Allegations of poor style of governance, treachery, and gross incompetence against the governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar have continued to trend consistently, giving an impression that the state is doomed in the ongoing tenure of the governor. Hon. Ahmed Yerima representing Misau/Dambam Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the National Assembly, in this interview attests to the problem the federal legislators from Bauchi is having with the governor.
With the recent letter from your Local Government Caretaker Chairman, it goes to show that Gov. Mohammed Abubakar is still not happy with you and others, what could be the reason for all these fight.
Well, first of all my name is Ahmed Yarima representing Misau/Dambam Federal Constituency here in the National Assembly, I cannot specifically tell you why the Governor is not happy, I all can tell you is an ego, you know there are political officers holders that have ego that they want anybody to come up and himself he has issues himself, he doesn’t know his left and right, he couldn’t different himself, secondly he is the one that masterminded all these crisis, because we are 15 from Bauchi State here in the National assembly, it cannot be that all of us are fighting him, he has never been in the party itself, he has never been a member of the APC, he hasn’t even get the registered membership, I don’t know whether they gave him after, but the first one hundred given to everyone in this country he hasn’t got one, because he came forty days to the election and due to some internal discrepancies about the other candidates that he became the candidate of the APC. Not that he campaigned for anyone, not that he contributed financially, rather we are the one that contributed financially to help him in our constituency, he only spent about N20 million in the whole thing, by giving the local government N400,000 to the 20 of them that makes up the N20 million. So he just a new comer in the whole political system and he has not gotten the root.
Like you said that the governor was not a member of the party at the onset, how was he able to win the election.
What I am saying, when there was a merger 100 cards were given to every unit, he has not got that one, you can today be a member of APC, PDP or any other political party, that doesn’t mean anything, it is not the membership of the merger. He wasn’t part of it from the beginning, he joined forty days to the election and he was welcome by us in Bauchi and he was accepted and welcome. So if God destined you to be a Governor in this country you can be one, the only thing is the legacies left, that is what matters and I don’t think this governor is leaving any legacy to leave rather he is entrenched into infighting, within his own mind, he is in conflict with his own self, that is why he is fighting everybody, he arrogate himself to knowledge of everything when he hasn’t got any grassroots history in the state. Under normal circumstances in other countries and even in this country not every state will take someone from somewhere to be a governor without having a family connection, without having the historical network and everybody knows it. I can be from today by going there, acquiring the citizenship of that state from the Local government area, that is how it happens.
For sometimes now, most of the projects you want undertake for your people, the governor have always be on the way and blocked them, what is his reason behind this.
I don’t know you can ask him that, which means he doesn’t know his responsibility as a leader. Anything positive, coming to your area, local government, state you should welcome it, be it from anybody. His cronies tried to resist my constituency projects in the last financial year 2016 and people took arms to defend their projects, he uses thugs, drug them, incite them to do violence all over the state, everybody knows that is the way that he can be able to uphold to power and he feels he will use the same violence to do the election in 2019 and which we cannot agree to that. We are not violent people and we don’t agree and accept to use violent for anything, so we will void violence, he can employ anyone he wants, but we are going to resist him in any form possible.
Like this recent letter will you still go ahead with your constituency projects?
Yes, I asked the people to defend their project and they took arms to defend it, anybody that he sent will face the consequences, so his cronies couldn’t stop it, they tried to use the police, the army to stop it and they refuse to be intimidated particularly in Dambam Local government. In my local government where I came from Misau, the same thing done, but the people resisted. So they are trying to push people to do just like the Boko Haram, using thugs to harass and intimidate people and people will resist and I am willing to lead the resistance against him.
Late last year you and your colleagues in the National Assembly and other stakeholders from the state visited APC National secretariat, to lay complaints over his government, what is your take.
We went to the President Buhari first and we laid the complaints and he was the one that asked us to come and speak with him, after speaking with the governor we sat with him and discussed things on how to go forward, the ministers from Bauchi State, the officials from Bauchi State, the elected members from Bauchi State all are in one unit and himself is one unit alone. We told the president our position and the party we also told our position. We are not going to buy into any blackmail and we are not going to agree him to destroy the party, because if you put an election day today he is going to fail and everybody know that, and the Governor knows and he should know.
He came up then and said it is because he refused to buy you and your colleagues’ exotic vehicles and houses in Abuja that is why you people are fighting him, how true is this?
I am going to tell you something new that happened recently, just recently he gave three cars to three members of the National assembly, those that he believe are with him, so it means he swallowed his promise that even if he is riding on money he will never do that and he ended up doing that. So as a Muslim i believe to apologize to God for breaking his promise. So you can see the way he does, is just a cheap politics, is just cheap blackmail, I had cars before he had a car, and the kind of cars I have he has never had before he became a governor and the car he is riding as a governor is the same car I am riding today even before I came to the National Assembly. So what is he going to talk about cars, house, before he became a governor he was living in a rented house in Bauchi, that is why he has a very questionable indigeneship to our people, you cannot point a place to say this is his family home and say this is his root. Is just this new indigene system of citizenship that warrants him to be there, not that he born in Bauchi State, not that his dad was born in Bauchi State, not that his mum was born in Bauchi State. He was just working in Bauchi State, he was in Kano, his parents were in Kano, they lived in Jos, so can he claim citizenship of Kano and Plateau, the answer is no, but in Bauchi people are open hearted.
What has he not done right, what are really his sins?
He cannot pay salaries, he cannot pay pensioners, he cannot gratuities, the hamlets and local chiefs he dismissed them from office, traditional institutions are being abused and neglected. The very responsibility of governance is nowhere seen in the State, public work, there is no single project of N1 billion in Bauchi State combined since the inception of his administration. He said that he is going to construct road from here and there and not even 10 percent of them were done and he paid 70% to 80% of the money, always on variations. So people have no any responsibility it seems to me to allow this kind of thing to happen in their state and I am disappointed.
Why are you disappointed?
I am disappointed with the moral ground of the people in Bauchi State for accepting this kind attitude.
What else could have done?
They have a way to deal with the situation,
What are the ways?
Resistance, resist mismanagement, they can protest, they can demonstrate. Is it not the constitutional right for every Nigerian to express his or her dissatisfaction with a situation you can demonstrate you are free to express your opinion, your position, so people should find a way to deal with the situation? Because you cannot allow somebody governing you to come and destroying your moral standards and ethics, you cannot allow somebody to be a leader and abusing the power and swindling you by the day.
As 2019 approaches, what does this portends for APC in the State
People are not going to vote for the APC at the present current governance position; people are going to vote people not party, if you are the right candidate from anywhere we can vote for you, we are not going to vote you because you are in APC.
Do you think if he stands for the primaries he will lose?
It doesn’t matter to me, if he wins the primary that’s his own business, the bottom line is that people are not going to vote for him and I can bet anything for that.
What are things you have done in your constituency since taking office as Representatives member?
I would have asked you to go and ask them yourself, is not good for me to press sing myself, and is very untraditional. Okay, I took over 1600 persons who are small scale traders and I gave them money to add up to their businesses, the tea makers, the women selling bean cake, Suya sellers, all my constituency projects about N89 million, I took it there, I didn’t remove any penny from there and every day I am helping people go to school and give scholarships, so virtually I am not making any money from here, in fact I am putting my money to help people, even my own personal money I used it on my people. I am serving my people with both their money and my own money.