By, MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State took a swipe at the political cum legal impasse that took almost 200 days before the governorship election petition tribunal with a call on the state electorate to protect the hard won victory.
Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed at an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over his victory at the polls following the tribunal verdict which upheld his victory in March 9, general elections declared by INEC as the duly elected Governor of Bauchi state, told the electorate, “If we are to make progress, eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for our freedom”.
Mohammed, who was overwhelmed by the victory while being interviewed by the press, saluted the courage and honesty of the tribunal members whom, many feared, could capitulate to the intimidating subterfuges adopted by his detractors in an attempt to instill fear in the judiciary.
“On March 9, the people of Bauchi spoke. Today, the judiciary confirmed what they said. The confirmation is so loud and clear that it rings from Azare to Alkaleri to Ningi and the nooks and crannies of the state”.
“As the sound of victory reverberates through the length and breadth of the state, my entire beings wells up with indiscernible energy and love, to rise to the challenge of satisfying the yearnings of the people; for meaningful development that lifts them from the valley of despair to the plateau of hope and fulfillment. Iam indeed humbled, and I believe members of my team feel the same way”.
According to him, the tribunal has acquitted itself with honour and distinction by confirming what was common knowledge all along, ‘that we won the election fair and square’, stressing ‘we stove to establish the framework for the urgent task of restoring hope to the demoralized, disenchanted and dispirited people of the state’.
He noted, “If they had succeeded, they would have scuttled the emphatic resolve of the majority of our people to chart a new path, by democratically enthroning a Government that would provide purposeful leadership to the state”.
The governor who dedicated his victory to the people of Bauchi state irrespective of tribe, gender, political affiliation, creed or age, said however that he has not forgotten they swept into government by the broadest coalition ever form in the state.
Mohammed therefore said he derived his moral authority from the weak, the poor, the excluded, those for whom political parties made little or no difference, whose voices must be heard and their circumstances improved, if the victory is to mean anything at all.
He however reminded that the victory will only make sense when every Bauchi child of school age is in classroom, when every school leaver is productively engaged, when every pregnant woman will not die of childbirth, when every rural folk feel empowered and the heroes past, retired man and woman, can receive their entitlements as at when due, will the celebration be complete.
Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed then appealed to all stakeholders, especially his opponents at the tribunal to sheath their swords, so that with his administration they can shake off inertia among the people and unlock the huge potentials for progress yet untapped.