Tuesday, February 7, 2023

In a leaked letter, Gov Bala Mohammed threatens to quit Atiku campaign

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The Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has threatened to withdraw from the presidential campaign council of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, over “undeserved hostile treatment” by the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, and his cohorts in the state.

Mr Mohammed issued the threat in a protest letter dated November 3 and addressed to the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu.

Following the receipt of the letter, the national chairman of the party led a delegation of party leaders including Governor Aminu Tambuwal and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

Mr Mohammed’s threats further deepen the party crisis as five aggrieved governors – Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo) — resolved to sustain their battle against Mr Abubakar and national chairman Iyorchia Ayu.

In the letter obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN, the governor accused the former vice president of working in collaboration with some “Bala Must go” proponents in the state to sabotage his re-election as governor of the state.

Insiders told DAILY NIGERIAN that the “Bala Must go” elements include Mr Abubakar’s ally Bello Kirfi, former governor Adamu Mu’azu and former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The letter, which endorsed by the deputy governor of the state, Baba Tela, speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, the state PDP chairman, among others, sets some conditions for remaining in the presidential campaign council.

“I am constrained by the shoddy and treacherous acts that I have been subjected to, in the aftermath of our party’s presidential primary, to forward this protest and to seek your decisive intervention and rectification, the outcome of which will determine my next line of action,” the letter reads.

“Your Excellency this protest letter has been necessitated by the treachery targeted at my person and office, undoubtedly endorsed directly or indirectly, by the presidential candidate of our Party, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, Wazirin Adamawa.

“In this game of politics of mischief, he is in league with some political stakeholders from Bauchi State, who have constituted themselves into “Bala Must go” conspiracy.

“The arrowheads of the treacherous scheme against me include former governors, some political elders and other foot soldiers. Unfortunately for them, because of the goodwill I have with the people, most of their mischievous plans get revealed to me before they start implementing it.

“While Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his political cohorts insist that I must be “punished” for contesting against him during the PDP presidential primary of our party, the self-acclaimed “kingmakers” around the Wazirin Adamawa want a pound of flesh from me because I have refused to capitulate to their unbridled sense of entitlement, which is pregnant with selfishness, and dictatorial tendencies.

“The last group of “Bala Must go” campaigners are those whose ego has been bruised by my political relevance, rising national profile, and the groundswell of public acclamation, that has trailed the unprecedented development strides of the PDP-led administration in the state.”

The former FCT minister said further he personally complained to Mr Atiku and his running mate, but unfortunately, instead of the issues abating, the mischief and treachery escalated under the watchful eyes and knowledge of Mr Abubakar.

“Sadly, rather than abate, the mischief and treachery have escalated, under the watchful eyes and knowledge of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who to all intents and purposes, is the leader of the groups.

“The footprint of this underserved hostility, bordering on anti-party activities litter the political terrain, but I will just mention a few,” he added.

Mr Mohammed also recalled that of all the PDP presidential aspirants, he was the only one Atiku did not visit for rapprochement and reconciliation.

Notwithstanding, the governor said he led a delegation of his loyalists and associates to pledge their loyalty to Mr Abubakar, but the candidate has continued to treat him with disdain.

“Worse still, the fact that I swallowed my pride and led a delegation of my associates and major stakeholders of my state on a solidarity visit to his Asokoro residence in Abuja to pledge my loyalty and support , was not enough for him to reciprocate my gesture of goodwill. Instead he took advantage of the occasion to express his displeasure with me to hint (FOREWARN ME) that for the purpose of his 2023 presidential campaign in Bauchi he would rely on his aforementioned associates.

“Despite my purported appointment as Vice Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council, which, unlike others, I accepted in good faith, I was excluded from the activities of the PCC.

“Open fraternization with “Bala Must go” exponents. Most of them from opposition, without detoxifying of their virulent destructive animosity towards me and the PDP led administration in the state.

“Undisguised efforts to sabotage my re-election and impose on the state a governor from another party who is ready to satisfy their selfish interests to the detriment of the interests of the larger people of the state.”

The governor, while admitting that in the course of governance he might have stepped on some toes, seeks forgiveness from those he has offended.

He however sought the following demands from Mr Atiku or he would be forced to campaign for only PDP candidates in the state.

“That our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, should issue a public statement, disowning those renegade element who are neck-deep in anti party plot, of subverting my re-election effort and to admonish members of our party to reject the devious overtures and manipulative strategies of my detractors.

“Short of complete public repudiation of these incongruities within a reasonable time frame and coupled with explicit guarantees of sincerity of purpose and public support for my re-election by the presidential candidate. I may withdraw from the PCC to be free, to create new measures and strategies that will guarantee the election or re-election of all PDP candidates in Bauchi State and myself,” he threatened.

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