Ahead of the much awaited 2019 polls, politicians are busy making what could mildly be described as last minutes plans for the commencement of full political campaigns in line with the guidelines issued by the electoral umpire.
In Bauchi as in most states of the federation, campaigns activities have commenced in earnest with political gladiators engaging in subtle moves to either capture power or consolidate their grip on power.
As should be expected, the struggle for the coveted seat of governor in the state is generating intense interest.
Unarguably, the gubernatorial election in Bauchi State is going to be a walkover for the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar whose antecedents and stewardship in the last three years have stood him out.
Abubakar who convincingly secured the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket and hence emerged as its governorship candidate is in the race that politics watchers described as “coasting to victory”
The governor had a resounding victory at the just concluded primaries where he emerged as the gubernatorial flag bearer of the ruling APC.
The APC primaries in Bauchi State was fraught with many issues owing to selfish interests from different personalities and groups, but despite all that, Governor Abubakar was able to overcome the seemingly insurmountable crisis to beat all other contestants to emerge victorious.
As a matter of fact, out of the 84,499 valid votes cast, he garnered a whopping 75,086 to defeat his opponents who got 9,413 votes.
Reflectively, pointers to the governor’s victory at the primaries emerged the moment the Bauchi State chapter of the APC disclosed the mode of primary it would adopt.
Although the national leadership of the party led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had advocated that all primary elections in the party be conducted through direct system, he however granted state chapters the freedom to also opt for either the indirect primary or consensus, if they deem it necessary, in line with the constitution of the party.
Of course in Bauchi State, the APC opted for indirect primary which involves the use of delegates to elect flag bearers of the party at the primaries.
The resolution which was unanimously adopted during stakeholders meeting held at Zaranda Hotel, was seen by most members as necessary to further unite the party.
It would be recalled that during the meeting, a member representing Giade local government area in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon Adamu Bello Giade, moved the motion for the adoption of indirect primaries in the state, arguing that it would be more orderly and rancour-free.
The motion was then seconded by the member representing Ganjuwa East in the State Assembly, Umar Nabayi and was also supported by majority of the participants at the meeting.
Also at the said 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 primaries of the party in the state.
It was after that meeting that the APC in Bauchi State endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abubakar as their presidential and governorship candidates, respectively for the 2019 election.
The endorsement was declared during yet another stakeholders meeting at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Bauchi.
The meeting which was presided over by Nana was attended by state executives of the party, members of the State House of Assembly, some current and former lawmakers 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, Adamu Bello moved the motion for the endorsement of President Buhari and Governor Abubakar, opining that they have done well in the last three years in office.
The motion was seconded by the state Commissioner of Environment, Mrs. Rifkatu Samson Danna, who is also aspiring for membership of the state House of Assembly from Bogoro local government.
While making what analysts especially members of the ruling APC described as valid case for the party to give Governor Abubakar its ticket to enable him seek re-election and continue with the works of repositioning the state which he had started, a political group in the state, ‘Bauchi South Coalition’ said Abubakar deserves to be re-elected to enable him complete the many on-going projects in the state.
Chairman of the Coalition, Alhaji Shuaibu Almustapha, said the governor had in the last three years of his first tenure, embarked on dualisation of several roads in the state and construction of new ones and pointed out that if the governor is not returned for yet another term, the projects might be abandoned.
“We cannot afford to change a performing team since the governor has proven his mettle as a performing leader whose giant strides in different sectors of the state stands him out, the best we can do, as committed party men and patriotic citizens of Bauchi state, is first of all, ensure he wins our party’s ticket and ultimately, make sure the good people of the state vote him massively as they did in 2015”.
Perhaps the sermon sank well into the minds of the overwhelming majority of the APC members in the state who agreed that Governor Abubakar should continue beyond 2019.
As should be expected, the emergence of governor Abubakar as flag bearer of the APC for the 2019 poll has generated reaction from some persons especially those who battle for the ticket with him.
Two governorship aspirants of the party in the state, Prof Ali Pate and Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame rejected the result of the primary.
They alleged that the exercise was marred by irregularities and hence, its outcome, they claimed, was flawed and ought not to have been accepted.
Specifically, they alleged that election materials were distributed to local government areas late, allegedly ‘making it impossible for the election to hold in many centres’.
To all genuine members of APC in Bauchi State and true lovers of democracy, the emergence of Governor Abubakar as the APC governorship ticket is well deserved.
It is inconceivable for any right thinking person to suggest that we change a winning team. No we can’t.
Good enough, critical stakeholders including the APC chairman, have described the accusations as baseless.
Interestingly, the Bauchi APC Youths for Transparency, a pressure group in the state chapter of the ruling party, has however chided the protesting aspirants for raising false allegations describing them as bad losers.
“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 that those against the second term bid of Governor Abubakar are selfish and and opportunistic politicians that don’t have any political capital in the state and none of them will deliver even his ward, let alone the entire Bauchi State.
“Of course, resorting to issuing press statements as they have been doing of recent, will not in any way change or turn around the earlier decision of the Bauchi APC of endorsing Governor Abubakar as the party’s candidate’’, the group said in a statement made available to newsmen in the state capital, recently.
Analysts assert that beyond being the ranting of failed politicians who have since lost touch with realities on ground, the allegations raised by some aggrieved aspirants will not make any impact in the governor’s chances of securing a well deserved second term.
This is a governor that has remained focused to the task of changing the narratives of infrastructural development in Bauchi State. He has remained committed to bringing the promised change as a result of which there are changes in all the critical sectors of the state’s economy. The good people of Bauchi State will not change a winning team and so the victory of Governor Abubakar is assured in sha Allah.
–Misau writes from Bauchi