Bauchi’s gathering storm
Why we oppose Abubakar’s leadership style, by Tagga
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State is not finding governing the state easy with major political actors particularly from the All Progressives Congress (APC), who seem determined to give him sleepless nights.
The foes that are opposed to his leadership style have vowed to fight him to a logical end, even if it requires involving the presidency and the national headquarters of the party.
Recently, the political quagmire in the state reached a crescendo when some chieftains of the party, stormed the party’s headquarters in Abuja, to complain about the governor’s alleged wrongdoings.
Prominent among the aggrieved politicians involved in the protest were: Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Senator Ali Wakil (Bauchi-Central); and Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauch-North).
Their grouse against the Governor included alleged misuse of funds particularly the N8.6 billion bailout funds given to the state by the Federal Government, among others, which they insisted, must be accounted for.
Giving insight into the crisis, a chieftain of the APC, Alhaji Yusuf Tagga, who claimed he joined forces with those contending with Abubakar, said the administrative style of the government was purely anti masses and development.
Tagga who made unsuccessful bid for the governorship of Bauchi in both the 2011 and 2015 polls on the platform of both the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the APC said the decision to confront the governor was borne out of the need to rescue the State from economic and social destruction.
According to him, “The misuse of the bailout funds, non -payment of workers salaries, the extravagant lifestyles of the governor, the breach of due process in the award of contracts, and other wasteful ventures are strong reasons those that crave for the development of Bauchi are seeking the intervention of the presidency and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie -Oyegun on the crisis.”
Faulting the notion that their initiative was akin to a gang-up by elites against the governor, he said, “It was unfortunate that the governor has sidelined genuine members of the APC in Bauchi from the affairs of governance. This could have a dire consequence to the political fortune of Governor Abubakar ahead of the 2019 poll.”
He said there was no clear cut agenda to move the state forward “the mere fact that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the three Senators, the 12 members of the House of Representatives and the Minister for Education are dissatisfied with the leadership style of Governor Abubakar speaks volume of the state of affairs in Bauchi.
Recalling the genesis of the crisis, Tagga said, “It all started after the sum of N565 million collected by the Transition Committee from the outgoing governor, Isa Yuguda, before Abubakar was sworn in to office was unaccounted for.
“Now, shortly after he became governor, there were some contracts that were awarded for 4.5 kilometers of road from the CBN in Bauchi metropolis towards the railway for N2.3 billion. Now if you do the arithmetic that amounts to N517 million per kilometer. The question we are asking is can a kilometer of road be constructed in Delta State, which is creek for N517 million?
“Unfortunately, this contract was awarded to a company called ‘Qumex’, with a Kaduna registered address. Okay, you have been awarded this huge contract, we would have expected that you are going to roll out new equipment to commence the work but not, they are using manual concrete mixers for all the people of Bauchi to see.
Tagga maintained that the struggle was not about themselves but the entire people of Bauchi that are amounting pressure on them to do something about it because they considered them leaders, that the group should be able to do should be able to do something about it because they all belonged to APC.
Also, he said there is another road in Fadama Mada, which, coincidentally, is being built at a place where the governor’s second wife happens to have her home, pointing out that the Public Procurement Law that was passed many years ago by the State House of Assembly, was not adhered to in the contract award.
“The are certain criteria, certain steps that you follow before you pass a contract; I can confidently say there hasn’t been a single contract that has gone through the due process. There are no adverts, no invitation to tender. The only invitation we have had is most recently for SUBEB contracts and yet, he even has a Special Adviser for Due Process.
“So, this is a violation of the laws of Bauchi State itself, the way and manner these contracts are being awarded. Now, I mentioned SUBEB to you. I am sure you are conversant with the requirements of UBEC, the fact that states have to come up with counterpart funding.”
He also alleged that the governor sought for a loan of one billion from a bank to be able to meet the UBEC counterpart funding last year, arguing that it amounted to putting the cart before the horse.
However, a source from the Government House, Bauchi dismissed the allegations against the governor, saying: “They are political maneuverings to distract the governor.
How many times have they come around to say this is what they have observed that is going wrong in the state and would want to proffer solutions to them?”
The source claimed that the group was out not just to distract the governor but also to ensure that they make it difficult for him to come back in 2019.
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