APC Lost Bauchi Again: Four Flaws Cost Us Our Domain

By Saad Umar Esq

The APC had everything: a stronghold; the right candidate; right policies; enough money – over N3 billion election war chest; and many foot soldiers ready to take on a vulnerable, beatable incumbent. Did APC really lose? If INEC is correct here are my random thoughts.

In Bauchi, APC is the party of the little guy. APC wins if it runs a grassroots-based campaign with the little guy at the centre of it. But there was alienation or its perception. The little guy wanted inclusion, he got exclusion.

So, when the big guys appeared ringed round the crown to lead the battle and began to prattle and tattle on who wronged them or belonged to their exclusive club, I prayed to avoid a conclusive club. Alas, INEC results are out; the big guys got, in their mouths, clout.

The little guy doesn’t like the PDP big guys either. All big guys are gluttonous, disloyal and covetous. Hence, when the big guys took center stage he hesitated to engage. There was no way the PDP big guys would deliver for the APC. No way! They hit Qaura hard though, but it wasn’t a death blow. To be honest, it’s a fool’s errand to expect them to win it alone unless it’s not one man one vote.

However, historically the little guy has delivered in Bauchi. A few examples will suffice. Remember the then little-known Qaura of the ANPP in 2007. The little guy helped him take on the big guy – Ahmad Mu’azu, then incumbent governor of Bauchi State – and knocked him out in their Bauchi South Senatorial bout.

And then there was late Malam Ali Wakili of APC. He too, like little Qaura before him, squared up to Malam Isa Yuguda, the governor then, as the underdog in the battle for the Bauchi South Senatorial seat. It was a fight between big malam and little malam. The little Malam was cheered by the little guy. Little Malam Ali prevailed via a unanimous decision.

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And, following the death of Ali Wakili, Lawal Yahaya, with the little guy on his side, repeated the same feat against Yuguda in the 2018 Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election. We can even go back to the 1999 governorship election where Ahmad Mu’azu beat the undisputed, unbeatable political colossus – the deceased Ajiyan Bauchi Adamu.

Besides, the APC did not focus sufficiently on the election, it focused more on the campaign. The Party, in many precincts, lacked the necessary and sufficient resources and preparations for the election. Something as basic as agents’ mobilisation had glitches. Some agents are yet to receive their allowances as I write. While some received reduced or mutilated sums.

The APC’s focus on the campaign had unintended consequences. The campaign sent chills down PDP’s spine. So much so that they overestimated the APC and were over-prepared for the election. PDP employed every means possible to win the election – morality, legality, and fair play gave way to violence, lawlessness and venality. For PDP, the election was one war to be won by hook or crook. That’s how the APC’s mandate was stolen. The APC must not capitulate, it must retrieve our mandate the PDP and Qaura arrogate.

Moreover, the APC had issues with the primary elections, particularly the automatic tickets it gave to certain aspirants who vied for the House of Assembly. One party leader from Bauchi Central described it to me as a mistake on election day! Unsurprisingly, only one of the beneficiaries of the automatic ticket gate won his reelection – Hon Bala Abdu Rishi – the rest lost and dragged down the governorship ticket.

Closely related to the above was the inability of the party to better manage the fallout from the governorship primary. As a result, many self-interested aspirants unconscionably left the party after losing the primaries even though they lost fair and square. Sore losers. In case they come back their actions warrant commensurate accountability.

Further, there was the problem of the opportunistic, egotistical, hypocritical ‘party leaders’. They are APC in name only. They are in it for the benefit they get. Their true party is themselves. For those, it’s either their way or the highway. When their preferred candidates lost the primaries, they worked against the party or at the minimum refused to support it. Betrayers. Saboteurs. The enemy within. Their impunity calls for a penalty.

Now, these flaws though not exhaustive need to be fixed. Else we’ll keep letting elections slip through our fingers. Our floored record can no longer be ignored. From 1999 to date, PDP has won all the governorship elections. Only twice – in 2015 and 2007 the APC and its predecessor prevailed.

Saad, a lawyer, is the Deputy Chairman of APC Publicity Committee, Bauchi State and former Director-General of BASEPA.


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