to rescue her from their firm grip than now. The elders have been given all the chances but they simply cannot give what they do not have. Their lack of modern ideas and innovative concepts has sadly manifested in their archaic policy plans that have consigned the nation’s developmental vehicle to a permanent reverse gear.
Aside the fact that Dakwambo is a relatively young man, he is also roundly experienced, exposed and educated. He is educated to the level of PhD and passed through the qualifying examinations of seven professional bodies. He was awarded the membership of the professional institutions after attaining success in their examinations. He is BSc holder from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with second class upper division in accounting. The result was the best obtained by any individual in then Bauchi State at the time the governor graduated from the institution. He is also a holder of master’s degree in economics from University of Lagos and a post graduate diploma in computer science from Delta State University Abraka. He obtained his PhD from Igbinedion University, Okada.
The career achievements of Dakwambo in the private and public sectors is another major attribute that cut him out as the ideal presidential candidate of the PDP. He began his glowing career at the Coopers and Lybrand International, now PriceWaterHouseCoopers, as a chartered accountant from 1985 to 1988. It is on record that he became a chartered accountant at a 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 until 1999 when then Governor Abubakar Habu Hashidu appointed him as the Accountant General of Gombe State . From there, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as the Accountant General of the Federation in 2005. Before this, Dankwambo had served in various committees on the Federation Account where his resourcefulness became evident.
It was during Dakwambo’s tenure as Accountant General of the Federation the he introduced the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS). Central payment of salaries of staff in all the ministries, departments and agencies using an automated system was also introduced. He was part of the revolution in the public sector that brought e-payment system.The use of cheques has since been eliminated in the government transactions at the federal level. Courtesy of this innovation, contractors, staff and service providers now get their accounts credited automatically through e-payment. He also ensured that the financial statements of the federal government which were in arrears were brought up to date, prepared, audited and published before he left office.
Dakwambo equally completed the Treasury House. The Treasury House stands out today in Abuja as one of the most magnificent edifices.
It was against the backdrop of these achievements that he contested the governorship of Gombe in 2011 and the story of the state changed dramatically on his assumption of office. He was recently adjudged the best performing governor in the northern part of the country. In his first four years in office, he revolutionized agriculture in Gombe. He procured 225 tractors and constructed several markets to encourage cotton farming in the state. Dakwambo has practically turned around the fortune of education in Gombe. He constructed over 502 classrooms and recruited well over 1,000 degree and NCE graduates to teach students among other achievements in education.
The solid credentials Dakwambo has earned in the public and private sectors will obviously speak for him in the contest for the PDP presidential ticket and it will amount to a disservice to Nigerians who are yearning for effective leadership, after the APC administration has failed them, if the party allows this opportunity to slip away. PDP needs not look beyond Dakwambo if it expects Nigerians to submit their collective destiny to it in 2019.