Even from the outset when Yuguda picked the Danburam as his running mate for the guber race for Bauchi State under the platform of the ANPP in 2007, political pundits in Bauchi state observed that the move would be short-lived because the duo are one million poles apart in both character and political disposition.
The deputy governor is a highly revered personage who is loved by the majority of legislators in the state as quoted in the Daily Trust’s report of June 18, 2009. He commands enormous respect and a broad-based support that cuts across the state. He is a seasoned administrator, straight forward, and above all highly prudent with public funds and a level headed politician. This perhaps explains the clamour for Gadi by people across the state to run for the upcoming governorship election in 2011.
The feud between the governor and his deputy became evidently clear when the latter was conspicuously absent at the decamping ceremony and his subsequent interview with the media in which he did not mince words as to his membership of the ANPP. Yuguda who observers accused of being unforgiving was reported to have planned the process of impeaching the deputy for his insistence to remain in the ANPP.
If the story, buttressed by media reports to the effect that the governor is planning to impeach his deputy by giving financial inducement of 10 million naira to every member of the State House of Assembly willing to append his/her signature is anything to go by, then it is not an overstatement to say that Malam Isa Yuguda and his deputy have drawn a battle line.
No governor in this dispensation is facing more serious and daunting challenges than Yuguda. Malam Isa Yuguda’s has seen his very high popularity during the 2007 election in Bauchi now turned into an open hatred by the same electorate that voted him into power. His convoy was recently showered with stones in Azare, Ningi and Dass by angry youths who were apparently not happy with the alleged monumental corruption in the state.
Yuguda is also slugging it with the national and state chapters of the ANPP. It is alleged that the governor is hatching a plan to plant a stooge as the state party chairman of the ANPP. This, it was further gathered, was launched by the governor to give him a firm control over the only party which he fears would pose the greatest challenge for his second term ambition. It could be recalled that the party had earlier vowed to teach Yuguda a lesson for dumping it without any cogent reason.
The media which the governor is ordinarily supposed to hobnob and cultivate to his advantage is on a collision course with him for what his assistant on information and communication described as an ‘orchestrated campaign against the governor’. Not only that, the over 900 assistants and advisers the governor recently disengaged from service are another impediment on the governor’s march for Bauchi government house in the next election. More worrisome and disturbing to the governor is the anti-graft agency’s dossier containing the governor’s alleged shoddy dealings which a commentator said would be an albatross for Malam’s political fortunes.
Looking at the avalanche of political mess and dilemma the embattled governor of Bauchi state has put himself into, only an incredulous mind or a child would doubt Malam Isa Yuguda’s crash in the very near future. Moreover, the governor has added to his already worsened political problems the costly and, from all intent and purposes, unnecessary and very difficult gamble of impeaching his deputy.
Juxtaposing Yuguda’s current travail and political quagmire with his deputy’s renewed rapport with the state legislators and swelling popularity across the state, malam Isa Yuguda indeed has a herculean task ahead to mend fences with aggrieved groups in the state, launder his battered image and stage a political come-back. So, not his marriage to the president’s daughter or, the 10 million Naira alleged financial inducement to state assembly members to impeach the deputy governor or, his new found love with the PDP top brass could save Isa Yuguda from the wrath of Bauchi people when the chips are down come 2011.
Abdulkadir writes from Kafin Kuka, Azare