A journey to Bauchi that changed my brain wave By Abubakar Musa

Though politics has over the decade interestingly become my fly-by-night venture, as I picked up the interest and jumped in its murky waters since the return of democracy in 1999.
Of course, as curious and keenly as every leaner is, I learnt so much about politics and I still remain a keen student of politics, paying attention to the ever unfolding events. Politics always reel out new chapters for learners like myself.
And even though I’ve seen much of the good, the bad, and the ugly pages of politics, my recent journey to the North East Zonal Meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Bauchi did teach me another chapter in politics which I believe is worth penning down here for posterity. I also believe that it would make for a good reference and enlightenment for fellow learners whether they’re ahead or behind me in this intriguing school. 
Bauchi state was created in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. It originally comprised the area now in Gombe state, which became a sole state in 1996. Some 20 solid years after the formation of Bauchi state, Gombe became a distinct entity.
Indeed, today Bauchi state is 42 while Gombe state is 22 years. However, even in human society there is a difference between a person of 42 and 22 years. Sadly, there’s not much differences in terms of development between Bauchi and Gombe attributable to the leadership of the two sister states from creation till date.
Until recently, the last time I visited the state was during the last tenure of Malam Isa Yuguda and I met leadership gaps in the areas of infrastructure, payment of salaries and other ailing sectors of the state economy occasioned by dwindling Internally Generated Revenue. In fact, anytime people of the state discuss issues bordering their future and development, you would hear them praying and proclaiming to have someone who would rescue the state and get it out of the woods.
 Most assuredly, their prayers received answer. 
Yes, 2015 general election ended the Isa Yuguda eight years regime thus heralding Governor Muhammed Abdullahi Abubakar’s stewardship on the emblem of APC.
But to change the trend and the way politics and governance are done in Bauchi state isn’t an easy task. It’s far from what could be done in a blue break. It’s a herculean and backbreaking long row to hoe for Governor Abubakar because to achieve a positive change, he must have to step on so many toes. This means that he has to brace up for those whose oxen are gored in the process.
Of course, the adverse and ripple effects of the paradigm shift are now very glaring that, since inception of the Abubakar administration, anytime the state is in the news, it would be the hue and cries from those to whom the governor’s positive energy is a threat; those affected by the positive polices and strategies of the present government have formed the cloud of its adversaries.
My cogent reasons aren’t far-fetched.
Like any other faithful reader of our nation’s tabloids who has grasp of happenings around the politics of the nation, I’ve read many criticisms targeted at Abubakar and his administration and the crux of the argument is that, he hasn’t achieved anything on the developmental aspect in the state since he took over the mantle of leadership.
I flew to Bauchi state to attend the APC Zonal Meeting and from the airport to the city, I was amazed by sight of well tarred roads. Approaching the metropolis, I was in awe as it has been converted to dual carriage ways decorated with street lights.
I threw my first question, and the answer baffled me when I asked a friend who constructed this road and he told me that the road was constructed by the present administration and that the same had been replicated in all the entry points of the state.
Filled with curiosity, I spared a time to go round the state for some sightseeing hoping to see what would look like what I had heard his critics write in the news. Alas, Governor Abubakar’s offense appeared to be an exact opposite of what his critics say. The governor has made the good people of Bauchi state very proud.
I saw roads construction across the state, some ongoing, some have reached advanced level of completion while many are already completed.
Other sectors of the economy, agriculture, education, tourism, and others, are doing well with the governor’s unusual energy and poise.
It is no wonder the recent rise in the state IGR. IGR; this brings up my second question. Is the governor paying monthly salary?
And the answer was in the affirmative. Without a competent and committed hand like Governor Abubakar’s, it is most certain that payment of workers’ salaries would’ve been an issue in Bauchi as is the case with about two thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states where workers are being owed backlog of salaries even after collecting huge sums in bailout and Paris Club refund.
Due to his love for the state’s civil servants, Governor Abubakar was able to offset the inherited backlogs and put in line so many projects in the state and other local government areas.
What then are the reasons for those antagonizing the administration?
My findings aren’t different from the above testimonies for the governor. Certainly, many who are now wearing the garb of anti-Abubakar expected the governor to surrender the state’s coffers for the pleasure of their squandering. They are those wishing to have their children appointed at the so-called juicy positions in government to feed their inordinate lust for power.
While the governor’s olive branch extended to all the aggrieved members of the party is a welcome idea and quite encouraging, but as the 2019 elections draw near, I urge the good people of Bauchi state to shine their eyes and be vigilant on who they would give their mandate.
It’s sad that, even people with questionable characters have thrown their caps into the ring. Yes, it’s their right but the people of Bauchi equally have rights of voting them out because if their antecedents of looting public funds.
The good people of this state will not surrender the Bauchi state funds to such people; doing so would be a terrible mistake a citizen of Bauchi can ever commit.
A stitch in time saves nine, they say.
Musa writes from Abuja

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