By Sanusi Muhammad and Maryam Musa
In 2012, Professor Miriam Ekejiani, an erudite scholar and onetime Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), declared Nigeria a failed state under Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
She had attributed her conclusions to what she called “undue political patronage to low quality democrats, who were piloting the affairs of government at various levels but woefully failed to provide or improve infrastructure facilities”.
This scenario painted by Professor Ekejiani could be likened to the three years of the Governor Muhammed A. Abubakar style of governance in Bauchi State, given that the state is fast drifting into the abyss of despair with clear demonstration of blatant ineptitude, comprehensive incompetence and clear cluelessness of wide proportion.”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”, declared a political observer in the state.
Analysts are of the opinion that the last three years of the Abubakar 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”, said a concerned citizen in the state.
He went on: “The past three years were nothing but 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.
Critics of the underperforming governor lamented that the esthetic beauty of Bauchi, the state capital, is fast fading away 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. Their fears being that if the governor continues to govern Bauchi State beyond 2019, the state could go back to Stone Age. It is the opinion of many, that if meaningful development is to come back to the state, the electorate 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 electorate use in electing M.A Abubakar and assessing his performance? Was it based on blind party loyalty, overzealousness, and 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”.
Apart from payment of workers monthly net salaries and clamping down on the opposition, it is difficult to enumerate the achievements of Governor Abubakar in Bauchi State. A member of the opposition told Desert Herald that “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, pointing out that wide 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.
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 over-size for Abubakar. If Mu’azu could be associated with standard roads, infrastructure development and peace, Yuguda to Specialist hospital, international airport and infrastructural development, what would Abubakar be leaving behind as his legacy?
It is regrettable that some sycophants in blind loyalty to the governor may not be happy with these verifiable facts about the 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 – all used by Abubakar and his cohorts to milk Bauchi State dry.