Following the just concluded primary elections conducted by various political parties in Nigeria for next year’s general elections that will produce another set of leaders or continuity of those seeking second term in their respective positions or intend to proceed to a higher offices.
In Bauchi state, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is facing extinction following the gale of defections from the party immediately after the governorship primary election that produced the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Baba Abubakar, who is a novice in politics considering the time he spent with the Nigeria’s air soldiers before joining active politics after he was sacked from his position as chief of air staff by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside his co service chiefs and his appointment as Nigeria’s ambassador to Chad.
The APC in Bauchi state had initial structure that produced its pioneer governor in the state who failed woefully to make the needed change when he governed the state. MA. Abubakar made a history as the least performed governor of Bauchi state and the first civilian governor to be removed by the Bauchians due to glaring evidence of failure, among other reasons, best known to the electorate that massively voted him out in favour of the incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed who is averagely performing in the area of road in infrastructure.
Following Sadique’s emergence as APC gubernatorial candidate to wrest power from Governor Bala Mohammed, who went to test his popularity and acceptability in the presidential race of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, APC in Bauchi state is on the verge of extinction. This is because the major factor that helped the party produced MA Abubakar was Buhari’s tsunami in 2015 which may not work in 2023, as Buhari is finishing his eight years tenure and age won’t allow him go round the country to rally support for any candidate.
The party has so far lost many heavyweights in the state and report has it that more are underway to quit the party while few others believe the party in the state has already lost focus and is not ready to grab power from a sitting governor who on many occasions rekindled the hope to retain his seat and he is ready to confront any contestant when the time comes.
So far, the immediate past deputy governor of the state Architect Audu Sule Katagum, left the party on alleged lack of fairness and transparency in the party and above all allegation of being sidelined from the party’s activities since exiting office in 2019. He felt sad that the party is deviating from the objective of forming the party from the onset. And worse still is the refusal of the party to give him and his former principal a sense of relevance in discharge of its activities since leaving office.
Another powerful stakeholder is a serving Senator Halliru Dauda Jika who also penned his resignation from the APC after losing a bid to picked the party’s gubernatorial ticket ahead of next year’s general elections. Unarguably, Jika is material in the party and politics, as they say, is a game of number. He has thousands of supporters across the state that could eventually help the party to wrest power from the opposition if they are determined.
But his sudden resignation and subsequent defection is a big blow to the party, especially Sadique who needs allied forces to approach a serving governor who is politically groomed and desperate to retain power. Honourable Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, popularly known as Wakilin Birni, has quit the APC as well.
He is a powerful politician who stood firm to be elected member House of Representatives against former Governor MA. Abubakar who blocked his way to pick the party’s flag in 2019, reason that led him move to another political party, the People’s Redemption Party, PRP, where won with a landslide against the governor’s candidate. When Yakubu returned to APC, the party’s supporters were overwhelmed and hoped to have a strong politician in their midst that will led them to another victory from the government he is having a friction with.
Senator Lawal Yahaya Gumau, an incumbent senator, representing Bauchi South, left the party immediately after losing the APC’s ticket to regain his position on alleged gang-up by some elements within the party. Someone like Lawal that would be in the House of Representatives through the senate, shouldn’t be easily allowed to leave the party.
Latest one is serial APC’s aspirant Honourable Mohamed Aliyu, popularly known as Songuy, he is passionately loved by youths and he has an influence in deciding the fate of any elected leader in his constituency. His exodus from the party is another set back at it is preparing to wrest power from PDP. Songuy boldly said the APC Bauchi state is only interested in those that will give them money not those who believe in its core principles.
According to him, “it’s sad that those of them that have been in the party right from its amalgamation are not given due recognition, the party in Bauchi state is for some people. Honourable Farouk Mustapha is massively loved by the people of Bauchi state across the divide. His shocking, exit from the APC unveiled lots of quagmires and the party’s new logo is come and give us money, and will give you a ticket.
Attesting to this an the reality is the I don’t care attitude of the Babayo led state party that came on board through the support of the education minister and few others against the will of the party members who have the right to vote for their new leaders after the expiration of the tenure of its pioneer chairman Uba Nana.
With the exodus from the party in the state, the APC is at risk of going extinct. At the moment the Kwankwaso’s rebirth NNPP is the top beneficiary of the development, it is the new home for the frustrated, expired and vengeance APC members including the failed former governor MA. Abubakar’s supporters declaring to be anti-party in the forthcoming elections especially to Sadique whom they believe supported Governor Bala during his election in 2019 and they believed the new state party leadership has one-sided party loyalty and motive in running the affairs of the party, while the likes of the former deputy governor believes that the party they formed four years ago has deviate from its objective.
In his media chat, he said, since vacating office neither him nor his principal has been accorded recognition in the party’s activities. Asked why Bauchi state delegates didn’t vote for MA’s preferred candidate Yemi Osinbajo at the concluded APC presidential primary election, he said they didn’t vote for Osinbajo, against the will of MA. Information has it that MA Abubakar is considering an exit soon and he may rejoin his initial PDP. If it happens then Sadique will be the top loser of such development.
Apparently, the Babayo’s APC in Bauchi state is not doing anything to address the daily exit of its top class members even the likes of Senator Jika who kept the party running for years after it lost its historic first timer governor of the state. on the other hand, Sadique is on the verge of losing his dream of governing Bauchi state and it appears he is not making an extra move to avert eventual occurrence or return of the frustrated members to help him with extra forces.
The likes of Dr Musa Babayo and Nura Manu Soro, Capt Bala Jibrin, and other top members of the party need to be given extra sense of relevance and responsiveness for a smooth journey to Bauchi Government House. And Adamu Adamu, the current Minister of Education needs to unite the aggrieved members and help Sadique Baba, the guber candidate who is a novice in politics surrounded by pretenders and expired politicians who cannot even win their electoral wards.
He needs to engage competent and acceptable politicians that can help him actualise his dream because the state leadership of the APC is not doing anything to help him, though information has it that Sadique emerged through the handiwork of the party’s top echelon who openly campaigned for him during the primary election against the likes of defected Senator Halliru Jika that kept the party active after losing a governor in the state.
Pundits questioned by the Babayo’s leadership in the party decided to remain mute despite losing people that will make the party regain its strength.
No doubt, the lackadaisical attitude of the APC leadership in Bauchi state is not navigating to the promised land except to its buried land come 2023 if not hurriedly addressed. A stitch in time saves nine.
Umar Usman Duguri,