By Sani M. Yusuf
IT was the former American President, Abraham Lincoln, who said in one of his famous quotes: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
In Nigeria, and even in the Western nations, whenever the name Sardauna is mentioned, what strikes the mind of the hearers is the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto.
Sardauna was clearly one of the most celebrated, trustworthy, and incorruptible pro-independence politicians whose legacy is virtually second to none in the history of the nation’s politics. His actual name is Ahmadu Bello while Sardauna is his traditional title which is one of the major titles given mostly to only the royal kinfolks and distinguished personalities in the society.
Today, Saurdana’s name is synonymous with purposeful governance and sincere leadership. He successfully wrote his name with a golden pen in Nigeria’s sand of history and whenever and wherever his name is mentioned, what comes up is a deluge of accolades and praises.
In fact, if anyone desires to see where untainted and unpolluted bequest resides, mention the contributions of the late Sardauna to the development of the North and Nigeria as a whole.
It is as though the spirit is in the title. More than five decades after his demise, here comes another Northerner who bears the same title of Sardauna exhibiting in full measure many of the attributes of the late Ahmadu Bello, especially in human capital development and socio-economic interventions particularly to the less-privileged and the downtrodden people in the society.
Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, a proficient corporate magnate and political maestro with a full throttle of philanthropic energy, is the Sardaunan Gombe. Dr. Gwamna is a man who, through his engagements, demonstrates a high sense of leadership and concern for the development of his state and its people, especially the Gombe citizens and those he crosses part with in the course of his work and political sojourn.
Of course, genuine concern, straightforwardness, resilience are some of the attributes that keep him soaring and accomplishing great feats amidst his contemporaries. These qualities endear him so much, not only to Gombe people, but to all those who are opportuned to know him or relate with him at any scale of relationship.
Indeed, it is not in any way surprising to those who know what qualities Dr. Gwamna possesses. His track record and unblemished antecedents when he was turbaned as the Sardaunan Gombe left no one doubt that he is eminently worthy. It was a case of a square peg in a square hole. The title is only for those who contributed excellently to the development of humanity, and demonstrated unmatched qualities that are worthy of emulation.
Gwamna has a startling and enviable academic record obtained both here in Nigeria and overseas. He holds a B.Sc. in Accounting, M.Sc. in Business Economics and Finance and PhD. in Economics. His career and business engagements started at the Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry in Abeokuta, before his employment at the Kaduna Aluminum Company where he rose to the position of Group Chief Accountant. As consummate achiever, he later he set up his own private business, Amstrade Ventures Limited, dealing in importation and sales of heavy-duty earth-moving equipment.
Today, the Sardaunan Gombe is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, KEDCO and he is a visible brain behind the successes recorded by the company and the development of the power sector in Nigeria.
Sardauna’s sojourn into the murky waters of politics dates back to 1999 where the late Governor Abubakar Hashidu appointed him as the Executive Chairman of Gombe Water Board and as expected of him, he successfully changed the face of the board and employed capable sons and daughters of the state.
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Impressed by his astuteness, Dr. Jamilu was unanimously called by the progressive citizens of Gombe State to contest the governorship of state on the platform of the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2007 where he gave it a good and commendable outing but was not successful.
He tried the same again in 2019 but lost controversially in the PDP primaries. Many are of the opinion that the manipulation that attended that loss caused the party and the then government to lose the entire elections in the state. The popular belief remains that it was only Jamilu Gwamna who could have led the party to success.
This is based on the fact that like the late Sardaunan Sokoto, Dr. Jamilu Gwamna Sardaunan Gombe has over the years provided job opportunities to thousands of teeming youths in the State, more than any other person. He enrolled less-privileged sons and daughters of the state in many schools here and abroad and placed them under scholarships without any media hype.
Recently, he took ten secondary school leavers and enrolled them into various universities at far away Morocco even as he has another 30 students studying at Yamusa Science Academy, Kebbi.
Interestingly, Sardauna hardly comments on his human interventions and he rarely opens up to the public about his numerous achievements, that’s what makes him a silent achiever.
He is a rare gem and he is the kind of personality a society needs for rapid development and progress. It is on record that many before him tried times before they succeeded in actualising their dream. This is why that we will never get tired of calling him to take his rightful position of leadership.
He has done with his hard earned money what successive governments failed to do. We are certain that when given position of leadership, he will do more.
I will again quote from the same Abraham Lincoln: “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Against this backdrop, I believe that Sardaunan Gombe will one day be the Governor of Gombe State.