Bauchi’s 2-Horse Governorship Race and Good Governance
Why Sadiq Abubakar is Favoured to Win Bauchi Governorship
The coming governorship election in Bauchi State promises to be keenly contested. No fewer than 15 candidates of different political parties are set for the race this Saturday. The contenders include Auwal Adamu of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM), incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Haliru Dauda Jika of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Abubakar Ibrahim of the Labour Party (LP), Ambassador Abubakar Baba Sadiq of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Umaru Nuhu Tilde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Umar Farug Ahmed of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Others are Saleh Auwalu Dahiru of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Usman Dankyrana Mustapha of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Musa Magazine of the Action Alliance (AA), Ahmed Magaji Saleh of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Saleh Sulaiman of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Kabiru Abdulhamid Shuwa of the Action Peoples’ Party (APP), Umar Garba Aliyu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Hassan Kalid of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Despite the army of contestants, most analysts see the Bauchi governorship race as a straight contest between Abubakar Sadiq of the APC and the incumbent governor, Bala Mohammed of the PDP. Some have described the election as a contest between truth and propaganda. The incumbent administration of Bala Mohammed has been accused of doing more with their mouth rather than impactful achievements that would benefit the people. The administration, since 2019 when it came on board has charged with having mastered the art of deceit and propaganda as an official policy. That explains why concrete people-centred achievements traceable to the Bala government are hard to come by despite all the noise about giant strides.
This election presents a golden opportunity for the people of Bauchi State to reject propaganda and elect a man of honesty, truth and sincerity. The voters have a golden opportunity to chart a new trajectory for the state by electing a credible leader with the right mindset.
There are provable reasons why pundits believe the battle is between two top contenders, while the likely winner is Ambassador Sadiq Abubakar. Ambassador Sadiq Abubakar is a man with impeccable record who does not have any skeleton in his cupboard. He has never been arrested or charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau or any other anti-graft agency.
The clean record of the APC candidate is the direct opposite of that of Bala Mohammed whose records reek of allegations and charges of corruption, stealing or misappropriation of billions of naira in cash and assets belonging to the people while serving as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and currently as the governor of Bauchi State.
Bala Mohammed within the first year of his administration awarded a company in which he is a director a shady contract worth N3.6 billion, in clear contravention of Code of Conduct and Public Procurement laws. PREMIUM TIMES reported that the contract was for the supply of a whopping 105 “officials vehicles” for the use of the governor and other government officials.
Officials familiar with the scandalous deal said the contract awarded to Adda Nigeria Limited, a company in which Bala Mohammed retains a 20 per cent stake, was one of his first actions as Bauchi governor.
Prior to his election as governor, Mohammed was standing trial for alleged corruption while serving as the FCT minister. The anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), first filed six-count charges against Mr Mohammed on October 10, 2017. He was accused of abuse of office and land racketeering, although he denied the charges.
The sum of all these is that so far, the record of Bala Mohammed in Bauchi may not be remarkably different from his controversy and scandal-infested outing in Abuja. The real stench of his style of boisterous and controversial style of governance will be exposed when he leaves the Bauchi Government House Bauchi where he and his coteries are currently living large like imperial majesties while the generality of Bauchi people are wallow in hardship and deprivation.
The garrulous style of Bala Mohammed remains one of the most nauseating fallouts of the present regime in the state which started big in May 2019 with vaulting promises of heaven on earth. But today the same governor who started with a boastful garb as self-acclaimed President Muhammadu Buhari Aso Rock successor in 2023 has now been unmasked and reduced to what he truly is – a leprous outcast kept at distance by many of his erstwhile traduced admirers.
After making lots of false claims and postulations, Bala Mohammed typical of his ego jumped into the presidential ring shortly after assumption of office as governor. Huge sums of money suspected to belong to Bauchi people where channeled into his elephantine ambition. Presidential billboards and banners praising him to high heavens sprang up as his praise-singers acolytes all over the Bauchi State and the entire country went on a spree conning and smiling to their banks at the expense the hapless citizens of the state. The macabre dance was happening at a time when virtually all statistics ranked Bauchi among the lowest in critical sectors like economy, education, healthcare and security.
The outing at the PDP presidential primary was so woeful for the governor that throughout the other 35 states of the federation and the FCT no party delegate found the Alkaleri-born politician worthy of their votes at the convention exception the hapless 20 PDP delegates from Bauchi who, perhaps, out of fear and intimidation voted for him. And that was the only 20 votes he got at the convention.
After his disgrace at the PDP convention in Abuja, Bala returned to Bauchi with anger and added venom to unleash more anti-people policies in the state. He went on a heartless mission to mortgage the people and their unborn generation by selling their prized assets and properties through a dubious privatization exercise. Cronies and undertakers were mobilized to partake in the shady deals which saw the selling off of such iconic assets as Zaranda Hotel, Yankari Games Reserve and Resort plus others.
The people are tired of the verbose and bombastic style of Bala Mohammed. They want real and honest leaders to govern them. They are yearning for a change and Abubakar Sadiq fits the bills of a new and transparent Bauchi State that works for all.