Bauchi State: How Far? How Much Further?
Nasiru Bappah Muhammad
Bauchi State was created in 1976, from the then Northeastern State. Like any other state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the state was created so that the people within this new frontier can take their on destinies in their own hands. Col. Bello Khaliel was appointed as the first Military Governor of the state.
Since 1976, Bauchi state has been developing at snail’s speed, with sporadic stagnancy.
In October 1979, the first democratically elected executive governor Alhaji Abubakar Tatari Ali (late) took over the leadership of the toddling state.
Many of the late Tatari’s policies began to manifest before the military coup of December 1983, which brought the end of the second republic in Nigeria.
No remarkable changes occurred in the state since then, even during the Babangida’s “civilitary” regime.
In 1999, some twenty years later, another democratically elected Executive Governor took over the mantle of leadership of the state. This Executive Governor is His Excellency Alhaji (Dr.) Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, Walin Bauchi.
Walin Bauchi, who was seen as someone with little or no knowledge of the state, shattered this notion.
Governor Mu’azu’s cabinet has a fair representation of all the people of Bauchi state. His aides cut across the ethnic, religious and social strata of the state, which shows his level of pragmatism.
As far as Governor Mu’azu’s policies are concerned, from the state’s capital to the smallest and remotest ward in the state are what make up the state. Unity, education, welfare, health care, agriculture, urban and rural development, security and many more are the priorities of his administration. That is why Governor Mu’azu was re-elected in 2003 so that he can continue his good works.
Governor Mu’azu has taken Bauchi State to the fore.
Bauchi State is the state where dividend of democracy is at every doorstep.
2007 is fast approaching and sounds of trumpets have filled the air, with more sound from Katagum Zone.
Katagum Zone otherwise known as “GUDDURI” consist of nine of the twenty Local Governments in Bauchi State.
These Local Governments are: Shira/Yana, Jama’are, Itas/Gadau, Zaki, Gamawa, Dambam, Misau, Giade and Katagum.
The Zone has three emirates namely: Katagum, Misau and Jama’are.
Giade; Gamawa; Itas/Gadau; Katagum; Shira/Yana; and Zaki are what constitute Katagum Emirate.
Misau Emirate has Dambam and Misau Local Government Areas, while Jama’are emirate has Jama’are Local Government.
Despite the differences in Local Governments, Emirates and Ethnic Groups, the people of Katagum Zone, the Gudduris, are known to be one people for what they have in common. These people are very hospitable; peace-loving; displined; accommodating; pragmatic and very sacrificing. People from all over the country, and beyond, always enjoy their stay in the Zone.
Katagum always has a unique political culture. The zone believes in political leadership. It has been so since the advent of politics in Nigeria in the late 1950s.
Any government in power in Bauchi State finds Katagum Zone an easy-going zone, simply because the leaders of the zone control their people. Despite the freedom of choice, one party always seems to be dominant in the zone. That is why Katagum is a key player in the Bauchi State political arena.
Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu, popularly called “MUKADDAMI” is the political leader of Katagum Zone. Members of the popular ruling party, Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), believes in his leadership. He is a political king-maker.
Mukaddami was born in early 1950s in Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government. Born to the highly esteemed late Malam Modi family, he is a son of late Wakilin waje, Alhaji Aliyu.
Kaulaha’s background does not make him see any social or economic class difference in people. He is very accommodating, generous and amicable. He himself is a depiction of Katagum.
The manifestations of Kaulaha’s outstanding qualities are what make him the current political demigod of the zone. Even the well-respected elders of the zone are aboard his political wagon.
The gubernatorial aspirations of Bauchi State begin to serve as a weapon to destroy this political culture of Katagum, this inherited unity. Some people in the zone are being deluded, the delusion starts with Alhaji Falalu Attah and Alhaji Ibrahim Yaro-Yaro, both from Azare. These politicians are deluded by a manky fellow who sees himself as the would-be governor of the state. They began to insinuate, now that is the turn of Katagum zone to govern the state, the governor must come from Katagum Emirate. Although I believe that everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but I strongly remind these people that Katagum or Gudduri does not consist of Katagum Emirate only, even though it has the largest portion, and there is no forceful domineering culture in the history of Katagum. If they change the course of history, no generation will forgive them forever.
Bauchi State is fast developing, it is very glaring.
If from Bauchi Zone the state got someone who brought Bauchi to its present stage, the focus of the people of katagum zone should be on “who can, at least, continue this good work” irrespective of which emirate he comes from. I think the best way to do this is to take ourselves out of our selfish bodies, and take a look through the profiles of the contenders. Why we need to take ourselves out of our selfish bodies is because it is the only way we would know that we had one Governor from Katagum Emirate, Late Alhaji Abubakar Tatari Ali (of blessed memory); one Deputy Governor during Babangida’s “civilitary” regime, Alhaji Umaru Ahmed; and the present Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abdulmalik Mahmud.
If Katagum Emirate had all these chances creditably, we should still allow credibility to reign. The issue of “which emirate” does not arise as far as Katagum political culture is concerned.
Of all the six hot contenders, four are from Katagum Emirate, one from Misau Emirate, and the other one is from Bauchi Zone.
Before we go further to take a look at the aspirants one by one, let me make one thing clear to all of them: Bauchi State, entirely, must not be construed as an artistic theatre, where the Government House serves as the stage and the House of Assembly as the orchestra. It must be construed as a one household, where the Government House serves as an apartment of the head of the family and the House of Assembly as the elders’ apartment.
The youth of Bauchi state are not spectators, they are part and parcel of the household, and they are not ready to forgive any clown. The youths have a very strong passion for the state, they have a dream for the state. They want a lot done before their time comes.
In Bauchi State, there are many gubernatorial aspirants, passive and active. Our focus now is on the active aspirants.
In Katagum Zone, there are five active aspirants; Alhaji Adamu Aliyu; Alhaji Baba Tela; Alhaji Sulaiman Nazif; Alhaji Abdulmalik Mahmud; and Alhaji Mohammad Nadada Umar.
In Bauchi Zone, there is Alhaji Isa Yuguda.
ALHAJI ISA YUGUDA Alhaji Isa Yuguda, the former Aviation Minister, is believed by many to be a violence-loving gentleman.
This is because of the recent events in the state, his army of thugs seem ever ready to kill, amputate or injure anybody who seems to stand between Isa and the executive seat of Bauchi State.
“The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence” -Adolf Hitler.
Perhaps, this is the belief of Isa, could there be any element of patriotism in such a person? Gorge Washington, in his farewell address warned the people of the U.S. “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” Another thing that puzzles me is, even if Alhaji Isa Yuguda is not a violence-loving gentleman, what does he intend to do to the good people of Bauchi State if he happens to be the governor? I am not asking for his manifestos. My question here is, if he really can do something as a leader, what did he do to the aviation industry when he was the minister of aviation? Had something really been done, would many good citizens of our great country have crashed this much? In fact, Alhaji Isa Yuguda should see himself as a failure having inherited an ill ministry and left it very ill. Please, Bauchi State is developing; it is not ready to be in another quagmire.
ALHAJI ABDULMALIK MAHMUD This man is presently the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State. He was a chairman of Itas/Gadau Local Government Area. He became the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State when Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu was disqualified and Nadada rejected the offer.
Actually he could have been the right candidate from Katagum Zone but unfortunately, people say this man is out, with the help of some feeble-minded politicians, to disunite Katagum Zone, through the spread of some moronic ideas.
To many, Abdulmalik is manipulative and too dirty to be the governor of a state like Bauchi; others see him as an advocate of ‘thuggery’.
It is said that Abdulmalik was not happy when a Federal Medical Centre was established in Azare; it was also said that, he vowed, if he become the governor, the people of Katagum must be going to Itas for purchases, meaning he will become the governor only to develop his village; This is not a surprise to many as he is only accommodating people from his village, and those that can help in spreading his selfish interest, which is neither the interest of Katagum Zone nor that of the entire state, but Itas, his village. To some, Abdulmalik should consider farming by the end of this tenure; he may do better.
I, personally, agree with them because I doubt the administrative qualities in him, I recalled, in 2003, when the Defence minister, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso visited Bauchi, in the absence of His Excellency Governor Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu and the Secretary to the State Government, Abdulmalik, as the chief host, did not give him his full honor. When they were coming out of reception 2, discussing, towards reception 1, Abdulmalik just left the Honorable Minister, who seemed embarrassed, and began talking to some people, Walin katagum, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu was also there. If such a person is to assume the mantle of leadership of Bauchi State, he would one day abandon any honorable guest and go for his personal dealings.
ALHAJI BABA TELA Alhaji Baba Tela is currently the Distinguished Senator representing Bauchi North Senatorial Zone. He is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications.
Some people see him as a foreigner because his father, as they strongly believe, is not from Bauchi State, but his mother. His so called home town, Azare, has a telecommunication service for some years. It has not been digitalized until recently while he is the chairman of that committee.
Some people say Azare telephone line was digitalized as a result of his effort, while others say it is a mere coincidence, the story of this achievement was fabricated to equate him with the late Senator Bashir Mustapha, who worked tirelessly to make sure his zone had adequate and portable water supply, when he was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources.
People of Katagum see a glaring difference between the late senator and Baba Tela who was elected as Senator after the death of late Bashir Mustapha.
The late Senator was marked for his generosity, love for his people and manpower development, while Baba Tela is seen to many as someone who sheers away from people and always very selective.
Many people do not see him as someone who is capable of governing the state.
ALHAJI SULAIMAN NAZIF Alhaji Suleiman Nazif is a member of the House of Representatives, from Gamawa. Suleiman, before his election in 1999, was known by many as an active unionist, even before his graduation from University of Maiduguri.
Right from his childhood, according to those who know him, he is choosy in everything. That is why, even now as a politician, one can hardly gain access to him.
Many people, still, cannot believe that Suleiman is serious about his aspiration because, to them, he is still a toddler, in both life and politics, and hence very incapable of governing a state as magnificent as Bauchi.
Others believe that Suleiman is blowing his trumpet only to be Isa Yuguda’s running mate, and therefore not the serious type.
ALHAJI ADAMU ALIYU A onetime secretary to the Military Government of Bauchi State, he is presently the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Japan and holds a traditional title of Walin Katagum.
An elder brother to the Political leader of Katagum Zone-Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu-he is known for his neatness and high taste in anything.
He has been a career civil servant from the then Northeastern State until he retired in Bauchi State.
Almost every body does not see governorship in Alhaji Adamu Aliyu because he is too much for himself. He does not know the state of affairs of the masses; some say to him all the masses should be eradicated or at least be dumped in a refuse collection area.
Others consider Alhaji Adamu Aliyu too old for any office in the state. He should either run for presidency or retire to serve his God. A new generation needs a chance in the state; they can do better, judging Governor Muazu’s performance. ALHAJI MUHAMMAD NADADA UMAR Alhaji Muhammad Nadada Umar is currently the Secretary to the Bauchi State Government. He holds a traditional title of Zannan Misau, his Emirate as he hails from Dambam.
In 1999 when Governor Muazu was forming his cabinet of serious-minded and patriots, he considers the able Lawyer as the Secretary to the State Government in cognizance of his dossier and profile.
Although some people not see Nadada as a son of the soil in Katagum, when Alhaji Kaulaha Aliyu was disqualified 1999, Alhaji Nadada was called to stand in as the Deputy Governor, but he bluntly refused, simply because, as a Lawyer, he did not see any convincing argument for dropping Kaulaha who is from Azare. Till date, Alhaji Nadada maintains that course.
During the Military regime, when Brigadier-General Yakubu Muazu was making efforts to see the jobless youths of Katagum being recruited into the Nigerian Army, Nadada was all out offering helping hands and legs.
All these are indications that Katagum Zone has always been one and united according to those that see Nadada as the son of the soil.
While some of Nadada's people say he is difficult to see, others lay the blame on his P.A., but most people see Alhaji Nadada Umar as a friend to all, and a compliment of the dedicated government of Bauchi State. CONCLUSION Although this article represents solely my view, it is written after several and informal discussions with individuals and groups. And I used the opinions of the majority to make the inference.
Nasiru Bappah Muhammad.