Bauchi State lawmaker Aminu Tukur, representing Lere/Bula in Tafawa Balewa council, and an ally of House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara has revealed the intrigues and factors that brought Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, to power as governor in 2015.
In a recent interview with our sister publication, Sunday Sun; Governor Mohammed Abubakar described Dogara as a light weight politician as far as Bauchi State politics was concerned. As an ally of the Speaker and a major stakeholder in the politics of the state, how would you react to this?
I have gone through the paper myself and I have read the content and I want to put it straight to whosoever that may come across it that indeed if we have a liar, then it is being represented in the personality of Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State. The whole content of the interview was nothing but fictitious, if not because of the political aspect of it, it is supposed to be taken to a competent court of law for adjudication. This governor came to APC barely less than six weeks to the party’s primaries in 2015. I live to recall that Dogara has been in the APC for more than a year before the party’s primaries and as far as Bauchi State is concerned he was the sole financier of the party in any given event, in any given circumstance, his money was used to project the image of the party across the state.
I did not know him from anywhere. A friend of mine who is now a commissioner under him, who was a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly during the 6th Assembly, Alhaji Garba Sarkin Akuyam, came to my house and he gave me a letter. I read through the content of the letter and discovered that I was appointed Director Political Matters to the present governor and he was the Director General. I reluctantly collected the letter from him and asked him as to the reason why he was going for the man Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar and he told me that he knows him very well and had asked him to do the job. I decided to take my letter to one of my very close friends and elder, late Senator Ali Wakili. I met him in his house, I told him this is a letter that comes from Alhaji Garba Akuyam intimating me of the interest of one Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar who wants to contest for governor of Bauchi State. He was shocked, but he refused to make any comment. I told him should I go for it or I should leave it and he said that he was not having a ready-made answer to it and I should keep it and promised to discuss the issue with Dogara. That was on Thursday and we were to be inaugurated on Saturday, an interval of only two days, so I decided to come back home and I spoke with my party chairman at the local government, Alhaji Maijama’a Hardo, and he came to my house first thing in the morning and we drove together to Wakili’s house and I told him it is going to be the inauguration day today and I would be going, does he have any comment to make. He said ‘well don’t force yourself in, assess what you think will be practicable see how it goes we will discuss it at a later time.’ Let me let the entire world know that there is a prophecy in Islam that says never expect a kind of reciprocal of benevolence from any man, just do it for the sake of God. And that was what I did.
I tell you that all the sizeable number of us that were directors under the MA campaign, our deputies and assistants numbering up to 50, today, more than 40 of us are not with him. The secretary to the directorate has never benefitted a penny from Mohammed Abubakar till this day. The Director General has been appointed a commissioner. The Director, Women is no longer with him, as well as the Director security, I the Director Political Matters. If there is any dividend of democracy for being a Director under Mohammed Abubakar, I have never seen it.
Tell us about Dogara’s role?
I am coming to that. Let me put it to you that at the initial stage, Dogara had a candidate of his choice, a fellow colleague of his who is now the ambassador of the federal republic of Nigeria in Germany, Ambassador Tuggar. Dogara had wanted Tuggar to be the governor of Bauchi State and late Senator Wakili, and late Sadiq Mahmood were with Dogara but because of my factor, both of them abandoned their candidate and decided to do my bidding. While the campaign programme that even led to the party primaries was on, Governor Mohammed Abubakar had no money to support his campaign organisation. He has no resources. It is not a lie that at several instances, his car had to be abandoned and was taken in someone’s vehicle and Dogara gave him virtually most of the finances and most of the campaign materials. I have evidence to show that he benefited immensely from the wealth of Dogara. I will never forget the day when three vehicle loads of consignments were brought into my house by Dogara and were taken to the governor, and he was saying that nobody should see them, that they should be taken right into his room. We used the back door and conveyed everything to him. While money was being donated to him for the sake of the campaign programme, he was busy buying assets. It is known to everybody that in all the 20 local governments, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar could only give N400, 000 each. That was the much he gave. I am sure the money he got from Dogara was more than 400, 000 times 20 local governments. He knows it.
Exactly 24 days to the party primaries, late Mallam Wakili came to my house that Baba Waziri (former minister of Special duty under Obasanjo) said that we shouldn’t go in for Mohammed Abubakar. He enumerated myriads of reasons why he should not be governor. He told Baba Waziri that he is a beginner in politics and has his weaknesses. He mentioned my name and that of Dogara that if we should concede to go in for Yakubu Lame he has no hesitation but where we have any reservations, he will definitely go with him simply because of the fact that we came from the same area and he is in need of the wards that are absolutely loyal to us. Myself and Dogara were invited by Baba Waziri to his house and we spent over three hours. Baba Waziri pleaded with us to abandon the course of Governor Mohammed Abubakar. He spoke at length, telling us all the bad things about him. I couldn’t even reply a word but Dogara gave a response that satisfied my conscience. He told Baba Waziri that ‘Baba you are our father. We will never do anything that does not need to be done. We are assuring you that we will abandon Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar on one condition: Call Dr. Yakubu Lame and asked him to withdraw all the candidates that he has fielded to contest against us. If he drops them we will drop the candidature of Governor Mohammed Abubakar.’ Baba Waziri was so happy and we left but unfortunately, Dr. Lame couldn’t drop those that contested against us. On the day of the party congresses, we gathered the three local governments that made the three federal constituencies, all the gubernatorial aspirants as at that time came and each one gave one million each to the three local governments. On noticing that all the aspirants had given N1 million to delegates , the present governor made a pronouncement in front of all of us that he was going to add N1 million and the money was going to be given to them the next day. Then Chairman of Tafawa Balewa local government then responded on behalf of the local government areas point bank that we don’t need any promise, that we have been directed by our leaders to vote you. While we were there, a phone call from Alhaji Dan Umar Bello, one- time state chairman of the APP from Giade. He told me that they are in their house. I met them, that is, the APC Giade local government chapter represented by him. He came with the Chairman from Itas-Gadau and a former colleague of mine whom we served in the 6th Assembly together, Mohammed Lele and the secretary to the APC Jammare local government. The three local governments they came and we sat on the carpet in my room. They told me that they had come give me all the votes from the three local governments that I should take it to wherever I wanted. Nobody can dispute that even the governor is aware that something like that happened. We combined the votes of Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro along with that of Gaide, Jamare and Itas Gadu plus other fragments that was how we were able to defeat Dr. Yakubu Lame with less than 40 votes and today those ingrate politicians who are presiding over the state and parading themselves as the champion of everything while we were the ones that did everything for him to become a governor. But he is now paying us back negatively.
Whatever he (governor) says today, his inner conscience is taking a toll on him and will be telling him that he is telling lies. He is aware that Dogara was a factor in whatever that passed through in Bauchi State. Religious sentiments aside, if Dogara should come and stand in front of the Emir’s palace in Bauchi, right inside the mosques and the governor is paraded there and a direct kind of election is conducted, nobody will vote Governor Abubakar. That is even outside his constituency. For all I know, what Dogara has done for Islam and the Muslims in Bauchi State, Governor Mohammed Abubakar in his capacity as the governor of the state and as a Muslim, has not done so. Ask all the sects across the 20 local governments in the state.
So from what I can deduce, it appears you will never support Governor Abubakar’s second term bid?
Well I have said it before, should they maintain that Governor Abubakar is going to be the APC governorship candidate in Bauchi State, I will vote for PDP. I can’t waste my vote on anybody who does not recognize the capacity in anybody other than himself. I can’t do that. Look at the records he is quoting, that out of 85, 000 ballots that were brought in, he got 75,000 at the so called primaries of the party. Where was he when the sermons were going on by most of the Imams in Bauchi State and even taken to the presidency, telling the whole world that there were no party primaries? Where were the party’s primaries held?