From Paul Orude Bauchi
Bauchi Elders for Sustainable Development has called for the immediate suspension of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk over alleged vote -buying.
They alleged that the Minister’s activities portend vote-buying in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which is in opposition in Bauchi state.
They therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, call the Minister to order, to avoid impending breach of law and order in the state.
The Bauchi Elders for Sustainable Development made the call on Sunday in a press conference on its behalf by Yahaya Idris Sulaiman who addressed journalists on behalf of the group in Bauchi.
According to him, the call on President Muhammadu Buhari became necessary considering the activities of the Ministry which if left unchecked, might cause disaffection and unwanted situation of breach of peace
among people of Bauchi State.
Yahaya Suleiman opined that unless urgent action was taken by the President, the conduct of the 2023 general election in Bauchi state is being threatened by the action of the Minister.
He alleged that the Elders got information about what is happening at the Ministry through some of the officials.
He allege that the Ministry is getting its allocation from the federal purse but using it on some sections of the state under the pretence of helping women and other vulnerable people.
He further alleged that what is happening can be likened to vote buying with the intention of swaying votes in favour of the APC gubernatorial candidate, Ambassador Saddique Baba Abubakar.
“Part of the resolutions we arrived at is to remind Mr President of the roles we played in his election the two terms he spent as President,” he said.
“We felt that he should not pay us back by trying to impose someone upon people of the state as Governor.
“We know that President Muhammadu Buhari is a forthright person, you cannot associate him with any corruption allegation. But, as it is now, there is an issue which requires his urgent attention and action before it escalates, we are sure that he is not aware of it or he has been shielded by a few people.
“We salute his courage for the rebranding of the Naira notes to curb vote buying but something is happening now, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is going on with its activities despite the ongoing development in the country.
“The officials of Ministry are going about collecting data of people with the hope of making money transfers to their accounts at this period of election. This can amount to vote buying which may sway the attention of the electorate away from what they may have in mind to do”
He declared that though he is a member of the PDP, he was not sponsored by the PDP to raise the observation contained in the press conference but acting as a concerned citizen of Bauchi State alongside members of his group.
He emphasized that the activities of the Ministry and the Minister should be suspended for now until after the elections saying that such will further endear the President to the people of the state who have created a love bond for him over the years since he joined partisan politics
Challenged to justify the issues he raised considering the growing popularity of the APC gubernatorial candidate in the state, Yahaya Suleiman said that, “What we are saying is not about partisan politics, we are talking about fairness and equity. Let the people be allowed to elect their favourite candidate without buying their votes and consciences.”
He continued that, “We are speaking on behalf of the people of the state demanding for the suspension of all activities of the Ministry in the state. If that is not done, then we will be forced to agree that there is an ulterior motive by the President, that was the reason for calling you, Journalists to hear our voices.”
He also called on the President to as a matter of fairness and justice, remove the Minister having married an indegene of Bauchi State and ceased to be from the state she is presently representing stressing that as it is now, Bauchi North Senatorial District is having three Ministers in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Yahaya Suleiman concluded saying that the President remains a just and fair human being in the country saying, “We are not alleging any misappropriation in the Ministry but in fairness, the activities should be suspended for now.”