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2016: The Winners And Losers In Bauchi State

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Mukhtar Muhammad Mk

2016 marked another year Bauchi state citizens will never forget. This is because the year was politically, financially, morally and emotionally tough and most of the citizens are losers, but we are still here planning for the future, so that means surviving all that should make few winners. Thus, 2016 was the year when all eyes were on Governor Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar and State executive council to objectively prove their ability to deliver the change they propagated before 2015 General elections. They did in their own way. But in the process of trying to show that they could govern well than the erstwhile Governor Mallam Isah Yuguda, and his Peoples Democratic Party, achievements were recorded, goals were missed, and mistakes were made.

2016 was also an eventful year especially with our politicians keeping us entertained with their drama. It will be difficult to quickly forget many fights and accusations flying over the place as politicians tried to outsmart each other. Some battles were fought without any clear winners or losers emerging yet, like the MA Abubakar/Dogara led group fights. But some ended in pretense. Here are some of the winners and losers.

***The Losers***

*Engr. Nuhu Gidado.

The ceremonial Deputy Governor of Bauchi State stepped in to 2016 with great ambition of playing important role in rehabilitating the state’s education system that has already collapsed. Being the commissioner for Education, Gidado failed to prove his critics wrong despite the lion share allocated to education in GMA’s 2016 budget. His tribulations went from bad to worse when the leaked internal memorandum revealed that some allies from the ruling APC encouraged the move in the hope of replacing him on the ticket come 2019. Gidado has nothing of the political drive and ambition of, say or act. His incapacity has added a lot of problems to the regime and promoted the decline in 2016.

*Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

The speaker of the house of assembly became more optimistic in controlling the affairs of Bauchi state APC in 2016, but all attempts to achieve his mission proved aborted by Governor MA Abubakar. So also, Dogara’s tenure as speaker of the Federal House of Assembly has been beset with controversies with the most prominent ones being the budget padding scandal, an issue that compelled Hon. Abdulmumini Jibril to point Dogara as the center of the budget padding scandal. Instead of Dogara to confront his tribulations, he kicked off a misplaced war against Governor Mohammed Abubakar where he led some lawmakers from Bauchi State to the Presidential Villa and APC national secretariat where they informed President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leaders that Abubakar allegedly misappropriated the bailout funds granted for the payment of arrears and salaries of workers in the state. Undoubtedly, Dogara is one of the best losers in 2016.

*Sycophants.

This is the group of praise singers that put Bauchi state on an imaginary pedestal with their mellifluous words that flows seamlessly. Their words of praises remove every constraint and reservations in the eyes of Governor MA Abubakar, making him break limits, shift barriers and do things which didn’t match his intellectual capacity. Also, they act very fast in pointing out the enemies of the governor. Because of their need to protect and consolidate their positions before Governor MA Abubakar, They perceive anybody who tries to take his attention away from them as a foe. These sycophants joined the losing side because most of them are illustrates but put the state under their influence despite the fact that they are not interested in the overall wellbeing of the masses.

*All Progressive Congress (APC).

2016 have been a very good year for the National wing of the ruling party for winning two of the three governorship elections conducted in the year. In Bauchi State, the story is different as many fear and perhaps hope has been headed for the worst on the wings of politics of isolation. With intra-party crisis now as partisan as warfare, there seems to be some kind of growing fragmentation that appears strangulating to key party leaders. Despite the unending crises between Speaker Dogara and Governor MA Abubakar, Yarima Versus MA Abubakar, Senator Wakili Versus MA Abubakar, hitherto, the lawmakers regrouped on another mission of sabotaging the government Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar. No group had conceded defeat yet leaving their party as the loser of the battle.

*Isah Abuh Yusuf.

The close friend of Governor Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar was the first Bauchi State politician to discover a golden rule of Nigerian politics after 2015 governorship election. This golden rule is that close political associations almost never end on a note of mutual respect. Most often they end up as bitter animosities. Almost everyone who helped someone else to achieve a political ambition in Nigeria ended up regretting it. Isah Abuh Yusuf changed from a friend of Governor MA Abubakar to straight foe earlier 2016. A situation compounded the messier political fight between two once close associates. He revealed how they collaborated closely to bribe voters, to undermine foes, to rig elections and commit sundry electoral crimes. But to what could be describe as U-turn, Isah Abuh frustrated to Governor MA Abubakar and appointed Special Assistant on Political Organizations. The failure here is; a person who left MA Abubakar’s house for missing juicy appointment returned as aid with less relevance.

***The Winners***

*Governor MA Abubakar.

Many unbiased analysts believed Governor Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar is among the losers in 2016. I may be the only person in the world who does not think so. Undoubtedly, the Governor of Bauchi state experienced a tough year (2016). The economic downturn, intra party crises, saboteurs and sycophants are the main issues that kept GMA busy in the year. So also, he has recorded a smashing success in the areas of key infrastructures such as roads and water resources. The last minute settlement of salaries gave him a very good advantage. The Governor has won against his critics by applying autocratic system where he dealed with anyone criticizes his policies. His main mistake is leaving his government without competent media team that disseminates information on government policies and counter criticism, giving sycophants opportunity to take the shoes of intellectuals.

*Ghali Ma’aji Abdulhameed.

The Commissioner for Water Resources lead the losers chart in 2015 for losing the APC ticket as flag bearer of the party for Katagum constituency representation in the federal house of Assembly. A position that every observer predicted him to win. But due to his patience, determination and sincerity of purpose he bounced back in 2016 by leading the winners. Ghali Maji, as commissioner for water resources took it upon himself to ensure that there is constant supply of potable water to the citizens. The Bauchi State Ministry of Water Resources under him has a good job in 2016 on behalf of the state Government btw providing regular water supply in the state. To make his year more celebratory, Governor MA Abubakar appointed him to oversee the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources making him the only commissioner in the state with two portfolios.

*Muhammad Salees Gamawa.

The former president of the National Union of Bauchi State Students will never forget 2016 being the year he was promoted from students’ union leader to an international youth leader. Gamawa experienced a tough time in February when he had a misunderstanding with Governor MA Abubakar a situation compelled him to resign from student’s union leadership. Gamawa’s decision earned him unprecedented ovation from National and international youth organizations where he received invitations to many national and international youth conferences. In 2016 alone, he have received Five honorary award in recognition of his selflessness. He was also called by local youth organizations to represent his Gamawa constituency in the National Assembly come 2019.

*Wikki Tourists Football Club.

After a thrilling end to the 2016 season in the Nigerian Professional Football League, the elephants sit third on the table trailing six points behind the champions Enugu Rangers. Audu Maikaba’s men automatically qualified for the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup group stage first time in Fifteen years. Wikki Tourists will also remember 2016 as the successful year because its striker Godwin Obaje received the golden boot award for scoring the highest goals (18) in Nigerian Professionals Football League.

Mukhtar Muhammad Mk

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