Bauchi: A Case of the Tough in the Going, by Sanusi Muhammad


Through variegated platforms, one had canvassed for a new regime of rectitude in public service and commitment to the welfare of the greater number as permissible minimum expected of leadership. Incumbent on leadership is the ability to find the best men and women at all times to trust with private or public trust. The tragedy of power however, is that it attracts men and women of variegated tendencies and proclivity. Power to the vain is opium, to the sane a vehicle to do God’s will and make lives better. To some of the present crop of leaders that bestride the political kaleidoscope, I would say that you make the minimum a regime of responsible and responsive, governance.
Jesters and praise singers sing discordant and nebulous tunes to power; supporters urge and nudge that certain steps be taken indiscriminate of how it resonates; social and political commentators say it doesn’t matter so long as things change for the better; and the one in power always confused because a cacophony of voices trading bias and prejudice dominates the politico-social amphi theatre; to those found in this cesspool I leave the ageless reprimand of Niccolo Machiavelli to wit “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him”.
For instance, in Bauchi state, as 2019 is fast approaching and with several candidates masquerading in desperation to wrest the mantle of leadership from the incumbent, some of those trusted with supposedly responsible positions to support the programmes of the incumbent to fruition, suddenly developed cold feet. The going has definitely started getting tough and only the tough are strategizing to reach the coast with minimum injury as the feud within the ruling party has gathered momentum that must cool down in the interest of the state.
Some of those trusted to serve as a reward for whatever service they rendered to the victory of the incumbent, could not keep to the pace and realized their mistakes to have accepted the offer and unanimously threw away the birth water with the baby for what they called to better grazing fields to exhibit their potentials with blackmail.
The psychology of responsible and responsive power is far less complex than the journey to power itself. Responsible power sits on a time tested tripod which is justice, equity and fairness which seem to be alien to detractors of the change mantra. Revenge and revanchist propensity is how not to lead as Governor M.A Abubakar is exhibiting. Exclusion as opposed to inclusion by any guise or logic is how not to lead and that is why the M.A Abubakar’s leadership is all inclusive for the serious minded.
The sacrifice of excellence at the altar of mediocrity is how not to govern as subscribed by the Governor. To sacrifice the major for the minor will tilt the balance against the scale of justice, to a true leader the led indiscriminate of creed or clan must count as one which is the leadership style in Bauchi state today.
In his statement at the historic ground-breaking ceremony of roads renovations, Governor Abubakar said, “I have argued that when the bias of region and religion count for little to leadership; that when leadership sees in ‘us’ greater benefit than it sees in ‘I’; and when electoral pain and inconvenience is diminished by the call to statehood, our journey to prosperity and progress shall have begun.
“However, in our socio-political debate, mischief makers have exploited out gullibility and have chosen to misinform and distort facts for selfish interest. Across the electronic and print media as well as on the social media, one hears and reads several murdered truths and concocted lies laced with hatred against some of us. This sadly has been the position of the bandwagon of parochial and juvenile liars for greed. This fallacy must fail because there is nowhere in this universe that responsible leadership succumbs to such hokum. Justice is the call on leadership to justly dispense of the rights and liabilities of public trust“. Equity is the inevitable demands of balance and spread across the social, regional and ethical divide that obtains. And fairness is the age-tested moral minimum incumbent on leadership.
When the electorates voted M.A Abubakar, they did not vote for mediocrity but placed their responsibility on his shoulders. They entrusted his leadership with the challenge to at all times grow and nurture men and women of excellence and integrity across the state. As a trust, he believes that the reality of history makes the present organizational minimum even more strident; leadership at all levels search the best from the divides. Excellence cannot excuse exclusion, and to those who think otherwise, there is nowhere in the world that the governor is dictated to include mischief makers and laggards in his duties for fear of threats of blackmail. Excellence has never been the exclusive preserve of any stalk, colour, creed, clan or tendency.
The choice of leadership to include other hands as wished by blackmailers should not be an issue for trading in the market square. Like in the case of successive leadership perhaps excluding few, the state witnessed an organic relegation of youths in governmental trust. Rather than grow the youths through serious responsibilities, the past used them as thugs and menial aides, sooner than later those who are lampooning the idea of frustrating M.A Abubakar and his associates in Bauchi state shall begin to agree with his policy of criticism, cohesion, passion and selection which are the other hypocrisy waiting to rupture.
Without equivocation, the policy of M.A Abubakar in selecting those to aide his leadership to deliver remains the best. Again without fear of querulous critics his policy does not excuse mediocrity but engenders balance, peace, brotherhood and inclusiveness. There is no section of the country that suffers the dearth of component and credible hands, therefore, jesters, blackmailers and praise singers must spare the governor the kindergarten dialectics that blames him for non-inclusion and constant visits at the detriment of national assignment.
In this era of change where the preponderant number of those who berthed the ballot based revolution of March/April, 2015 were youths, the commensurate quid pro quo is for the governor to continue to support the young of unrivaled passion, proficiency and patriotism to drive Bauchi state to the place where the promises of democracy will become true and the change promised real.
Power bestows enormous responsibilities and leadership connotes parenthood; revenge, payback in same coin, segregation, nepotism and selective nuances must be treated as Shibboleth by he who must be documented amongst the great. To prove doubting Thomas wrong, M.A Abubakar believes that responsible and responsive leader is one who fixes square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes knowing that justice, equity, fairness, power sharing with responsible associates and inclusion are the organic minimum peace, progress and prosperity.  He believes that mutual trust and confidence is the turf on which the best must play to make Bauchi state great again not unnecessary and malicious allegations from mischievous politicians on a destruction mission for selfish interests. As he aspired to lead Bauchi state, for fear of his rising political rating, they did all they could to and he gallantly reached the coast of success. Shamelessly, they paid kangaroo visit of ‘congratulation’ to cover shame. The man smiled and said it is over. Let us join hands to build a better Bauchi state.
Muhammad is a veteran journalist and writes from Bauchi.


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