By Rikwense Muri |
Last two years I was among those who questioned the third tenure of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha in the National Assembly at the Red Chamber. My question were “don’t we have another person to be Senator outside this man?” “What’s special about him?” “Why is he always aligning his political agenda to “God’s project?”
Sincerely speaking, I didn’t hate him, I secretly admire his courage and respect him because my father’s best friend and my mentor, Mr Ishaku Zakaria, is his right hand man in Ussa, and he always direct us to support Bwacha and we have been doing that until last year when I had to pause and ask questions on what make this man Bwacha Special in southern Taraba that gives him so much public support and respect.
I think what distinguished Senator Bwacha is not that he is the most intelligent, academically qualified or morally perfect politician. What distinguishes him is experience, capacity, humility and generosity. He’s the most Experience Taraban in politics today. As I look critically in my observation, his success comes from patience with political leaders and constituted authority, learning from one’s mistakes as a politician by giving room for conflict resolution with associates and the great respect he has for his people, his constituency.
Bwacha is the only Taraban that has been a member of State House of Assembly, a honourable commissioner, a member of House of Representative and a Senator. With this public trust, mostly of elected position, comes the experience of learning from one’s mistakes and discovering that people are the most important asset any politician must preserve. He will rather fight with his fellow politicians than to fight with the people. When it comes to politics, he is called “the iron bender” because of his courage to face his opposition without fear or hate. He sees it as a game that deserves fair play and requires give and take. He is the only politician with highest investment in the lives of his people and his door remains open to both friends and goes. He never appears perfect and asks alot of questions to understand you better when you oppose him and don’t like his styles. Afterwards he will painstakingly explain the reasons for his actions. I strongly believe Hon Mark Useni learned such attributes from Bwacha, he also can go a long way to explain his actions to an opposition to shows he has nothing against you.
Through his actions it shows Bwacha respects our traditional rulers and honour them, he has great respect for our youth whether you support him or not, he does his job without biases and he’s quick to apologise if he realises he was wrong. All these are as the result of a humble God fearing heart. He so much believes God gives power and he never publicly fight those in constituted.
He’s so worried when young people invest their time fighting constituted authority instead of forming alliance to liberate themselves politically. According to his aides you dare not criticise the governor to him or discuss the next election with him, he will ask you whether you have been praying for the Governor and the government. He publicly and privately assures people of his prayers for the governor.
Bwacha sees the social media as a place where Political leaders should come and study the thinking of the society especially they youths but he believes that any politics that stops on the social media will not have any impact in the society hence youths must learn to put down their phone and go out to touch real lives on ground in their community. Bwacha is very diplomatic even in his disagreement.
I have only visited him once in my life and he told me three things: He loves his job as a representative of the people, he pray with his family everyday for his governor to succeed and get well (that was the time the governor was sick in Abuja), he is not comfortable talking much about the future which belongs to God. He rewards loyalty and surrounds himself with the people he believes he will learn from. During the ministerial screening, despite coming from the opposition he believes Engr Sale Mamman deserves to be minister because of his belief in General Buhari and his longtime proven loyalty.
He makes friends with heads of agencies and parastatals, this gives him an edge to bring Southern Taraba into government when a slot is allocated to him. 60% of southern Tarabans employed in my estimation are directly through his recommendation. He also has long memory that makes him not to forget his friends even from primary school days. When I saw him at DSK’s daughter’s wedding he was always seated by his childhood friends which date back to secondary school days like Hon Rimamnde Bitrus Nuhu and the rest. But he’s not afraid of fighting those who choose to fight him.
Senator Bwacha to me is prepared to lead in any chosen public capacity but he is not prepared to force himself on the people for anything. Tarabans must on their own see the opportunity in letting such a politically nurtured patriot to render public service to benefit the entire state. Many has been groomed and grown under his political structure. Suntai, Rima Shawulu, DDI, Habila Timothy, etc have used Bwacha’s political structure to build their political teams and victory at the poll. This huge structure and followership gives those who want to dislodge him great headache, hence no politician in Taraba in PDP will like to fight senator Bwacha openly of his asset to the party and to the people. He has become a necessary evil to them. And he seems to know those who really admire him and those who are just using him to attend their political agenda. But he seems to see that has part of politics without bitterness.
Even though I’m not a close associate, but from a distance, when I think of Bwacha, I see a politician who is benevolent, warmed, active, courageous, humble, and accountable. This is the Bwacha that I know and I wish we all get to know him better.
‒Muri writes from Jalingo, Taraba State