BAUCHI: BETWEEN RUTHLESS ONSLAUGHT AND POSTERITY
Since the return of former Governor Adamu Mu'azu of Bauchi State to the country some few weeks ago, the desperacy with which certain obvious persons who feel they have qualms to settle with him have engaged in propaganda against Mu'azu, suggests that perhaps if some persons must live, then some others must give way.
I do not hold brief for anyone. But we must as brothers and sisters, and indeed as collective owners of Bauchi State put aside our political and individual differences if we are sincere in our bid to move the state forward. At present, the security concerns posed by the Boko Haram religious sect and the need to rapidly develop the state should be of utmost concern to us all and not be relegated to the background for what is clearly political and selfish interest.
Having blown out of proportion the propaganda against Mu'azu, what these agents have succeeded in doing is to unknowingly sway public opinion and carve great sympathy for the former governor. The outpour of vexation towards Mu'azu since his return and the attempt to brazenly cast aspersion on him with the alleged looting of N20.4billion really leaves much to be desired of these whistle blowers.
This is so because if the infrastructural developments, acclaimed by all that took place during Mu'azu's tenure is equated with the total amounts accrued to Bauchi between 1999 and 2007, on that basis alone it will be shocking to accept these claims even though I am of the opinion that if he is found wanting in any form, he should be liable.
However, in my very candid and most submissive opinion, no one can wish away the efforts of the Mu'azu administration as till date his contributions and strides still remain the basic yardstick for assessing performance. As Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos is being regarded as a role model, so was Mu'azu during his time amongst the governors then. Hence, no aspersions and names dropping can change these as facts are sacred.
Revolution I must say best describes what transpired in Bauchi State between1999 and 2007. There was no sector that Mu'azu's impact wasn't felt. From education, health, poverty alleviation, housing, roads and rural infrastructure, it is the same story, just as it is in the civil service and transport. Indeed today, indigenes of Bauchi will testify to his good work. In the education sector for instance, federal statistics which are readily verifiable assert that primary school enrolment rose from 458,350 in 1999 to over 1.2 million in 2007. This is just as Bauchi State rose from 34th position in 1999 to a prestigious 3rd position in same 2007 when Mu'azu left office. In a most dramatic twist for good, in 2006, 15,000 students scored credits in five subjects and above.
As this testimony comes in the education sector, so does it cut across virtually all sectors of the economy of Bauchi State even though some will disagree and label him a failure to score cheap political points. Never was it in my mind to delve into Mu'azu's stride, but as an indigene of Bauchi State, nothing can be more painful when we see truth been stood on its head and we keep quiet for fear of the unknown. The Almighty will never forgive us.
It must equally be stated, emphatically so, that President Goodluck Jonathan is too experienced a leader and President to allow himself to be brought into obvious rattling of some crude politicians who are bent on dragging him into a case for the interest of it. Like Mu'azu stated in his book My Tenure Report: 'I have always believed that the best role in history is to leave a legacy for future generations…
If leadership fails to deliver in history, it will be written out of it.' A look around suggests that Mu'azu is not the problem of Bauchi State. The man has done his bit and clearly posterity is judging him and the good people of Bauchi and Nigeria know this. Nobody can turn history on its head. Every man will be scored accordingly. Let the truth be told without fear or compromise.
• Mohammed Audu Shehu writes in from Bauchi.