May be a retrospect would do here; it all started in the run off to the 2015 general elections when the mad rush for political offices were ever soaring and high reaching. In Bauchi state, Hon. Yakubu Dogara found it extremely difficult to find a level playing ground in his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and he immediately secured soft landing in the then young bride, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Then the election proper; before the world knew what was being played underground, the carpet was surreptitiously pulled from under the feet of Presidential Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Muhammed Abdullahi Abubakar as they both lost out in the APC with Dogara winning in his Bogoro Local Government Area. That really puzzled political watchers and they declared that that result did not add up.
That curious election results were to set the tone of what would follow in Bauchi state when the Governor Abubakar administration was to be inaugurated. No sooner than the Abubakar administration was rolled than the real monster started showing its ugly face.
Before the people of Bauchi state knew it, the story of certain cabal of the state origin started filtering in from Abuja. And there was no love lost between Governor Abubakar and Speaker Dogara ostensibly over the fight for an election that was then two years away.
The fight was really a show of conspiracy by the cabal against the ruling party in the state, because it unnecessarily dragged on. Blackmail, backstabbing, deceit and name-calling reigned supreme. It was so bad that the crisis almost maligned the name of President Buhari in the whole saga.
The essence of a reconciliation was to achieve just that. That was not achieved, because the sinister intention of the Dogara Abuja cabal was different. Right from day one when the reconciliation committee, headed by Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, hit the ground running, Dogara made sure that he did not only avoided it, but worked to undermine it. So it was a fruitless reconciliation. A sign that there was no reconciliation at all was the media attack lavishly engaged by a protégé of Dogara, Hon. Aminu Tukur, a member of the Bauchi State Assembly, representing Dass Local Government which is under Dogara’s constituency after the Ngige panel wound up.
All the while the crisis raged, Governor Abubakar maintained his cool, refused to be distracted, believing as a father figure to all, irrespective of political leanings and ethnic affiliation, he offered a greenish olive branch. But Dogara and his co-travellers trampled upon the leaf.
As campaigns get on widely in Nigeria for the 2019 general elections, Bauchi inclusive, the crisis manifested in another face as the APC began to hold congresses from ward through the local government to state and then national level and finally national convention.
It provided Dogara one ample chance to try to plot against Governor Abubakar, because the ultimate and equally fruitless aim is to unseat the later in the 2019 governorship elections which is absurd and contrary to reason. But something appeared lost on Dogara, and still it was the result of the 2015 general elections in which Governor Abubakar won all but Bogoro LGA as decided by the people of Bauchi state.
As the fall out of the last congresses, instead of Dogara to explore internal party mechanism to seek redress for whatever issues he had, he ran straight to court to try to challenge the validity of the case. Well, all the level of the congresses including the national convention had come and gone? Where does that leave Dogara? He is better placed to answer this question. But from all indications, Governor Abubakar, who led Bauchi state delegation successfully to a resounding national convention, still appear unruffled, undeterred as he is going about governance without let or hindrance.
Of course, it is nearing electioneering, Governor Abubakar,who is running an all-inclusive administration, looks cool to return next year, God’s willing through the right thinking people of the state. He is neither distracted nor wavering.
Bauchi has a long way to go. And it would take a lot of change of mind-sets from the old order where a few opportunists held her hostage, especially since 1999. The practice has been that previous administrations just sit back and take monthly federal allocations and share among themselves. There was no deliberate effort to be creative in terms of identifying the potential in the state and harness them so that the state can rub shoulders with its contemporaries. Instead, we had a state whose resources were grossly debased and the people suffered for it.
That old order sustained by the likes of Dogara almost aborted the dreams of the founding fathers of the state created in 1987, until the advent of the Governor Abubakar era. For the governor, this cannot continue. It must stop. And it was when he moved to stop the serial plundering of the state’s resources that he got head on against proponents of the old order and those who left the cabinet aren’t comfortable with the new trend of transparency. This is understandable.
Well, now the leaking pipe has not only been blocked, but repaired and the state is the better for it. For the first time in Bauchi state, all local government areas are provided with functional hospitals, not to talk of his intervention in needy sectors of the state such as building and construction of township and rural roads as well as reviving agriculture where farmers now smile to the banks. Relevant educational institutions have been upgraded to cater for the manpower needs of the state in various sectors.
Good thing about these changes is that, it has opened the eyes of the people of the state that all these past decades, they were being short changed. Now they have resolved not to allow that to happen again. And because Governor Abubakar is the driver of this change, they are ready to stand by him in 2019 and beyond.
Joseph writes from Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state