A seasoned politician and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi state, Alhaji Bashir Y. Ahmed is a staunch supporter of the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed’s governorship project in the state. In this interview with AYONI M. AGBABIAKA, the PDP stalwart believes the party risks losing the state in 2015 if the minister is schemed out of the governorship race. He is also of the view that strong as the opposition APC is in the state, its internal crisis won’t allow it to make any headway in 2015
2015 general election in Bauchi
As far as 2015 election is concerned, we thank God for the support, prayer and understanding of the people of Bauchi state. I will confidently tell you that so far so good. We are doing our very best; we are only waiting for the process to kick-off. You know in politics you have the do’s and do’nt’s, we try to do what is needful and avoid the don’ts; I hope I have answered your question.
FCT minister set for 2015
I am assuring you that Senator Bala Mohammed will contest as governor of Bauchi state in 2015 InshaAllah; we are only waiting for him to make his position known very soon. And as soon as he does that you will see a different ball game. He has no match among other aspirants. None of them can stand and face the minister in a free , fair contest.
Like Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa and Dr. Musa Babayo among others?
Let me even add more for you, we have Barr. Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), whom we learned enjoys the support of Governor Yuguda. The fact of the matter is that Bauchi people regard all those that were mentioned as not having the required leadership quality as that of the FCT minister who has distinguished himself both as a senator and minister, but when the time comes we shall separate the chaffs from the grain.
But it’s like they are on ground?
I don’t know what indices you use to say they are on ground, all I know is that you see some of their posters on the streets and whenever they visit anywhere in the state, they use hired crowd and that does not show that you command followership. Politics goes beyond that.
It is also believed in some quarters that FCT minister also uses hired crowd.
Please don’t allow anybody to deceive you. I challenge you to follow FCT minister whenever he visits Bauchi, you will then know that Senator Bala has already won the heart of the people of the state due to his humility, and I will tell you without the fear of contradiction that Bauchi people cannot afford to miss Sen. Bala Mohammed as their governor in 2015.
His chances if he secures PDP ticket?
Absolutely yes he has the chances because the FCT minister’s support cuts across the state and I assure you that no candidate from whichever party can defeat the minister at the poll. Even though leadership comes from God, but from what is on ground now, the sky shall be the
minister’s limit in the election and I am sure PDP as a party will like to maintain its leadership in Bauchi state. That is why we are supporting FCT minister, because without him as a PDP candidate, anything can happen.
Seeming problem with Bauchi North or Central
There are things you can’t discuss on the pages of newspaper, but as you insist let me tell you some. They are now trying to take those of us who come from Bauchi South for granted. It is in their habit of showing disrespect to anybody who did not come from their area, and it has become very glaring that they have sentiments, they don’t treat us equally. Those are some of the things that make our people not to believe in them, and for the rest I can’t tell you.
Any support from Bauchi North?
Yes, we have the support of major players of Katagum politics and the grassroots, those who are even shouting for power shift cannot even deliver their polling booths. We only consider them as arm chair politicians.
Governor Yuguda’s influence
I agree with you that governor Yuguda will have an influence either positively or negatively. As a sitting governor he must be accommodated but in choosing his successor, people should be allowed to make their choice if not it will not augur well for PDP. If he dares to go against the wishes of the majority, he will surely pay for it. I was even told that his eldest son was trying to aspire for House of Representative in Bauchi Federal constituency but seeing the handwriting on the wall, he steps down.
What of Ahmadu Muazu, the national chairman of PDP?
FCT minister has the highest regard and respect for Ahmadu Muazu and he wishes him well and prays that he succeeds in his new assignment as the national chairman of PDP. He believes Muazu can revive the PDP God willing.
The APC challenge
The APC as a party is a force to be reckoned within Bauchi state, but if you look at the leadership crisis in the party, it has the potential to make the party lose support. And as I told you, the FCT minister can beat a candidate of any political party going by his grassroots support across the state, so no cause for alarm, let’s get to the bridge before we cross it.
How the best candidate can emerge for PDP
For PDP to have acceptable and credible candidate they should allow internal democracy to play out. They should let the contest be open to all. Whoever is interested in the race should be given the opportunity, but any attempt to prevent other aspirants from contesting will not help the party.
Any fear of other aspirants?
Not at all, my only fear is injustice because in a free and fair contest, none of the aspirants in PDP can come close to the minister, as he remains the choice of the electorates.
Reaching out to the minister’s critics
I think I told you before that we are doing everything possible to bring all our critics into our fold. We have already started and if you look at the level of criticism , it has reduced drastically, as some only criticised out of ignorance but thank God now they are with us, and you cannot rule out selfish individuals who sees everything one does as negative, but we will not relent on our efforts, we shall continue to let them have better understanding of the minister.