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Bauchi: A Journey That Changed My Perception

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Over the decades, politics has interestingly become my fly-by-night venture. I picked interest and delved into its murky waters since the return of democracy in 1999. And as curious and keen as every learner would be, I learnt so much about politics and I still remain an ardent scholar of politics, paying attention to the unfolding political events in the country as they reel out new chapters for learners like myself.

Although I have seen much of the good, the bad, and the ugly pages, my recent journey to the North East zonal meeting of the All Progressives Congress held in Bauchi State taught me another lessonin politics, which I think is worth penning down for posterity. I also believe that it would serve as a good reference point for fellow scholars whether in this intriguing school.

Bauchi State was created in 1976 when the former Northeastern State was broken up. It originally comprised of Gombe, which became a state on its own in 1996. Some 20 solid years after the formation of Bauchi State, Gombe became a distinct entity.

Today, Bauchi State is 42 years old since its creation, while Gombe State is 22 years. But even in human society there is a difference between a 42-year-old and a 22-year-old. Sad enough, there is no much difference in terms of development between Bauchi and Gombe. That could be attributed to the type of leadership the two sister states have had since their creation till date.

Each time people of the state gather to discuss issues bordering on their future and development, you would hear them praying for someone who would rescue the state and wriggle it out of the social, political and economic morass it was enmeshed in. Most assuredly, their prayers received answer.

But to change the trend in the way politics and governance were being handled Bauchi State isn’t an easy task. It was far from what could be done in a jiffy. It is a herculean task for Governor Abubakar because to achieve positive change, he must have to step on so many toes. This means that he has to brace up for those whose oxen are gored in the process.

Of course, the adverse and ripple effect of the paradigm shift are now very glaring. Since inception of the Governor Abubakar administration, anytime the state is in the news, it would be the hues and cries of those who see the governor’s energy as a threat; those affected by the positive polices and strategies of the present government; those who have formed the army of adversaries against the administration.

Like any other faithful reader of our nation’s tabloids who has good grasp of happenings around the polity, I have read so many criticisms targeted at Governor Abubakar and his administration and the crux of the argument is that he hasn’t achieved anything in the state since he took over the mantle of leadership.

As I flew to Bauchi State to attend the APC zonal meeting and from the airport to the city, I was amazed by the sight of well tarred roads. Approaching the metropolis, I was astonished on seeing that it has been converted to dual carriage ways decorated with street lights.

When I popped up my first question, the answer baffled me when a friend who constructed this road told me that the road was constructed by the present administration and that the same had been replicated in all the entry points in the state.

Filled with curiosity, I spared more time to go around the state for some sightseeing hoping to see what would have warranted his critics to write in the news. Governor Abubakar’s offense appeared to be an exact opposite of what his critics say. The governor has done the good people of Bauchi State proud.

I saw roads constructed across the state, some ongoing, some at advanced level of completion, while many others are already completed. Other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, education, tourism, are doing well with the governor’s unusual energy and poise.

Also, without a competent and committed hand like governor Abubakars, it is most certain that payment of workers’ salaries would have been an issue in Bauchi as it is in some other states where workers are being owed backlog of salaries even after collecting huge sums as bailout and Paris Club Refund. Due to his love for the state’s civil service, Governor Abubakar was able to offset the backlogs of salaries he inherited and put in line so many projects in the state and other local government areas.

What then are the reasons for antagonising the governor’s administration? My findings aren’t different from the above testimonies. Certainly, many who are now wearing the garb of anti-Abubakar are those who expected the governor to surrender the state’s coffers to them for their habitual squandering. They are those wish to have their children appointed to the juicy positions in government to feed their inordinate lust for power.

While the governor’s olive branch extended to all aggrieved members of the party is a welcome idea, as the 2019 elections draw near, I will urge the good people of Bauchi State to be very vigilant about who they would give their mandate.

It is indeed sad that even people with questionable characters have thrown their hat in the ring. Much as it is their right, the people of Bauchi equally have the right to vote them out because of their antecedents of looting public funds.

The good people of this state will not surrender Bauchi State funds to such people. Doing so would be a costly mistake Bauchi citizens can ever commit. A stitch in time saves nine, they say.

– Musa wrote in from Bauchi



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