Opposition groundswell in Bauchi threatens to sweep incumbent governor

In Bauchi, the demon awakened by the last years contentious All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries still roves untamed.

And the virulent ghost seems prepared to strip the incumbent governor, Muhammed Abubakar of his political future. But he has vowed to do whatever it takes to exorcise the belligerent spirit that seems poised to drag him into a political limbo.

Like in most states across the country, the October 2018 primary in Bauchi was raucous and violent at least one person was confirmed killed and several others injured.

Thugs drove from villages to villages in the 20 local governments of the states, intimidating party members. There was also the disagreement on the type of the primary to be conducted. While those who did not want the incumbent to return, wanted direct primary, the governors camp pushed for indirect primary.

At first, it seems like those opposed to the governor had had their way when the national leadership of the party ruled that direct primary would be used to choose the partys candidates in the 2019 elections.

But they had their hope dashed when the electoral committee in the state announced Mr Abubakar as the partys flagbearer.

Confusion

Depending on who you asked, the primary either did not hold at all or was free and fair. One thing was certain though, nobody has seen the official result of the primary.

As it is often the case with Nigerias ideological-empty politics, many of the aggrieved members left the APC. While some returned to the open hands of the former ruling People Democratic Party (PDP), others joined the newly rejuvenated Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

Others like Ibrahim Lame and Bala Jibrin, aspirants who had run against the incumbent in the vexed primary, chose to remain in the party but with no love lost with Mr Abubakar. Their resolve to make sure the governor does not return for a second term was steadfast.

‘Abysmal tenure’

On the night of the February 25, sitting in the large hall of the Bauchi State head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office among a small group of his aide patiently waiting for the last results of the presidential election in the state to be announced, Mr Jubrin told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Abubakars tenure has been abysmal.

This governor, you will write a lot home about him, but they are all negative. He is ‘violent friendly’, he likes terror. People were shot in order for him to do the primary without election. People were teargassed, he said.

He said the governor could not account for the N500 billion he received as federal allocation and has nothing to show for his time in office.

I dont know what he has done that is worth celebrating. I dont know. I dont know any project that he started and completed from the beginning to the end in the last four years. You said you are from Lagos? If there is a way we can borrow Ambode that you people are trying to impeach, and let him come a spend the remaining part of the tenure, we would, he said.

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