Right of Reply
By Kabiru Mohammed Sani
T he erstwhile deputy governor of Bauchi State, Engr Nuhu Gidadoâ€™s resignation is no longer news given the fact that it was a personal decision he made without anyone prodding him one way or another. The Governor of the state, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, in accepting his resignation thanked him for his meritorious service while in office.
The governor assured him that he would remain vital to the administration and the party. Abubakar also added he could count on his support in his future endeavours even as he expressed optimism that the former deputy governor would be ready to avail the state of his services when called upon to do so in the future.
Despite this parting on a cordial note by political collaborators, mischief makers are beginning to impute motives into a normal administrative procedure in a manner that suggests that the former number two manâ€™s resignation is a setback to the governorâ€™s bid for a second term. For those who are familiar with the politics of Bauchi State, it is difficult, if not impossible to see how the fortune of Gidado, considered a political light weight in the hot politics of the state, can ever have a negative impact on the aspirations of governor Abubakar to succeed, a second time, in the gubernatorial polls come 2019.
It may be interesting to note that Gidado nursed an ambition to be the governor of the State, contested at the primaries for the ticket and lost. That was in 2015. The incumbent Governor was magnanimous enough to compensate and rehabilitate him by choosing him as his running mate, a position that made him even more relevant in the political scheme of things in Bauchi and offered him a priceless opportunity to relaunch himself politically.
It is important to observe that this was not the first time he had threatened to resign. It is not unlikely that he was having a hangover of his defeat at the primaries or, for that matter, hallucinations of what would have been believing, in his bloated ego, that he ought to have been the governor.
In some states, deputy governors are reportedly reduced to the level of errand boys by the governor. But in the case of Gidado, the governor made him very relevant by assigning to him the position of Commissioner of the highly strategic Ministry of Education. It is understood that the ministry is not the kind a governor or even the President, at the federal level, assigns to just anybody. It is regarded as a job for those who are politically connected. It is usually seen as a measure of the status of a political operator for him or her to be given the onerous duty of piloting the affairs in a ministry that paves the way for the youth to aspire to achieve.
In addition, it is also a measure of the cordiality that exists between the governor and his deputy for him to be given the free hand to act when the boss is away on other state duties outside the country. Gidado, in his time as deputy governor, enjoyed this privilege twice. It may be argued that it is his constitutional right to oversee the affairs of the state when the Governor is out of town. That may be true. But it must also be remembered that in some states, the governors by pass their deputies when such occasions arise.
I have gone this far to prove that the former deputy governor was given his due rights and responsibilities while in office. It is also from this standpoint that political stakeholders viewed his comment in his letter of resignation that he took that line of action to free his conscience or to assuage his waning enthusiasm for the job, as unfortunate and smacks of ingratitude to a political friend who came to his rescue in his hour of need.
For those familiar with political goings-on, especially in Government Houses, they will realise that it is not always that one gets what one desires. And that includes the Governor himself as powerful as he is perceived to be in the activities of the state. For politicians who lack the staying power, frustration is likely to step in especially when a particular political operator expects too much from a system that is decidedly saturated with fortune-seekers in a situation that the available opportunities to recoup are very few and competitive and stretches the governorâ€™s wits in an attempt to fair and judicious. The truth about politics, at any level, is that there are as many stakeholders as there are active participants who create the usually misplaced impression that they played a major role in the victory that ushered the party and its candidates to office. But the reality is that the people who played the greatest role in the victory crusade are the electorate who stood in the scorching sun to register and endured the inclement weather to cast their votes for their preferred candidate. If anyone or group should complain, that group is the men and women, the electorate whose vote, in practical actual sense delivered the candidate.
Gidado is believed to live a life of modesty and low profile. That, indeed, is an attribute that can endear him to the common man who may begin to see him as one of them. But in the frenetic nature of politics in which things, including intrigues and mischief, move at a dizzying pace, a low profile and modest man like Gidado is most likely going to be left behind. That may explain why he is considered to have the proclivity to be missing in action. In that disposition, he worsened matters when he is not available when needed and often cannot be reached on phone preferring to remain in communicado. For a man occupying such a strategic position indulging in that attitude, the wrong impression most certainly will be created that may give rise to doubtful loyalty. That is one sin that is unforgiveable in politics.
Even in business, no matter how low profile oneâ€™s life is, associates often do insist on reaching one at any point in time. Such expectations are higher in politics. Or else that politically exposed person will bring to himself the image of an arrogant and inaccessible person. It is another sin that is not forgiven in politics.
Instead of accusing Governor Abubakar of being impervious to counsel, Nuhu Gidado should search the same conscience he claims he wants to free and tell himself the truth. If he is honest to himself, and I suppose he ought to be, he will realise that in politics power is not served while you wait. In most cases, it is survival of the fittest.
â€“Kabiru Mohammed Sani, A lawyer is former member, the State House of Assembly.