Hajiya Hauwa Bagu, the Dbell as she is fondly called, is the national woman leader of the Grassroots Mobilisation for APC. In an interview with journalists, she expressed the optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari would deliver on his campaign promises to Nigerians. RICHARD ABU reports.
Not many women in Nigeria are known for sticking out their necks in the country’s slippery political terrain to campaign freely and use their personal resources for presidential candidates who are not offering them something directly in return.
But in Hauwa Bagu, you find these virtues of sacrifice, dedication and commitment to a cause she believed in: The re-election of Buhari for a second term. Now that the elections are over and being a part of the team that made the victory of the president a reality, Bagu tells anyone, who cares to listen that Buhari would live his word and make Nigerians smile under the new dispensation.
This grassroots politician and mobiliser says she and her Buhari support group have been vindicated by Buhari’s re-election that he means well for Nigeria. Even before getting to the present stage, she had for long held a very strong position that the president had performed well and would do better if given another term in office.
According to her, President Buhari is different from other Nigerian leaders that were before him because he is a man of integrity that even his worst critics cannot deny.
She said that through the February 23 presidential election, the poor and voiceless citizens of the country had demonstrated that they now have the capacity to recognise a good leader when they see one.
Hajiya Bagu congratulated the citizens for going for the best presidential candidate in the last election, adding that their action was “symbolic and significant in many respect. Democratically, it shows our people have come of age and this victory symbolises a pragmatic departure from the past and a systematic approach electorally for the country.”
Focusing on the main personal traits of the president that make him attractive to Nigerians even when he does not offer them money-for-votes, she said: The life of a man defines his ambition which in turn defines his personality. Our president did not become a captivating personality through media hype which was associated with those before him. This president is a creation of the lessons he learnt from his father. The life of President Buhari is a true reflection of the ambition and the fulfilment of the dreams of all Nigerians, take it from me. Nigerians’ dream of being a major player in finding solutions to African and the global developmental challenges could be realised through the leadership potential of Buhari if supported by the key actors.
“There is a saying that a pessimist is a well-informed optimist. I can tell you that this group which I lead has never been pessimistic about the president we have. Now, our president’s re-election is a sign of God answering the prayers and yearnings of the good people of Nigeria,” she said.
Asked that if she was satisfied with the performance of the ruling party in the 2019 general elections as the woman leader of the Grassroots Mobilisation for APC, Hajiya Bagu said that the APC was mainly created to help Africa’s most populous country achieve its democratic aspirations.
The party’s leaders’ strongly belief in the fact that the country can only realise its potential if its democracy is allowed to flourish unhindered, she said, noting that party has tried through President Buhari to evolve a leadership recruitment system that is amenable to the country’s democratic growth potential.
Bagu asserted that the APC performed tremendously well in the last general elections as the available statistics of its performance attest to. The party retains the presidency with over four million votes above its major challengers, the PDP and its candidate Atiku Abubakar, stressing that “we also retained the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. We also had majority of the governorship seats in the states, though we regrettably lost some important states through crisis in some state wings of the party. On the whole, the party was once again seen through free and fair elections by Nigerians as the party that has the credentials to take the country to the promised land.”
On the the best tool that helped her in achieving her group’s objectives, this dogged politician said that “we prioritised our objectives and in the process consciously deployed tools based on these objectives to have our way. Ahmadu Bello, the late premier of Northern Nigeria cannot be more right when he said ‘conscience is an open wound which truth only can heal’. We acknowledge the fact that the APC is a party of men with good conscience that came together to seek power for the sake of implementing a new form and type of politics devoid of falsehood and half-truth. We deliberately advocated to go the clean way by telling the people the truth about issues that were at the front burner during the last electioneering even when it became apparent that it may hurt the party’s chances but believe me, it may amaze you that our people are ready now to accept the bitter truth and even when it comes to swallowing the bitter pills for the sake of the development of their country. So, we employed these tactics which tallied with the personal charisma of President Buhari and today, we came out victorious.
“Second, we used the mass media which is one of the quickest and veritable medium for the dissemination of information coupled with the social media platforms to sell our party’s candidate to the electorate. This helped us a lot and to the glory of God we won.”
Speaking on the funding of the group, she said it was through the sacrifices of the members who believed that Buhari is the best person to deliver the type of change needed to spur national development.
She said that the members also believed in the APC as a party that would bring the needed political change to “strengthen our democracy, that our president needs a platform with a good manifesto that tally with his political philosophy and that political platform is the APC. As you can see in the last elections, Nigerians re-emphasised their trust in the party. Having said that and as good party men whose only interest is the growth of the APC, we came together to voluntary form this group. We get funding through members’ contributions and donations to the cause by even non-members.”
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