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2015: Bauchi PDP governorship battle picks up

| September 7, 2013 More

Austine Tsenzughul in Bauchi reports on the emerging aspirants for PDP governorship ticket in 2015

Mallam Isa Yuguda, an ex- banker, took charge of Bauchi State affairs on the heels of a popular dissatisfaction with the state government’s affairs and its functionaries led by Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, then Bauchi State governor from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007, for alleged corruption, and insensitivity.

Yuguda achieved an extra ordinary feat by flooring an alleged annointed of the incumbent, Mohammed Nadada Umar, who had served faithfully as Bauchi State Secretary to the State Government [SSG] for almost eight years. Like every new leader whose tenure is expected to make a significant turn-around, and push up the much-needed material upliftment of the people, Mallam Yuguda’s return on the Bauchi political scene was a monumental relief.

This was largely because he had served as a junior minister in the Federal Ministry of Works and Transport, and senior minister, in charge of Nigerian’s Aviation with the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Besides, the good name he made for himself as a grand midwife, who took delivery and nursed to maturity the defunct Inland Bank Ltd, the state’s first owned financial outfit, it was natural for electorates to bear the scorching and ear-roasting April heat to queue up and vote for him as a ‘Savior-Governor’. But those who understood him and a handfull of skeptics treated his campaign for the Bauchi Government House Tenancy with mixed grill.

Today, as the race for 2015 picks up, Bauchi people, according to a source, “are looking for a peron who will not crack jokes with our destiny; who will not give us water via television screen, or provide functional healthcare service on radio waves but real things that can make our lives bearable, somebody who will not be feathering his nest from Abuja instead of living, staying and working with his electorates’’.

To meet the people’s yearnings and wipe away their bitter blood-laced tears of many years of deliberate neglect and abuse of mandate, some politicians, Bauchi sons, who believe they are capable and can adequately deliver on the people’s desires, having tested the electorates’ pulse in areas of infrastructural development, human and other resources management, have begun clandestine but deep consultations with their constituencies, either directly or through their agents. While some have begun forming assorted youth fora, associations, development unions and pressure groups, others have ordained and are empowering some high class traditional leaders as their campaign arrow heads ahead of 2015. Though, none of the aspirants and potential aspirants has openly come out to make a categorical statement, their agents have been singing their praises, telling members of the public what such aspirants are capable of doing and what the electorates should do so as to avoid the current quagmire and take Bauchi State to the desired wonderland. Such aspirants include:

BALA ABDULKADIR MOHAMMED

Among those being paraded for the millennium tasks are the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed. To place him where he is currently and where he could go, the FCT boss, over 10 years ago submitted himself to the sitting Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda as an acolyte when the governor served as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To prove he was a serious apprentice, Sen. Bala, as he is fondly called by his admirers, but known in Bauchi as Kauran Bauchi, contributed immensely to Yuguda’ Stenancy at Government House, Bauchi in 2007 to date. As an indispensable strong tag team partner to Yuguda, Bala also contributed hugely in scuttling Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mua’zu’s ambition to the Senate when the latter’s tenure as the 13th governor of the state and 3rd Bauchi state civilian governor terminated on May 29, 2007. He hails from the ancient chiefdom of Duguri, south of the famous Yankari Games Reserve in Alkaleri Local Government Area [Bauchi South Senatorial Zone] of Bauchi State.

His relationship with Yuguda is, at the moment, said to be sour. He is variously tagged as a ‘’goal getter and a man of the people, detribalised, has a listening ear to those that have access to him and passionately loves Bauchi.”

The FCT Minister is also said to be well-connected at home and abroad and can bring the extremely needed meaningful development to the state. Having been at the affairs of the nation’s capital since 2010, after he and other Senators threw their weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was ill, he has been enjoying tremendous followership across the state.

He has formidable financial and political structures from Bauchi South, Central and North Senatorial Zones.

There are, however, fears in some quarters that he may activate the alleged Gov. Isa Yuguda’s carefree kind of governance once he is on the saddle, thereby not delivering the necessary dividends of democracy to the people that yearn to belong to the global circle.

And unless, strong voice from Bauchi North, commonly referred to as’’ the Katagum Mafia’’ decides that Bauchi South has produced two governors for 16 years and there must be power shift, Sen. Bala has a signed and sealed deal for the governorship on the platform of a popular party in the state barring man-made obstacles.

Another potential militant factor before the FCT boss on his way to Government House, Bauchi is his love lost with the present Bauchi number one citizen, who has repeated and public referred to him as ‘’the Bauchi PDP in Abuja.”

At the hot height of their iced friendship, Mallam Samaila Burga, a former Personal Aide to Gov.Yuguda and then Acting Secretary of the state PDP at different fora (it is on record) declared that ‘’as far as Bauchi PDP is concerned, Kauran Bauchi (Sen. Bala Mohammed) is not registered in his ward as a PDP member. He has not registered in his ward, not registered in his local government area, (Alkaleri LGA) and certainly not registered with us at the state level. This means clearly that he is not a Bauchi PDP member and no more arguments on his PDP status in Bauchi State’’. Curiously, it is not known if the popular ‘’Kamashi Kaura ‘’, of the Yuguda election campaign fame has normalised his PDP membership.

SENATOR ABDUL AHMED NINGI

Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, current Senate Leader, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone in the Red chambers, is the longest serving national lawmaker from the state. With a long and certainly an enviable political profile that began with his entry into the House of Representatives in 1999, Ningi’s stint in the banking sector thought him not only how to manipulate figures, but also manipulate humans and supply to their needs for his mission’. He has being generous with his wallet, sharing dividends of democracy to his impoverished constituents who need basic infrastructures that make life bearable in the present global village.

Variously described as ‘’a born-orator, endowed with leadership qualities’’, he politely tells his elders their wrongs openly.

Politically, he will get the nod of his constituents whenever he declares his governorship interest. But he has shaky political structure in Bauchi South where Sen. Bala Mohammed is in charge like the Pope in Rome.

Abdul Ahmed Ningi, former Majority Leader under PDP in the House of Representatives, is a potentially strong contender for the Bauchi Government House come 2015. He can do the job, but the legislative work is more or less verbal, and the art of lawmaking et al is within the confines of a select-enlightened persons, whereas at the state level, it involves practicals, putting up infrastructures and attending to people’s physical needs, even contributing to their spiritual development and spreading dividends. He is likely to copy and re-introduce the Sardauna of Sokoto and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s administrative styles in this 21st century.

MUSA BABAYO

Dr. Musa Babayo, father-in-law to Gov. Isa Yuguda’s son is not popular like Senators Bala Mohammed and Ningi. He is however, known by few in the state who described him as ‘’technocratic politician’’, who has no worthy political clout in the state as at the time of this write-up. He was the National Acting Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Secretary.

He was chosen by the Northeast PDP Zonal Delegate Conference held in Bauchi in 2012, for the post of National PDP Chairmanship before Alhaji Bamanga Tukur of the defunct Gongola State pulled the carpet under him at the party’s national convention in Abuja.

Babayo may find it hard, for he is not popular, not famous, and generally described as “a dark horse.”His political and financial impact is said not to have been felt in the state when he was the National Acting Secretary of the most populous political party in Africa, the PDP’’.

BABAYO GARBA

Senator Babayo Garba, a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was elected as a member, Bauchi State House of Assembly representing Gamawa Constituency, 2007 and became Speaker of the House after Hon. Haliru Dauda Jika was impeached. He was later promoted to Deputy Governor after Garba Mohammed Gadi, elected in 2007 as Yuguda’s deputy, was impeached.

Babayo, at the 2011 contest, dethroned the then incumbent Senator Nazeef Gamawa. He is not the choice of many Bauchi PDP members, especially in the South and Central, for the alleged role he played in the impeachment of Garba Gadi who hails from the same senatorial zone with him.

But political watchers in the state say ‘’Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa has acquired wealth these past few years and with the present poverty level in the state, money can establish any structure over night and can easily buy his way and or manipulate his way to Government House.

IBRAHIM ZAILANI

Ibrahim Zailani is not new to Bauchi politics, having represented Toro Federal Constituency at the House of Reps. from 1999 to 2003.He was also a commissioner for Information and Justice under Governor Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu. Being a lawyer and having served the state for over 6 years, he understands the dynamics of Bauchi politics.

MOHAMMED NADADA UMAR

Mohammed Nadada Umar certainly does not need introduction when it comes to Bauchi State politics and its dynamics. He was the engine room of the now cherished Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu government that is said to be common people-oriented from 1999 to 2007. As a lawyer, company secretary, traditional title holder, administrator cum politician, Nadada, as he is fondly called by most Bauchi people, was the Secretary to Bauchi State Government when Mu’azu served Bauchi well.

Nadada hails from Dambam local government area of the Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone.

For now, these are the frontline Bauchi sons that have indicated their intention and or are likely to contest the governorship election come 2015 under the present embattled and factionalized Peoples Democratic Party [PDP]. However, spoilers and publicity seekers, even blackmailers are expected to join the race when campaigns for elective offices at the general elections, 2015 begin on various political party tickets. Defection, [decamping] and or cross-carpeting would not necessarily be a surprise.

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