The 2019 general elections are around the corner. A number of political parties are engaged in electioneering gimmick. But in Bauchi state, the major political parties are the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
The APC, which is fielding Governor Mohammed Abubakar as its flag bearer, had been challenged by the avoidable internal discord which had been engineered by bad losers in its primaries, led by Dr Muhammed Pate, former minister of state for health in the Goodluck Jonathan government. After the primaries, Pate instigated several party stakeholders to show bitterness over the process that produced Gov Abubakar as APC candidate.
But unfortunately for Pate, his new party, PRP, has now discovered his ways. Thus, Alhaji Ahmadu Chiroma, chairman of the Bauchi state chapter of PRP, said the party was fast heading for a crash, as PRP is currently rocked by internal crisis which he attributed to leadership tussle across the 20 LGAs of the state.
Chiroma regretted that the purported takeover of PRP by former APC governorship aspirant, Ali Pate, was responsible for the tussle in the party.
“I assure you that Pate will not win governorship election under PRP in Bauchi for dissolving the existing party structures across the state and lately, replaced them with APC supporters,” Chiroma alleged
Chiroma further stated that he had personally warned the former Kaduna state governor and national chairman of PRP not to mortgage the party to Pate who then lost APC governorship primary, for the best interest of democracy, but all to no avail
He said those dissolved party executives in 20 LGAs of the state have resolved to vote against the PRP governorship candidate in 2019, describing their sack as illegal
“There is no justice in uprooting the party’s existing structures, especially those that suffered to sustain the party for years just because you (Dr Pate) want to become governor by all means without regard to the owners of the party,” Chiroma lamented..
Dr. Ali Pate and Dr. Ibrahim Lamai, who contested in the APC governorship primaries against Gov Abubakar clearly demonstrated their anger with the election committee in the party’s headquarters in Abuja. They alleged that the governor, in connivance with the state executive, compromised the process and also accused security agencies of showing partisanship in the election.
In all, they forgot to note that democracy is all about popularity. The people of Bauchi cannot leave the progressive governor for the self-serving Ali Pate and his group.
If the two are wise enough politically, they should know that their combined political clouts cannot march Abubakar’s because their call for the boycott of Bauchi APC governorship primaries by their supporters even before the election was not heeded by the enlightened Bauchi voters, whom no politician’s gimmick can swindle.
The people of Bauchi cannot be shortchanged by the rhetorics of Ali Pate who had not been in the state for a long time. If it is so, how can Dr Pate understand the political dynamics and yearnings of the Bauchi masses.
Dr Pate should know that leadership comes from God, therefore he should wait for his time instead of making the grave mistake of trying to undermine the decision of Bauchi people who had since entrusted the their destiny in Gov Abubakar’s hands, and he has not failed them.
Based on the antics of Dr Pate, the media assistance to the governor, Ali M. Ali, said in a statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to the fantastic claims of a gubernatorial candidate of our dear state, Bauchi, on the platform of our great party, the APC, to the effect that unless direct primary was conducted to ‘test the popularity of all aspirants’, the party will lose in the impending polls early next year’.
To Bauchi electorate these fantastic claims coming from Dr Pate are utterances of a bad loser.
How would Dr Pate know the feelings of fellow citizens when he was not available during their period of tribulations? We only know that he is confusing his personal political agenda with the yearnings of the Bauchi people, the majority of whom are solidly behind the government of Abubakar.
It is my view, and the views of millions of Bauchi voters that the 2019 governorship election in Bauchi will be child’s play for Gov Abubakar compared with the obstacles and tribulations he had passed through to victory in the 2015 elections. Then all odds were against him. The chieftains of PDP surrounded him both at home and in Abuja. But at the end of the day the will of the people prevailed, and Bauchi was liberated from the claws of the its predators, the PDP governors.
Recently the defection of the former governor of the state Adamu Muazu and other PDP chieftains to the APC was a booster to Abubakar’s chances. We can now say the coast has become clearer.
It is not wrong now to say APC is clearly on its way to a landslide in 2019.
This is coming on the heels of the defection to the APC by the suspended PDP National Deputy Chairman, Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa, Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu, a close ally of the former governor and other PDP chieftains.
Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi state who had been out of Nigeria for over three years returned in December last year. Mu’azu was received into the APC camp during the party’s North-east zonal rally which held in Bauchi recently.
President Muhammadu buhari received top politicians from the North-east, including a second republic governor of Borno state, Mohammed Goni, into the APC. In November 2018, a former governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, also joined the APC having dumped the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) which he joined after leaving the PDP.
With the latest defection of Gamawa, Kaulaha and other PDP chieftains in Bauchi the APC is said to be consolidating its strength. Gamawa and Kaulaha are from the Northern senatorial district which comprises Katagum, Jama’are, Gamawa, Itas/Gadau. This area is the “swing states” of Bauchi politics.
On his part, Kaulaha said he defected as a matter of principle, adding that he was endeared to APC because of the performance, integrity and honesty of President Buhari and Governor Abubakar.
Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who led the defectors to the villa, expressed happiness with the development, saying “with these two gentlemen, I can go to sleep with my two eyes closed, so to speak.”
Ango writes from Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state.