– Naturally, human being is allergic to truth especially when it directly (or even indirectly) touches their persons, families, ideologies and all other things they hold dear or sacred. A popular quote on truth credited to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd American president reads, ”I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell”. Such is the way of the truth, the most hated creature of the Almighty!
It is believed that the first reaction to truth is hatred. This was exactly the unfortunate situation in which Bauchi state government under Mallam Isa Yuguda found itself in recent weeks, after Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i's explosive article titled, ”Bauchi’s Hopeless Budget” featured in his column in Thisday newspaper of April 13, 2012 and Peoples’ Daily newspaper of same date. El-Rufa’i did a wonderful job by showing emphaty to the sufferings of the ordinary Bauchi people, not minding the fact that the state is a pool of intellectual writers, political and social commentators capable of keeping any government on its toes, but choose to be silent on the state of affairs in Bauchi, for reasons best known to them.
El-Rufa’i, in his exceptionally intelligent way of analysing budgets, especially those budgets that threw fiscal responsibility to the dogs, explored the 2012 budget of Bauchi state with a view to exposing the excesses therein and possibly cause a correction to the document.
But alas! His sincere intentions were not only greated with deliberate misinterpretations but also, callous use of foul language to humiliate his person. One Ahmed Mo Joe, a Kano based hireling was recruited to author a rejoinder caption, ”Nasir El-Rufa’i's Hopeless Claims on Bauchi”, in the Daily Trust newspaper of Wednesday, April 25, 2012. The rejoinder was pull of hatred and name-calling rather than dispute the startling revelations of El-Rufa’i – names from ”a man of questionable character” to ”a claustrophobic” to ”a desperate man in search of a soft landing for his palpable sagging status in society” to ”a person who conjured weird scenarios, and preys on the influential in society” etc, were the trademarks of the clueless rejoinder. Blatantly lacking in decorum and cunnigly deviant from the issue at hand, that is, the hopeless 2012 budget of Bauchi state.
One of the key issues raised in the budget by El-Rufa’i was the earmarking of a whooping N17.6 billion for security under the Bauchi SSGs office, to which Mo Joe replied with a silly question thus: ”Is there any amount that can be considered too much when it comes to securing lives and property”? Indeed, there is! Because in Bauchi state today, the only security situation is the Tafawa Balewa crisis, which has since being taken over by a Joint Task Force, JTF under the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the transfer of the disputed local government headquarter from Tafawa Balewa town to Bununu town, which has since extinguished the hitherto blazing fire in Tafawa Balewa local government area. So, what is this stupendous amount for? Indeed, securing Bauchi state, where 19 out of the 20 LGAs in the state are living in absolute peace shouldn’t be this expensive.
In the area of education, where according to El-Rufa’i's analysis N19.4 billion was earmarked in the budget and, with which to ”produce about 1,900 students qualified to be admitted into university……”, Mo Joe only dabbled back and forth making references to ghost achievements and so called merit awards to Yuguda, and other sundry lies that cannot hold water. For instance, he claimed that, ”…….before the advent of the Yuguda administration in 2007, all the five tertiary institutions in the state had witnessed the withdrawal of their accreditation and their certificates had become worthless, not only here in Nigeria but also overseas i.e. School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Administration, Azare College of Business and Administrative Studies (CABS) Azare, Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi, Adult and Non-formal Education Institute, College of Health Technology, Ningi”. Mo Joe added that, ” Happily the story is different today as all aforementioned institutions have seen their accreditations restored in all their offered subjects, and are reputed to be among the best in the country today”. Mo Joe continued and stressed a ”…..point of fact, CABS, Azare is today a degree-awarding institution courtesy of the revolution ignited by the Yuguda administration”.
First, CABS, Azare had never been a degree-awarding institution in the past, and is not one at present. Rather, it’s a school formerly affiliated to Kaduna Polytechnic and now, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi, which doubles as the Bauchi State Polytechnic. Today, apart from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, the only degree-awarding institution in the state is the College of Education, COE, Azare which is affiliated to University of Maiduguri. And it takes the courage of the College’s lecturers to surmounted the obstacles and sabotage of Bauchi state government to achieved that feat.
Second, there was no time in the history of Bauchi’s tertiary institutions at which all their accreditations were withdrawn or their certificates became worthless, as more than 70% of the nurses and midwives working in Bauchi’s hospitals and clinics are graduates of the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the College of Health Technology.
Now let us examine the editorial of Thisday newspaper of Friday, August 12, 2011, titled, ”Yuguda’s Excessive Foreign Travels” and see the paper’s findings on Yuguda’s contribution to Bauchi’s education sector. ”Bauchi State….”, the editorial reads, ”…..continues to lag behind in practically every aspect of human endeavor but particularly in the area of education. A recent survey showed that primary school pupils still study under very harsh conditions as many receive lessons sitting under trees, using stones and tree trunks as chairs and their laps as writing desks. Bauchi (with 52%) also remains one of the states of the North where girls and boys aged between 6 and 16 have never been to school at all”. To further showcased Yuguda’s insensitivity to the acute deprivations and sufferings of the Bauchi people, the paper added, ”Although Yuguda is not alone in the league of governors who frequently abandon their duty posts and jet out to Europe and America for the elusive ‘foreign investors’, we have chosen to highlight his case because he has shamelessly turned his foreign travels into an obscene pastime. Since he is yet to point out to the people of Bauchi what value these frequent trips have added to their lives”. Now over to you, Mr. Ahmed Mo Joe!!!
In the area of Bauchi’s ever rising debt, since Yuguda came on board, which El-Rufa’i puts, as at 2011 to be ”about N91 billion”, and, by the year end 2012, ”Bauchi would be in debt to the tune of some N150 billion”, Mo Joe, apparently confused made an even more startling revelation, failing woefully, to live up to the expectation of his sponsor. Hear him, ”It is now common and verifiable knowledge that the former Governor Adamu Mu’azu left a colossal debt of a little over N22 billion which the Yuguda administration has already paid creditors N17 billion”. Gosh!!! What an exposé from the horse’s own mouth? So Adamu Mu’azu actually left a ‘colossal debt’ of N22 billion at the end of his eight year tenure? Let us please do a small arithmetic here; as at 2011, that is end of Yuguda’s first tenure, the debt profile of Bauchi state was N91 billion, according to El-Rufa’i, out of which ‘a colossal N22 billion’ was inherited from Adamu Mu’azu, according to Ahmed Mo Joe. If we take away N22 billion from N91 billion, we will be left with N69 billion, which is the total debt incurred by Yuguda in his first tenure (2007-2011), and, according to the budget analysis of El-Rufa’i, Yuguda intends to finance his 2012 ”hopeless budget” with yet another loan of N59 billion, effectively putting Bauchi’s total debt at the end of 2012 fiscal year at N150 billion. Now who is the most prudent and fiscally responsible governor between the two?
Last, but by no means the least, El-Rufa’i condemned Yuguda’s appointment of over 900 aides, thereby ”spending the state’s resources on a very small circle of political jobbers while the general populace gets poorer, more hopeless, thereby constituting greater threats to the society”.
To this, Mo Joe’s staunch defense reads, ”He (Yuguda) employed the most competent Aides to assist him with his own version of the Transformation Agenda…..”. While competence can be defined loosely by equally an incompetent writer, it is worthy of note, that today, those considered the super commissioners and aides in the Yuguda administration are the mediocres that were dropped out by Mu’azu on the account of their ineptitude such that they cannot even write a memo to the then governor of Bauchi state Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu. They became aggrieved and joined Yuguda in 2007.
My sincere advice to His Excellency, Mallam (Dr.) Isa Yuguda is to focus on good governance, excellent reforms and accept sincere advices from people who offered it without consultancy fees, as leadership is a multi-tasking job and therefore, beyond individual capability, no matter how sound one’s brain is.No. of Views:260