Is Bauchi State A Paradise Lost? – By Sanusi Muhammad

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In my study moments of writing this piece of bitter truth, I recall with nostalgia a paper delivered in Enugu in 2012 by Prof. Miriam Ekejiani, an erudite scholar and onetime Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who declared Nigeria as a failed state under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his aides.

She attributed her conclusions to “undue political patronage to low quality democrats, who were piloting the affairs of government at various levels but woefully failed to provide or improve infrastructural facilities”.

Having set the template for discourse on this issue of fundamental importance, one is at liberty to critically examine the last three years of the Muhammed A. Abubakar style of governance in Bauchi state.

It is songs of sorrow and lamentations as Bauchi state is drifting in every sector of human endeavor that is glaring without an asking.

With clear demonstration of blatant ineptitude, comprehensive incompetence and clear cluelessness of wider proportion that one can decipher, the dream of many indigenes of developing a first class state within Northern Nigeria and beyond can only be a wishful thinking as the pilot lacks the vision, capacity and mission to justify the people’s mandate.

Top flight analysts are of the opinion that the last three years of Muhammed’s administration is not worth recalling with fanfare as all indices of socio-economic development are systematically drifting from the sublime to the ridiculous. As a resident and a thinker in development strategies, I have followed with keen interest the activities of Bauchi state Governor over the turbulent years.

To say that majority are disappointed with the glaring case of poverty of governance which to a large extent has been raised to an acceptable state craft is to say the least, foolhardy and hypocritical.

The three years gone-by, were years of lost glory and perverted adventure in strategic thinking. So, for those indigenes who expect something good to come out from Bauchi state under M.A Abubakar, had better forget it as there appears to be nothing noteworthy to cheer, but jeers and tears for the state. In fact, the actions and body language of the governor during the period under review tend to suggest yawning gaps due to intellectual paucity and logical puerility on how to transform the state.

Although, the governor came through a dubious political arrangement, yet expectations were high as people clamored for patriotic individuals who can be positive agents in the transformation agenda. But sadly, there is no paradigm shift to tame the tide of half measured solutions to teething problems. Instead, there is lack of honest, transparent and selfless approach to governance, while allegations of high profile corruption and monumental looting of public till occupies the centre stage.

In the last three years, Bauchi state received huge funds from the coffers of the federal government, but sadly, there is little or absolutely nothing to show in terms of concrete achievements in the state. What remains as a consensus among many scholars is that Bauchi state is swiftly becoming a safe haven for anti-people’s policies, abuse of due process and negative impact on the rule of law. It is lamentable that the esthetic beauty of Bauchi (state capital) is fast fading as the governor who seems to be at the crossroads due to poverty of ideas on how to improve the existing structures inherited cannot take the state to the biblical Promised Land. One is afraid that if M.A Abubakar continues to govern Bauchi state beyond 2019, we should be thinking of a swift return to the Stone Age. It is the opinion of many, that if meaningful development is to come back to the state, then the electorates should save the state from the jaws and fangs of political jobbers who bestrode the state like colossus and rule it as a conquered territory.

The question on the lips of many is what criteria did the electorates use in electing M.A Abubakar and assessing his performance? Was it based on blind party loyalty, overzealousness or influence of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as APC 2015 presidential candidate or what? It is common knowledge that he emerged through a rigged party primary election and his election came as part of the “job for Buhari’s loyalists”, I think, time is up, for the claimed loyalty has elapsed since his first 100 days in office.

Apart from payment of workers monthly net salaries and clamping down on hapless opposition members, one cannot in all degree of honesty enumerate the achievements of Governor M.A Abubakar in Bauchi state. I think it is tragic in strategic thinking to associate non-completion of the renovation of a 4-kilometre road, non-payment of scholarship allowance and the alleged incapacitation to supply common diesel to hospitals as critical areas of achievements. Wild scale allegation seems to suggest that the governor’s close aides are deeply involved in estate development at choice areas, purchase of exotic automobiles and sponsorship of political thugs to stabilize.

It is critical to note that former governors Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu and Isa Yuguda had set a bar of high standard which M.A Abubakar despite availability of funds cannot come to terms with. Though highly intelligent, focused and reserved, their visions were limitless, while their proverbial shoes remain an over-size for modern day Rip-van Winkles or spineless morons. If Mu’azu could be associated with standard roads, infrastructural development and peace, Yuguda to Specialist hospital, international airport and infrastructural development, what would M.A Abubakar be leaving behind as his legacy? To save us from the present calamity that befell our state, I suggest the parties and the electorates will do us a lot of good by effecting swift changes that can bring back the lost glory of Bauchi state. The time is now, because we must help in building institutions of democracy that are devoid of generational corruption and under-development. Bauchi state under M.A Abubakar is a failed project.

Some stationed sycophants in blind loyalty may not be happy reading the enumerated hard facts, but let me be proved wrong with a list of executed projects, their cost implications, date of award, benefitting company and the N96million horses, total cost of foreign travels including costs of mushroom Awards receipted etc. If that is done, we shall then be at liberty to compare notes without much stress.

Muhammad is a veteran journalist and commentator on national issues.

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