Bauchi 2019 and the worthy option, BY Musa Abubakar

It’s interesting that the Attahiru Jega’s electoral revolution and the President Muhammadu Buhari’s unconquerable Tsunami have bred a new set of leadership in the country and it’s now barely three years since such leadership emerged and occupied various positions of power.

Indeed, those who have either participated and are part of the history of the 2015 general elections or those who have keenly watched the entire processes, know that the voting line was the integrity of the individual candidates and the acceptability of one’s political scaffolding and its flagship.

It was a kind of paradigm shift from the hitherto arena where godfatherism, financial buoyancy, and the power of incumbency were the determining factors and acceptable yardsticks to measure one’s chances of clinching political power. During the 2015 elections, a precedent was set where voters have the prerogative to choose their leaders and in such a situation, they’ve been equipped and vested with the right to hold such leaders accountable of their mandates and to equally deny unworthy and unqualified individuals from taking any representative position. That’s the fortunate power of vote.

Verily, it’s now some months away to the 2019 general elections and yet some groping politicians who seem to be as blind as bats could not learn from experience. They are, unfortunately, going down the line of the old methods of hornswoggling and swindling the electorate as elections approach and adversely this time in the widely enlightened political settings where the power of votes acquires premium value.

In some states, there are politicians who have fallen short of getting their people’s mandates to represent them in various positions. And that has been the decision of the voters at either party level or at the general election. In any case, they should not be blamed or criticized for exercising their rights. Yet, it’s unfortunate that, those who lost out at all levels in the 2015 elections are still in a slumber of the defeat and most of them could not accept the will of God to prevail and hence, device a means of creating internal wrangling and political bump heads, all in the name scheming things in their favour come 2019 general elections.

In Bauchi state, Governor Muhammed Abdullahi Abubakar was chosen by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the most saleable brand for the party and equally the most qualified among the contenders to move the state forward from the shackles of misgovernance. His predecessors ruled the state like their personal estate where the state’s treasury was plundered through various conduits, internal and external debts were accrued, empty treasury, workers’ salaries were paid like alms and backlogged for about a year. In fact, Bauchi state was in a sorry state and overburdened when MA took over.

Only those mindful can imagine the chunks and upping of the challenges Gov. Abubakar inherited and was unlucky to come at the time federal allocation to the state plummeted occasioned by the dwindling crude oil revenue due to the sharp fall of crude oil price in the international market. The state internally generated revenue (IGR) was nothing to write home about let alone to rely on for financial adjustment. But with his unwavering determination to liberate the state from its comatose status, he devised pragmatic means of reducing the high cost of governance by rummaging and weeding out ghost workers at both the state and local government service, immediate payment of the backlogged salary at all levels, and subsequently prompt payment of salaries as at due.

Today, apart from repositioning the civil service, reviving ailing industries, with allocation that is only settling the recurrent expenditure, Bauchi is wearing a new look with road construction in all the nooks and cranny of the state, extending to many local government areas under the state urban renewal drive. Hospitals were built in all the 20 local government areas, some state own industries were refurbished and put use, classrooms are constructed while dilapidated ones were reconstructed. Agriculture as an alternative source of revenue has been boosted by procurement of fertilizer which has been distributed to farmers at subsidized rate, as well as procurement and distribution of modern agricultural implements under the massive agricultural mechanization drive.

In fact, while in some states workers are dying for nonpayment of salaries even after their governors have collected federal government’s bailout and excess crude refunds, Gov. Abubakar is receiving ovations from well-meaning individuals and groups including our leader, President Buhari, for not only offsetting the backlog and prompt payment of salaries but the quantum of projects he has initiated and completed for the betterment of the state and its economic revival.

Not satisfied by the progress Makama Babba is recording and the history he’s making in the state, selfish politicians whose aims and objectives of being into politics is to amass ill-gotten wealth to the disadvantage of other citizens, have since inception developed serious antics against the Abubakar administration. In conspiracy with different shenanigans they have embarked on media attacks sponsored by individuals based in Abuja. And those who were in the cabinet with the sole intention of accumulating wealth are mostly the ones who have laid off their appointments in search of other money making avenues than taking the state out of the woods.

The glaring loggerheads between Governor Abubakar and Speaker Yakubu Dogara with his political kissing cousins is a clear case between rescuing the state and rescuing piddling selfish individuals whose mission was to drain the state treasury as usual and when they realized it’s no longer business, they fall back on criticism and fueling internal crisis. Luckily, the governor isn’t seen perturbed and all the dispute resolution instruments provided by the APC national headquarters have been intentionally circumvoluted by the Dogara camp.

No matter the level of conspiracy and media propaganda employed by those against the present administration, it’s worthy to note that, like in 2015 the next election will equally allow people to vote for their choice and we the good people of Bauchi state will not allow the agents of PDP in APC to take us for a ride as we are determined to renew Makama Babba’s mandate in 2019.

Abubakar writes from Bauchi

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