No doubt, with the 2019 general election inching closer as each day passes by, the good, the bad and the ugly sides of campaigns will certainly flood the media space. Already, the pages newspapers are inundated with articles and other write-ups by mendacious writers targeted at misleading gullible Nigerians.
A back-page column published on the June 4, 2018 edition of LEADERSHIP, one of Nigeria’s most influential and widely read newspapers appears archetypal of what to expect from such media campaigns. In the article with the headline, ‘Upending Democracy in Bauchi’, the author, Mariam Mohammed, tended to be biased towards the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Even though it may be their own personal view, columnists are expected to do in-depth analysis on issues without prejudice. But in her column, Mariam misconstrued Governor Abubakar and misrepresented facts as far as Bauchi politics is concern.
It is worrisome that this misguided propaganda is appearing in a column that has not only shown a knack for objectivity but has constantly proven to be an avenue for enlightened analysis, with veritable sourced content. With this kind of bias inferred by the writer’s choice of words, are we to trust her column again? This, to me, is the height of prejudice on the part of a columnist considered as reputable.
Ordinarily, I won’t have glorified such a piece with a response but for Bauchi State indigenes who are in the know about the political happenings in the state and the good fortunes brought by the present administration of Governor Abubakar, it is indeed compelling to set the record straight.
Mariam made mention of the “emperor-like mien” of the governor without giving one instance of the display of such tyrannical tendency, either in the day-to-day management of the affairs of the state or the conduct of the just concluded ward congresses where she craftily hinged her attack. Unknown to her, the congresses in Bauchi received a pass mark from the validating authorities, the APC national leadership and different interests groups except for those who were busy working against the successful conduct of the congresses.
Although in the contest for political or partisan advantage there can only be one victor and one or many vanquished, it is instrumental to note here that those who felt lost out in the congresses have largely lost touch with the electorates and the party faithful. They have chosen to pontificate rather than get down with the masses that are the sole determinant of the political direction and destiny of the state or the nation for that matter.
In Bauchi State, those opposed to democracy and Governor Abubakar’s drive to move the state forward are well known faces and they could not hide under any guise to bamboozle us again. It is unfortunate that throughout his first tenure as a governor, M A Abubakar has been witnessing inexorable hostility from detractors who, instead of joining hands with him to move the state forward, are bent on pulling him down for no just reason.
In her article, Mariam listed a number of resignations from the Bauchi governor’s cabinet without giving us latent reasons for their leaving office. She also cited instances without giving cogent reasons for their occurrence. It is a known fact that many of the governor’s appointees have stepped aside given the fact that there is no more ill gotten wealth to amass in Bauchi Government House. Governor Abubakar does not believe in executive largesse or political patronage. Instead, he prefers to abide strictly by the tenet of equal-pay-for-work.
So, most of them who gad taken up cabinet jobs with the hope of recouping financially from their previous campaigns or activities, on behalf of the party may have resigned in out of frustration or disappointment, which is no fault of the transparent Bauchi State helmsman. If the truth must be told, Governor Abubakar has been running a government for the masses and not the few, a novelty in Bauchi State. Those who regard themselves as divine power brokers or godfathers in the state’s socio-political dynamics have found themselves holding the short end of the stick.
It is instructive to note that Mariam article did not point to one single infraction, abuse of power or financial impropriety on the part of the Bauchi State governor. It was merely a repetition of the unsubstantiated allegations levelled against him by his detractors.
Jahun wrote in from Bauchi