A bill of an act to establish Federal polytechnic in Gombe state was first sponsored in the lower chamber by Hon. Aishatu Jibrin Dukku, member representing Dukku/Nafada Federal Constituency in Gombe state Nigeria.

Hon. Aishatu, requested that the polytechnic should be sitted in Dukku, but when the Bill was taken to the Upper Chamber, The Senator Representing Gombe South then, Sen. Barrister Joshua Lidani, appealed that, for educational equality, the institution should be sitted in Gombe South (Kaltungo). He justify his choice and claims that both Gombe north and Gombe central have Federal Higher Institutions (Gombe central has Federal University Kashere and Federal College of Horticulture Dadinkowa while Gombe North has Federal College of Education Technical in Gombe) so for that reason the federal polytechnic should be sitted in Gombe south (Kaltungo) not Dukku. Senator Danjuma Goje was the first to second that motion. The Bill was passed 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading. Lucky enough, in 2019, the institution was approved by the president and this is a welcoming development to all people of Gombe state not only Gombe South.

In an effort to ensure early and smooth take off of academic activities without delay, the Gombe state government approved the use of Kaltungo model school as a temporary take off site and set aside 100 hectares of land for the permanent site of the school. Having satisfied the requirements for take off after the assessment of the Committee constituted by the the Honourable minister of Education, Strong calls from both traditional leaders, the people of Gombe State and Gombe South have continued to emerge for the appointment of Gombe indigene to head the newly established institution since the state is abundantly blessed with qualified individuals with requisite credentials to fill the position.

Meanwhile, since there are also shortlisted candidates from Gombe State and they are ably qualified, the traditional leaders and other influential individuals in the state urged the President and the minister of Education to consider indigine of the state as the Rector. But it is quite unfortunate that after all these calls from both the traditional rulers, top influential individuals and Government functionaries, only 1 out of the 5 principal officers appointed by the president is from Gombe state that is the Registrar.

Though the position is not that worse, but as a host state and community we deserve to have atleast 2 principal officers including the Rector. The appointments has generated a lot of criticism especially among the people of Gombe south. But to me, before one comes up with a criticism, he need to understand that the Principal officers of Federal higher institutions in Nigeria are appointed based on the recommendations of the Minister of Education. And we all know how it works in Nigeria, the appointments are based on the recommendations of those in authority/power.

The minister of Education is from Bauchi state, and the Rector was appointed from Bauchi state based on the recommendations of the minister. Similarly, in 2011 when Federal University Kashere was established, the then Minister of Education Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i recommends the appointment of Prof. M.K Farouk as the pioneer vice Chancerlor who’s her friend from her state (Kano). Equally, among all the principal officers appointed, only the Registrar is from Gombe, though Sen. Goje’s main mission was to site the University in his home town and he succeeded. However, since this is not the first time this happened in Gombe we can argue that the top government functionaries/officials and other top Influential individuals in the state failed to build up and delegate a strong team that will meet and plead with both the president and the minister to appoint the Indigine of the state as a Rector and atleast 1 or 2 other principal officers. Similar institution was approved in Daura and almost 3 of the principal officers appointed were from kastina including the Rector. Equally we used to see how traditional and influential people in kano and Jigawa stand for their indigines when it comes to appointment of principal officers in Federal institutions located in their states.

So we need to stand up and copy from them to reframe the system. In conclusion, since the did is done, let’s forget about everything and focus on the prospect of the Institution, blaming and lamenting other people or government won’t be a solution but rather promote hatred between the host community and the appointed principal officers especially for those lamenting that even the Registrar that came from Gombe state is not from Gombe South, please let’s keep issues of regional and ethnicity aside. If Gombe south can blame the state or the Federal Government over the appointments that even the rgistrar appointed is not from Tangale Waja, I think Gombe Central would have critisiced the then Government for the appointment of principal officers of Federal University kashere because the Registrar appointed is an Indigine of Kwami local Government not Akko or Deba. We did not blame any body on that, because we know all the appointment are based on connections with the authority concerned.

The people of Gombe South should also remember that if not because of Sen. Joshua Lidani, the institution would have been located in Dukku.

Source: Idris Bose

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