When Governor Bala Muhammed took over as the Chief Executive of Bauchi state, his power to the people slogan, anchored on a relentless anti-corruption war, warmed the hearts of many who had, for years, from the sidelines, watched helplessly how their standard of living was merciless battered by the deeds of greedy elements that had stolen from the 4.6million people blind but still mustered courage and guts to shamelessly walk tall and even throw challenges to his aspiration.
The feeling goes on that if Bauchi indigenes do not subscribe to their governor’s relentless effort in tackling the monster of corruption as inherited, then it should be accepted that in no distance future the state would crumble. The governor has said that much in his tireless effort to return the state to the diverted, path of glory.
The discovery of over 10,000 ghost workers, a fact thrown up by the tedious but life-saving Bank Verification Number (BVN) implementation drive, carried out in tandem with that of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), is a case in point as to how seriously committed the Bala Muhammed administration is to the execution of its anti-corruption war, largely the reason why he was elected.
When it took the governor a period of time that the people were not accustomed to, as far as replacing and forming his cabinet, consideration was given to the need of getting round pegs to be in round holes. The short delay was misunderstood to mean incapacitation laced with confusion. Alas! It came to pass with jubilation.
Prior to the victory of the governor at the polls in 2019, his campaign train had stood the party, during its short formative period, in good stead, through edifying and conciliatory pronouncements that helped to fast-track cohesion and now threatened by rabble-rousers and turn-coats guising as opposition members.
In their usual style of twisting facts to suit their ignorance, some morons quoted wrong contracts awarded, amount involved and benefitting contractors to paint the Bauchi administration black ostensibly to ridicule the person of the governor. It is no secret that the state’s economy was in dire straits, and the reason for that is not farfetched, given the narrative that far too many huge sums of public funds, denominated in local and foreign currencies, accruing to the treasury were either corruptly misappropriated, or in a bare-faced stance, stolen brazenly and Governor Bala Muhammed vowed to retrieve and channel to infrastructural development beneficial to all. That sent shivers to detractors as they are tirelessly fighting the vow under the cover of politics.
But Nigerians know that because of the perilous exposure of the economy to the antics of self-styled, ‘patriotic’ sons of the soil, along with their evil counterparts, who took delight in dipping their long fingers into the till, and yet, are forever ‘begged’ to represent their ‘people’, it is foolhardy to expect the governor, and by extension, his aides to stop flogging the anti-corruption rhetoric.
Any person who has a case or may have a case to answer, as regards the state’s stolen funds and properties, must pluck the courage to get in touch with the appropriate authorities, and quickly return, in full, what was illegally acquired and stashed away, with a view to making amends, and bringing to a close, retributive justice that may arise from chastisement by an unrelenting guilty conscience. This is what most detractors and their co-travelers hate to hear and must be said and heard.
The ongoing efforts of the governor which tally with the principle of good governance, is not restricted to PDP members, and therefore, needs to be embraced by every patriot who is genuinely interested in joining hands with the state government to smoking out those who looted the commonwealth, brazenly displaying and, with impunity trying to resist being brought to book through claimed opposition.
Any serious patriot who is sincerely interested to getting answers to burning questions agitating his mind as regards the governing style of Sen. Bala Muhammed led administration, has at his disposal unfettered access to authorized government officials without the know of the state governor or via the internet but not through waste of newspaper pages for an archaic motive.
Any resort to gossip, rumour-mongering and subterfuge orchestration of pull-him down malicious campaigns amounts to cheap blackmail, an ill-wind that blows nobody any good including those detractors and their co-travellers in a coalition on a dangerous ego mission targeted at the governor for 2023 chase game.
Although we all know their intellectual capacity which is akin to that of senseless toddlers, the hired supporters engaged for the hatchet job are not helping the drowning neophytes for lack of facts.
Given the hallmarks of Governor Bala Muhammed that defines him as a leader of candour who, in all seasons is his own man, it is futile and suicidal for any toddler, jobber or publication to pretend to be second-guessing his body language because the governor is a sticker for excellence especially in areas of probity, integrity, discipline and the fear of God. He takes his time in arriving at conclusions, and far more time, making pronouncements.
So far from transparency in managing resources, he is saving for the raining day and expending part of it to execute roads construction apart from the sinking of several boreholes and Primary Healthcare centres in the 20 local government areas as well as additional boreholes in the three senatorial zones of the state. This was possible from prudent and financial discipline. What else? Detractors may hate to hear such wonders of progress. But let them hold their breath for a while.
Just for mild reference, in their heydays of futile attempt to diminish the rising profile of the anointed leader, they expressed bitterness for the governor unjustifiably.
Before Bauchi state is thrown into political battle akin to other states, let me state categorically and without fear of any consequence that should those detractors continue to fire other terrorist brands of publications, we shall start replying with superior force, we hate to join issues with day-light politicians for fear of equalization but, this is only a warning. We have their lowly-type to handle them appropriately to their understanding.
Gone were the days when campaigns of calumny orchestrated by palace jesters result in the impeachment or hatred of personalities whose contributions are not proved to be unworthy of their high offices.
As a supposedly advocate of Good Governance, the people of Bauchi state and Nigerians expect those detractors’ fervent prayer for the untainted success of the PDP led administration in Bauchi State in the discharge of its daunting duties, as they do their level best toward putting corruption and sleaze to death and, to bring the comatose economy of the state back to life for jubilation in celebration not baseless whistleblowing lacking substance and meaning than hatred and disunity in an impoverished clime wishfully heaped on the people over the years.
Behaving clownish for hatred to flourish within the polity will not and shall never bring succour to the inherited bastardized system. The pudding now lies in the eating.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues