For those who, for reasons best know to them, have tenaciously held on the faulty assumption that the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed is a religious bigot, the event that played itself out last week has finally put a pin to that balloon of lie.
On that day, the minister played host to a group of executive members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bauchi State chapter that paid him a thank-you visit in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja. The event which was punctuated by infectious smiles, backslapping and affectionate display of the spirit of camaraderie must have left those with such erroneous impression of the minister with no other option than to eat their hearts out, considering the unprecedented vote of confidence passed on the minister by the visiting delegation.
Senator Mohammed who reiterated that President Goodluck Jonathan has done so much for Nigeria to promote the unity in diversity of the country and therefore should be supported and encouraged, especially with prayers, emphasized that his appointment into the Federal Executive Council by President Jonathan without knowing him has deepened his belief in Nigeria.
While urging them to continue to pray and support the administration of Governor Isa Yuguda to enable him take Bauchi State to the next level, Senator Mohammed remarked that there was no need for the thank-you visit because all he has been doing was to carry out his responsibility as their son and representative.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Christian Association, Bauchi State chapter and leader of the delegation, Rev. Lawi P. Pokti said that they were in the FCT to appreciate the minister, Senator Bala Mohammed for what he has been doing for the Christian community in Bauchi State since 2007.
The chairman stated that President Goodluck Jonathan exhibited statesmanship qualities when he picked out Senator Mohammed from the Senate and invested him with the enormous responsibility of overseeing the affairs of the nation’s capital and as a representative of Bauchi State at the Federal Executive Council.
Rev. Pokti specifically thanked the minister for always identifying with the Christian Community in Bauchi State, especially during the bomb blast that rocked the Living Faith Church, Bauchi sometime ago as well as their annual sponsorship of pilgrimage to Jerusalem, saying that “If it were possible, we would have come with the entire Christians in Bauchi State to thank you for all you have been doing for a us”.
The event may have come and gone, but its positive effect has continued to reverberate across the entire spectrum of the Nigerian society in diverse ramifications. From all intents and purposes, one pivotal significance of the visit is that it brought into bold relief Bala’s sterling qualities as a completely detribalized, fair-minded and down-to-earth leader who treats and relates with all Nigerians with equal degree of respect and affection, irrespective of their religious, ethnic and social inclinations.
As a silent, achiever, who believes that Nigeria’s greatness can only be attained if Nigerians discard all divisive tendencies, Bala, unknown to millions of his fellow countrymen has been sponsoring both Christians and Moslems on pilgrimages to the Holy lands of Jerusalem and Mecca respectively. This much was corroborated by the visiting CAN delegation who revealed that the minister has assisted about 300 Christians to Jerusalem in recent years in a similar manner he has been assisting their Muslim brothers and sisters to perform Holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
It would be recalled that when Boko Haram insurgents made their murderous foray into Bauchi and attacked the Living Faith Church, Yelwa with the ferocity of an earthquake, Bala, being the true leader that he is, not only donated relief materials to cushion the effects of the devastating attack, but personally visited the victims to sympathize with them, a rare occurrence in a nation where those parading themselves as leaders have elevated “I-don’t-care” attitude or worse still, standoffish disposition to critical national issues that have the tendency to dismember the nation into an art.
Considering his cordial relationship with both Christians and Moslems, Senator Bala Mohammed undoubtedly belongs to the first category. His exemplary conduct must be emulated by all public office holders if Nigeria is to attain her manifest destiny. Period!
— Ochela is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja
Category: Bauchi State News