What’s The Matter With Our Politicians In Bauchi?
Recently, I was discussing politics with an old friend. He asked me a somewhat surprising question: Why do you always write about your people? I answered: it is because the farther it is away from my home state, the less important news it is for me and my people.
I noticed that politics is a topical and most discussed issue in Nigeria today. Everything is about who becomes what in 2023. It is important to talk about politics because its principal actors, the politicians, shape our lives.
Even though most of us are not actively involved in politics, but even as passive observers; we cannot afford to keep silent on what is going on around us.
This takes me down to the audio clip of an interview of one comrade, Aliyu Abdullahi Ilela. It has been circulating on social media. He started with a reasonable complaint and advice to his party, the ruling All progressive Congress (APC), to arrest the worrying resignation of its members. He cited one example of Isa Abu Yussuf as the last to have resigned as a member of the party.
I am in tandem with Ilela on assisting All Progressive Congress party members in Bauchi state who have worked for the party. There is nothing wrong in a political party to reward deserving, hardworking and committed members. However, that it should do within the confines of the law. The cardinal principle of the party is to fight corruption. The APC should therefore be cautious in assisting members so as not to fall into the traps of sharks in the turbulent waters of politics. People like Ilela knows how to play the self-serving political game and won’t mind leaving the dead body of victims in the water. He has proven that in the interview. “Politicians are experts at manipulating the system to get their way and have no interest in serving anything but their own desires“
I also see it as a valid and cogent argument for the party leadership to rub minds with party members to know their problems and give them a sense of belonging. Through dialogue, the party can assess genuine complaints and proffer solutions to assuage bad feeling among members.
However, I disagree with him on the spurious claims and misrepresentations about the Honorable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and the denigration of Katagum to score a point. I try as much as possible to disassociate myself from discussing parochial and narrow sectional interest and joining issues with boys who do not respect elders. I cannot trust a loquacious and unrestrained tyro politician who has the temerity to badmouth a respected gentleman as Malam Adamu.
I am compelled by the urge to straighten the records, that’s why I wrote this piece. People should not misconstrue my response to his prattle for a rebuttal. Rebuttal is an honor which I feel Ilela does not deserve.
Let me start with the appointment of chairmen and board members of Federal government Agencies. Nothing could be further from the truth. The statement is a shameless lie and an utter misrepresentation of facts to mislead gullible party members and other Nigerians. How could it be possible for the Federal government to appoint one person each from the Bauchi South and central zones, as against 70 people appointed from Bauchi north? All Ilela would have had to do was to give the names of the “over 70” board members from Bauchi north to buttress his claims. We await his response for the list.
I would like comrade Abdullahi Aliyu Ilela to read the following list of Ambassadors, Chairmen, Executive Secretaries, board members of federal government agencies from Bauchi state and tell us the part of Bauchi state they come from: Aliyu Saidu Abubakar (member) Nigerian Communication Commission, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro (ES) TetFund, Dr. Muhammed Suleiman Lamai, (Rector) Federal Polytechnic Kaltungo, Prof. Bappah Aliyu (ES) National Commission For Colleges of Education and Tijjani Suleiman Darazo (ES) Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Others are Amb. Y. S Suleiman, Amb. Baba Madugu (Switzerland) Sallau Kafi, Musajo Buba, Shehu Barau Ningi, Ali Saidu to mention but a few. The list is not exhaustive because there are dozens of others which it did not capture. I do not think it is necessary to list all the appointees of federal government from the zones in question to buttress my point. But I have a question for Ilela. Who is from Katagum on this list? There is none. This list is enough to expose ilela’s shameless lie that only 2 people from the zones were Federal government appointees from the 2 zones.
'Lies are a sweet poison that kills you later, while truth is a bitter medicine that saves you in the long run.' Lie makes the liar look petty and foolish in the public eye. He said that the Minister of education had collected and pocketed the campaign money meant for APC in Bauchi state in 2019 election. Ilela should tell us the amount “collected” and “pocketed” by the minister. If I were Malam Adamu Adamu, I would sue Ilela to seek for justice.
If Ilela were to fight for a reform in his party, threats and abuses should not serve his cause. The fury, tongue lashing and denigration of the Minister will not give him what he wants. I can understand from his jumbled utterances the intense anger of a political jobber and a disgruntled man who expects too much from his party. Even Azare, the town which Malam Adamu came from, could not be spared from Ilela’s mudslinging. He made the stupidest, reckless and most ludicrous statement that “the population of “Azare” and votes of six Local Government Areas in Katagum” is far less than the total Votes of Bauchi town.” I don’t have to dissipate my energy and precious time to respond to this gibberish.
It is a blatant lie to say that Adamu Adamu is not a politician and did not campaign for Buhari. Yes, the Honorable minister is not a politician in the political dictionary of Ilela because he does not abuse, deceive or disparage others.
If Ilela thinks President Muhammadu Buhari does not need Adamu, because he Adamu, according to Comrade Ilela, is not a politician, he is wrong. We rarely see people like the Minister of education talking during an electioneering campaign. Ilela should listen carefully to this. If he does not know, let him know that Malam Adamu is one intellectual and party ideologue who had worked tirelessly around the clock on the side of Buhari to form the APC.
Where was Ilela and his principal at the time when the real politicking was taking place in Abuja, Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria to merge Buhari’s Congress for progressive change (CPC) Bola Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)? Mr. President had involved Adamu from the beginning to the end of merger. It is a gross injustice to blame Adamu for you and your principal's electoral defeat in 2019. You should find the cause of your defeat in the lackluster performance, unfriendly and hawkish disposition of your boss.
It is not the first or second time I have listened to or read a vitriolic attack by people (from Bauchi South) on the Honorable Minister of Education and people of Katagum. I can understand the longtime, divisive binary identity politics of Bauchi-Katagum, sectionalism and character assassination at the heart of ilela’s grouse. The nagging, grunting and grumbling of Ilela has nothing to do with the poor reward system in the APC. It is the continuation of the usual coordinated character assassination which has been the hallmark of identity politics in our state.
Unity, love and brotherhood among our people are a blessing. Disunity breads hatred and it is a curse. Our founding fathers in Bauchi state were the best politicians Nigeria has ever produced. The generation of late Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Saad Zungur did not bequeath to our generation the kind of undesirable traits, odium and egocentricity portrayed by ilela. He is a liability and an encumbrance to our unity. We have friends across the state. We went to school with some of them. We have intermarried and produced children who have strengthened the bond of affinity and understanding among us. Why do we allow toxic “politicians” of Ilela’s lilk to fan the embers of disunity, mutual mistrust and hatred among our people?
Saleh Bature [email protected]