By Yidentity RevMov
For Mohammed Abubakar the Governor of Bauchi State, this must be one of the longest nights of his life. Today, Monday, 25 March 2019, the court is likely to rule on whether or not the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, can proceed with collation of the result of Tafawa Balewa LG in the governorship elections in the state. If the court vacates its injunction, as many think it will do, the Governor would have played all his cards, as he fights desperately to cling to a disappearing governorship.
That the Governor’s position has become clearly untenable followed the outcome of the supplementary election of Saturday, 23 March 209, on which he had hinged his survival. Unfortunately, at the end of the elections, Governor Abubakar who is flying the banner of the All Progressive Congress, APC, scored 5117 votes as against the 6376 votes scored by Senator Bala Mohammed, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Meanwhile, Senator Bala Mohammed was already leading with 469, 512 votes as against Governor Abubakar’s 465, 453 votes before collation was suspended following the court order barring collation of the result of Tafawa Balewa LG.
From the above, theoretically and mathematically, there appears to be little or no redemption for the beleaguered Governor whose commissioner for finance took the unprecedented step of deserting, on the eve of the supplementary elections. Though nothing can be foreclosed in Nigerian politics, the unusual step taken by the finance commissioner had been interpreted as a vote of no confidence by Abubakar’s most strategic commissioner and for those who are superstitious; the Governor ought to have seen it as the end of the road. If that were to be the case, the expectation of every rationale person would be that, by now, the Governor should have made a concession speech, to end the painful drama playing out in Bauchi State.
For sure, the Governor should be on the horns of a dilemma, right now. Many questions will surely be racing through his mind: How did he squander the great opportunity provided by incumbency? How come that he is likely to become the first Governor in Bauchi State, to fail in his re-election bid when his predecessors, Adamu Muazu and Isa Yuguda both succeeded? How does he live down the fact that his would-be successor is a man who has not been in government for the past four years? Is there any miracle that can be conjured with the Tafawa Balewa vote to re-write the story? Or are there still some inconclusive areas to target? Questions! Questions! Questions! Quite frankly, that an incumbent Governor who controls all the state’s resources which ordinarily, should include the local government structure and whose party is in control of the Federal Government, should be running from pillar to post, in an effort to renew his mandate, is absurd and regrettable. Questions! Questions! Questions!
If the truth must be told, all these questions do not matter anymore. What makes sense is the ability of the Governor to show nobility of mind, strength of character, unfeigned humility and principled altruism; to accept that the good people of Bauchi State, who freely gave him their mandate in 2015, do not appear to be too eager to renew that mandate in 2019. It is indeed a sobering experience and the Governor deserves everybody’s understanding.
In the Governor’s situation, some other persons would find strength and consolation in the carriage, demeanour and statesmanship of his opponent, Senator Bala Mohammed who, in spite of his imminent victory, is not gloating nor is he whipping his supporters to frenzy. Rather, he has admonished his supporters to celebrate with decorum, jubilate with brotherhood and ready themselves for the collective task of re-launching Bauchi state on the path of greatness. The Governor can and should key into Senator Bala Mohammed’s summons to oneness, that invocation of the sobriety that unleashes man’s innermost passion for fraternal bonding and mutual progress, that nobility of spirit that douses our fiery ego and leaves us at peace with our Maker. Bauchi needs this and more at this period.
Imagine what will happen if by Monday morning, even before the work begins, the news waves are jammed with the Governor’s concession message to the state and congratulatory message to Senator Bala Mohammed. Think about the relief that INEC, the courts, party loyalists and faithful will all enjoy should they wake up to the awareness that this nightmare is over; consider the joy that will explode all over the state by the Governor’s act of statesmanship. It is never too late. Should the Governor thread this path, he would have sealed the cracks, filled the gullies and doused the infernal hatred caused by the bitter struggle for power.
This is a choice that only the Governor can make. Will he make it? Or will he continue to stonewall? Will he head straight to the tribunal where the lawyers will tell him that he has a very good case? Will he succumb to the dubious assurances of hell-raisers and sycophants who could not hold the political estate for him through efficient delivery of the dividends of democracy and whose insensitivity to the yearnings of the people probably brought him to this pass? Is it not time to jettison such associates and identify other points of service? Or perhaps, join hands with his compatriots from the state to form a formidable pressure group that will keep his successor on his toes and compel him to fulfill his electoral promises.
Luckily, Bauchi parades a solid reservoir of quality Nigerians in every sphere of national life. Whether it is in the military, academia, civil service or business, there is a surfeit of Bauchi indigenes that can be mobilized into a grand alliance to give the state the focus and energy it deserves. This group is available to be brought into a bi-partisan movement to spearhead the renaissance promised by Senator Bala Mohammed.
For now, while Bala Mohammed appears figuratively, to be the idea, whose time has come, Governor Mohammed can still seize the moment, rise above partisan pressure and etch an indelible impression on the psyche of the people, as the Governor, who, by one phone call, rewrote the political dynamics of Bauchi State.