By, MOHAMMED KAWU
The political kite has again been flown, though this time around, it surpassed the sphere of Bauchi, it was thrown into the national arena that Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed is pedaling to cross-carpet into the puddle of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), abandoning the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that brought him onto the state governorship seat.
It was in one of the national dailies penultimate week that Governor Bala Mohammed was among the three PDP Governors negotiating to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) bandwagon. Coincidentally, during the said week, Bauchi State Governor was in Ebonyi, where the Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi elected under PDP platform, has already pitched tent with the ruling APC.
Prior to this suppositions, precisely last September, it took weeks of the month when the Bauchi local politics riddled the air that Governor Bala Mohammed is withering some storms to decamp to the ruling APC, before the orchestrated criticisms gradually died a natural death.
Now that the kite was picked up again, one would be tempted to ask, what these political hullaballoos are all about. Is it a gimmick to regulate where the political pendulum of the nation should swing, bog down the political tempo or shrewdness of the opposition PDP, or subdue the political actions of Governor Bala Mohammed to the dogs?
To the pushers of this kitehowever, Governor Bala Mohammed has no any other political party than the PDP. His initial party that launched him into partisan politics, the ANPP and which cradle he rode to the nation’s apex legislative body, the Senate. ANPP has already been assimilated by what was today termed as the ruling party, the APC through the amalgam of what was recognized as merger in 2015.
Bala’s first salvo that earned him the most unprecedented national feat was the motion he moved on the floor of the red-carper chamber which gave the then vice president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan the legal to ascent to the country’s most coveted seat, the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to replace Umaru Musa ‘Yar-adua whose protracted illness then landed him to the grave while on the encumber of leadership.
Ever since the ascension of President Goodluck Jonathan to the throne as proponent of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the subsequent coercion of his up to date best political disciple or adherent, Senator Bala Mohammed, the disciple has been in the PDP and will so remain there. And it was on the platform of the PDP, Bala unseated an incumbent APC governor in Bauchi via the 2019 general elections to assumed the mantle of leadership in the state.
So, the vituperations, allegations and or political gimmicks that Governor Bala Mohammed will cross-carpet to the now acclaimed ruling party, and to some political pundits, the out-dating APC, is therefore a basket stock that could not hold water, or just call it, a machinations of horse-nervousness, ass-stubbornness and camel-malice. It was purely a concoction or blatant lie, as substantiated by close-aides of the governor.
In fact, Governor Bala Mohammed was even among the array of PDP warriors aspiring for the nation’s top seat, the presidency in 2023. The roll-call in the same grouping include Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Sule Lamido Bamaina, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, as well as those behind the masks in the party that this write-up will not mention for now.
The above lined-up of the presidency’s aspiration are just within the domain of the PDP, whereas the said outdating APC also has its array presidential aspirants ahead of the 2013 polls. This write-up would not mention, at least for now, political juggernauts aspiring for the APC prestigious presidential ticket, but they far outweigh those from the PDP in numerical strength, and are collection of both the South and North.
Turning to the PDP presidential hopefuls ahead of the forthcoming general elections, most of whom of Northern extraction of either North Central, North West or North East geo-political zones, to which the party may zone the seat. Thought have also been made as to which of the three geo-political zones rightfully, justly or fairly deserve it in tandem with the nation’s nascent democracy.
As presented to the arithmetic conduct within the three geo-zones, in consideration to the past slot usage, be it militarily or democratically, the North West has fourthly shined in the ring – twice each in military and democratic dispensation. The North Central has all its three opportunities in a military way, whereas the North East has only one democratic slot, way back 57 years ago but which was terminated through assassination of the pilot in the person of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Justifiably, just as in the case of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential elections, Chief Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola who was said to have been deprived of the slot, and later bequeathed to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the same gesture should be extended to Bauchi in consideration of the Tafawa Balewa assassination in 1966, which both actions were perpetrated the military.
This justification, according to some of the nation’s political juggernauts, would also nip in the bud the current political waves of power shift, at least for now in the country. It would also equitably balance the combined Obasanjo/Jonathan 1999 – 2015 slots with the now eight years Buhari/, cum Bauchi envisaged slots 2023 – 2031 under democratic dispensation.
It is ingenuously for this reason, that all presidential hopefuls ahead of 2023 in both the ruling APC and the opposition PDP, as well as any other across the nation’s registered political parties, should concede their aspirations to Bauchi or otherwise Tafawa Balewa and Kauran Bauchi. It is perhaps the greatest sacrifice the country’s political class should accede to in the interim.
This steadiness is also considered a good gesture to the North East geo-political zone which was adjudged as the poorest among the six zones of the country, and Bauchi the poorer among the 36 states in the federation, judging by some of the nation’s statistics. In a nutshell, it would save President Muhammadu Buhari from the sprints as to who he would justifiably hand over the reins of power come May 2023.
The permutation therefore in the nation’s political circle or the Aso Rock Villa in particular that President Muhammadu Buhari is edging former president Goodluck Jonathan for yet another turns to lead the country could sound like deception of the highest order. The villa, APC as a party or whichever group one will call it, would be deceiving itself to think of giving back the leadership stool to Jonathan in 2023. After all, the slot is not genetic or transmissible.
The perception of the Villa that Ahmed Bola Tinubu is not sellable to the North this time around, is a wrong permutation, vis-à-vis the self-aggrandized decision by the on fence sitters at the villa to landfill or lampoon former president Jonathan as the likely successor to President Buhari, just as a heritable tree in the land, may be power has absolutely corrupted the pushers to embark on such a freehand mission, which is akin to the Hausa saying ‘Baya ba Zani’.
It also indicates the level of high-handedness of those in the corridors of power to have pushed or coerced President Buhari to adopt Jonathan as his likely successor comes 2023 polls, the thinking is like building castle in the air, especially when one looks at those supporting the gamble, people like Yakasai and Dan Musa considered in the nation’s political circle as lame ducks, or have outlived their usefulness.
In fact, against this wrong notion, Ahmed Bola Tinubu would have been more acceptable to the North than Goodluck Jonathan, who during his presidency could deliberately neither sympathize with nor visit victims of Boko Haram’s bombings in uncountable parts of the North, including palaces of traditional rulers.
The wrong political notion that seemingly pose as deception to the North, was that the immediate past president had only one term in office, that he would ride again for another four years to pave for the return of power to the North, is perhaps the most blatant political lie of the century that could be blown with mere waves of hands.
Former President Jonathan had exhausted his both first and second term tenures before he was nailed down by Buhari’s amalgam APC. He completed late Umaru Musa ‘Yar-adua’s first term which ranged from 2007 – 2011 when the duo was elected President and Vice President. Jonathan was re-elected in 2011 and ruled up to 2015, so where is his second term the South South was claiming to be entitled to, it’s a hoax that could arguably be pushed aside.
The recent jamboree of APC governors led by interim national chairman of the party and Governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala Buni that besieged Jonathan’s Maitama residence in Abuja camouflaged to be felicitating his 63th birthday, but clandestinely inveigling him to register with the APC, is a multitudinous horse trading that could indisputably end in a waterloo.
The machinations of the APC family were that the North, or northern political establishment as encapsulated by one of the propagandists’ newspaper, would present Jonathan to carry the party’s flag ahead of the 2023 polls. But which north or establishment? Do they mean the one that the former president during his insecurity orchestrated rule boozed it? Or what hell on earth are they talking?
They also talked about the North two serving APC governor from whom Jonathan could, based on the bunch’s dream, pick a running mate to the forthcoming presidential poll. The Bagudus, Badarus, Rufais, or Gandujes are today not even sellable in their respective enclaves based upon their antecedents while on the lumber.
So the sound permutation of the broad spectrum or gamut of the Nigerian political class to grant the nation’s covetable seat to the Northeast geo-political zone, particularly Bauchi, the cradle of Nigerian politics, is the most justifiable compensation to the unfortunate assassination of the African Golden Voice, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Additionally, too, the gesture will not only revive Bauchi as the poorest state in the federation, but also uplift the entire North East adjudged as the most backwardness among the six geo-political zones of the country.
Supposedly, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, having been on the saddle or burden as the Executive Governor of Bauchi state, who in 2019 polls under the PDP platform unseated an incumbent APC governor after serving his four years first term tenure in office, is desirably fit to move into the shoes of the 1966 under democratic dispensation, assassinated Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, to fulfill the vision and mission of the late gentleman.
And to his credit, or PDP as a party, Bala Mohammed having served as a director in federal civil service, ventured into partisan politics in 2006 and by 2007 under defunct ANPP ambushed a serving governor in an election to grasp Bauchi South senatorial seat, whereas in the Senate barraged the motion that propelled Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from vice president to the most fashionable seat of the President.
The same Senator Bala Mohammed, after serving as FCT minister under the PDP-led Jonathan administration, and way back home to Bauchi carrying the PDP flag in the 2019 general elections, somersaulted two formers and an incumbent governor, Mu’azu, Yuguda, Abubakar combined on an APC gubernatorial campaign train to emerge as the Bauchi PDP governor now steering the state. So, the question is who the PDP political party is looking to carry its presidential ticket in 2023 other than Governor Bala Mohammed?
Governor Bala Mohammed would ride on no other party or platform than the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which, apparently of all the registered political parties in the country, has the best manifestoes tailored to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the common man, and which nucleus started way in 1981 in Akure, Ondo state at a meeting hosted by late governor, Chief Michael Ajasin of blessed memory.
Then in Akure, PDP was prenatally at the tutelage of nine progressive governors under the aegis of three political parties of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) before it was factionally led by Chief Michael Imoudu. Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) championed by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP) headed by late Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim.
The Nine Progressive Governor later turned into twelve (12) with the admission of Nigeria People’s Party (NPP) led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, after broken down the NPP Accord with the then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), thereafter the progressives group metamorphosed into Progressive Parties Alliance (PPA)
It was in 1982, PPA was transformed into a political party, the People’s Progressives Party (PPP) with its motto of CHANGE ‘83 and Umbrella logo of Green, White, Red colours, chaired by late Mohammed Abubakar Rimi, the first Executive Governor of Kano state and launched or inaugurated in Kano by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
People’s Progressives Party (PPP) was deliberately formed to end the apparent repressive tendencies and neo-fascism of the defunct NPN-led Federal government of late Alhaji Usman Aliyu Shehu of blessed memory in the second republic, a move which involved the coordinated exploit of the Nigerian progressives whom, hitherto to the formation of the PPP converged at Tchad Hall of Bagauda Lake Hotel in Kano to chart a way forward for the onslaught.
They converged under the umbrella of a national seminar themed ‘Political Repression and Assassination’ which drew progressives-cum-radicals, or leftists across the country in the likes of Comrade Ola Oni, Dr. Umar Ibraheem Toungo, Dr. Yolama Barongo, Mr. Eskor Toyo, Dr. Ibrahim Mu’azzam, Mr. Dapo Fatogun, Comrade Takai Shammang, Dr. Esikpo Essien-Ibok, Dr. Mahmoud Othman, Late Governor Solomon Daushep Lar, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Sani – now Emir of Gumel, and host of others where they deliberated for 72 hours. The seminar came after the assassination of Political Affairs Adviser to the governor of Kano state, Dr. Bala Mohammed by organized political thugs.
However, the defunct ruling NPN then deliberated restricted that electoral umpire, Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) to register PPP as a political party to participate in the 1983 polls. It was at the eve of fourth republic, after the botched third republic mounted by military dictator, camouflaged president, Ibrahim Babangida, that like-minds in the nation’s political camp including the PPP architect, late governor Mohammed Abubakar Rimi, formed what was known as G-34, dusted the PPP and renamed it PDP. All other apparatus including the manifestoes, umbrella logo, others, remained that of PPP.
There are still many living witnesses to these determinative transformations of the PDP, from a mere progressive governors’ forum in the second republic to today’s opposition party, after it rule the country for 16 consecutive years, the likes of former governor, Sule Lamido who joined the bandwagon in the PRP as its youth leader in former Kano state, now comprising Kano and Jigawa states.
It is therefore, based on the permutations by a broad spectrum of Nigerian politicians, and academics in the political class that the now opposition PDP is most likely to again take the leadership stage in the polity, having all the progressives, the likes of Governor Bala Mohammed at its disposal, and with the electorates proven APC ruled clouded by sorts of insecurity ranging from rampant kidnappings, assassinations, armed robbery, cattle rustling, insurgency, thuggery, brigandage, ASUU Strike and recently #EndSARS protest, among others, as well as high level corruption eating deep into the fabrics of Nigerian society.
It was further corroborated by the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in a media that, “For us in the PDP, the unity, stability, progress and development of our dear nation remain paramount, and as such, we will not allow the failed APC and its pranksters, who have betrayed the trust of Nigerians, to mislead them again”.
Governor Bala Mohammed, therefore, as in the refusal by his media aide, Mukhtar Gidado has never contemplated leaving the PDP, let alone join the APC, the party which he uprooted its incumbent governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, in Bauchi state, despite all the odds by the Bauchi APC subterfuges and their hierarchies at the national level.
Gidado explained in a statement of the alleged decamp rebuttal that it is the considered opinion of his boss that not only such talks of decamping are premature, they are also poses the height of insensitivity to the yearnings and aspirations of the electorate for transformational change that will lift them from the shackles of despair to a new era of guaranteed security of lives and property, national stability and national unity.
Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, therefore, based upon the above permutations, would forever therefore remain in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), christened by its lordships as the African greatest party, on which platform or cradle as a kite Governor Bala Mohammed would ride and rise to get into the shoes of our beloved father, first and ever prime-minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa whose leadership tenure in the first republic under democratic dispensation by cut-short by blood-thirsty military junta.
Perhaps the only sarcasm with the PDP was the non-implementation of its manifestoes ever-since it became operational in 1999 when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo assumed the mantle of leadership as the Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is extensively held that with the superficial ascension of charismatic and adventurous Governor Bala Mohammed onto the presidency comes 2023 under the party, its manifestoes would be fully implemented for the benefit of generality of Nigerians.