Six political parties and their governorship candidates in Bauchi State have formed a coalition with the aim of defeating the state Governor, Mohammed Abubakar.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and an elder statesman, Alhaji Bello Kirfi, led a delegation that announced the development at a press conference which held on Sunday in Bauchi.
The governorship candidates in the coalition are those of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bala Mohammed; People’s Redemption Party, Prof Ali Pate; Advanced Congress of Democrats, Baheejah Mahmoud; Green Party of Nigeria, Adamu Jumba; and People’s Democratic Movement, Ahmed Iliyasu.
Other stakeholders who signed the statement were aggrieved All Progressives Congress’ governorship aspirants, Dr Yakubu Lame, Senators Abdul Ningi, Nazif Gamawa, and Isa Haman Misau as well as members of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Yerima and Salisu Ningi.
They hinged their merger on the grounds that the incumbent governor had failed to deliver any tangible development to the state in the last four years.
Kirfi, who read the text of the press conference on behalf of others, said the task to unseat the state governor during the forthcoming elections must be accomplished.
He said, “The reason for this unanimous decision is because of the widespread and increasing poverty in Bauchi State during this administration, as evidenced by statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics.
“There is lack of any meaningful infrastructural development in the state to fuel economic revival, despite significant capital inflows amounting to more than N50bn from the Federal Government and other sources.
“There is also poor educational infrastructure, resulting in the worst record in out-of-school children in Nigeria.”
He said the stakeholders had expected the APC national leadership to support the people’s yearning for genuine change through due process and internal party democracy.
He regretted that the APC failed and compounded its mistakes by further misguiding President Muhammadu Buhari to recognise Abubakar as the party’s candidate despite his emergence through alleged unjust and anti-democratic means.
He added, “This blunder by the national leadership of the APC has heightened the risk of Mr President losing significant number of his loyal followers in Bauchi State.
“Consequently, members of the coalition have resolved to work hard together to ensure M. A. Abubakar is defeated during the governorship election holding on March 2, 2019.”
Dogara alleged that the billions of naira the state received from federal allocations had been misappropriated.
“Instead of using the money to ensure infrastructural development in the state, they decided to use it to produce billboards and using the remaining balance to pay youths to guide these billboards,” he alleged.
He further alleged that the state governor was planning to remain in power by causing violence during the elections.
“They should desist from planning to kill our relations because if anyone is killed, we will not only defeat him, we will get just one bus and send him away so that Bauchi will have peace. We will defeat him so that he doesn’t continue to destroy the state,” he said.
The Press Secretary to the Bauchi State governor, Abubabakar Al-Sadique, who spoke on the telephone said the governor had performed excellently, adding that the APC was strong in the state.
He said, “The major drivers of the major political parties in the state such as the former Deputy National Publicity Chairman of the PDP, Senator Babayo Gamawa; two former governors of the state, Adamu Muazu and Isa Yuguda; former secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed; two former deputy governors and several others from the National Assembly and those who have held top positions have all joined the performing governor.
“The beauty of democracy is that it is the people that decide who they want to lead them, and if somebody feels otherwise it is his rights; but in the end, it is the majority that have their way and the minority their say.”