The argument that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria only accepts the defection of elected office holders from a party when it is factionalized also holds no water as the ANPP is worse than being fractured; it is in complete disarray.
At the moment, the ANPP is adjudged incompetent even by its core adherents. For example, a recent advertorial by the party’s Forum of Gubernatorial and Senatorial Candidates captioned “Whither ANPP” and signed by Senator Mukhtar Aruwa and Khaleel Bolaji described it as “A party that started with nine governors in 1999 but through poor, visionless leadership, amongst other reasons has wasted its goodwill to barely three states in 2007. The continuous memberships of one or two still remains in doubt as rumours are rife that they may be on their way out.”
The antics of the Deputy Governor to raise maximum dust over the issue portrays him as someone who is more interested in his own personal progress rather than that of Bauchi State as a whole. The reasons he advanced for his insistence to remain deputy governor under a governor from a different party are rather puerile. If principles were really at stake, Gadi would have honourably decamped with his principal or resigned his post peacefully to allow for the continued development of the state.
Similarly, the major negative consequence of the deputy governor’s refusal to either decamp or resign is the over-heating of the polity at the risk of derailing vital policies and programmes. In the same vein, the negative innuendos being bandied around that Malam Yuguda is plotting to have his deputy impeached could only be calculated to destroy the rising profile and popularity of the governor. Is there a larger conspiracy to deny the people of Bauchi State the benefit of the excellent leader that they voted for on 14th April 2007?
Power belongs to the Almighty God and He bestows it on whom He wills. Current attempts to truncate the execution of programmes planned for Malam Yuguda’s first term in office could only be the handiwork of the people’s enemies in the guise of opposition politicians. Peace and security which are the bedrock for any development is what they are attacking. For example, all the painstaking efforts Malam deployed to rid the state of the menace of Yan Sara Suka would be in jeopardy with the current attempts at rabble-rousing by opposition elements especially in the ANPP. It is even possible that those aspiring for the governorship and other positions in the 2011 general election are behind these attempts to disrupt the administration. They will fail because the people of Bauchi State are politically sophisticated enough as they demonstrated time and again in the course of the nation’s political history.
Surprisingly, Gadi has denied any rift between him and Governor Yuguda. In an interview with the Daily Trust of 29th June he stated that “Our relationship remains good. There is nothing that has shown that he has anything against me. He has never appeared to suggest that he will wrong me in any way.” If this is the case, why would he cause all these commotion or allow his supporters to do so?
The fact that the exit of Governor Yuguda from the party is a big blow to the fast falling fortunes of the ANPP must be seen as a function of the dynamics of politics. According to Farouk Adamu Aliyu (ANPP Jigawa State), a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, in an interview in the Daily Trust of 1st July, “I must confess that it is a big minus for the party that Governors Isa Yuguda and Mahmud Shinkafi of Bauchi and Zamfara States respectively have left. It is not a good omen for our party.” Perhaps, after the mass exodus from the party, it would recover its sense of proper organisation and cohesion. And since the Bauchi State chapter of the party claims to be the darling of the people, it could easily raise another gubernatorial candidate to run against Yuguda in the 2011 elections.
The interest of the people is larger than that of any individual or group. There is now a clear and present need for our leaders at all levels to guard their tongues in order to sustain the peace and progress that the millions of citizens of Bauchi State have started savouring since 2007.
Shehu wrote in from Bauchi