Bauchi 2023: Who’s afraid of Governor Bala?

It has become the norm in Nigeria’s politics that whenever election season approaches, all sorts of political shenanigans will occupy and inundate the political landscape. The 2023 general elections are fast approaching and the social and conventional media are awash with propaganda, irrational criticisms, and fault-finding revelations on targeted and perceived political opponents.

In fact, political parties are not left out of the free-for-all melodrama aimed at sullying and rubbishing the image and reputation of opposing parties and their candidates in the vulnerable court of public opinion. Though, it is permissible in democracy to criticise, reprimand, and campaign against a political opponent and his or her political party, but this has to be done within the limit of rationality and decorum. The extant rules of the game must be strictly adhered to and the rights of others must be respected.

For whatever reason, desperation and inordinate quest for political power shouldn’t drive anyone into damaging the image and hard-earned reputation of an apparent rival or perceived enemy; no interest should supersede a reputation built over a long period of time. It will be healthier and equally develop our politics when persons aiming at people’s mandates showcase their antecedents and credentials as selling points rather than resorting to telling lies and mudslinging.

The foregoing undesirable scenario is playing out in Bauchi state, where opposition elements are hellbent on denigrating the personality of Governor Bala Mohammed for self-seeking and conceited political advances. The ugly political drift in the state is becoming worrisome, condemnable and reprehensible. It’s certainly not in the best interest of the state and democracy itself.

The media attacks and gimmicks against Governor Bala Mohammed are not only unsavoury but also premeditated gambit to rob the good people of the state of the dividends of democracy the incumbent government is eventfully dispensing. The campaign embargo hasn’t been lifted, yet the desperation of the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is becoming so glaring that it is sending a wrong signal to the people of the state.

It’s worrisome that the candidate of the APC, instead of telling the people of Bauchi state what he has done in the past and what he has for them in the future, is engaged in a needless media war against Governor Bala, as if he’s in politics to just rubbish the image of the governor. Sadique Abubakar and his cohorts should know that politics isn’t just done only on newspapers and the social media.

Luckily, the people of the state are wise enough to determine their political fate, no amount of tricks by desperados would detach them from their God sent servant leader, Bala Mohammed. The previous APC-led administration in the state achieved little or nothing in its four years – few projects initiated were abandoned, civil service and other critical sectors of the economy were also in a shambles. Nevertheless, it isn’t easy to snatch power from an incumbent. Bala’s emergence as governor in 2019, wasn’t without scrutiny and justification by the people of the state and we are watching Sadique with his media armies with empty mission trying to struggle themselves into power.

Today, what Governor Bala achieved in just little more than three years in all aspects of development supersede and outweigh that of his predecessors put together since the return of democracy in 1999. In spite of the frightening challenges he confronted on assumption of office – the Covid-19 pandemic that has threatened even the major economies, dwindling federal allocation due to unprecedented oil theft, insecurity, among others – the state has been transformed to an El-dorado of sorts. The hope of all and sundry has been rekindled. Even his adversaries will testify that Governor Bala Mohammed has to constructed critical road infrastructure in the state; education and other human capital development have received a boost.

But it’s unfortunate that with all the feats recorded in Bauchi under the stewardship of Governor Bala, some local and diaspora e-rats, who do not even know the state, are busy spreading lies and campaign of calumny against the governor in the print and social media. The attacks were conceivably bankrolled by the foes of the state, enjoying their comfort in far away Abuja.

It’s an absurdity and outright irresponsibility for those bankrolled to malign the personality of Governor Bala by writing sponsored articles associating the Governor with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouk, wife to the APC flag bearer. It’s pertinent for both of them to know that, no amount of deceit by all their orchestrated campaigns against the governor and his administration would change the perception of the people of Bauchi state.

Though, what’s happening in Bauchi state is a clear demonstration of inexperience and desperation by the opposition parties in the state, we’ll make sure we match them word for word and also educate the people of the state on the importance of sustaining Governor Bala’s government beyond 2023 for the good of the state, irrespective of political, religious, or ethnic considerations.

Sabi’u writes from Abuja.

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