From Paul Orude Bauchi
Six political parties and other political stakeholders in Bauchi State, under the leadership of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have formed a coalition to ensure the defeat of the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar
Addressing newsmen yesterday, at the NUJ Secretariat, the convener of the coalition, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Kirfi, said the move was taken after careful review and consultations on the abysmal performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Bauchi State, over the last four years.
The parties are the APC, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Alliance for Congress of Democrats (ACD), People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), and the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).
Kirfi, while reading a statement, jointly signed by him, Dogara, Senator Bala Mohammed and Dr Yakubu Lame, said the defeat of governor Abubakar in the forthcoming election is a task that must be accomplished.
Others who signed the statement were Professor Ali Pate, Alhaji Adamu Jumba, Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Bala Tela, Senator Nazid Gamawa and Senator Isa Hamma Misau, among several political and community leaders.
He said the reason for their unanimous decision was because of the widespread and increasing extreme poverty in the state, as evidenced by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) and the lack of any meaningful infrastructure development to fuel economic revival.
These, the group said, were despite significant economic capital flow amounting to more than N50 billion received from the Federal Government and other sources.
Others include pervasive, unaddressed youth unemployment, poor educational infrastructure, resulting in the worst record of out-of-school children in Nigeria and insignificant Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), relative to federal allocations, making Bauchi State the 36th out of 36 states in the country.
Kirfi said the coalition had also resolved to coordinate their efforts in campaign and during elections to foil Abubakar’s alleged current plans to rig the election, using vote buying, violence and machinery of INEC, the police and other security agencies.
He said they would form a united front of their agents at the polling units to mutually support and protect the votes of their coalition’s supporters in the elections.
He also said they would expand the coalition to include other independent minded parties and stakeholders, who are interested in the development of Bauchi State, adding that they would continue to refine the coalition’s approach, including, but not limited to, uniting behind a single candidate at the appropriate time before the elections.
In his remarks, Dogara, thanked God for the coalition, and the people of the state for the courage they had exhibited in the past and the one they would exhibit in the forthcoming elections, to ensure the defeat of Abubakar.
He lambasted the governor for allegedly squandering the state resources on building bill boards and recruiting misguided youths to be guarding such bill boards.
Dogara said Abubakar’s mistake was to think that he could use money to buy every politician in the state to his side, adding that no sane politician would align with the governor owing to his bad governance. .
He lamented that hundreds of billions naira accruing to local governments in the state have been squandered by the Abubakar’s administration.
The speaker said it was rather sad that Gombe and Plateau States have done well in terms of infrastructural development while Bauchi State is lagging behind.
‘Our mission is to stop Governor Mohammed Abubakar and any one that with bring lack of progress and underdevelopment to our dear state will be chased out. The coalition will work to get the best among the candidates to defeat Abubakar, a candidate that will stand by the truth. The coalition is fighting against agents of underdevelopment” Dogara said.
The Speaker said that there is evidence that violence of unprecedented scale would be created to maintain the status quo, saying, “Some of them have no relations here. But we as a people have resolve to cast our votes and be law abiding. If any one is killed, we will not only defeat him but get a bus to escort him out of the state so that we will live in peace and enjoy the developments that we have always enjoyed before his coming”
Reacting to the development, Governor Abubakar’s Chief Press Secretary, Abubakar AlSadique, said “the coalition is of no threat, whatsoever, to the chances of the governor as drivers of major political parties in the state recently spoke the mind of the people of the state.”
Abubakar Al-sadique who spoke in a telephone said, “The major drivers of the major political parties in the state
and those that have heed top positions have all joined the perfuming governor.The beauty of democracy is that it is the people that decide who they want to lead them if somebody feels otherwise it is his rights but in the end, it is the majority that have their way and the minority their say* he said.
such as the former Deputy National Publicity Chairman of PDP, Senator Babayo Gamawa, two former governors of the state, Adamu Muazu and Isa Yuguda, former Secretary to the Government of the federation Yayale Mahmoud Ahmed, two former deputy governors and several others from the National Assembly and those who have held top positions all joined the performing governor.