Defeated governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, has made a U-turn declaring that he is heading to the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the electoral victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He disclosed that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had already assembled four SANs to prosecute the petition.
Mohammed Abubakar who returned to the state after spending over one week in Abuja where he was believed have gone lobbying and making consultations with the Presidency and the national leadership of the APC, made a U-turn from his earlier stance of conceding defeat and said that his party had agreed to go to court to reclaim his mandate from the opposition PDP.
He disclosed this while addressing his supporters at his campaign office in Bauchi state Wednesday evening, shortly after returning to the state, in a video that has gone viral and its authenticity confirmed by the Commissioner of Information and Culture in the State, Ibrahim Umar Sade in a telephone interview on Thursday.
The Governor who had earlier accepted his defeat as his “destiny” disclosed that he met with President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the party which informed him that they would file a suit soon to challenge the election.
He said in the video while addressing the supporters that: “The reason for my going to Abuja, in my capacity as a loyal and obedient party member, I went and met with the National Chairman of the APC, I met with the Vice President of Nigeria, I also met with the President of Nigeria.”
He added that: “Just like I have said, I am an obedient member of the national body of the party, it was because of this, that all these three places that I went to, each one of them said that the APC will file a suit in court to challenge the election results of Bauchi.
“As an obedient member, I accept to go with that decision. Everyone knows when the results of the election were announced, I conceded defeat but I contested on the ticket of the party and the party has refused to accept the outcome,” he said.
Mohammed Abubakar added that it was because of that development he was addressing his supporters to inform them that “the party has concluded its plans and has hired four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to file this suit in court in a short while from now.”
He said he was telling them of the party’s decision so as to “motivate” them because “there is no way injustice will stand, it will never happen. Everybody knows that the election that took place, it was injustice that was done, it was provocation so that I will do what others did, so that Bauchi will be taken backwards and that is what is being planned.”
The outgoing governor alleged that from the time the PDP candidate was announced as the winner of the election, sara suka (political thuggery) has been on the increase.
“But I want to assure you that from now to May 29, I am still the governor of Bauchi State, by the grace of God, I will not hold my hands and allow these violent treatment of the people to continue. I will convene a special security meeting to particularly address and find a lasting solution to this thuggery that is being planned to be brought back to the state,” he vowed.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP Chairman in the state, Hamza Koshe Akuyam, said that the decision of the APC to go to court is a welcome development saying that it is the constitutional right of the governor to go to court to seek redress declaring that “we are ready to meet them in court. The court will reaffirm our victory.”
Koshe Akuyam noted that “the Court does not give anybody victory but it is the people that give victory and they have given us the victory”.
On the allegation by the governor that the victory of the PDP had caused a resurgence of “sara suka” thuggery in the state, Koshe Akuyam said that if there is any breakdown of law and order in the state, he (the governor) is to be held responsible.
The PDP Chairman said: “We know his antics, he is a wounded Lion who is out to make a lot of noise and arrest people. We will not succumb to his own propaganda. In a nut shell, as the Chief Executive Officer of the State he is complaining that there is increase of armed gangs, he should go and arrest them. Whoever comes out with arms, he should arrest them, it is his people that are doing so and he knows very much about it.”