Bauchi, Kolmani and PMB: A debt repaid with an oily interest.

by Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

Kauran Bauchi, Senator Alh. Bala Mohammed, The Governor of Bauchi State did not mince his words when he spoke recently at the flag off of oil drilling at the Kolmani Oil wells in Bauchi and Gombe States; that Bauchi people are Buharists and the State and its voting population belong to PMB. Usually between one million, and one and a half million of Buhari’s traditional twelve million votes are steadily from Bauchi, every campaign season. Bauchi has no political home greater or better than Bauchi and their commitment and loyalty to PMB is rivaled by no other State. Kaura knows very well what he speaks of, as he was once a disciple of Buharism and was able to defeat an incumbent Governor in 2007 to win the Bauchi South Senatorial Seat, along with Isa Yuguda, who won the gubernatorial seat against the ruling PDP’s candidate. Alh. Nadada Umar was that candidate, and is thoroughly a Buharist today. Infact he is the current DG of the APC’s gubernatorial campaigns. Bauchi’s Buharism knows no bounds and everyone struggled to just be on his party’s ticket and election victory was usually certain. However there was an aberration to this golden rule in 2019 where 3 to 4 aspirants decamped from the APC and still won. Buhari had not intervened on their behalf and they had strong convictions about winning. Their convictions were fine instincts as they did win. However, they had their posters firmly attached to PMB’s, to show they are Buharists but not APCists.

Bauchi has had a very ‘unfair’ share of appointments in Federal Government positions and there is little room for wonder, why so? Bauchi is PMB and PMB is Bauchi. INEC Chair, TETFUND boss, Custom’s CG, two Minsterial positions including the Education Ministry, and quite a number of the leadership positions in parastatals under the Education Ministry; are occupied by people that hail from Bauchi. Even The SSA Domestic to Mr. President is from Bauchi. One of his personal security aides is also a Bauchi indigene and it is more than obvious that PMB has not taken Bauchi’s loyalty for granted.

Having said that, there was more than quite a handful of disgruntled Bauchi people who felt that PMB’s tenure has not brought the desired changes or improvements in governance and in development generally. That, coupled with their fallout with the immediate past APC administration in the State, gave rise to the present day ruling PDP government in the State. ‘Radadin talauci’ or the scars/ fangs of poverty has had them and their people in ruination they say; and overnight they turned Anti-Buharists. That ‘Brady Bunch’ form part of the nucleus of people that have had a resentment towards PMB and the scorecard of his performance over the years he’s spent at the helm of affairs in The Presidency. This is mostly a Northern opinion and that is the basis of the hope Atiku supporters have; that their candidate constitutes a fodder for want-away Buharists. This situation has since however, taken a new turn.

As a teenager, I remember the exploration works of Zakhem and other conglomerates, that led the search for hydrocarbons in the North East, Bauchi State in particular. Preliminary geological surveys and analysis, compelled by encouraging seismic data had proven beyond reasonable doubt; that there is a humongous amount of gas deposits at Kolmani and environs. 500 billion cubic feet at least and most likely even more as at today’s analysis. This means a 120,000 barrels per day refinery and a 500 million cubic feet gas processing plant. It also envisages a 300 megawatts power plant and a 2,500 tonnes per day fertilizer plant. No less than 3 billion dollars investments is envisaged in the exploitation of these resources. In the North, this is aside the AKK Gas Pipeline Project awarded at the cost of 2. 8 billion dollars, bringing gas and power to the doorsteps of States that are ready and willing to take advantage of the benefits streaming down their doormats, and into their cities.

This new turn has obviously changed the radadin talauci perspectives. If all the appointees in PMB’s government are not manning those goal posts for him properly, I am more than certain that Kolmani has got his back on that. Bauchi is beyond festive and one can only be excited especially by the online banter ensuing between Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and other Northern States’ indigenes. That is of course while discounting the usual venom from the IPOBians and their leaders who say Kolmani is a mirage. On the banter, Northerners are now jostling for Bauchi indigene certificates. Some are seeking prospective spouses from Bauchi and some young men from Bauchi are wanting to fine tune their dress style to reflect their new Oil Sheikhish status.

Unless Bauchi is doomed to the radadin talauci narrative, billions of dollars in your state side is more than enough ~ in fact, in excess of what is needed to change the fortunes of a State and its citizens. PMB has paid his dues to Bauchi, he has settled his debt and perhaps cleared his conscience. In making Kolmani a reality after over 30 years or more of exploration, PMB has paid Bauchi back with interest. Bala Mohammed, after asserting that Bauchi is Buharism personified, It was learnt that PMB responded to him by seeking support for Asiwaju Baba, The Cicero, of Newage Nigerian politics. Asiwaju was there and was part and parcel of the ceremony. This is in aligning with the achievements of the PMB administration. A Hausa proverb says, ‘an ce wa Kare Ana biki a gidanku yace na gani a kasa.’ This roughly translates to a dog was told that there is a ceremony in his home and he argued that unless he sees it with his ‘Koro-Koro eyes, he ain’t believing nada. If seeing is believing, Bauchi has seen it. Believing it is left to us in harnessing what we’ve got and translating it into a new lease of life.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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