The Challenges Before Senator-Elect Lawal Yahaya Gumau, A Random Thought
The two senators-elect in the last concluded bye election in Bauchi South senatorial district and Katsina’s Daura zone that took place on the 11/08/2018 are Lawal Yahaya Gumau and Baba Kaita,the elections came as a result of the death of the senators representing the two senatorial districts,Late Mallam Ali Wakili and Sen Mustapha Bukar Madawakin Daura. The Lawal Gumau’s victory at the polls was believed to have come due to the request for a favor by President Buhari to the electorates in a campaign rally at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium Bauchi for the APC to maintain its status of the majority at the red chamber as a result of the defection of some key senators to the main opposition party, the PDP and other political parties; notable among the Senators include, the Senate president, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Waziri of Ilorin, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Senator Isah Hamma Misau, Senator Sulaiman Nazif Gamawa among others. The defection of the Senators as reported by the media was due to the absence of internal democracy in the party and not carrying all along in the Nigerian project as planned or contained in the agreement during the merger of new PDP to the already merged political parties that formed the APC in2014, the Allegations the ruling party denied and regard their defection as for nothing but their egos and personal aggrandizement.
Lawal Gumau, the senator-elect of Bauchi South is presently a member representing Toro federal constituency at the National Assembly for the second time and a former member representing Lame district at the Bauchi State House of assembly, in essence Gumau as fondly called by his constituents ,is in his eleventh years of legislative work right from 2007 to date. He won the election with about 119,780 votes defeating the main contenders former DG FRCN Dr. Ladan Salihu of PDP, who score 49, 487, Former Bauchi State Governor Dr. Mallam Isah Yuguda of GPN who scored 33, 071, Barrister Alhaji Hussain Umar of NNPP a private lawyer and a business man who also scored 22,490 votes, Muhammad Aminu Tukur of APP 11,729 and Maryam Garba Bagel of SDP3636 votes, the last two both members of the state of assembly. In a communique issued after the announcement of the result, the PDP who was the second runner up alleged that more than eighty thousand votes were cancelled, It was also alleged that the election was marred by serious electoral malpractice where the APC was reported to have used huge amount of money and buy votes in more than 80% of the polling booth of the senatorial district that led to their winning.
Gumau is to replace late senator Ali Wakili, chairman Senate committee on poverty alleviation who is known to be very active at the chamber, participating in almost all the debates and deliberation during the plenary despite of him being a first timer, he was also reported to have sponsored and co-sponsored many bills to his credit; which are largely attributed to his exposure and having the greater interest of representing his constituency the Bauchi South senatorial district and Nigeria at large. Pundits are of the view/opinion that Gumau is wearing a shoe above his size, he was also reported to have said, during the campaign rallies that his main interest for his contest is for him, if elected, to be there to defend Buhari’s interests as opposed to his constituents, he even bragged/promised to sponsor a bill that will make Buhari a life president, something awkward and weird to the psyche of every right thinking human being.
His eleventh years of legislative work was characterized with poor representation where he is reported to never involved in deliberations at House of Reps floor talk less of sponsoring a bill to his credit, he and his party supporters are at many occasions during the campaign period and after the election challenged to bring forth a video of him making contribution in a debate, not only that, even his picture raising hand at the chamber is nowhere to be found. He is now representing 7 local governments, his constituents of Toro federal constituency are at many occasions complaining of him being total absence since his election, something very unusual to late Mallam Ali Wakili, where he is always at his constituency, mingling freely with people whenever he is in Bauchi, he secured employment opportunities to many people and help in putting up so many developmental infrastructure like ICT centers in almost all the seven local governments that made up the senatorial district, scholarship to students and paying of medical bills to the less privileged people battling with different ailments, he is also reported to have distributed many dividends of democracy to his people, ranging from cars, tricycles and motorcycles gift, farm implements ,such as seeds, fertilizer cows and harrows; something Gumau’s Toro federal constituents have never experienced. Another challenge of Mr. Gumau is that, he was also elected at the time when the country or the different arms of government are in a serious political turmoil, we are waiting to see how he will fare at the red chamber considering his lack of exposure as glaringly in his activities at the house of representatives, couple with his coming at the verge of the 2019 general elections.
Advisedly, Gumau can be able to withstand or overcome all the above highlighted challenges, by ensuring that he appoints the competent hands as his legislative aides from the seven local governments that made up the senatorial district, by tightening his belt to face the challenges squarely, he should be very observant in what he will say to the media, knowing fully how journalists confused novice whenever there is a serious political debates in the country. Gumau has to understand the yearnings and aspirations of the people of Bauchi South as it’s clear he is oblivion to their needs going by his outburst that he will only go to Senate to make Buhari a life President of Nigeria. This is very much abusing to the sensibility of the people of the zone. He has to sit with stakeholders and community leaders so that he can have knowledge of what people need. Another area he must improve is the area of human relations, that’s where Sent Ali Wakili excelled and that’s one of the factors that endeared him to people. Sen Gumau should find ways to interact and relate with downtrodden masses of his constituency. Reports from Toro are saying he neither has a house nor constituency office in the area as member representing them at the green chambers. His constituents have to travel to Jos, Kano, Kaduna or Abuja whenever they want to see him as the reports say.This is unbecoming of him. He should therefore have a rethink now that he is a senator of most important zone of the State. He has to relate freely with people. He should not make himself inaccessible as in Bauchi South people will not take it!.
Lastly, as a bonafide member of his constituency, I’m praying that ALLAH the almighty will guide him in the remaining days of the eight Assembly and may late Mallam Ali Wakili continue resting in peace, Ameen.
Isyaka Laminu Badamasi No 555 Ajiya Adamu Road Bauchi.