By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, yesterday, taunted former Health Minister, Dr. Mohammad Pate, for trying to dictate to the state the method of primary election to be adopted in choosing the gubernatorial candidate for the next election.
The governor said it was wrong for Pate, who had not been in the state for a long time, to understand the political dynamics and yearnings of the people.
He said the former minister would be making a grave mistake trying to undermine the decision of the people who had since adopted him (governor) and President Buhari as the governorship and presidential candidates for the 2019 election.
The governor, who made his position known through his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, said Pate was apparently on a mission to spoil the chances of the APC and that of Buhari in Bauchi in 2019.
The governor said Pate’s insistence that the APC in the state must use direct primaries to choose the governorship candidate, against the indirect method approved for the states by the APC leadership, was an indication that he had ulterior motives.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the fantastic claims of a gubernatorial candidate of our dear state, Bauchi, on the platform of our great party,the APC, to the effect that unless direct primary was conducted to ‘test the popularity of all aspirants’,the party will lose in the impending polls early next year.
“We have made our case, if the party wants to win Bauchi State, it should put forward a credible, popular candidate. At this point, we know that the people of Bauchi are worried that an imposition will not bode well in the general election.
“So, we place our faith in the leadership of the party to do the right thing and allow fair process to play out. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that the APC will win in Bauchi State.
“These are fantastic claims coming from him. It is also amusing. For a perennial aspirant for the office of governor, he has an uncanny ability to hibernate for years only to surface at times like these.
‘’We, therefore, ask how did he know the feelings and concerns of fellow citizens when he was not available during their period of tribulations? How would he know that the people of Bauchi are worried about a possible ‘imposition’?
“We think he is confusing his personal political agenda with the yearnings of the people of our state, a preponderance of whom are solidly behind the government of MA Abubakar.
“We are of the opinion that Pate is a spoiler on a mission to ruin the chances of the party by calling for direct primaries. The fallout of direct primaries is hardly manageable up to general election.
‘’ In 2011, CPC tried it and the outcome trailed it to the general election that turned out disastrously. Beyond this, it will amount to the 8th wonder of the world for Pate to deliver the governor’s chair to our great party, given the odds stacked against him.
“Apart from the previously listed, he is disadvantaged by geography and location. His history of disappearing acts at decisive moments is the icing on the cake of his political forays. The party at national level gave the options of choosing its flag-bearers.
‘’At the state level, stakeholders chose the delegates option. They went a step further endorsing the incumbent governor and President for the 2019 election.
“We are, therefore, mystified how Pate’s doomsday prophecy of electoral disaster will come to pass. We counsel him to close ranks and join hands with other party stakeholders and the people of the state to consolidate on the gains made by the reformist government of Govermor MA Abubakar.’’