Bulus Ali Lere">

Re: The Choice Before The People of Bauchi State

An article written by Mr. Turaki Hassan, a media aide to the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, under the above title, like all others before it written by the media aide on Bauchi politics is full of fallacies and misrepresentations facts.

This recent one, published in Leadership newspaper of Thursday, February 14th, 2019 and trending in other online platforms, is coming when Nigerians are preparing to go to polls to elect the president and members of the national assembly that will steer the affairs of the nation for the next four years, including Dogara.

The write up is full of lies, presented as facts to the unsuspecting readers.

As a concerned citizen of Bauchi state, l believe the writer doesn’t deserve to go unchallenged.

Of recent, Dogara and his media aides have been spitting fire, the like you hear from politicians not confident of winning elections in which they have betrayed mandates given to them.

Mr Turaki perambulated around so many issue, but what is important is that we are only going to address the issues, which he singled out and tried to manipulate using wrong and fictitious figures. One of such manipulations is that of 1.3 million out of school children in Bauchi state released by UNICEF. In his usual manner, Mr Turaki refused to tell his readers that the 1.3 million figure was arrived at because Governor M. A. Abubakar’s Bauchi has been made a safe haven for millions of families displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the neighbouring Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.

It is a fact that people rush to Bauchi state because good governance, which Dogara and his likes preach without displaying, that brings peace and security of people’s lives and breeds socio economic activities has been the watch word of Governor Abubakar since he came into office in 2015. So for anybody to talk about that bogus figure of 1.3 million children out of school in the state without equally saying anything about the influx of IDPs into the state is simply being dishonest and self-serving.

The same applies to the dubious statistical poverty index, which he reeled out in the same article. Mr Turaki gave the said figures, making a mischievous comparison of the saving accounts in the entire northeast which he said is just about fifty per cent of Bayelsa state, the smallest state in Nigeria. He however failed to give out the percentage of federally allocated revenue that accrue each month to Bayelsa state, one of the oil-rich states in comparison to the other poor states that make up the north-eastern region.

Talking about the misunderstanding between Gov Abubakar and some federal lawmakers from the state, Dogara’s media aide refused to tell the whole story. The fact is when APC decided to zone the position of Speaker of the House to the south west following the victory of the party after the 2015 general elections, Gov Abubakar felt it was necessary for him and all those who rode over the back of the party to support whatever decision the party takes. He therefore supported his party, though Dogara eventually became the Speaker. That was the beginning of the problem, which still lingers even as Dogara defected from the party and returned to his old party, the PDP. He actually took his leave from APC because he realised that it was certainly not going to be business as usual in the party. If Hon. Dogara was only having problems with Governor Abubakar, why did he leave APC, criticizing everybody in the party including President Buhari?

Mr Turaki Hassan also brought up the issue of building mosques in the Tafawa Balewa/Dass/Bogoro constituency as one of the issues over which Speaker Dogara is fighting Gov Abubakar. Now that Turaki has brought up this matter, it will also be good for us to refer Speaker Yakubu Dogara to answer the questions raised in a letter written to him by a prominent son of Tafawa Balewa town, Professor Salisu Shehu of Bayero University, which is currently trending in the social media.

In the said letter titled “Honourable Yakubu Dogara and the Plight of Tafawa Balewa Displaced Muslim Community,” the professor lamented that the Speaker has not, to his knowledge yet, made any attempt to resettle Muslims who have fled Tafawa Balewa town after the ethno-religious crises that rocked the town in the last eight years.

These Muslims have not returned to their hometown even with their representative, Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House from 2015.

Professor Salisu Shehu said that with his emergence as Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives in 2015, they “expect him (Dogara) to rise above primordial traits, prejudices, sentiments and religious bigotry and eventually become detribalised and imbibe the spirit and qualities of a real national leader/figure who would be fair, impartial and just,” regretting that Hon. Dogara has refused to do anything to address the plight of the displaced Muslim Community of Tafawa Balewa because of the “prejudices you hold towards them.”

Hear the professor talking about the displaced Muslims who in the past eight years have remained under displacement in Bauchi, Dass, Bununu and other towns: “throughout your years as a representative of our constituency, your disposition towards the displaced Muslim Community of Tafawa Balewa town has been that of un-mindfulness, indifference or total neglect.”

The professor therefore asked that since Dogara is unrelenting in agitating for the return of headquarters of Tafawa Balewa local government council to Tafawa Balewa town, why has he not made similar attempts to resettle the displaced the Muslim Community, and asked, “shouldn’t what is good for the goose be also good for the gander?”

Professor Salisu Shehu concluded by asking Yakubu Dogara why he undertook the construction or renovation of mosques in the constituency, but surprisingly chose to abandon the central and other ruined mosques in Tafawa Balewa town. There is no better time for Dogara to answer these questions than now.


Bulus Ali Lere contributed this piece from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

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