Opportunists working to tear Bauchi APC apart
Nura Muhammed Zungur, a political activist, youth leader and founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State, in this interview, speaks on recent happenings in the party at the state and national levels. Excerpts:
There are allegations that the APCled governments at the federal and state levels find it difficult to implement the party’s manifesto. What do you think is responsible for that?
President Muhammadu Buhari and majority of APC governors have started implementing the party’s manifesto for the good of Nigeria. As the president severally said, the economy he inherited was heavily bastardised by the immediate past administration. He was forced by the prevailing situation to embark on probes to restore sanity and financial discipline in government and organised private sector. Honestly, the election of president Buhari is a blessing to Nigeria.
You are one of the people that contributed to the emergence of the APCled administration in Bauchi. How will you rate the administration?
Governor M.A. Abubakar is doing his best to move the state forward with the little resources at his disposal. We have seen how he is battling to develop the state even when mischief makers are determined to pull his administration down. He complained severally that he inherited an empty treasury. He obtained a loan of N4bn from the UBA to clear the inherited backlog of civil servants salaries, awarded three important road contracts covering 90 kilometres, among others. As he said, a huge debt profile was bequeathed his administration, a situation that necessitated a probe. I think at a point, he was confused about where to start from. Governor Abubakar inherited a situation where civil servants were not paid for three months and pensioners were calling for settlement of their allowances. Water taps dried. Refuse heaps had overtaken major streets of towns as contractors were owed several months payment. The situation was devastating and frustrating. He had to run from coast to coast to source for money to kick-start his administration. The past administration was probably clueless and inactive.
What do you think people of Bauchi State should do for the APCled administration to succeed?
One must not be in a system before he protects. Bauchi and the rest of the states belong to all of us, and for whatever reason, we should not destroy what we all laboured to have. Governor Abubakar was massively voted to govern and it is our duty to support and defend his actions. One does not need to be in a system before benefiting from its service. I hold no position in either the APC or the state government, but, it is my duty to support and protect democracy. If Yuguda could appeal for support for the APCled administration, why can’t other opposition figures do the same? From the records, there was never a time Yuguda said, in the open, anything negative or provocative about the administration of president Buhari or governor Abubakar. That is maturity, although they slugged it out and Yuguda’s candidates were defeated. Governor Abubakar has nothing in common with Yuguda, politically, but, still, Yuguda respects his style of administration that is prudent and transparent. Opposition politicians should support the efforts of the governor.
Are you not worried about his frequent travels?
You want him to remain in Bauchi and still develop the state?
That is an illusion. The governor must travel to make contacts and connections beneficial to the state. He cannot remain in Bauchi and expect miracles to happen.
What of the claim that his relationship with the Presidency is sour?
From my understanding, his relationship with president Buhari is cordial. They belong to the same party and working as partners for the progress of Bauchi State and Nigeria. There is no love lost. Governance is not a tea party, it’s a serious business.
And there seems to be friction between the governor, on one hand, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of the National Assembly on the other. What will you say on this?
The truth is that Dogara had betrayed a rotational agreement in his constituency. All the same, before he was conscripted into the sinking ship of internal opponents of the governor, he shared many things in common with the governor. What the two leaders tried to do was to develop the state, not tear it apart as it appears now to be the case. Mischief makers and trouble shooters should stop fanning embers of hatred or animosity among the two leaders for selfish interest. Neither Dogara nor Abubakar is a political novice. We all know what is going on underground, orchestrated mainly by those that surround the speaker. For instance, some disgruntled elements are running from pillar to pillar, spreading unfounded rumours to stain their relationship for political gains. That is uncharitable.
Nura Muhammed Zungur