Bauchi: Be­tween democ­racy and an­ar­chy

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Ahmed Yer­ima

Iwill want to in­ti­mate all well-mean­ing and pa­tri­otic Nige­ri­ans of the tide of tur­bu­lent waves is ebbing in Bauchi State and to facts and pos­si­bil­ity of some turn­coats or mer­chants of dou­ble stan­dards are among our (APC) fold. If care and repo­si­tion­ing is not done now, we will have our­selves to blame come 2019. The ex­pe­ri­ence learnt by the PDP should not be lost on all of us which will be tak­ing col­lec­tive am­ne­sia too far.

The in­trigues and po­lit­i­cal phi­lan­der­ing dis­played in Bauchi State can at best be syn­ony­mous to an­ar­chy, where all rules of gov­er­nance are rel­e­gated to the back­ground and self-serv­ing in­ter­ests are brought to the fore. The in­her­ited PDP Care­taker Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Chair­men can only work against this new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pol­icy of zero tol­er­ance to cor­rup­tion and its ap­pur­te­nances. This will be an an­tithe­sis to the be­lief’s and tenets of Pres­i­dent Buhari’s gov­ern­ment.

The most amaz­ing thing that hap­pened in the last few days of the fast­ing pe­riod is Gover­nor Mo­hammed Abubakar’s ex­ten­sion of his good­will to some of the PDP pri­mary stake­hold­ers like Ah­madu Mu’azu; for­mer PDP Na­tional Chair­man and Bala Mo­hammed; for­mer Min­is­ter of FCT in Saudi Ara­bia.

This ges­ture has con­firmed the long ac­cu­sa­tion of the core APC mem­bers and con­cerned cit­i­zens of Bauchi State. I have no crises of him hav­ing re­la­tion­ships with his bud­dies; Ah­madu Mu’azu, Mal­lam Isa Yuguda, Bala Mo­hammed and co. The APC can­not jus­tify this po­lit­i­cal sui­cide. We all know those that are un­der the search­light of the anti-graft agen­cies and those the Gover­nor blamed for the col­lapse of order in the state. This is a clear in­di­ca­tion that he does not have the in­ter­est of the party at heart but only be­lieves in his ex­u­ber­ance and his whims, re­gret­tably the peo­ple are the ones that suf­fer.

It’s okay to have friends across po­lit­i­cal di­vides but not friends that de­stroyed the sys­tem which we are try­ing very hard to re­vamp. The APC gov­ern­ment in Bauchi has now be­come a laugh­ing stock in the so­cial me­dia and other fo­rums. It is not only po­lit­i­cal mis­con­duct but lack of wis­dom, tact and or­ga­ni­za­tional skills. If he is a man of hon­our, which he is try­ing to claim, he should re­sign hon­or­ably. If he re­fused to do so the peo­ple will vote him out in 2019, as they did his for­mer gov­er­nors PDP friends. What he has in com­mon with his cronies is com­mon in­ter­est and not PDP or APC ide­olo­gies. The com­mon man in Bauchi is now aware of this com­mon in­ter­est among cronies, ex­chang­ing the man­tle of lead­er­ship among them and will no longer al­low it to con­tinue.

Imag­ine a state where there is no in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the key stake­hold­ers in the state lead­er­ship of the party, the Gover­nor, the Na­tional As­sem­bly mem­bers and the grass­roots. Imag­ine this sce­nario and add the un­told hard­ship per­me­at­ing all sec­tors of the state. Mix it with the fact that you will get per­se­cuted through queries and out­right dis­missal, for stat­ing the ob­vi­ous mis­con­duct of gov­er­nance in the state and prof­fer­ing so­lu­tions to make a way for­ward.

It is not about Ahmed Yer­ima, it is about the de­trib­al­ized and tol­er­ant Bauchi com­mon man who has ex­em­pli­fied love for one an­other ir­re­spec­tive of their ori­gin. What he got is a trav­esty of jus­tice and short­chang­ing by elites.

Si­lence in this case would be mis­con­strued by the folks in the state to mean com­plic­ity in this ubiq­ui­tous rape of democ­racy. “The only thing nec­es­sary for the tri­umph of evil is for good men to do noth­ing”, stated Ed­mund Burke. As things stand now the Gover­nor is caught in a state of dou­ble­think. The high sen­ti­ments al­ways win in the end; the lead­ers who of­fer blood, toil, tears and sweat al­ways get more out of their fol­low­ers than those who of­fer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, hu­man be­ings are heroic.

146 pris­on­ers were re­cently re­leased in the state. The irony re­mains in the fact that the Gover­nor is send­ing them back to the same place they left, with no sup­port for their par­ents who are salary and pen­sion earn­ers. They will surely miss the meals pro­vided by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in the pris­ons. What hap­pens af­ter that? Will he give them em­ploy­ment to re­move the pos­si­bil­ity of re­turn­ing to crime? His use of thugs as his per­sonal se­cu­rity is an off­shoot of the ex­is­tence of such el­e­ments that are ready to do any­thing to get out of poverty and un­em­ploy­ment.

The statu­tory al­lo­ca­tion for the LG’s is about N2.5 bil­lion, an av­er­age of 120 mil­lion naira per LG and about 3 bil­lion naira, for the state ev­ery month, over 5 bil­lion in to­tal. Bauchi lo­cal gov­ern­ment, with the high­est al­lo­ca­tion, got 170 mil­lion, in Jan­uary and shared in Fe­bru­ary 2016; Bo­goro and Dass Lo­cal Govern­ments got 76 mil­lion each, in the same pe­riod which was the low­est, but what is on ground is not com­men­su­rate to th­ese statu­tory pro­vi­sions.

My best wishes still goes to the good peo­ple of my con­stituency, Bauchi State and the coun­try at large, who have sac­ri­ficed a lot for Democ­racy. On a sad note I pay trib­utes to the de­parted souls of Jus­tice Niki Tobi (rtd), Ojo Maduekwe and the renowned poet; Cap­tain Elechi Amadi.

Mu ce ce Ji­har Bauchi (Lets save Bauchi State)

Ahmed Yer­ima is a mem­ber, House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives

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