Bailouts: Dogara, minister, others report Bauchi gov to APC

Members of the National Assembly and leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State met with the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odie-Oyegun, on Friday to report Governor Mohammed Abubakar to the national leadership of the party.

Their grievances, it was learnt, bothered on the non-payment of workers’ salaries, non-utilisation of bailouts from the Federal Government, among others.

The delegation, which was led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, comprised of members of the Senate and the House; the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; and leaders of the APC in the state.

The Bauchi APC leaders had a closed-door meeting with Oyegun at the national secretariat in Abuja, after which the member representing Bauchi-North at the Senate, Suleiman Nazif, who addressed journalists, said they came to brief the party on the developments in the state.

He said, “Everything is not okay with the APC in Bauchi State. Therefore, we needed the attention of the national secretariat to come to the rescue because there is fire on the mountain.

“There are so many issues, but these are party issues and we felt that there was the need for us to come and discuss with our leaders and those issues are being handled. The national chairman has assured us that he will take a drastic measure immediately and address the problems.”

Nazif, however, denied that the meeting had anything to do with budget padding controversy in the House of Representatives.

“No! No!! No!!! It is not about padding; it is about Bauchi APC politics,” he stated.

The senator also denied the allegation by the governor that Dogara and some leaders of the party in Bauchi were fuelling the crisis in the state ahead of the Speaker’s political ambition in 2019.

He said, “It is not about 2019; it is about solving the APC problem in Bauchi and ensuring that APC remains united in Bauchi. As you are aware, APC’s strongest hold in the North is Bauchi State as far as northern politics is concerned. So, there is the need for us to come to the national secretariat, and we can assure you that the national chairman is on top of the matter and we will go back to Bauchi and tell our members exactly what transpired.”

When asked if it was true that members of the delegation were against the governor, Nazif said, “Nobody is against the governor; the governor is against himself.”

The senator representing Bauchi-South, Senator Ali Wakili, however said the delegation did not meet with the APC leadership to talk about the governor, but about Bauchi.

He said, “The governor is not Bauchi State. The people are the determinants of history, not individuals. Individuals come and go. How many governors were there before? He might be part of the problem, but it is a collective problem we are trying to solve. He is our governor.”

When asked if the non-payment of salaries and non-utilisation of bailout funds were part of the reasons why the delegation reported the governor to APC, Wakili said, “That is part of the problem. You know that it is an agrarian and civil service state and we must do everything to see that workers are paid as at when due.

“We are not comparing ourselves with Osun or Edo or other states that have backlogs of salaries; it is not our business. Our people must be paid as at when due and the remaining balances of the stipends must be paid and all the unending verifications must end.”