After decades of cooling in the lurch, by divine intervention came for Nigeria’s Pearl of Tourism State, Bauchi when, in 2019, majority of the people elected what came close to their idea of a people’s government. A democratic government focused in leadership, courageous in execution of policies and with uncompromising posture against mago-mago, wuru-wuru and other vices inimical to development. The election of Sen. Bala Muhammed lifted the people’s moral and the governor, aware of the heavy burden on his shoulders, literally hit the ground running when he assumed office. He has not buckled under the burden since he started.
It is barely three years into the journey and, already, dirty politics has reared its head with juvenile threats to buckle him. From all indications, some passengers in the jalopy driven carefully by the governor have become distractingly rowdy in a way that can bring the journey to grief!
Let unresolved, the needless and avoidable crisis of personal interest that is silently fanning the system by drowning politicians and their fronts that portends real bad news for the state. This is not cheering news to genuine democrats for the state’s estimated six million people. It is time for decent Nigerians to rise and avert a return to the Bauchi’s better –forgotten past.
The advertised grouse of those who have sworn to make Bauchi ungovernable through primitive and archaic opposition is two-fold: one, they allege that they are not carried along in running the affairs of the state and, two, that the governor triggered events that sidelined them and ousted few of his aides.
Keen observers of Bauchi politics know that opposition to the governor’s policies will not be long in coming immediately after he released the list of his cabinet members. Reason was that those who expected to be ‘compensated’ for defeating All Progressives Congress (APC) from power in the state felt aggrieved and disappointed that neither themselves, nor their handpicked nominees featured on the list. That, in the estimation of those who aspired to be Bauchi’s new political overloads, was the first alleged infraction committed by Governor Bala which holds no substance other than selfishness.
More curious and sickening is the opposition to the governor’s ruthless decision to insist on competitive bidding for ongoing development projects in the state! Reasonable as it sounds to decent ears and sane minds, the governor’s decision opened him to allegations of being too rigid and unyielding! For politicians who are long to being used to ‘compensation’ for idling and parading themselves as heavyweights and tin-gods, this is the last straw” the governor has crossed the proverbial redline and therefore deserves to have spanners thrown into his good works as they myopically reasoned. No one cares a hoot about the man’s adjudged honesty and incorruptibility or, for that, matter, his rating as a performing and achieving Chief Executive who burns the midnight oil to plan for the good of the state! Enough on the lame advertised reasons for the juvenile and baseless opposition intended to distract attention from unquantifiable service delivery.
It appears the die is cast and nobody should be deluded into believing that the politicians will leave the peoples governor Bala Muhammed to seamlessly execute his laudable programmes without diversion to trivial issues. Meanwhile, in the midst of the preventable confusion created by frustrated opponents within and without, the vultures and hyenas have started flying and crawling in anticipation of a major feast come 2023 at the expense of good governance. In an ironic twist of events, even the rampaging former governors who made no distinction between State treasury and their personal vaults are coming out to their political Siberia to jump into the fray. To worsen matters, some big voices in the 2019 Kauran Bauchi Campaign train are now hobnobbing with corruption high priests of yore and ethno-religious jingoists all in the desperation to diminish Governor Bala Muhammed’s giant strides and reduce his rating to laughing stock for ease of dismantling his political profile and wresting power from the PDP.
Perhaps, it is time to awaken the politicians who aspire to replace the rampaging oligarchs of the immediate past to the stark reality that it was the people, not a handful of PDP chieftains or those in other parties that labored to elect Sen. Bala Muhammed for a purpose. And, from all indications, the people elected a governor they can always call their own with pride of trust! But, since it is impossible for all the people to be compensated individually, the best the people expect from the government is precisely what it busies itself with since 2019: service delivery at minimum cost, execution of life-changing developmental projects and upgrade of decayed infrastructure across the state as well as social services and security.
A word of caution suffices here. It is important to remind ourselves that a return to the oligarchic past, when a few people treated state funds as personal wealth, frittered opportunities, elevated cronyism to an art and effectively turned the people of Bauchi State into a vulnerable, unquestioning and submissive lot is not an option to Bala’s system of governance that is all inclusive. The people must resist the urge to return to the famished path of the past when available jobs, major and minor, denied competent hands in the state and contracted to unqualified firms elsewhere. Bauchi must not return to the past when cultists, hired killers, armed robbers, and other roughnecks had field days and operated, oftentimes with support from sadistic politicians of mean status. As we wait for 2023, we are journeying in the ark of Noah to safety with a promise to remain loyal and prayerful.
Finally, the grapevine has it that some over ambitious political toddlers lacking patriotic political education have busied themselves with nocturnal meetings and display of their qualities to the electorate for patronage. Of all the lot, who qualifies for trust with leadership in any conventional clime? The beauty of it all is that we all know ourselves. We know who is what and good for what. Some of those eyeing the 2023 governorship slot are better for councillorship in the local governments than masquerading as gubernatorial candidates. I make bold to say that out of all those masquerading as gubernatorial candidates, who has the solid structure for the task ahead other than few that have been on the bit for long? For instance, Ahmed Mu’azu made use of his already established 1992 structure to access power in 1999. Isa Yuguda harped on the credibility of Gen. Buhari in 2007 to power, so also Barr. M.A Abubakar. M.A Abubakar in 2015 accessed power with the influence of his 2009 senatorial structure that he labored to maintain for the rainy day. Gov. Bala Muhammed in 2019 injected life into his 2007 senatorial structure and recruited the right foot soldiers for the 2019 battle. But with the ongoing abracadabra, Governor Bala has recruited better trained warriors for the battle royal in 2023. And we shall surely witness how a tested political warrior can be defeated with bear hands by political novices and masquerades. The gang-up by jobbers and turn-coats will only expose acts of mischief and incompetence tailored to unseating a workaholic governor for return to business as usual for the retrogression of Bauchi State. that should be resisted
Muhammad is a Media Consultant to Governor Bala Muhammed