REMARKS BY SENATOR BALA ABDULKADIR MOHAMMED, CON (KAURAN BAUCHI) ON THE OCCASION OF HIS VICTORY AT THE BAUCHI STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITIONS’ TRIBUNAL 7TH OCTOBER, 2019
Glory be to Allah the Most beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate; We thank God for the landmark development that we have just witnessed.
Not long ago, the Governorship Election Petitions’ Tribunal affirmed our victory at the March 9, governorship elections in the state. Today’s victory is a denouement, at least momentarily, of the uneasy calm that has gripped the state; since some of our aggrieved detractors launched a desperate legal challenge, to upturn our victory at the polls. If they had succeeded, that would have scuttled the emphatic resolve of the majority, of our people, to chart a new path, by democratically enthroning a Government that would provide purposeful leadership, to the state.
I will be very frank: It has been a very distressing period, as we had thought that good conscience would prevail, after every effort by the opponent failed to give them victory. Thus, we were constrained to watch our every step and look over our back; as we stove to establish the framework for the urgent task of restoring hope to the demoralized, disenchanted and dispirited people of the state.
Of very serious importance, at every point, in the course of this painful drama, we made deliberate and sustained effort to rein in on the angry youth, to remain calm; confident that, by the grace of God, the judiciary will deliver justice in the matter. Today, they did. Today, the learned Tribunal, acquitted itself with honour and distinction, by confirming what was common knowledge all along; that we won the elections fair and square.
I salute the courage and honesty of members of the Tribunal who, many had feared, could capitulate to the intimidating subterfuges adopted by our detractors, all in an attempt to instill fear in the judiciary.
On March 9, the people of Bauchi, spoke. Today, the judiciary confirmed what they said! The confirmation is so loud and clear that it rings from Azare to Alkaleri to Ningi and the nook and cranny of the state. As the sound of victory reverberates through the length and breadth of the state, my entire beings wells up with indescribable energy and love, to rise to the challenge of satisfying the yearnings of the people; for meaningful development that lifts them from the valley of despair to the plateau of hope and fulfilment. I am indeed humbled; and I believe members of my team feel the same way.
For our Administration, therefore, this is, without doubt, a deeply sobering moment. By revalidating the sacred MANDATE entrusted in our care by the people of Bauchi State, we have been summoned to greater heights of service delivery. Within me, I can hear a voice saying: “Bala, this is your life”. And I ask myself: Should I rejoice? Should I cry? Or should I just keep quiet?
Questions. Questions. Questions.
Yet, one thing I am certain about. That is, this is not a victory for any individual or interest group or political party. More appropriately, it is a victory for the good people of Bauchi State; irrespective of tribe, gender, political affiliation, creed or age. I have not forgotten that, we were swept into government by the broadest coalition ever formed in this state; that I derive my moral authority from the weak, the poor, the excluded; those for whom Political Party made little or no difference; whose voices must be heard and their circumstances improved, if this victory is to mean anything, at all.
By implication, we are summoned today to remove the cloak of partisanship that breeds injustice and fuels hatred; to unfasten the parochial prism that beclouds our sense of oneness and deepens the stagnation of our environment. The axiom: United we stand; divided we fall, stares us in the face. Can we, the political elite, muster the courage to seize the moment or shall we continue to delude ourselves in our comfort zones, believing that we can take the people for granted, forever?
For me, the answer is clear: We cannot afford to fall or fail. Our train of development has left the station; with the invocation to ALL our people, to join hands with us; together, we shall make the difference. I passionately appeal to all stakeholders, especially my opponents at the Tribunal, to sheath their swords so that, with my Administration, we can shake off inertia among the people and unlock the huge potentials for progress, yet untapped.
Thus, as we rejoice, let us not forget that our victory will only make sense when every Bauchi child of school age is in the classroom; when every school leaver is productively engaged; when every pregnant woman has the reasonable assurance that she will not die of childbirth; when rural folks feel empowered and our heroes past, retired men and women, can receive their legitimate entitlements as at when due. Then, and only then, will our celebration be complete.
It is to these people who cut across every conceivable social stratum and divide, that I dedicate this tribunal victory. I call on these people to protect this hard won victory; if we are to make progress, eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for our freedom.
I shall not end this brief statement without paying special tribute to the leadership of our great party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, for standing solidly behind me in protecting our collective mandate. The same goes to all other stakeholders in particular, our Party Elders, Religious Leaders, Youths and Women, Organized Labour and the Media who, stood by us in this difficult journey.
To my legal team, I owe a debt of gratitude; for the professionalism, forbearance and loyalty. Today’s happy outcome is, in part, a testimony to their painstaking commitment and abiding fidelity to the wishes and aspirations of the good people of Bauchi State. We are highly indebted indeed.
Finally, I thank members of my family, who for no fault of theirs were subjected to vicious campaign of calumny during this avoidable political cum legal impasse. By the Grace of God, it has ended well.
I wish to restate, that in spite of such percussions and distractions, so long as there is an iota of breath in me, nothing, I repeat NOTHING, will distract me from the sustained pursuit of the 7-point agenda which I released during my Inauguration on May 29, 2019, until we attain the ultimate goal of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of all those who reside in Bauchi State.
Long live Bauchi State
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
To God be the glory.
Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, CON (Kauran Bauchi)
Executive Governor, Bauchi State, Government House, Bauchi
7th October, 2019.