By Habu Musa
The attitude of some self-interest politicians to internal party democracy and loyalty is as despicable as it is detrimental to the success of their political parties.
An aspirant for an elective position must identify and align himself with a political party of his choice and promote that party’s progress and success, while safeguarding its principles and ideologies.
Today, even in advanced democracies party supremacy is always respected, as political and government appointments are done consciously in line with party affinity and affiliation. This underscores the importance of a political party and the need to uphold its unity and progress.
Therefore, sabotaging one’s political party or its candidate through anti-party activities is a punishable offence by all parties, especially if one was found to have undermined the success and progress of his party in an election. That equally underpins the need to reward committed and loyal party members for exhibiting unalloyed support for the party.
In Bauchi state, the 2019 governorship election was a classic case of treachery, betrayal, and disloyalty to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Barrister Muhammad Abubakar. It was a battle of APC against itself.
It was those who have contested and won election under the APC together with other conspirators who were holders of different juicy political appointments at the federal level that connived with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to work against their own party, obviously, for selfish reasons.
In 2015, APC’s Muhammed had defeated his opponents during the party’s primary election as the most preferred candidate to fly the party’s flag. Expectedly, he overwhelmed the power of incumbency with 654,934 votes to defeat nine others including his major rival, PDP’s Mohammed Jatau, who scored 282,650 votes. Correspondingly, the presidential election was flatly won by Muhammadu Buhari of the APC having scored 931,598 votes against the PDP’s incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan who polled 86,085 votes.
Unfortunately for Abubakar, the battle wasn’t yet over by just winning the general election because those he transparently defeated at the primary election by his popularity and unblemished credibility, vowed not to allow him to successfully govern the state not minding flouting APC’s rules against anti-party activities and truncating the development of the state. He was inundated with unrealistic requests by his party men in Abuja and when he genuinely rejected, he was reported to Mr. President flimsily.
But in what was seen as vindication, the former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who was at the forefront in the political blitz against Abubakar and his government, later led some of his people back to the PDP to continue with their adversary against the governor and this time overtly.
It is instructive that Abubakar’s most significant ‘offence’ was that he denied the proverbial wolves access to the state’s coffers wherein, as it was customary pre-M. A. Abubakar administration. They intended to siphon funds for self-enrichment at the detriment of the larger society.
To justify this standpoint, in today’s Bauchi, under who they have succeeded in installing, the stories oozing out are either allegations of financial misappropriation, award of contracts to personal company of the governor and confiscation of looted properties from the governor, his family member or non-payment of workers’ salaries. In a civilised society, this is a vindication of Abubakar who ascribed the ceaseless hostility against him on his firm rejection to allow wanton stealing of the state’s funds under his watch.
Unjustly, these were some of the reasons that culminated in blocking M.A Abubakar from reemerging for a second term in 2019 general election despite his sterling performance and efforts of ensuring that President Buhari won in the state as he did in 2015.
Nonetheless, to the dismay of the APC and the former governor’s political antagonists in Bauchi, President Buhari got the highest votes in 2019 in the entire North-east and which success was attributed to M.A Abubakar’s resilience and doggedness.
Still to the credit of the same Abubakar, in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, apart from Kano, Katsina and Kaduna states, no other state produced as many votes as Bauchi in the 2019 presidential election. Interestingly, not even Lagos state could generate as many votes despite the enormous population of residents in the state.
Also, former Governor Abubakar led APC in Bauchi state is reputed to have produced the entire three senators and nine of the 11 House of Representatives seats in its fold, with two of the three lost by the party ‘won’ by the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in connivance with the renegade members of the APC. This is an unmistakable verdict on the capacity and performance of the party.
Even with the gang up against him and his party, M.A Abubakar recorded victory in 15 of the 20 local government areas of the state, while the unbelievable electoral comedies were perpetrated in the remaining local government areas controlled by the saboteurs. Of course, all these triumphs were achieved under the watch and supervision of a strong, committed, and loyal party man, Barrister Muhammed Abubakar (Makama Babba).
In fact, APC and President Buhari should differentiate the party loyalists from its saboteurs. And as the drum of the 2023 election starts to echo its sound with intrigues and maneuvers within the polity and APC in particular, there is no better time for the ruling party and the Buhari government to put their house in order than now. And to achieve this, the party must recognise and identify with those who have laboured for the progress of the party and made sacrifices for the survival of the APC like M.A Abubakar.
Though, he has since returned to his legal profession successful, if the party fails to compensate him with a position that will help him to maintain the party in Bauchi, nobody in the state can do it. Observers insist that without him, the APC as a party is doomed in the state because it is evident that those who fought him from their comfort zones in Abuja cannot even win election even at their wards.
A stich in time saves nine!
Musa writes from Bauchi.
last bye-election where APC lost in the Katugum zone despite having newspaper politicians like the present Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and Capt. Bala Jibrin who has a standing record of anti-party activities throughout his political sojourns, demonstrates that the duo and their cohorts are opportunists who do not necessarily value the supremacy of their party and are not in touch with the political realities in their state.
Ironically, they’ve sabotaged their party man, M.A Abubakar, who was instrumental to President Buhari and other members of his party’s successes in the last election but they shamelessly failed to win an ordinary bye-election in their zone. How can APC entrust the party in the hands of saboteurs? They have overthrown their very own candidate in favour of the opposition in the state and belittling the party they are now enjoying.
Now that the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee is committed to reinvigorating the party ahead of the 2023 election, it’s imperative that the APC led government should as a matter of urgency compensate M.A Abubakar and his men with federal appointments for them to be able to manage the party in the state because without doing that and expecting the wolves in the sheep clothing who mostly hold political appointments from the state to consolidate the party, the future of the party is doomed; it’s akin to killing the APC in Bauchi.
A stich in time saves nine!
Musa writes from Bauchi.