Christiana Gokyo, Jos
BAUCHI STATE – Six political parties and other political stakeholders in Bauchi State have formed a coalition to stop the incumbent governor, Mohammad Abubakar’s re-election, because of the widespread and extreme poverty in the state.
The six political parties and other political stakeholders’ coalition is under the leadership of Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
While briefing newsmen on Sunday at the NUJ secretariat in Bauchi, 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 include, 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).
Alh Kirfi, while reading a the paper signed by him 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.”
According to them, this is 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.
While faulting the governor on what they called ‘pervasive, unaddressed youth unemployment, poor educational infrastructure, which has resulting to a terrible number of 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.
The spokesmen said that, members of the group had resolved to work together to ensure the defeat of Governor Abubakar on March 2, 2019.
Alh Kirfi explained further 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.
They maintained that, “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,” he state.
On his own part, 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 they defeat Governor Abubakar.
He lambasted the governor for squandering the state’s resources on building billboards and recruiting ‘misguided youths,’ who were guarding the billboards.
The Speaker, Dogara, observed that Governor Abubakar’s mistake was to think that he could use money to buy every politician in the state to his side, stressing that, no sane politician would align with the governor, owing to his bad governance in the state.
He lamented the hundreds of billions of naira accruing to local governments in the state that had been squandered by the Abubakar’s administration.
“Our mission is to stop Governor Mohammed Abubakar, and anyone that will bring lack of progress and underdevelopment to our dear state will be chased out,” he noted.
“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 stated.
The speaker said that there was evidence that violence of unprecedented scale would be created to maintain the status quo, adding that, “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 on the issue, Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar, Abubakar Al-Sadique, said the coalition is “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.