The 2019 gubernatorial election in Bauchi state, is going to be a winner takes it all affair, as candidates vying for the governorship position have proven track records, just as they have proven their mettle in the political arena.
For the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate who is the incumbent governor, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, he can be described as the proverbial cat with nine lives, as contrary to the expectations of many in Bauchi state, he had a resounding victory at the just concluded primaries to emerge the gubernatorial flag bearer of the ruling party.
The APC primaries in Bauchi state was fraught with many issues emanating from various selfish interests of different personalities and groups, in spite of that the, governor, was able to overcome the seeming insurmountable crisis to beat all the contestants.
Governor Abubakar was able to beat all contestants to emerge victorious, coasting home with a victory of 75,086, against his opponent who got an ignoble 9,413 from the combined 84, 499 valid votes cast.
His victory at the primaries all began with the Bauchi State chapter of the APC deciding to use delegates at the forthcoming primary election of the party as against the direct primaries where all card carrying members could vote.
Although the National leadership of the party led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had recommended that all primary elections in the party be conducted through direct system, he however granted state chapters the freedom to adopt the indirect primaries, as it suited them. Bauchi state chapter of the APC made the resolution to use delegates at the primaries during stake holders meeting held at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi.
During the meeting, a member representing Giade local government in the Bauchi State House of Assembly Honorable Adamu Bello Giade moved the motion for the adoption of indirect primaries in the state arguing, that it would be more orderly and rancor free.
The motion was seconded by the member representing Ganjuwa East in the state assembly Honorable Umar Nabayi was also supported by the majority of the participants of the meeting.
Also at the meeting, the State APC Chairman Uba Ahmed Nana in his address explained that the meeting was convened to give members a free hand to decide on which method to adopt for the upcoming primary elections of the party in the state.
It was after that meeting that the APC in Bauchi State endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar as their presidential and governorship candidates respectively in the 2019 election.
The endorsement was given during its stakeholders meeting, held at the Banquet Hall of the government house Bauchi. The meeting which was presided over by the state APC Chairman Alhaji Uba Nana was attended by state executives of the party, members of the State house of assembly, some current and ex law makers in the state as well as members of the Bauchi State executive council.
During the meeting, a member of the State assembly representing Giade local government constituency Honourable Adamu Bello moved the motion for the endorsement of Buhari and Abubakar opining that they did well in the last three years in offices.
The motion was seconded by the state commissioner of environment Mrs Rifkatu Samson Danna who is also an aspiring member for the State House of Assembly from Bogoro local government in 2019.
Meanwhile, a political group in Bauchi State called ‘Bauchi South Coalition’ has appealed to party delegates to choose Governor Mohammed Abubakar as the governorship candidate.
Chairman of the Coalition Alhaji Shuaibu Almustapha said the Abubakar should be re-elected to enable him complete the many on-going projects in the state.
According to him, the governor had within the first tenure embarked on dualisation of several roads in the state capital and construction of new others including a 105 kilometers road in Misau local government. He pointed out that if he does not return, they projects might be abandoned.
In his contribution, a youth leader Kabiru Garba Lada alleged that the other governorship aspirants contesting against Abubakar are out to destabilize the party ‘because they wrote series of petitions to the National Headquarters’.
Two governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State, Professor Ali Pate and Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame have however rejected the primary election alleging the exercise was marred by irregularities such as late arrival of electoral committee members that were supposed to be in the state on Sunday to conduct the election thereby postponing it to Monday.
They also alleged that election materials were also distributed to local governments late evening ‘making it impossible for the election to hold in many centres’.
However, the State APC chairman Alhaji Uba Ahmed Nana has described the accusations as baseless saying the party has no favourite candidates.
All Progressive Congress youth’s group known as ‘Bauchi APC Youths for Transparency’ has described the media rantings by Ali Pate, Bala Jibrin, and Yakubu Lame as fear of an imminent defeat.
Chairman of the group, Comrade Yusuf Usman said, those against the second term bid of Governor Abubakar are selfish and lightweight politicians who have unfortunately chosen to play politics in the media from their comfort zones in Abuja than facing the cogent reality here in the state.
‘’Politics has gone far beyond sitting in faraway Abuja mouthing and enunciating about mandate of the good people of Bauchi State. It’s an undeniable fact, those against the second term bid of Governor Abubakar are selfish and lightweight politicians that doesn’t have any political capital in the state and none of them will deliver even his ward let alone the entire Bauchi State and releasing press statements would not in any way change or turnaround the earlier decision of the Bauchi APC of endorsing Governor Abubakar as the party’s sole candidate.’’
Reacting to the alleged alteration and manipulation of the delegate list he said, ‘’It’s really laughable for someone who doesn’t know the prospective delegates in the first place to have alleged the alteration of the list, as far as the APC is concern in Bauchi State, indirect primaries is the only option and Governor Abubakar is our sole candidate and his sterling performances and wider acceptability is matchless to any other person.’’
He rebuked other aspirants challenging the incumbent, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar in the primaries calling them as adversaries not only of the party but to the state in general.