By Sani Tahir
According to late Nigeria’s Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, “Political independence is totally inadequate if it is not accompanied by stability and economic security and if there is no genuine personal liberty with freedom to express one’s view and profess whatever faith one desires.” Regrettably, political independence in modern day Nigeria is the “Pull Him Down” (PhD) syndrome, especially for political office holders.
I was baffled on sighting screaming news headline “Controversy trails Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar,” as recently published in national dailies.
And as a stakeholder in the Bauchi project, and as an indigene of the state, I wasted no time in reading the story and realized that the angels of darkness have gone to the pitch of play after their woeful defeat in the primary election that saw Gov Abubakar as the APC gubernatorial flag-bearer in the state.
Prior to 2015 general election, these angels of darkness used their best eleven in the field of dirty politics to ensure that the people of Bauchi State did not vote for “MA” as their governor. But to their utter dismay, he emerged victorious.
More so, on Friday, May 6, 2017, the good people of Bauchi State witnessed a dramatic event portrayed by some acclaimed Abuja-based politicians from Bauchi. The group, led by Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, stormed Bauchi city in a war-like manner. This group demonstrated what can best be described as political immaturity.
Then, I began to wonder when political thuggery will end in Nigeria and Bauchi State in particular, as a number of youths were brandishing all sort of weapons chanting abusive slogans on the fateful day; if not because of composure of the people of the state, only God knows what would have happened.
It is certain that the “doctrine of change” as championed by Governor Abubakar will forever remain in the minds of those who do not believe in it as they always see it as an offence. MA, being one of the champions of the movement will continue to receive all kinds of allegations from left, right and centre.
However, Bauchi state is, no doubt, extricating itself from the stranglehold of some demented political jobbers and their co-travellers, who are determined to turn the state into a bloody minefield to water their insatiable quest to position themselves to grab public funds albeit irresponsibly. And it seems these elements won’t retrace their self-destruct mission to ignite an upheaval that would consume the entire state to satisfy their debilitating longing for illicit wealth. This is evident by the provocative and mischievous fairy tales and advertorials aimed at tarnishing the good image of Barrister Abubakar.
For those of us who know Governor Abubakar’s track records, we can’t deny the fact that he is simple but very thorough. Throughout his civil service career he has no record of laxity and therefore no amount of blackmail can pull him down or even distract him from his determination to turn around Bauchi state, economically. That’s why Abubakar’s victory is a lifeline for the state. For a state that was almost brought to its knees by corruption, ineptitude and insecurity, having him as a governor is momentous. Every right thinking person in the state
strongly believes that these Abuja-based politicians are either relevance seekers or political jobbers that do not wish the state well, but shame on them.
Also, it is on record that previous governments made various efforts to undertake the rehabilitation of some roads but failed due the enormous resources required to actualize these capital intensive projects. It was obvious that M.A Abubakar-led administration met an empty treasury with huge liabilities; and a number of projects awaiting execution while the federal allocations to the state from the federation Account kept dwindling.
But, within the last seven months, the governor has impacted on so many lives.
These include the rehabilitation of some roads within Bauchi metropolis, the segment of Murtala Mohammed Way which runs from the CBN Roundabout to Railway Roundabout.
The road is designed as four-standard lanes separated with central medium fitted street lights; concrete walkways as well as reinforced concrete drains on both sides. The section from the Federal Low-cost –Railway Roundabout will be dualized to have same features with the CBN Federal Low-cost segment of the road.
Another one is Fadaman-Mada Links road, the two lane road having asphalt surface finish drain-to-drain with reinforced concrete side drain on both sides. It is also going to be fitted with street lights to illuminate the roads to improve security. The two projects are nearing completion. Also, the reconstruction of Misau-Bulkachuwa-Udubo road is ongoing. Despite the present economic down turn, the governor is fully committed towards it.
To tackle the issue of corruption and indiscipline effectively, the governor as a matter of priority established a sanctions regime, which will instill fear into the minds of people to an extent that those contemplating on doing anything funny with desist from doing so,
as they will be afraid of being prosecuted.
Certainly, in any democratic setting, people expect dividends of democracy. Therefore with the emergence of Gov. Abubakar, no doubt, things will change for the better within the next few years. The governor’s high integrity and members of his team will help him to govern the state accordingly. Those to be appointed are certain to be honest, intelligent, committed, and knowledgeable; they will have the capacity to deliver services to the people and not like what used to obtain in the past. There is also the need for God-fearing and fair-minded persons.
Tahir wrote from Gombe Road, Bauchi state via [email protected]