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:

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - — Zun­gur From Balarabe Alka­s­sim, Bauchi

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

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