•APC demystified in Bauchi, says Mohammed
•Nobody can unseat Tinubu, Fayose declares
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Sule, yesterday admitted that the high population of Abuja residents in parts of the state made his re-election bid very difficult.
Sule also said that religion played a major role during the polls, stressing that although elections had never been easy in the state in the past, he wasn’t looking forward to one that will be as competitive in the future.
Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 347,209 to beat his closest contender, David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 283,016 votes in last Saturday’s governorship poll.
Many people who work in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) live in Nasarawa state, which shares a very close boundary with Abuja, including the very populated Karu, Nyanya, among others.
Speaking on Channels Television, Sule stressed that while the Peter Obi tsunami in Abuja snowballed into Nasarawa, the role that religion played was also very critical.
“We have a lot of people who come into Abuja, but then they end up living in Nasarawa state. That’s why today, Karu local government, which used to be a very small local government, has now over 300,000 voters, far more than the state capital.
“So I think that was one of our challenges. Most of the people who actually come from other places to settle here in Nasarawa state, most of them do not understand the local politics of the state. Therefore, you know, they go in most cases, they go the other way, and it’s understandable,” he stressed.
Sule also admitted that the APC lost much ground in the presidential election, including the divisions within the party in the state, noting that there had been some reconciliation before the governorship poll which ensured the victory of the party.
The governor stated that while the Eggon people have a large population in the state, other tribes like the Hausa-Fulani, Alago, among others have very strong numbers, insisting that one tribe cannot make anybody a governor.
“There was a lot of religion also… but my number one goal now is to unite the state…in the same house, you will find Muslims, Christians and others who don’t even care about any of the two religions.
“So the moment we begin to introduce religion into our politics and ethnicity into our politics, it is going to only draw us backwards,” he stated.
Also speaking in a separate interview during the programme, the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, who just got re-elected urged his opponent, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar to be statesmanlike in defeat.
He accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate of vote-buying, using federal government agencies, including the Humanitarian Ministry headed by his wife.
Mohammed stated that while he was extending a hand of fellowship to his opponents, whoever would like to join him should do so, urging the APC candidate to eschew lies and what he termed treachery.
Stressing that he knew that he was going to win but not with such large margin, despite APC’s alleged intimidation, he declared that he as governor came with unblemished pedigree.
“I have extended my hands of friendship to them if they can come along. But if they feel very strong, already, they have been demystified. Already, they have been rejected by the people. They no longer matter any longer.
“ But of course, we give them the respect as elders, if they wish to come, because I didn’t make myself, I didn’t elect myself and other people, like the 22 members of the House with a brand new deputy governor, so it is not me.
“When they were there, nobody challenged them, but they are challenging God, and that is why they have destroyed themselves. But still, they are leaders and we respect them…but when they continue their transgression, I know God will deal with them,” Mohammed stated.
Also speaking, a former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose, maintained that any Nigerian who feels the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, can be unseated by the court is only dreaming.
“For anybody, those of you who are the dreaming of unseating Bola Tinubu, you are day-dreaming, it’s a nightmare you are putting yourself through. That election has come and gone. But you are at liberty to go to court. Let everybody prepare for 2027,” he insisted.