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Bilal, Adamawa APC Chair leading with chances of Winning 2023 Elections



Bilal, Adamawa APC Chair leading with chances of winning 2023 elections

The Adamawa All Progressives Congress, APC, under the leadership of Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal can be seen a purposeful one, focused on a mandate to deliver the party unto victory in the coming 2023 general elections.

This is because the man on the saddle of the party’s affairs is a leader per excellence, a peerless individual whose meritorious service to the grassroots people has made him a rooted politician who knows well the nitty-gritty of Adamawa political terrain.

As the saying is commonly said, ” all politics are local, a superior politician is a local politician”. This is the simple description of the number one party Man of APC, Ibrahim,is a man who is seen the joker chairman leading well,and building high hopes of all APC members that there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel in 2023.

Ibrahim’s brilliant records of achievements started while a business Man shuttling around, Michika, Madagali, Mubi and Yola, and the Maiduguri Northern axis. In his routine buying and selling business, he became a tycoon, and helping the less privileged was one of his hubby in Michika, serving people and rallying around them in all situations.

Suffice it to say that his business rising star of helping people began when a man with a political foresight, Umar Jiji beckoned on him to contest the councilor seat of Michika one ward,Michika Local Government, an office he did well which later gave him the opportunity and became the Vice-Chairman. It was this office that Bilal has the political roots, played significant roles in making sure that people like Sen Mana, Sen Muhammadu Umar Jibrilla, Sen Binta Masi, Hon Adamu Kamale, Hon Jafar, Hon Joseph Ayuba Kawada (Depolice), and many who became Local Government chairmen and wards councilors were respectively elected into political offices.

Ibrahim before his final abode to APC, its formation and merger he was the Chairman, ACN party of Michika Local Government and after the merger, he became the APC local government party Chairman. His prowess in handling party affairs and his measure contributions in making sure that the former Governor of Adamawa State, Sen Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow won the 2015 governorship election, the twenty-one local government party chairmen endorsed him to be their ALGON chairman, representing them at the state and national levels over party affairs.

It was in 2016, January to be precise that Destiny called on him again to serve the party at the state level that a vacuum was created through the demise of Ibrahim Yamusa, the then State’s APC Chairman on acting capacity. It’s was then through a tough clash of interest decision critical stakeholders like Babachir David Lawal considered him the most qualified and rooted him to be the State Chairman of the party who will serve for only two months and replaced him after the National working committee take a decision.

The summary of the whole thing since then, the story has been being Bilal, still going to be Bilal, the APC Chairman in Adamawa State. Maybe because it’s his time to shine or is there by chance, but my view has been that the Man Bilal is a silent gold getter, a political grassroots mobilizer, and a party stabilizer who believes in the stability of the party in a pillar of unity.

His political Wisdom in 2019 has been toward the unity of the party which was facing a glaring defeat, it was because of the internal fisticuffs of the party’s sons and daughters over the governorship seat under Bindow’s administration. Ibrahim in many fora told party men that they can’t make it to victory if the squabbles were not abated and reconciliation taken among major sharp differences. The fight against the then Governor and the irreconcilable dogfight of senior party bigwigs still couldn’t deter Ibrahim to gave up the struggle of winning the election. He makes sure there were no defections of party loyalists to another part, he steadfastly being in constant touch with the party leadership at all levels. To APC supporters and political pundits, that the difference of a little above thirty thousand votes which made PDP to be declared a wining party was because of the unresolved internal party fight. A fight that polarized APC to have a rivalry sister party of ADC who were all members of the APC with Sen Aziz Murtala Nyako, a fight that was having stakeholders like Babachir, Modi, Aisha, Gunduri, and many others were hell bend to remove the then Sitting Governor (Bindow). Even then, Ibrahim gave a good fight as the result was contested, protested and the power that be at the central consented against APC and left it to fate. Many house of Representatives in the national assembly, A Senator, many house of Assembly members were returned elected under the leadership of Bilal. This is because he believes in the party’s agenda.

Bilal is very much around, alive and kicking as the APC state Chairman, caretaker committee, the spirit of winning, agility, and ability to win 2023 is possible. This is what I discovered in him and the party is overseeing. Ibrahim despite the political attacks against him, is more of a floating calabash, attacks him down hundreds of times he will hovers above the waters of enemies’ attacks hundreds times. Knock him again, he will surface up for a good fight. The nonsubmersible nature in him is making him become a leader that may bring success to APC come 2023.

It was Bilal since the loss of the 2019 election by APC, the man was said to have greased up his elbows and began to warm up for the 2023 election by making sure that all aggrieved party members are contacted. The man has been on a reconciliation campaign, directly and indirectly, making sure he avoid the repeat of 2019 political mishaps as a party Man.

By doing this, a good political analyst will agree with me that, the pains of losing election have hired Bilal to have a creative ability, haven wooed former Governor Bala James Ngilari to APC, he worked and brought to party a Serving Senator, Mr. Ishaku Abbo, from Northern zone. The leadership of Bilal is also working tirelessly to bring people like Senator Grace Jackson Bent. these and many more people I guess will be joining the APC family to wrestle the gubernatorial seat in 2023. These are all notable PDP members and APC in the opposition loses none of its members.

The way Bilal is warming, the high spirit in him, his wherewithal, and his readiness to oust the PDP government in 2023 are more realistic possibilities. His gallantry attitude in moving from pillar to post, from villages to all towns of Adamawa is a good spirit that he is a leader and will do all he can to unite his party and the people in it.

This is however can be worthy of consideration by the APC, if they are not united to have a consensus candidate, If their scheduled congresses are well-conducted and all party members accept the outcome of the Congress in good fate, all aggrieved members also consulted and agreed to work for the party. If the Congress will not bring back people like Bilal, Mayas, Ahmad Lawan, Barr Pwaddi, and other party officials to chat the way to victory because they are familiar with the terrain. They have been doing it, they have the shock observers, they have seen it all and they have sown seed growing to victory. Changing Bilal’s cabinet is catastrophic and a whirlwind tsunami that will make the victory of APC in 2023 a far-fetched reality, a mirage of impossibility to the party that is gasping for a changeover.

On the other hand, PDP, a party with all the government apparatus should never relax, they should not be at ease in Zion, the political game in Adamawa is “what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. APC was there, with little crime of theirs the table turned upside down against them relatively in peace.

I see the party as a disarrayed political family building to 2023, many have defected to APC, Dr. Umar Ardo who formed a splitter factional and rivalry group under the aegis of Reformed people’s Democratic Party (PDP) is an eye-opener that the internal party fight that consumed APC in 2023 may likely consume PDP in 2023 if they do not put their house in order. Many party members and loyalists are not happy the government is being run without good stomach infrastructure to party members.

Tom Garba, FIMC, FBDFM
Opinion writer wrote
this piece From Fombina House
Yola-Jimeta Adamawa state

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Goronyo Attack: NEGF Donate N20M, As Zulum, Yahaya Pay Sympathy Visit To Sokoto



Goronyo Attack: NEGF’ Donate N20m, As Zulum , Yahaya pay sympathy visit to Sokoto

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum alongside his Gombe counterpart, Governor Inuwa Yahaya were on Saturday in Sokoto on behalf of the Northeast Governor’s Forum (NEGF) on a condolence and solidarity visit to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal over a recent attack on Goronyo market by bandits, which left about 40 dead..

Governor Zulum who is the Chairman of the NEGF, accompanied by Governor Inuwa Yahaya led the visit on behalf of the Northeast Governors Forum, and donated N20m as solidarity humanitarian support.

Governor Zulum while condoling Governor Tambuwal at the Government House, Sokoto said the Northeast Governors share the grief of families affected by the attack hence the delegation, to register their condolence and express solidarity.

Zulum prayed for the return of peace in Sokoto and all parts of Nigeria, noting his doors are always open to exchange of experiences given from challenges faced by Borno State, and steps being adopted on the way forward.

Respinding, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal expressed profound gratitude to the Northeast Governors Forum, stressing that the visit was a soothing balm to victims and affected families, and to the entire people of Sokoto State.

Tambuwal further described the coming of Governors Zulum and Yahaya as a clear manifestation of love and brotherhood between the Northeast and the Northwest in general, and between Borno, Gombe and Sokoto States.

Governor Tambuwal acknowledged the many efforts of Zulum in Borno since becoming Governor two years ago.

The two Governors were accompanied to Sokoto by Borno’s Commissioners for Agriculture, Bukar Talba, Works, Architect Yerima Saleh, Adviser on Special Duties, Bakari Ali Kotoko, and Adviser on Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Abba Kawu Shehu Garbai.

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The North East: Which Way Forward?, By Hassan Gimba



The North East: Which Way Forward?, by Hassan Gimba

Being a speech delivered by Hassan Gimba, publisher of Neptune Prime online newspaper and magazine, chairman Northeast Publishers’ Forum, as the Guest Speaker at the 6th Annual Awards and Recognition Night of the Northeast Star magazine, held on the 21st of October, 2021 at the Conference Hall of AUN, Yola, Adamawa State.

All protocols observed.

The North East came into existence on the 5th of May, 1967 when, in his bid to check the influence of Odumegwu Ojukwu in the East, General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states out of the four regions in the country.

On the 3rd of February, 1976, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed divided the monolith North Eastern state into three – Borno, Bauchi and Gongola. These three states were further divided into six by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on the 27th of August, 1991. From Borno we got Yobe, Bauchi gave birth to Gombe and from Adamawa came Taraba.

From a part of the Northern Region to an independent state, the North East, which now boasts of six states, has always been number one among its peers in almost all aspects of human endeavour – but from the rear.

For instance, in 2017, Taraba State was number 21 in Nigeria in WAEC, Borno number 25, Adamawa 28, Bauchi 31, Gombe 34 and Yobe 37. These are the kinds of results we have been getting through the years.

But we all know that education is the foundation upon which individuals, communities, nations develop. Without it, no barriers can be broken.

When you look at the health sector, we have the least number of tertiary hospitals and research institutes in the country.

We have dilapidated infrastructure and a poor road network with a lot of hinterlands unopened, so our farmers have limited access to urban markets. There is currently no functional railway network in the whole of the North East.

All these have not helped because insecurity, fuelled by the Boko Haram insurgency, has ravaged the zone.

Despite all these disadvantages, we have the potential to feed the nation. We have some of the best agrarian fields in the country, with a plateau that boasts of the best temperate climate around.

We have produced some of the best brains in the country. The Golden Voice came from here. The North East has produced great technocrats, captains of industry, politicians and statesmen that have contributed to making Nigeria a great nation.

What many cannot understand is that it is the North East that has given stability to a political North that allows such to be translated into national stability.

In 1978, a son of the North East, Malam Adamu Ciroma, despite being arguably better qualified, embraced a North Westerner to form the central government. When the opposition wanted to destabilise the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, a North Easterner, stood against that.

By joining the government of General Sani Abacha in 1993, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe yanked the carpet from under the feet of those who wanted to destabilise the nation because of the annulment of the June 12 elections.

One of the greatest North Easterners of all time is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. A true democrat if ever there was one. He, more than almost everyone, has deepened our democracy through seeking court pronouncements to restore his rights after his falling out with his then principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and many other democratic actions. He has pushed us towards democratisation and the acceptance of democracy.

Even though the North West and North Central are bigger than the North East, the zone has always acted as the big brother for peace to reign. Politically, we have always given in to the two other zones to produce the president.

This is not because of incapacity. No, we have always at all points produced capable people who could steer the ship of state successfully and to the satisfaction of all. We have always given in to maintaining our bond and ties. We view all as our brothers and we love being our brothers’ keepers.

We have never cried over this. While others may want to see it as marginalisation if it were them, we see it as a unifying gesture. But now is the time for them to reciprocate.

The North East should henceforth mobilise and sensitise people on the fact that it is now its turn to produce the next president.

Another sound argument is that we have capable hands that can take this nation forward. We have them: those who will be fair to all and have the nation at heart; those who will give everyone their rights; those who can turn around the fortunes of this nation and make it into the great nation that it ought to be.

But we should not mouth such an agenda as a slogan. We have to be deliberate in working for it and working towards it. We have to start by empowering ourselves. Those with the opportunity to empower people should do so; those empowered owe it as a duty to build up others.

Some of the senior North Easterners have done so – building institutions and businesses that would take many people off the streets and thus cutting down on the recruitment base of insurgents and perpetrators of violent crimes.

Our political stakeholders must, as a matter of urgency, look into our political recruitment process. Governors should not be afraid of having capable hands in the houses of assembly in their states. A situation where nitwits, instead of brilliant young chaps, are pushed to the legislature will not augur well for our present and future development.

When a governor recruits those brilliant minds, they don’t take his glory away because he remains “His Excellency” in the state and any success must be linked to his name, but he gets them to apply their God-given resources to work for the people, the state and the region. They also learn the fine points of politics, leadership and governance which will prepare them for service to the people at local, state and national levels.

READ ALSO: 2023: Let’s Look To The North East, by Hassan Gimba

By surrounding themselves with such good heads, the governors and other political office holders will provide good leadership not only now but also in the future.

This is, however, a short, medium and long-term plan.

From now till 2023, we must mobilise the North East to know that the presidency should come here. Not for any personal gain, but because taking Nigeria out of the woods has once more fallen on its shoulders.

Once more?, people ask. Yes, once more, is the answer. The North East is the hub of northern politics. Northern politics that reached out to dominate national politics started in this zone. The discussions for the formation of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) which culminated in its fruition in Zaria, started in Bauchi.

The first political party in Nigeria, the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) was founded in Bauchi and its intellectual fountain was Sa’ad Zungur. Malam Aminu Kano keyed in because he was a teacher in Bauchi then. We should also not forget Ibrahim Imam and his Borno Youth Movement.

Perhaps we do not want our brothers from the North West and North Central to think because Nigerian politics started in our zone, that’s why we want to Lord it over them. And so we always bend backwards for them.

People with vast resources, rich culture and history always make good leaders.

The North East is the richest zone in the country. The exploration of the Mambila Plateau will reveal one of the most natural resources endowed areas of the world. Apart from that, we have many other natural resources that can turn any nation into an economic superpower if harnessed.

We have had Mali and Songhai empires not to talk of the thousand-year-old Kanem Bornu empire. The Adamawa Kingdom is transnational.

When you look at it from the angle of national unity, the bulk of those who fought to keep Nigeria one were also from the Northeast.

Therefore, a North Easterner coming out of such an endowed region will be a blessing to the entire nation.

As we leave this hall, we should all disperse into the nooks and crannies of this blessed country and call all to join us in producing a leader who will salvage this country. Tell them there is a Northeasterner that can.

Thank you.

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2023: Let’s Look To The North East, By Hassan Gimba



2023: Let’s Look To The North East, by Hassan Gimba

If I were to be as sentimental as people are, I would say the North East, my zone, must produce the president in 2023.

Many people fight for their people, region, zone or state to produce the president for various reasons.

Reasons may range from the fact that a president attracts some goodies to his area. Ministers and other chief executives fall over themselves to site projects where the president comes from. Captains of industry, too, are not left behind in the jostle to provide for where the president hails from.

People from the president’s locality also have a false sense of being first-class citizens, oblivious to the fact that those from other areas may end up benefiting more from the administration. Those that would never have been heard of in their lifetime were it not for their association with the president’s roots can become overnight celebrities and points of reference.

For these and many other related mundane concerns of living in a competitive environment where resources are ever dwindling, people can go to any length for theirs to be there.

The concern is not for the nation, nor for the future or the wellbeing of the people. The primary push is self, then tribe. It is so unfortunate, but that is the reality. The religious card too is played, but that too is a complete game of its own. Whether Muslim or Christian, denomination comes in. Just because the other one is your tribe and religion, if he belongs to a denomination you consider hell-bound, then he can be denied anything, including the right to live.

Perhaps these reasons are why many seek political offices and the majority push others to political seats, hoping to reap where they have sowed.

This struggle to get “our share” from the national cake has seen brothers fighting one another, sometimes to the death. Our politics has become a do-or-die affair as buttressed by a one time president when he was seeking re-election. The smart alecs among our political elite have pitched us against ourselves, using our two major fault-lines – religion and region.

Many of us worship clerics and not God. Therefore, some can “remove” or “admit” others into religion as they have appropriated it. Their religion is just in the tongue but not in the hearts. Had we been worshippers of God, the true God, perhaps there would be more peace than we are witnessing. Our other god is the tribe. Some would not mind the country going to blazes as long as one from their tribe is not where they want him to be. That is on the one hand. There are also those who are hell-bent on excluding people from other tribes from the scheme of things, who think what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.

Many of the political elite, as we earlier said, thrive in deceit because if the citizenry knew the truth, their unworthiness would be glaring. They have ensnared and enslaved their people with falsehood even as they think they are thinking freely. They are those who Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749–22 March 1832), the German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic talked about.

He said, “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Masters who rule them with lies have kept from the depth of their minds the truth. They feed them falsehoods till something wrong looks right in their eyes.”

If not, how do you situate the recent statement by Professor Daniel Saror at his 80th birthday celebration in Makurdi to the applause of Governor Samuel Ortom and those who have always been blinded by the rogue elite? Professor Saror was the 7th vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, when ABU Zaria was ABU Zaria. He was also a two-term senator, first in 1999 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in 2003 under the banner of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

One may assume someone of his calibre – and age – will be more circumspect in his utterances, having reached a level to be regarded as an elder statesman. Unfortunately, he unashamedly said, “The insecurity we are experiencing in Benue and Nigeria today is not an accident. It is a planned programme. Boko Haram does not consist of miscreants. They are intelligent people; they are highly connected in Nigeria and other countries in the world and the mission is simple: they want to conquer and Islamise the nation. The Jihadists that you hear about in the North-West are also not miscreants. They are highly connected, highly motivated, and highly experienced in their own (sic) ideas and what they want. They want to spread the caliphate throughout Nigeria.

“The armed Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents have contacts that extend to the Middle East, Asia, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They are funded in billions of naira to execute the conquest agenda of the caliphate in the country.” Such balderdash!

This is the unfortunate reality of our country. But we can change that; by just getting a listening, considerate, fair-minded and competent leader, all these problems would fizzle out.

A just leader will ensure that each community, each Nigerian, whether or not they voted for him, regardless of whether they belong to the same area with him, whether or not they profess the same religious belief with him, gets their rightful share.

Nigeria will know peace and rapid development, the moment a citizen realises he does not have to fight or follow a shortcut to get his normal entitlements.

Above all, we need someone who can create maximum wealth out of the country’s natural endowments.

As the 2023 race gathers momentum, it becomes incumbent upon us all to scout for, and draft into the race, a man with such qualities. The consideration should not be whether the president is from the North or South, Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, or that Nigeria now deserves a Northern or Southern president, Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo President. We do not also need a Muslim or Christian president. What Nigeria needs now is a Nigerian president – one that will put Nigeria first above lucre, region, religion and all other affiliations.

As is becoming our political culture, the president of the country is being recruited from among governors or those who were once governors. Maybe as our democracy deepens and matures, the field may expand to include those from the National Assembly, private sector, bureaucrats, etc.

If that is the case, we can safely assume that our next president may come from the current crop of governors, irrespective of whether that person has served just a term or two. There are some among the current crop of governors that have done well. While fulfilling their mandates at state levels, they are also contributing towards national peace and harmony, calming frayed nerves all over the nation, giving everyone and all parts of the country some sense of belonging and thus stabilising the government at the centre. While we have such governors in all the zones, the North East can claim to have the doyen of them all.

However, I do not want to be trapped in the sentiment of promoting a North Easterner for president in 2023 just because it is my region. Rather, I will support the North Easterner because I know he can do it, because I know he is an excellent material, because I know he is competent and can take us out of the woods, not primarily because he is a North Easterner. After all, it is fate that conspired to bring him out of there. I would still have gone for him were he from the South, East or West, Muslim or Christian.

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