I recently read comments credited to the governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is leading other federal lawmakers to wage a political battle against him because he was not in support of his emergence as Speaker.
It is instructive to note that the Speaker himself has never been on record to have said anything negative about the governor. I have searched in vain for a shred of evidence.
The governor reportedly told State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on August, 31, 2016, that, “My problem with Rt. Hon. Dogara Yakubu started during the election for the leadership of the National Assembly, I stood on the side of the party. I directed every Bauchi lawmaker to toe the line of the party by voting Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker. At that time, nine out of the 11 lawmakers did that and later the candidate of Bauchi (Dogara) won.”
The governor also said that the Speaker, who hails from the same Bauchi South zone with him, is the brain behind the troubles he is witnessing in the state and at federal level. This came as a surprise, considering the well-known fact that it was the Speaker who gave Governor Abubakar a consolidated bloc vote of delegates from Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa during the primaries, where he ran against his fellow lawmaker and friend, Hon. Yusuf Tuggar and former federal minister, Dr Yakubu Lame and won by 36 votes only.
There is no informed Bauchi indigene, including the governor, that will deny the known contributions of Speaker Dogara to his emergence as governor of Bauchi.
Sadly, this gesture was not returned by the governor, as he himself confessed that he refused to support Dogara during his race for the seat of the Speaker of the House. Instead, he mobilised Bauchi members to vote against him. But the Rt. Hon. Speaker is not one to bear grudges.
Interestingly, the governor presently does not have the support of 11 out of these same 12 members of the House of Representatives. As a testimony to what the Speaker stands for, even Hon (Dr) M S Abdu, his own brother from Bauchi State, who nominated his opponent during the speakership election, is now a committed ally, ditto so many honourable members who voted against him.
He is also not known to hold any resentment against his main challenger, the Rt Hon Gbajabiamila, who later became the House Leader. The question agitating my mind is why should the case of Gov Abubakar be different, when the Speaker has reconciled with those who worked against him?
The questions Governor Abubakar should be asking himself are: Why is it that nearly all NASS members from the state are not with him? Why is nearly all Bauchi elites not with him? Why is he being stoned all over the state? Why are preachers and traditional rulers against him? Are all these happening to him simply because he refused to support the emergence of Speaker Dogara? Certainly not.
Indeed, not even a fool would fail, in the present circumstances, to see that the governor’s problems are much more deeper than just a mere issue with the Dogara over his emergence as Speaker. The sooner the govenor realises this, the better for him. It seems it’s the entire people of the state or an overwhelming majority of them that have had enough of the Govenor and his antics and have decided to face him on their own.
Why is the governor scared to mention other reputable stakeholders like Mallam Adamu Adamu, Senator Ali Wakili, Senator Nazif Gamawa, Hon Yusuf Tuggar, Dr Yakubu Lame and others too numerous to mention, who are all strongly united in rejecting his retrogressive brand of politics? Is it cowardice or share brinkmanship? Is he saying they are not important enough to warrant his attention? Is he telling us that all these principled and distinguished stakeholders from Bauchi have abandoned him and joined forces with Speaker Dogara to fight him for no reason other than what he alleged? Where are the marines that would buy the governor’s story?
He talked about lies being spread about him without telling us what the lies were in specific terms. Has Speaker Dogara become so central to the politics of Bauchi so much so that he can orchestrate a counter revolution at will or spread lies so well that the mass of Bauchi will start stoning the governor in all the local government areas he visits.
From all indications, Governor Abubakar does not have to look far to identify the cause of his woes. Neither the speaker, nor the federal lawmakers are responsible for his troubles. His anti-peoples policies and actions are clearly the reason for his estranged relationship with the Bauchi people.
As if that is not enough, the governor is incurring the wrath of the people for sabotaging the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi in making his key appointments, including composition of local government area caretaker chairmen and committees.
Since 2015, he sanctioned an unending salaries verification exercise for all public service staff to remove “ghost workers” and all this while, most workers and pensioners, who have been denied verification, have not received their salaries and entitlements, an exercise which governor Abubakat himself admitted in a BBC Hausa interview that is a failure!
It is time to focus on building the state and its institutions to serve the people of Bauchi. This can be achieved faster if there is a synergy between the governort, Speaker Dogara, Mallam Adamu Adamu, senators, other legislators and stakeholders. Honestly, any fight with any or all the major stakeholders, as is presently the case, will not do the governor any good. It’s his responsibility to provide the needed leadership by uniting the people behind him and to deliver on the APC change mandate which will end the stoning. No smart adviser would counsel otherwise. But if the governor hopes that he can go alone and still succeed, then good luck. Time will tell!
Mohammed wrote in from Alkaleri, Bauchi State