The real battle for governorship position has kicked off and it will be tough as expected considering the development and the factors that may decide the number one political position in Bauchi state come 2023. In Bauchi state Air Marshal Sadique Baba (rtd) won the just concluded APC’s primary election beating former Tetfund chairman Dr. Musa Babayo, and Senator Halliru Dauda Jika, former Secretary to Governor Isa Yuguda Mahmood Maijama’a, former minister of health Dr. Ali Mohamed Pate and former member House of Representatives Faruk Mustapha and Nura Manu Soro.
Though, observers believe the election was full of irregularities such as vote buying. Few days to the exercise APC youth wing in Bauchi state alleged that wife of the winner who is minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management bribed delegates to favour her husband, an allegation Sadiq’s spokesperson debunked.
On the other hand, Sadiq’s victory was warmly embraced by his fellow contenders which is a good sign of sportsmanship and possible readiness to wrestle power from the ruling PDP in the state whose incumbent governor Senator Bala Mohamed is also recontesting. However, soon after Sadique’s victory, some aggrieved aspirants began move to defect to test their real acceptability from the voters after being denied mandate to pick the APC’s ticket while pundits believed it is a clear demonstration of power and supremacy quest and personal eagerness to rule by fire by force.
The emergence of Governor Bala Mohammed as standard bearer of PDP and Ambassador Sadique Baba as standard bearer of the most power opposition party, APC, promise to be the hottest race in the country. Governor Bala Mohammed administration is being criticised as a family and friends government which focuses more on interest gain projects and alleged inflation of contracts as well as a government that deviate from its core campaign promises of prompt payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity.
Another challenge Governor Bala needs to address is the increasing rate of youth restiveness threatening existing peaceful coexistence of the most culturally diverse state.
Ambassador Sadique Baba, a political novice, needs to change his military mentality to convince Bauchians that he his now a true democrat. Sadique is presently caged by pretenders and expired politicians who can hardly deliver their poling unit not to talk of convincing the electorate to elect him based on his qualities or manifesto. Though, he is yet to publicly unveil his programmes but it is always the same promise and pledge politicians of during electioneering that suddenly change after assuming power.
For Sadique to have a smooth win he needs to first reconcile with aggrieved party members, especially the powerful ones that lost the bid to represent the party next year, the likes of Faruk Mustapha, Mahmood Maijama’a who are seen as grassroots politicians. They have existing structures, party loyalists and forces that can help him win people’s heart. Timely joining forces with them will strengthen his quest to wrestle power.
The mass defection of APC members, especially those from Katagum zone is because Sadique is from Bauchi zone while the real Bauchi southern people welcome Sadique no matter where he belongs to, believing that his victory is theirs. He may find tough in Katagum as they hardly support anyone who is not from the main town of Katagum local government area that initially thought of picking the party’s flag based on the influence of Adamu Adamu, the minister of education, and the mass number of divided aspirants eyeing to govern the state.
More so, none of the defeated aspirant from the Katagum zone including those from the central zone openly declared intention to join the Sadique campaign voyage, an indication of something sinister, while few have already joined the rebirth Kwankwaso’s NNPP to challenge the same governorship position.
Umar Usman Duguri,