Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar
By Abdullahi Buba
Thursday, December 22nd, 2022, Bauchi hosted a mammoth crowd of APC members and supporters from the twenty local government areas of the state to witness the formal flag off of campaigns of Nigeria’s former Chief of Air Staff and Ambassador to Chad Republic, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar (rtd) as gubernatorial candidate of the APC in the coming elections.
It was a gathering that attracted all the grassroots political heavy weights,who generated the masterminds of the famous Bauchi political tsunami code named “akasa a tsare” that sacked PDP and truncated the party’s succession plan in 2007 thus, voted in Isa Yuguda, upon whose funding, plan and strategy, Bala Mohammed, now governor became Bauchi South Senator, ostensibly from political obscurity.
Pundits still believe that Bauchi voters,can trigger the resurrection of that spirit of mass if the need for that arises, again.
Governor M.A Abubakar, who became governor on a platter of gold, was sacked by the same mass of provoked voters because of his lack of political savvy to effectively manage the state.
A grassroot heavy weight from Alkaleri, the local government of governor Bala Mohammed who prefer anonymity, described the flag off as a nightmare to PDP. He opines that in Bauchi politics,no one holds a capacity to control or direct anyone to do his bidding if the someone had not mentored or helped anyone in his struggles.Therefore, they see governor Bala Mohammed as selfish individual who wants to reap what he did not sow. They described him as someone who only cares for himself and his close family members. But on the other hand,they applauded Air Marshal Sadique for establishing a care foundation for the benefit of the indigent in the society long before he became Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff and ventured into politics, afterwards.Records of the foundation’s support to the less privileged and Sadique’s persornal humanitarian assistance to the indigent,endeared him to many including average Bauchi voter and constituted the factor that is giving governor Bala and his PDP comrades nightmares and invariably became envious of the airforce chief. Because undoubtedly, he does not have such in his track,he has nothing to show to translate his love for better life for the common man ever.In fact,it is widely believed amongst key politicians and other stakeholders in the Bauchi state project that the undoing of former governor M.A. Abubakar, was responsible for the resolve of Bala Mohammed to contest the governorship of Bauchi and as governor, secure for himself immunity from the lingering money laundering charges against him as FCT minister.
This development has reawakened Bauchi youths and women organisations,clubs and associations to resolve that henceforth, they would never vote in anyone with blurred questionable pedigree to political position of authority especially that of governor without evidence of impactful contributions to the development of their individual communities as it affects youths,women and children as was and is still being done by Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar.
This shift is infact a function of the human compassion practically exhibited by Sadique.This is a game changer in the politics of Bauchi state. It has provided grounds for the electorate and critical stakeholders alike to depart from old order of getting it for themselves now from office seekers to what the contesters can bequeath upcoming and yet unborn generations.This has changed the narratives of electoral process in Bauchi politics.
The blurred scorecard of Governor Bala Mohammed in the last four years,reflects chiefly, capital projects which are totally a discordant to his campaigns in 2019. Construction and rehabilitation of roads, construction of a multi billion naira government house and conference hall, construction of his multi billion naira personal house, non payment of gratuities, etc, are of serious concerns to people that are hungry, burdened by their children’s school fees,etc. This is very disappointing and constitute a crime against the good citizens of the state who stood firm to oust an inept regime of MA Abubakar. These are governor Bala’s nightmares and and blockades to his second term bid. Only God knows how Bala can convince voters to trust him with leadership again.If as it is widely believed that if Bala gets second term,he’ll muscle the civil service, balkanise some emirates to create one for his village, Duguri, etc holds, then Bala is in deep trouble. And he should forget second term and put his records in order,in case probe is instituted against him as was done when he was minister in the FCT.
For Sadique Baba Abubakar, his strong selling point and advantage,are his track in the airforce; how it has changed the face of the force and provided to succour to officers and men and the confidence restored in them as they continue with counter insurgency operations against Nigeria. In Bauchi, the citing of the base comes with ripples of benefits to Bauchi people that made them see Bala Mohammed as a mismatch in the contest against Sadique. The electorate are using this as a measuring instrument in their support for Sadique to wrestle power from Bala Mohammed, whom pundits say may resist with the lost drop of his blood.
Again, the repeated resolve of the Air Marshal to accord priority to health care and education,are being praised and commended by the citizenry.Civil servants see him as a Messiah who can salvage them from the agonies and shackles of neglect and deceit they are suffering under go
Bala’s PDP in the state. Much as these issues were central in governor Bala’s campaigns of 20l9, but like a vicious circle, the administration did nothing substantial in addressing them.So far,all indices have shown emerging victory for the Air Marshal,but still, there are issues that need to be addressed to be in comfortable lead. Chiefly, is the need for a more coherent synergy among sub units of the campaign structure to curb possible overlapping responsibilities.Secondly, interpersonal communication with notable individuals, interest groups, clubs and associations, women and youths organisations etc are necessary not only from Bauchi but from across the local government areas.
This will further deepened people’s resolve for the change of narrative that is emerging in Bauçhi politics.
Buba, a journalist is based in Bauchi