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Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State Ended Poor Governance
Opinion Politics

The Kauran Bauchi Phenomenon 2019 to 2023

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By Abdul-Azeez Suleiman

It is no exaggeration to say that the year 2018 represented the high point in activities that laid the foundations of the collapse of citadels of poor governance, indifference, insensitivity and unprecedented plunder that were the administrations in most states of the Nigerian federation.

As part of the build-up to the 2029 governorship election in Bauchi State for instance, leaders, women groups and youth stepped up in a manner never seen in the State’s political history; elites of the state closed ranks and mobilized a people desperate for credible and accountable leadership.

Bauchi Christians and Muslims closed the religious divide, awakened by the burden of the shared legacy of the previous administration in the deteriorating standards of living, as politicians fleeced the poor of resources to develop.

More than three years since that historic election it is impossible not to recall the battalions of young people who followed Bala Mohammed on his campaign trails, pledging to him their unquestioning support and loyalty with full faith that his leadership will address their hopes and aspirations.

It is impossible to forget the picture of hundreds of thousands who turned up in defying the threats of the scorching northeast weather, to register their faith and support for Bala Mohammed.
It is not possible to forget adolescents and children who defied parents and security agents to catch a glimpse of Bala, a man they had been brought up to believe had the solution to Bauchi State’s problems.

It is impossible to ignore the unprecedented response of communities in Ningi, Warji, Daruo, Alkaleri, Kirfl, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Toro, Shira, Bauchi, Katagum, Ganjuwa, Misau to the Kauran Bauchi pull, responses which defied decades of entrenched sentiments.

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It is impossible not to remember the patently transparent and credible election, the result of which could only have been rejected by people who would have decided to destroy the state if they were not winners.

At the end of the campaigns, Bauchi voters trusted Bala Abdukadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, to lead the state through and out of its limitations around security and the economy, into a future in which the people will live secure lives and pursue livelihoods in a united entity whose resources will be protected by leaders.

From every corner of the state, the poor, the young and Bauchi women rejected the tradition of lining up to receive handouts to abandon their future, and chose instead to install a leadership that will make them more secure and provide their children with a productive future.

The election of 2019 which brought Bala to power were therefore pre-eminently a victory for the people of Bauchi State. For the first time, votes from the northern and southern zones overwhelmingly went to one candidate and one party, to comprehensively reject other contestants whose personal wealth and personal ambition remained tied to the continuation of decay and destruction of a state and a people.

With Bala’s emergence in 2019, the people of Bauchi State celebrated an end of poor governance; to leadership that run away from threats, and to leaders who remembered the people only when they needed votes.

The jubilations in Bauchi were not just over the victory of popular will over desperate attempts to subvert it. They went beyond the relief that the state did not go up in flames over disputed elections. They were about the possibility that the people could look to a future without insecurity; that the young will get good education, acquire skills and get jobs; that corruption will be arrested, contained and eliminated.

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Today, as they look back to that historic event, the people of Bauchi are humbled by the value of their understanding and conclusions regarding the verdict they offered over their future in the 2019 election by giving victory to Bala.

Before Bala took over, Bauchi State had been battling with the futility of addressing the fundamentals of its very existence through a medium created by successive administrations that acquired the reputation of being the worst in the history of the state in terms of any capacity to generate confidence in achieving credible goals.

He took over at a time when hunger was stalking thousands of homes, inflation was making life difficult by the day, people were losing jobs, businesses were closing down, infrastructure was decaying, young people wre losing hope of being employed, hospitals in Bauchi wre full of people who suffer mysterious illnesses, and they could not afford the fees.

At that time Bauchi citizens all understood that a combination of past abuses and mismanagement of the economy, the collapse of vital infrastructure and administrative sabotage had created a most challenging environment for the management of the economy and security in the state.

But without any doubt, all these are now history as Bala Mohammed had tackled these challenges and is laying solid foundations for the total eradication memories of a past that has been haunting state.

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As another round of fresh election is by the way, dubious political interests are assessing and judging the Kauran Bauchi phenomenon against fair standards of judgment, including the judgment from his political opponents, against developments and circumstances that no one knew the nation will confront, and even against the failures and abuses Bauchi State is having to pay for, from previous successive administrations.

Without the need to feed these people with more reasons to feel important, it is important to remind them that in 2019, the people of Bauchi State did not make a mistake in putting up a solid, united front in spite of their ethno-religions differences, and their votes were not wasted in electing Bala Mohammed.

Those who seek to drive a wedge between the people of the state ignore the fact that the entire Bauchi suffered the effects of poverty and poor governance before Bala took over and will not therefore walk away from each other into the damaging arms of political and religious merchants who make capital out of the people’s weaknesses.

What the Bauchi electorate did in 2015 with their Permanent Voter Cards, they will do again on March 18th, 2023 in favour of Bala Mohammed’s pristine integrity, tenacity, compassion.
They will offer a sound verdict for the reelection of Bala who they carries the legacy of the political sagacity, impetus and vision of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; the iron will of the Sardauna of Sokoto; the defying spirit of Aminu Kano and the courage of Tarka.

Suleiman, a journalist, writes from Abuja.

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