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Monday, April 15, 2024

Bala Muhammed: Second Return of the Saint – By Sanusi Muhammad



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So bitter and unremorseful are those remnants of opposition elements, particularly those defeated by the electorates but carried their political battle to the Courts expecting compromised judgment. Instead, they got disappointed with the Supreme Court affirming the victory of Bala A. Muhammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) they had wanted to rob.
Surprisingly, despite the glaring evidence in favor of Bala Muhammed, still some blind opponents mischievously cast doubt on the possibility of a successful transition process until the Supreme Court cleared their troubled minds.
Every May 29th, Nigeria celebrates its Democracy Day. For the 2019 celebration, the former president vowed to appoint only persons of proven integrity and high morals to serve in his second term. First, whatever even informed the designation of that particular day as “democracy day,” the fact remains that no single event no matter how watershed, epic, epochal or even significantly milestone can be sufficiently democratic to guarantee the democracy in practice going by the game on display.
The real players with credibility and high morals are silenced, put on hold and jokers brought to the front burner against the former presidential vow.
No outline of single electoral process, no matter how credible, free and fair can ultimately qualify, as the final product of democracy and therefore, its guarantor and quintessence.
After all, the most notorious and known fascist dictatorship ever, was foisted after the outcome of a credible, free and fair election that brought the Nazi Nationalist Party (NNP) of Adolf Hitler to power, in Germany, in the early 1930s.
While a certain, even can be pivotal in the democratization project, none actually qualify to be canonized as ultimately representative of democracy other than the day former president Goodluck Jonathan patriotically accepted defeat in the presidential election of 2015 to void political crisis, violence and disfiguring of the entity referred to as Nigeria.
Democratic process in any clime is a long and tedious journey, characterized by several twists and turns, and while its core values of credible, free and fair electoral process at least in the context of political liberalism is constant, its outcome may sometimes spell a setback for the democracy.
As democracy is not any definitive event, it is perpetually transitional and transformational, at constant flux and growing qualitatively in the renovation and reforms of institutions through which democracy, delivers measurable tangibles.
The formal institutions of the democratic process can only justify its existence by transforming to substantive mechanism for efficient service delivery and a solution provider in recurring contradictions arising from society.
To effectively transform from formal institutions to substantive mechanisms of public service delivery and solution provider to numerous questions of its society, democracy and its process must, acquire and incorporate the values and characteristics of any particular society. Nigeria’s democratic process and particularly that of Bauchi State in the last 20 years (1999-2019), had grossly under-performed in areas of infrastructural development, public service delivery and equally demonstrated incompetence to resolve critical issues, strategically germane to building consensus until 2019 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), returned to power to control governance.
One is not attempting to sentence past governors to the dustbin of history as failures, but one has every reason to point out where faults existed and left unattended until now.
For instance, I was part of a system characterized by hypocrisy, betrayals and blackmail. One managed to coast to safety after a tedious and uncertain journey to justify the trust and confidence reposed. It was a system put on hold by habitual blackmailers with the listening ear of the master. The first casualty was the pioneer Chief of Staff in the Government House in that administration. He was booted out unjustifiably for reasons kept to the chest of the master. Others followed until the blackmailers and hypocrites cleared the coast to perfect their plans of stay. It was an administration that had three different Secretaries to the Government before its exit. It concocted an unknown position in the civil service of a permanent secretary Media on the request of the master’s wife just to please a single person while there were offices of SSA (Media), Director Press and Deputy Director Press with a chain of Special and Personal Assistants (Media). The system was over bloated, stagnated and rubbished till the end.
The master enjoyed every bit of the chain of blackmail, hypocrisy and betrayal which carried mischief making to the highest, level and the system suffered. The rest is history!
Let my objective opinion, remain objective not to be misconstrued, misunderstood or twisted for any sentiment or affiliation by those that may take offence.
Key institutions of Bauchi State in the last 20 years of civilian rule had functioned largely in legalistic formal sense, without social valuable outputs that aggregated to qualitative improvements in the living conditions of the people, particularly those in the rural and semi-urban areas and endangering consensus on critical fundamentals to guarantee sustainable cohesion and stability.
Institutions in the dispensation of Bauchi’s political democratization in the past 20 years functioned mostly, mechanically hanging on the automated oxygen of legalistic finesse, without the broad legitimacy of sustainable citizen engagement. The process of the formal institutions of the state in the context of democratization effort did not produce any social tangible outcome that directly contributed to an inclusive political order and material improvement in the quality of lives of the broad mass of the people.
In the opinion of Comrade Muktar Gidado, Special Adviser to Bauchi State Governor on Media/Communication: “Institutions of state in a democratic process that do not continually adapt to resolving practical challenges, changes and meaningfully bringing value to improvement in living conditions, stand the risk of not only stagnation and atrophy but decadence and extinction as was the case prior to the emergence of Sen. Bala Muhammed in 2019. Honestly, unless if the party in control of power with majority of electorates had allowed itself to be robbed of its gubernatorial victory in 2023 which it never did, APC had already misplaced its chance of bouncing back to power in Bauchi even beyond 2027
“Institutions cannot exist to merely reproduce and replenish themselves, and simply lay claim to its reason to exist as its mere ability to survive, without delivering on the broad social mandate of enabling and driving on a sustainable basis, better life for citizens that is presently abundant in Bauchi State
“To say the obvious the allegations of government patronage enjoyed by only a minute segment of the society is mischievous, laughable and comical. There was a rising rate of poverty, hunger and unemployment enveloping the state for immediate attention before it snowballed to a catastrophe that ousted the APC and resolved by the PDP”.
When all the formal democratic contents of the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, independent judiciary, free press and so many others are present but grossly deficient in the aggregate values and characteristics of a particular society, it should serve, they will function more to the whims of the operators than a benchmark to which its operators are held accountable.
The immutable contradictions of a democratic process are not merely resolved by more sloganeering about democracy and its periodic flash points.
From the point and fact of Bauchi State’s existential contradictions, democracy and its essentials were at crossroads, and its symbolism and dramas exhibited in 2015 gubernatorial inauguration, parliamentary proclamations and judicial ritualism were no substitutes to institutional efficiency and adaptations, only measurable by the fairness of the social order, inclusiveness of the political process and the material well-being of the broad of the masses.
For the records, as the elected captain in 2015 (M A. Abubakar) had the capacity spiced with vigor and determination to improve on what he inherited.
He made efforts to provide quantitative and qualitative service in his own style despite the existence of incapacitated aides and hypocrites who consciously created more problems to the administration than solution, but his efforts were not enough to stand the odds that could change the glaring internal betrayal against his reelection in an already overheated polity.
He had listening ears, but his perceived trusted aides were more of enemies to his efforts than opponents. They devised several hypocritical systems in line of duty, blocked him from reaching and interacting with those that mattered and created hatred and enmity to the amiable governor. It was pure betrayal on play which Governor Bala Muhammed stands firmly against in his system.
As 2023 had come and gone with its socioeconomic and political problems, and the victory of Bala Muhammed affirmed by the Supreme Court for a second tenure, we must join hands to support the Saint on the bit while continuing to confine the failing crew to the dustbin of political history for attempting to access power to mess-up Bauchi State with deceitful mechanisms.
We should allow and support Governor Bala Muhammed to continue providing the needed welfare for the people without strings attached.
Bauchi State under PDP government is becoming an Eldorado, a global tourist haven, a sub-regional economic hub and a safe environment, a huge construction yard with a sound economic base and a motivated citizenry for sustainable self-reliance and economic dependence and growth. The efforts on the ground deserve the support of all irrespective of imaginary differences.
So far, history has it that PDP ignited the engine of government with all sincerity of purpose and determination to bail out the state from underdevelopment, clutches of poverty and insecurity. Its policies are judiciously implemented as the Kauran Bauchi administration has resisted several attempts to hijack his plans by a cabal for selfish interests who are now licking their wounds on ‘compulsory’ retirement from politics.
To say the least, there is no way the governor can allow opponents a breathing space to hijack his popular government on the altar of fiction. Bauchi State under Bala Muhammed is accommodating and progressing from objective opinion. The Governor has established his authority as the person in-charge of his government and is serving with passion but still a victim of mischief from the polluted minds of habitual mischief makers.
As the journey progresses, the majority are singing praises for stay of the Saint if possible beyond 2023. The coast has been cleared against the clique of masquerades garbed in the robes of wolves vomiting venom against development, without concretized criticisms where the need arises and decent opposition that forms part of the democracy. The people are now witnessing the difference between realists and comedians.
Bala Muhammed is a realist to the core. He accommodates no nonsense. He performs credibly to his best, deploys his intellect and strength to justify the mandate before he vacates the scene as an accomplished leader. Although, he lacked a credible troop to fight his wars at the onset and was overworked to justify trust, he quickly rose to the challenge at the most appropriate time. While the governed are singing praises for a job well done, he is yet to be satisfied with his giant strides that remain indelible in the minds of the people.
PDP in Bauchi State has avoided repeating mistakes of former governors part of which caused the defeat of APC in 2019. PDP has engaged the best brains and brawns with the technical capacity to deliver positive results not the usual pedestrian politicians, crowd of jesters and clowns usually seen hobnobbing around governors. Some of those loitering laggards were tested by past governors with trust but failed woefully to deliver as characteristic of them and have refused to accept the reality for fear of stomach infrastructural deficit that may take them to early graves.
Kauran Bauchi knows of them, has kept them at far but feeding them with grinded salted bones to survive as people not for his trust or any engagement. He was beaten severally by those he mistakenly trusted. They abused the trust and later betrayed him. Once beaten, twice shy!

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Muhammad is a commentator on national issues

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