How Abubakar emerged victorious in Bauchi gov poll | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How Abubakar emerged victorious in Bauchi gov poll

Posted: Apr 28, 2015 at 12:54 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Patience Ogbodo-Iwuagwu  –  Bauchi


The April 11, 2015, election in Bauchi State will linger for a long time in the history of the state following the declaration of Barrister Mohammed Abubakar of All Progressives Congress as the state’s governor-elect. The APC governor-elect, who contested alongside nine contestants, defeated his closest rival, Hon. Auwal Jatau of the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP).

Mohammed Abubakar was not the only APC candidate that made history during the polls in Bauchi state as 28 State House of Assembly seats were also captured by APC while PDP won 2 seats and PDM 1.

Mohammed Abubakar won  in 19 of the 20 local government areas of the state thereby scoring 654,934 to defeat his closest rival, Auwal Jatau, who polled 282,650.

A critical assessment of the two candidates showed that Abubakar was more experienced and more acceptable by the people of Bauchi state than Auwal Jatau. The Buhari Tsunami also gave Abbubakar an edge over his opponent as many of the voters went to the polling units with the slogan of “APC sak”, which means vote APC from top office to the lowest political office.

Auwal Jatau, apart from being a one-time Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, is currently a member representing Zaki Constituency in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

Abubakar was Head of Legal Drafting Department, Bauchi State House of Assembly (1983), Director, Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice (1988), Commissioner of Justice (1990 to 1993) and the Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, Bauchi State, from 1996 to 1998.

After leaving the services of the state government, Abubakar was the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi, Delta, Plateau and Rivers, and was later promoted to the position of National Commissioner in charge of Borno, Jigawa, and Yobe.

Political analysts believe that PDP made some very dangerous and uncalculated decisions that led to its defeat in the state. Some of these factors include leadership crisis between Abuja politicians and PDP leaders in the state as well as the imposition of unpopular candidates.

During the conduct of the PDP governorship primary, Auwal Jatau contested alongside four prominent politicians in the state which included former Minister of State for Health, Dr Ali Pate; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Yayale Ahmed; Senator Adamu Gumba representing Bauchi South, and Senator Babayo Gamawa, representing Bauchi North.

Unfortunately, the result of the primary election did not go down well with the people of the state because they felt Jatau was inexperienced and unpopular when compared with other contestants. There were also allegations of Jatau being the anointed candidate of Governor Yuguda who was imposed on the people of Bauchi State.

The choice of Jatau did not go down well with many PDP stakeholders who boycotted the primary election and defected to APC.

Meanwhile, the PDP has continued to trade blames over their defeat as the Director General of Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation in Bauchi South Senatorial District, Alhaji Bala Abdullahi MaiAuduga, has accused the National Officers of the party from the state for sabotaging  their campaign activities which led to the failure of the party in the State.

According to him, “even though there is a clamour for change but our campaign activities was sabotaged by the National leadership of the party that diverted over N230m campaign funds from the Presidency by National officers of the party, and all efforts to recover the Money failed.

“If the amount of support giving to the state was not diverted it could have assisted a lot in winning the heart of the electorate to vote for the party, but in our case, apart from diverting the funds, the officers also campaigned against PDP candidates in the state.”

However, Auwal Jatau has conceded defeat as he has congratulated the governor-elect, Mohammed Abubakar, over his victory.

Jatau, who declared that his defeat was a will of Allah, said though his expectation was to win the election Allah had ruled otherwise.

Jatau stated that he accepted the outcome of the election was as an act of Allah, submitting that, “It is the will of Allah because only He gives power to whosoever He likes at whatever time He wishes.

“I have since accepted the results of the election as declared by INEC and even called the winner to congratulate him. This was in the spirit of sportsmanship, because in every game there must be a winner and a loser,” Jatau said.

He expressed gratitude to the PDP for giving him the  opportunity to fly its flag in the governorship election as well as those who voted for him. He also appreciated the state governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, who supported him right from the initial stage of the exercise until the last moment, saying “I will ever remain grateful for the support of all.”

Jatau then prayed for the success of the incoming administration in the state, saying, “Though we lost out this time around, there is always another time.”

The governor-elect, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, has declared that his administration will be an all-embracing one. He said: “Our leadership will be all-embracing. It is a leadership for the people of Bauchi State. It is a leadership for those ‘who voted for us, those who did not vote for us and, indeed, those who did not vote at all,’ to quote our president elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.”

He commended the determination and collective resolve of the people of the state, saying that they had not only voted for him but had also peacefully protected their votes to the extent that the wanton provocation by the abuse of instruments of power did not scare them from punishing those that had abused the people’s trust in governance.

“I salute your courage, I salute your determination, I salute your collective will of our compatriots that lost their lives in the effort for the betterment of their tomorrow over a horrific yesterday. Those who kept vigil while the process came under threats of abuse through the dead of night will be remembered in our history as facilitators of change.”

The governor-elect stated that the task ahead was going to be tough, noting that “the rot we are facing is enormous but with our collective resolve ‘to do something’, we certainly will triumph.

He assured that he would ensure equity in governance, declaring that, “we shall strive to ensure that equity in governance is sacrosanct where every section of our state, sex, religion, and, indeed, well meaning individuals are equally important and relevant.”

Abubakar  expressed his gratitude to the APC, all those who aspired for the governorship seat with him in the party as well as  INEC for introducing the permanent voter card (PVC) and card reader, which, according to him, made Nigerians’ vote count.