Six political parties and other political stakeholders in Bauchi State under the leadership of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, have formed a coalition to stop the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar’s re-election bid.
Addressing journalists on Sunday at the NUJ secretariat, the convener of the coalition, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Kirfi, said the move was taken after a careful review and consultation on the abysmal performance of the APC government in Bauchi State over the last four years.
The parties involved are the All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Alliance for Congress of Democrats (ACD), People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), and the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).
Kirfi, while reading a press statement he signed alongside Speaker Dogara, Senator Bala Mohammed, Dr Yakubu Lame, Professor Ali Pate, Alhaji Adamu Jumba, Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Bala Tela, Senator Nazid Gamawa, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, among several political and community leaders, said that the defeat of Governor Abubakar in the forthcoming election was a task that must be accomplished.
He said that the reason for their unanimous decision was because of the widespread and increasing extreme poverty in the state, as evidenced by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), the lack of any meaningful infrastructural development to encourage economic revival, despite significant economic capital flow amounting to more than N50 billion received from the Federal government and other sources.
They faulted the governor on what they called pervasive, unaddressed youth unemployment, poor educational infrastructure resulting in terrible number out-of-school children in the state and insignificant Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) relative to federal allocations thus making Bauchi State the 36th out of 36 states in Nigeria with regard to revenue generation.
He said that members of the group had resolved to work together to ensure the defeat of Governor Abubakar on March 2, 2019.
Kirfi said that the coalition had also resolved to campaign vigorously and to foil Governor Abubakar’s alleged current plans to rig the election using vote buying, instigating violence and relying on the machinery of INEC, the police and other security agencies.
“We have formed a united front with our agents at the polling units to mutually support and protect the votes of our coalition’s supporters in the elections.
“We will expand the coalition to include other independent-minded parties and stakeholders who are interested in the development of Bauchi State in the gubernatorial elections. We will continue to refine the coalition’s approach, including, but not limited to, uniting behind a single candidate at the appropriate time before the elections,” Kirfi said.
In his remarks, Speaker Dogara, thanked God for the coalition and the people of the state for the courage they have exhibited in the past and the courage they will exhibit in the forthcoming elections to ensure the defeat of Governor Abubakar.
He lambasted the governor for squandering the state resources on building bill boards and recruiting misguided youths who were guarding the bill boards.
Dogara alleged that Governor Abubakar’s mistake was to think that he could use money to buy every politician in the state to his side, adding that no sane politician would align with the governor owing to his bad governance in the state.
He lamented that hundreds of billions Naira accruing to local governments in the state had been squandered by the Abubakar’s administration.
Dogara said it was rather sad that Gombe and Plateau states had done well in terms of infrastructural development while Bauchi State is lagging behind.
“Our mission is to stop Governor Mohammed Abubakar and anyone that with bring lack of progress and underdevelopment to our dear state will be chased out. The coalition will work to get the best among the candidates to defeat Abubakar, a candidate that will stand by the truth. The coalition is fighting against agents of underdevelopment,” Dogara said.
The speaker said that there was evidence that violence of unprecedented scale would be created to maintain the status quo, saying, “some of them have no relations here. But, we as a people have resolved to cast our votes and be law-abiding. If anyone is killed, we will not only defeat him but get a bus to escort him out of the state so that we will live in peace and enjoy the developments that we have always enjoyed before his coming.”
Reacting to the development, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar, Abubakar Al-sadique, said the coalition was of no threat whatsoever to the chances of his principle as drivers of major political parties in the state recently spoke the mind of the people of the state.
Abubakar Al-sadique who spoke on telephone with our correspondent said: “The major drivers of the major political parties in the state such as the former deputy national publicity chairman of PDP, Senator Babayo Gamawa, two former governors of the state, Adamu Muazu and Isa Yuguda, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Mahmoud Ahmed, two former deputy governors and several others from the National Assembly and those who have held top positions all joined the performing governor.
“The beauty of democracy is that it is the people that decide who they want to lead them; if somebody feels otherwise it is their rights but in the end, it is the majority that will have their way and the minority their say.”