By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State, Prof. Ali Pate has described as ridiculous the purported endorsement by party stakeholders of Governor Mohammed Abubakar as the sole candidate of the party for election when there were three other free aspirants who submitted the nomination forms.
He asked, “How do you explain a stakeholders meeting tasking place at Government House where there are three other contenders in addition to the incumbent, where another aspirant sent a representative to that meeting and he was not allow to enter”.
“Where I sent my representative, Engr. Yakubu and was not allow to speak in the stakeholders meeting. In fact, he was beaten, kicked, assaulted, harassed, and molested in a democratic institution”.
Prof. Ali Pate at a press conference in Bauchi, wondered how one could explain in the seat of government with state officials, leaders, lawyers and enlightened people that cannot agree with the sent one, and to accept the conclusion of the meeting as valid in a democracy.
He described the action as Kangaroo democracy that some people are trying to enforce in Bauchi, “Kangaroo democracy where you could you could put everything in your pocket and say that is my stakeholders”.
“We have the number four person in the country from Bauchi state, Speaker Yakubu Dogara. He was a member of the APC before many people joined the party to win elections. He has the national stature, but the fact that he was forced out from the party because of local issues in the state tells you that kangaroo democracy is even more polite”.
The governorship aspirant recalled that there are four contestants to the seat who expressed interests, querying “Allow the people of Bauchi state make their choice, but if you don’t have the confidence to face the electorates, then what are you doing”.
On party primaries, the aspirant expressed confidence that party officials at national level would engage credible people to conduct the primaries, select primary that fix peculiarities of Bauchi state, allow people with integrity to conduct the event, and allow every aspirant to actively participate as his right based on the constitution of the party and Nigerian Constitution.
“If it does that, that is the only way forward, if it tries to do what another political party did in 2015. We know what happened, the PDP in 2015 learnt a very bitter lesson because the primaries at the state level were subjected to the interests of only a few and that resulted in restlessness that laid the foundation for a failure”.
Prof. Pate prayed, “So it is my hope and prayer that Bauchi state chapter of the APC would have learn from that experience. We don’t want the APC lose the election, we want APC to succeed but we want it to succeed on the basis of justice, fairness and sound democratic principle, not to be hijacked because someone has the resources of the state in his or her pocket”.
“Because believe me you, if someone say that they have a billion naira or two billion naira to play in an election, please ask them which factory do they own in Bauchi that employ people that generate that money, which farm have they use to cultivate to generate that money or when did they inherit that money they are dishing out?.
According to him, “The open secret is that they tent to pick it either directly or indirectly from the coffers of the government. That is the money made for the people for schools, hospitals, roads, pensioners, civil servants. We should ask them that difficult question”.
Pate, who said that he has no personal; animosity against anyone, declared “I respect everyone, I respect everybody’s right to participate as I express my right to participate and express my opinion also stands”.
Prof. Ali Pate, in terms of the problem going in the APC therefore expressed the hope that God will provide the APC leaders at the national level the wisdom and will guide those at the state level both in government and in the party the wisdom to navigate that we come up with a solution that will allow the party to succeed.
“If it doesn’t, that will be a bad show and the people of Bauchi state I’m sure they will spoil it”, he concluded.