When the CAN Chairman Bauchi chapter visited GMA Esq. (Governor Mohammed Abdullahi), he did not mince his words as he passed a sound message to GMA; “we will not be party to the pull you down bandwagon that Bauchi politics is legendary for, we will not hire political mercenaries to write you off nor will we make music to merry-mock you. You have extended a fine hand of friendship to the Christian community and have also shown a deep sense of concern and willingness to set Bauchi State aright and we therefore owe it to ourselves and to you Excellency, to help make change work and not prevent change from reaching and touching the lives of our Brothers and sisters in Bauchi State”.
The CAN Chairman’s message underscored the typical nature and syndrome of Bauchi politics which is not only warped around the sins of envy and wrath, but also consumed by the I am King too idiosyncrasy that always puts it’s leaders on a collision course with the electorate, be he good or bad, working or not. Every Chief Executive in Bauchi is faced with very many splinter groups and vain pressure groups, merely seeking recognition or political relevance; political jobbers if you may, who always want to wine and dine and tango with the State Executive Albeit the dance usually unproductive.
I would have captioned this article “The Orphan Governor”; GMA being a Governor in Bauchi State who for the first time was not thrust into the seat of leadership by any particular political Godfather interests or pressure group machinations, but by divine architecture, GMA was sculptured into the arms of power; this clearly for the common good of the common man. GMA is however open to attacks, criticisms, slander and all kinds of hypocrisy simply because he is a man of his ‘own’ and is not owned by anybody but by Bauchi State itself. He is one of the special sons of Bauchi who was well catered for by the state as a scholarly talent who eventually grew through the ranks of the state’s civil service system who has nothing but gratitude and love to offer to his dear Mother state of Bauchi. Because GMA was the underdog in the political machinations of Bauchi, political wizards and lords of Bauchi have had all hands on deck on a mission to rubbish his administration, belittle him in the eyes of plenty and whittle down all of his achievements by mirring his days in one concocted or convoluted mischief or the other.
From the onset it has been a floodgate of lies based upon lies and unfounded and baseless roadside cheap talk that has no basis for being passed around as gist. There were allegations of hundreds of millions being spent by the inauguration committee which the outgoing administration handled and not GMA’S team; there was the allegation of hundreds of millions given to the Gov-Elect by a government that didn’t have money to pay 3 months outstanding salary? There was an allegation of a chartered plane which gulped millions of tax payers money which never happened; the list is endless which were all concocted and spread like wildfire through unscrupulous social media channels for the gullible to swallow. This was all within a month of MA becoming Governor.
The machines were at work and on one hand was a deep ploy to rob MA of his mandate at the tribunals and the courts, and on the other was a media frenzy to discredit GMA, make him look corrupt, thereby making the tribunal’s or court’s verdict look justified, were it to unseat GMA.
His hard stance on the previous administration’s anomalies through the Wing Commander Tijjani Gamawa led Government property recovery committee had also put him on more than one collision courses with Messrs from the civil service and Messrs from the previous administration. The committee was able to recover worth over a billion in assets, land and landed properties e.g the State Polytechnics huge parcel of land that is now being developed into a fine primary school by the Polytechnic’s authorities on land that was lost to individual hands who were mere friends of the previous government.
GMA was able to settle 3 months unpaid salaries within 4 months of his administration (a total of 7 months paid) which was a debt left behind by the former PDP government. Even before the bailout to governors, GMA had already almost finished bailing out civil servants from the salary logjam. Till date, some states are still owing. But because GMA was supposed to be a no gooder by the design of the enemies of Bauchi, nobody was allowed to see or hear what good GMA has been amounting to. Even I was headlined to have either resigned or been sacked as Senior Special Assistant which simply falls in place into the array of lies that are created from nowhere just to smudge or malign poor GMA. His sin? He had become Governor outside of their own design or control but by God Almighty’s grand design.
GMA has been praised by development partners namely the USAID, WHO, UNICEF, CBN, World Bank, etc as the best development partner in the country this year in terms of fulfilling the state’s commitments in counterpart funding that sees to the implementation of the programs and development projects that these international organisations bring to the door steps of the state’s needy populace, but have always suffered a lack of altruism in government spending which continued to neglect these responsibilities previously. GMA has been able to meet up the state’s obligations with the necessary cash backing for the success of these programs i.e 112 million for the sinking of boreholes in rural communities around the state. There is also a 6.5 million dollars to back the world bank’s 65 million dollars for the upgrade of the Bauchi water scheme which is needed to cater for population growth. GMA’S promising stripes and great strides have more than gingered these partners who were ready to up and leave the state and cut off all kinds of funding and loans. Thanks to GMA, they are now more than convinced to not only stay, but to offer maximum funding for projects in the state. Excitedly, the CBN was so impressed that it called upon the state to propose areas of development and funding with the bank willing to partner with Bauchi in terms of funding and project supervision. Because of his promise, 500 million worth in loans is getting across to farmers as recapitalisation which will not only boost agriculture, but will re-energise the state’s economic activity which has been in dire slumber.
But the self appointed reporters will not allow us to hear of all this. They want to churn out documents gotten illegally and doctored to serve the purpose of smear campaign all in an effort to assassinate GMA’s character. More than a billion was saved from the Hajj operations and that is a clear case of plugging of leakages in official spending. Obviously the powers that be are not happy with this; they go to press with their own he said she said stories.
Over 800 million is saved in the procurement of fertiliser and they again go to press to cry foul. Expenditure in the women affairs ministry from an outstanding 15 million has been pruned down to 3 million in a month which is under the first lady’s office and our paid advertisers want to convey the wrong signals. Government house expenditure from a whopping 500 million is slashed out to eventually 80 million and they want to twist the story. Haba malamai? Who is fooling who? Couldn’t they have written government and requested for answers? Couldn’t they have compiled facts and figures before they went to press? Their paid advertorials are mere questions which are constructed to reek of corruption as they were never presented to the state government for answers. From the open letter addressed, it is evident that their aim is not to ‘open letter’ EFCC or ICPC so as to underline whatever best practices that have not been complied with. It is obvious that their intent is to 1. Impress their paymasters by writing Buhari so as to simply taint GMA in the eyes of the no nonsense for corruption leader PMB. And 2. As usual, create a platform for monetary appeasement to them in order for them to desist from further publications which is the new do in media circles. As you pay for propaganda, you also pay for mispropaganda.
I came across a write up by a commentator and he described a scenario where 2 bike men drove to the door step of Bauchi government house as they were used to doing, brandishing their charms and screaming to low heavens (well they were never heard in the high heavens) that they will bring the house down if they were not entertained. The security guards in return showed them a notice panel on the gates that said business unusual! they remain dumbfounded and bereft of ideas as we speak, scarcity looming on the already depleted tank of fuel they had.
GMA has embarked on the Construction of township roads, in the state capital and in other local governments and rural areas worth about 7 billion. Our no gooders cannot be seen to commend this. They are back at the drawing boards trying to convolute one pollution or the other as they didn’t see progress well on its way. They didn’t envisage GMA on the news making good headlines and they scamper for reasons and excuses to criticise whatever GMA does. If not for financial prudence, the dwindling resources nationally would never permit GMA to pay salaries let alone embark on construction projects.
An accounts’ audit in Bauchi has led to the discovery of over 200 accounts with different ministries and departments some even run by parallel organisations to the state’s departments with large sums of money in their control. Some funds worth over 200 million lying fallow in dormant accounts or in banks that have been taken up by the recapitalisation of banks. Many accounts were unreconciled and the true balance sheets were unascertained. More than 500 million is redeemed by the audit and closure of these accounts. But nay still, our bikers will not be seen to atleast highlight this anti corruption crusade by the Governor. The only crusade they want to launch is that to ‘nail’ the Governor by all means necessary.
Well, since GMA is a ‘barrister’ it is my belief that it is high time the nay doers are brought to book not only as a punitive measure but as a reminder that the rule of law plays out both ways; to be obeyed by the ruler and by the ruled. So help us God.
Tahir Ibrahim Tahir mcpn, the Talban Bauchi, is the SSA, Scheduling to Bauchi Governor