Immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, may be leading a coalition of different strong political leaders against incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, but then his own former aides are turning against him, preferring to back the governor for another term of office.
Mohammed is facing the Bauchi electorate on Saturday against a formidable political foe in the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Saddique, whose other backer is his wife, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya.
Babaji Ayuba Gobbiya, the leader of the group that includes the former speaker’s aides said the ambition of Dogara to make himself a political godfather in Bauchi is dead on arrival.
His words, “We dissociate ourselves from the antics of Yakubu Dogara, and we want to categorically inform the citizens of Bauchi state that what Dogara is doing is nothing but an exhibition of frustration and failed ambition to be the godfather of Bauchi state politics”.
The former House Speaker, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is backing the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement on Wednesday by the former Speaker’s media aide, Mr. Turaki Hassan, listed the political leaders in the coalition against the governor to include octogenarian second Republic minister Alhaji Bello Kirfi, other PDP chieftains like former Senators Suleiman Nazif and Isa Hamma Misau, Hon Abdulmumin Kudak, Hon Mohammed Sani Abdu, and Hon Yakubu Abdullahi Wowo.
Hassan adds, “In 2019, Hon Dogara as sitting Speaker then, led a similar coalition that ousted Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of the APC from the seat of Bauchi governor.
“Shortly after his emergence as Governor, Bala Mohammed fell out with most of the political stalwarts that came together and supported his election.
“He was accused of reneging on potlical agreements reached before the election, and corruption including diversion of local government funds., non-payment of workers salaries, and pension…
“Responding to questions by journalists as to whether he has returned to the APC by supporting its candidate for Bauchi governorship, he said: “I am supporting candidates not parties”.
“The former Speaker had supported and delivered his two proteges- Shehu Buba and Jafaru Leko in the APC who were elected as Senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively.
“He had said that all his candidates except the Presidential candodate are in the APC.
“For the past weeks, he has been leading campaign of the APC candidate Air Marshall Abubakar (rtd) across the length and breath of Bauchi State where he described the four years of Governor Bala Mohammed as a disaster to the people of Bauchi State.
However, Dogara’s former aides called on Bauchi state residents to vote massively for the governor adding that formerspeaker, who has visited the state three times in four years since 2019, cannot be in a position to see and know the achievements of the governor.
The group said further of those opposed to the governor: “They are doing nothing more than fanning a campaign of hate, division and unfounded propaganda. In case Rt. Hon. Dogara Yakubu is not aware, let us bring it as a reminder that the road him and his APC cohorts followed through Burga, Kundak to Duguri, is one major project of Kaura (Governor Bala Mohammed) which we believe they had smooth and enjoyable transit to Duguri.”