Associates Raise Funds as Bauchi APC Governorship Candidate Unfolds Manifesto – THISDAY Newspapers

Olawale Ajimotokan writes that friends and associates of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, were on ground when he unfolded his campaign manifesto in Abuja recently
The ambition of Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar (rtd) the candidate of the APC to emerge Governor of Bauchi State in the March 11, 2023 poll has gained a traction after political associates, friends and stakeholders raised over N1billion war chest for him at a fund-raising dinner and unveiling of manifesto organised by the State APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council.
Abubakar, who is Nigeria’s immediate past Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Chad, is on a joint-ticket for the election with Hon Shehu Aliyu Musa.
The APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu was presented on the occasion by Deputy National Chairman (North) APC, Senator Abubakar Kyari and Bauchi State Chairman, Babayo Aliyu Misau at the event held recently in Asokoro, Abuja.
The ceremony was a gathering of top political heavy weights, businessmen and former senior military officers. They included the National Vice Chairman (North-east) APC, Comrade Mustapha Salihu and Deputy Chairman APC, Bauchi, Muhammed Hassan.
Others were former Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen; former Chief of Army Staff and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd).
Those in attendance also included former Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda; former Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun (rtd); APC Governorship candidate in Akwa-Ibom state, Akanimo Udofia; DG, NEMA, Mustapha Habib; Businessman Scott Tommey; Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Mrs Habiba Muda-Lawal; Dan Amana Dutse, Alhaji Nasir Danu, CEO of Blueprint Newspaper, Mohammed Idris and APC National Women Leader, Princess Betta Edu.
Danu, who was one of the anchors of the fund raiser, announced a commitment of N84 million from 124 supporters and N50 million on behalf of himself and family while Idris and seven friends donated N70 million.
Speaker of Kaduna state House of Assembly, Hon Yusuf Ibarahim Zailani on behalf of the Northern Speakers Forum donated N50 million.
The Bauchi Independent Traders and Artisans Association donated N50 million, the Class of 78 Government Secondary School, Bauchi, N10 million, Udofia N25million while Edu, who attended the launch in solidarity with the spouse of the candidate and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq Umar, donated $10,000. The Yuguda family donated N2million.
Amaechi, who was the Governor of River State when Abubakar was the head of the Air Force unit in Port Harcourt, led the flow of goodwill messages. The former minister, who said he once prophesised that Abubakar would become the Chief of Air Staff, said he should be held responsible if latter turned out to be a bad governor. He urged the people of Bauchi to vote someone who has the fear of God and who believes the position he occupies is in trust of the people.
In his remarks, Malami described Abukakar as the game changer in the battle against insurgency.
He noted that all the 17 local government areas of Borno State were effectively under the control of Boko Haram in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari was first elected, until the appointment of Abubakar led to decimation of the insurgents and recovery of more territories.
“What else do you need? The only justice the people of Bauchi will need to do is to vote massively for Sadique Abubakar,” Malami said.
Also speaking, General Buratai, who also spoke in support of the aspiration of Abubakar noted that Abubakar would have zero tolerance for bandits and oil thieves as Bauchi has now joined the league of oil producing states.
On his part, Udofia, who confessed admiration for Abubakar, declared him a selfless man who is very conscious about Nigerian politics. He said the glorious days of Bauchi state will return with his election.
Former Governor Yuguda, described Abukakar as someone who is transparent, sound in morals and excellent in his military career.
According to him: “Almighty God has finished our assignment for us as we have found the right person, a good leader who can manage or resources.
“Bauchi people, what else do you need? He has fulfilled all the qualities of a leader as enshrined in the holy books. He is prepared to serve us. He is the person we are looking for. We should groom him as I believe that one day he will emerge as our president”.
Abubakar, who was born in Azare, Bauchi State in 1960, joined the Nigeria Air Force Cadet Military Training Course 5 in November 1979 and was commissioned Pilot Officer on May 15,1982 after emerging the best round cadet at Primary Flying Training wing in 1981.
He was appointed the 20th NAF Chief of Air Staff on July 13, 2015, and promoted to the rank of Air Marshal on August 13, 2015.
Under his watch, NAF was transformed into a highly professional and motivated force to tackle contemporary security challenges and national defence imperatives.
It was also during that period that NAF acquired 13 Super Tucano from the US and JF-17 from Pakistan. The Airforce trained and winged 123 pilots at the time out of which 13 were females.
The operational outcome was the effective decimation of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east through the effective deployment of platforms as well as the prudent and efficient utilization of resources.
In his manifesto, the APC Governorship candidate said one of his cardinal objectives is the provision of good governance both at state as well as local government level.
He also described as unconscionable the high maternal mortality, low enrolment of children and high unemployment in the state.
Accordong to him, there are1.4 million out of school children in Bauchi, while school attendance merely stands at 29 per cent.
He added many pregnant women are also dying monthly in the state due to lack of access to healthcare in a state with acute shortfall of about 300 doctors, 910 nurses and midwives serving a population of 7.2 million.
 “These are terrible figures. What we simply want to do is to re-engineer the political landscape in Bauchi State, so that people will have a sense of ownership of the state. The only way is to reverse the terrible figures. We want to do everything we can to show support and concern for our women,” Abubakar said.
He promised that if elected he will create a platform where unemployed youth will have the skills required to change the narratives in the state.
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