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‘Bala Must Go’ — Why Bauchi Gov, Others Plan to Exit PDP Presidential Campaign

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed and some elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have threatened to work against the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for aligning with some fellows championing “Bala Must Go” conspiracy.

This was contained in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, wherein the governor and the elders accused Atiku of backing those working against his re-election as the state governor.

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In addition, Governor Bala alleged that the PDP presidential candidate did not trust him, hence his decision to quit the PDP presidential campaign council stands tall.

According to him, the team fighting him directly or indirectly supported by the presidential candidate include former governors, some political elders and other foot soldiers. However, the governor is confident that their conspiracy will not work as their plans have been revealed.

“Your Excellency, this protest letter has been necessitated by the treachery targeted at my person and office, undoubtedly endorsed, directly or indirectly, by the presidential candidate of our party. His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, Wazirin Adamawa. In this game of political mischief, he is in league with some political stakeholders from Bauchi State, who have constituted themselves into a ‘Bala Must Go’ conspiracy.

“The arrowheads of the treacherous scheme against me include former Governors, some Political Elders and other foot soldiers. Unfortunately for them, because of the goodwill, I have with the people, most of their mischievous plans get to be revealed to me before they start implementing,” the letter read partly.

A PUNISHMENT FOR CONTESTING AGAISNT ATIKU IN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

The governor alleged that the main reason behind the formation of the forces against him was his contest for the office of number one citizen of the country alongside Atiku Abubakar in the last PDP presidential primaries saying:
“While Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his political cohorts insist that I must be ‘punished’, for contesting against him during the presidential primary of our party. the self-acclaimed ‘kingmakers’, around the Wazirin Adamawa want a pound of flesh from me because I have refused to capitulate to their unbridled sense of entitlement, which is pregnant with selfishness and dictatorial tendencies.

“The lost group of the ‘Bala Must Go’ campaigners are those whose ego has been bruised by my continued political relevance, rising national profile and the groundswell of public acclamation that has trailed unprecedented developmental strides of the PDP led administration in the state,” said the governor.

Governor Bala further revealed that he has complained several times about this hostility against him which can not augur well for the party but to no avail.

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He said: “Mr. Chairman, it will interest you to know that faced with these adversarial conditions, I complained to both the presidential candidate and the vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, as well as some party elders whose names I do not want to mention here. Sadly, rather than abate, the mischief and treachery have escalated, under the watchful eyes and knowledge of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who, to all intents and purposes, is the leader of the groups. The footprints of this undeserved hostility, bordering on anti-party activities, litter the political terrain but will mention just a few here. These are:

“My post-nomination snub by the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Notwithstanding that I promptly conceded defeat and congratulated him upon his nomination, he excluded me while visiting other aspirants who ran against him.

“Worse still, the fact that I swallowed my pride and led a delegation of my associates and major stakeholders of my state on a solidarity visit to his Asokoro residence in Abuja, to pledge my loyalty and support, was not enough for him to reciprocate my gesture of goodwill. Instead, he took advantage of the occasion to express his displeasure with me and to hint (FOREWARN ME) that for the purpose of his 2023 presidential campaign in Bauchi State, he would rely on his aforementioned associates, many of whom have turned out to be my traducers.”

He also alleged that he is being sidelined in the activities of the campaign council despite being its vice chairman. “Despite my purported appointment as Vice Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council PCC, which, unlike others, I accepted, in good faith. I was excluded from the activities of the PCC as it relates to my office. I was deliberately sidelined from the reach-out campaign of the PCC in Kaduna which interacted with major stakeholder groups and the northern political establishment such as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Sardauna Foundation, Arewa Research and Development Project, etc.

“Open fraternisation with ‘Bala Must Go’ exponents, most of them from the opposition, without detoxifying them of their virulent and destructive animosity towards me and the PDP-led Administration in the state. Undisguised efforts to sabotage my re-election and impose on the state a governor from another party who is ready to satisfy their selfish interests to the detriment of the larger interest of the people of the state.

“Chairman Sir, anybody with a modicum of conscience will agree that to subject a man who in the past twelve years has adorned party loyalty like a badge to this level of humiliation is unacceptable. To reward a loyal party worker who has dutifully carried out every assignment given to me, contributed without equivocation to the growth and development of the party, in good times and in bad times, to the manipulation of fair weather political opportunists and opponents of the party is the highpoint of betrayal.

“And to expect that I will remain frozen to the spot where I am being politically guillotined, will be the heigh of delusion: only a tree would be so dumb and indifferent. If all that I can get for my loyalty to the party is the current betrayal by an arrogant and defiant group, then I should be free to take my salvation in my own hands.

“Your Excellency Sir, it is a painful irony that, rather than leverage the landmark achievements recorded by the PDP-led Bauchi State Government, my supposed compatriots would want to squander this huge electoral value. The people recognize that the unprecedented progress we have made in bringing development to the state with limited resources, within a short period, is a marked departure from the better-forgotten era which was characterized by mediocrity, selfishness and bad governance. But I make bold to say Sir, that so long as my crime is that I pursued my presidential ambition to a logical conclusion despite all the intimidation and that I have put the interest of the people who elected us, and to whom we remain accountable, above some special interests. I have no regrets or apology.

“Mr. Chairman, I wish to state that am indeed surprised at the undeserved attitude of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar towards me. He knows that have always regarded him as an elder brother, that I have also accorded him all the respect that he deserves, as a shining light of our North East zone and a foremost nationalist and statesman. In recognition of these, at his birthday last year, we built and named one of the most important roads in Bauchi after him. Besides, you will recall that, ahead of the formal flag off of the presidential campaign, we hosted a major rally for him in Bauchi, Could all these have been swept away simply because of a legitimate step that I took which actually validated his victory?

“Why would he still “teach me a lesson” when his thrashing me at the primary was humbling enough? Why would he allow political opportunists to ride on his back to wreak vengeance on his younger brother whose sole preoccupation is the upliftment of the good people of Bauchi state and by extension, the North East and Nigeria?” asked the governor.

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Governor Bala said in order for him to continue with task of ensuring the victory of the PDP at the presidential election, the Wazirin Adamawa should issue public apology to the Governor and disown the forces working against his re-election bid maintaining that “Mr. Chairman, based on the above, wish to make the following final points: 1. That our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should issue a public statement disowning those renegade elements who are neck-deep in the anti party plot of subverting my re-election effort and to admonish members of our party to reject the devious overtures and manipulative strategies of my detractors.

“Short of complete public repudiation of these incongruities within a reasonable time frame, coupled with explicit guarantees of sincerity of purpose and public support for my re-election by the presidential candidate, I may withdraw from the PCC and feel free to create new measures and strategies that will guarantee the election or re-election of all PDP candidates in Bauchi State and myself,” he added.

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