By Sanusi Muhammad
When M.A Abubakar took the oath of office, May 29, 2015 as the governor of Bauchi state, his change mantra, anchored on a relentless anti-corruption war, warmed the hearts of many who had, for years, from the sidelines, watched helplessly how their standard of living was merciless battered by the unpatriotic deeds of greedy elements that had stolen 4.6million people blind but still mustered courage and guts to shamelessly walk tall and even try to throw challenges.
The feeling goes on that if Bauchi indigenes do not subscribe to their governor’s relentless effort in tackling the monster of corruption as inherited, then it should be accepted that in no distance future the state would crumble. The governor has said that much in his tireless effort to return the state to the diverted path of glory.
The discovery of over 10,000 ghost workers, a fact thrown up by the tedious but life-saving Bank Verification Number (BVN) implementation drive, carried out in tandem with that of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), is a case in point as to how seriously committed the M.A Abubakar administration is to the execution of its anti-corruption war, largely the reason why he was elected.
When it took the governor a period of time that the people were not accustomed to, as far as replacing forming his dissolved cabinet, consideration was given to the need of getting round pegs to be in round holes. The short delay was misunderstood to mean incapacitation laced with confusion. Alas! It came to pass with jubilation.
Prior to the victory of the governor at the polls in 2015, his campaign train had stood the party, during its short formative period, in good stead, through edifying and conciliatory pronouncements that helped to fast-track cohesion and now threatened by rabble-rousers and turn-coats.
In his usual style of twisting facts to suit his ignorance, some morons in the national assembly quote wrong figures to paint the Bauchi administration black ostensibly to ridicule the person of the governor and the Buhari led federal government. It is no secret that the state’s economy was in dire straits, and the reason for that is not farfetched, given the narrative that far too many huge sums of public funds, denominated in local and foreign currencies, accruing to the treasury were either corruptly misappropriated, or in a bare-faced stance, stolen brazenly and Governor M.A Abubakar vowed to retrieve and channel to infrastructural development beneficial to all. That sent shivers to detractors as they tirelessly fight the vow under the cover of politics.
But Nigerians know that because of the perilous exposure of the economy to the antics of self-styled, ‘patriotic’ sons of the soil, along with their female counterparts, who took delight in dipping their long fingers into the till, and yet, are forever ‘begged’ to represent their ‘people’, it is foolhardy to expect the governor, and by extension, his aides to stop flogging the anti-corruption rhetoric.
Any person who has a case or may have a case to answer, as regards the state’s stolen funds and properties, must pluck the courage to get in touch with the appropriate authorities, and quickly return, in full, what was illegally acquired and stashed away, with a view to making amends, and bringing to a close, retributive justice that may arise from chastisement by an unrelenting guilty conscience. This is what most detractors and their co-travelers hate to hear and must be said and heard.
The ongoing efforts of Governor M.A Abubakar which tallies with the principle of change, is not restricted to APC members alone, and therefore, needs to be embraced by every patriot who is seriously interested in joining hands with the state government to smoking out those who looted the commonwealth, brazenly displaying and, with impunity trying to resist being brought to book.
Any serious patriot who is sincerely interested to getting answers to burning questions agitating his mind as regards the governing style of M.A Abubakar led administration, has at his disposal unfettered access to authorized government officials without the know of the state governor or via the internet but not through waste of newspaper pages for an archaic motive.
Any resort to gossip, rumor mongering and subterfuge orchestration of pull-him down malicious campaigns amounts to cheap blackmail, an ill-wind that blows nobody any good including those detractors and their co-travelers on a dangerous ego mission targeted at 2019.
Although we all know their intellectual capacity which is akin to that of toddlers, the hired supporters engaged for the hatchet job are not helping the drowning neophytes for lack of facts.
Given the hallmarks of Governor Muhammed Abubakar that defines him as a leader of candour who, in all seasons is his own man, it is futile and suicidal for any toddler, jobber or publication to pretend to be second-guessing his body language because the governor is a sticker for excellence especially in areas of probity, integrity and discipline. He takes his time in arriving at conclusions, and far more time, making pronouncements.
So far from transparency in managing resources, the governor is saving for the raining day and expending part of it to execute roads construction totaling 390 kilometers apart from sinking of boreholes and Primary Healthcare centres in each of the 20 local government areas as well as 300 additional boreholes in each of the three senatorial zones of the state. This was possible from prudent and financial discipline. To put extra strength to his war against waste, he slashed Bauchi Government House monthly allocation to 50 percent as a starting point. What else? Detractors may hate to hear such wonders of progress. But let them hold their breath for a while.
Just for mild reference, in their heydays of futile attempt to diminish the rising profile of their anointed leader, they expressed bitterness for the Governor to have just hosted his fellow Muslim brothers to breaking their fast with him in Saudi Arabia during Umrah (lesser hajj). To the myopic thinking of the detractors, it was a political not religious gathering.
Before Bauchi state is thrown in political battle, let state categorically and without fear of any consequence that should those detractors continue to fire other terrorist brand of publications, we shall start replying with superior force, we hate to join issues with day-light politicians for fear of equalization but, this is only a warning. We have their lowly-type to handle them appropriately to their understanding. Gone are the days when campaigns of calumny orchestrated by palace jesters result in the impeachment or hatred of personalities whose contributions are not proved to be unworthy of their high offices.
As a supposedly advocate of change, the people of Bauchi state and Nigerians expect those detractors’ fervent prayer for untainted success of the APC administration in Bauchi state in the discharge of its daunting duties, as they do their level best toward putting corruption and sleaze to death and, to bring the comatose economy of the state back to life for jubilation in celebration not baseless whistle blowing lacking substance and meaning than hatred and disunity in an impoverished clime wishfully heaped on the people over the years.
Behaving clownish to water hatred to flourish within APC and the polity will not and shall never bring succor to the inherited bastardized system. The pudding now lies in the eating.
Muhammad is the Editor-In-Chief of Pointblank Newspaper.