By our Correspondent
The Bauchi State governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, (APC), retired Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, has told his supporters that it is a must he will win at all cost and by any means possible come March 2023 election.
The former Chief of Air Staff, at a stakeholders meeting at his Bauchi private residence over the past weekend, charged his campaign managers and APC leaders in the state to spare no bill in ensuring that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is butted out of the Bauchi State government house.
A source who was at the meeting told our correspondent that the candidate was confronted with several staggering dividends of democracy by the incumbent government of Bala Mohammed and was told that it would be difficult to upstage the governor who has become very popular with the people of the state.
According to the source, the APC candidate was infuriated and told his audience that he has a staggering war chest to confront the ruling party in the state and was ready to achieve success at whatever cost even if it means pouring N12bn into the venture.
“I have prepared for this election very well. I didn’t spend six years as the Chief of Air Staff for nothing and you all know that the war on terror requires billions and billions to prosecute. Anybody can say whatever they like but I have enough salted away for this purpose. Don’t also forget who my wife is and the resources available to her. I won’t say further about this because of moles and social media exposure. I will however tell you to fear not, no sitting oil rich governor can match my spending power not to talk of a governor of a poor state like Bauchi”.
Speaking further, the former Air Force chief who has variously been accused of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the course of the war on terror, announced that he reached an agreement with his wife, the minister of humanitarian affairs, to relocate resources from other states and zones to Bauchi for added political advantage.
“Such programmes which are captured under the National Social Investment Programme include Conditional Cash Transfers, N-Power Programme, Government and Empowerment Programme, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Enterprise Programme, Special Grant Transfer, Public Workforce and Skills for Jobs, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, Rural Women Cash Grant, Tradermoni, Marketmoni, and Farmermoni.
“You will soon begin to see the massive transfer of funds to Bauchi from the resources of the above programmes but want to assure that these funds being warehoused will be redistributed to the various zones and states once I win the election” he said.
Present at the meeting include his campaign directors, the state working committee led by the chairman of the party in the state, Babayo Aliyu Misau, some members of the state assembly amongst others.
Recall that Air Marshal Sadique, has been called out over corruption allegations, human rights abuses and recruitment of thugs and militants by a number of Civil organisations including Corruption Track Network (CTN) which have demanded that he not only responds to these numerous allegations levelled against him but that he should do so within two weeks failing which massive mass actions in the form of protest marches, rallies, petitions to EFCC, DSS and international crime fighting agencies will be unleashed against him.
CTN had written to world bodies demanding that Air Marshal Sadique and his wife, the current minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Umar respond to numerous allegations of corruption, human rights abuses, unlawful recruitment and arming of youths in Bauchi State as well as extrajudicial killings that took place under his watch as Chief of Air Staff.
A statement by the Country Director of CTN, Dr. Idris Inusa confirmed that the organisation is in receipt of several allegations levelled against the retired military officer which are viewed globally as major components of crime against humanity and a threat to the society.
Some of the allegations CTN said it has being tracking include: That as a one time Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique was enmeshed in a series of corruption allegations including abuse of power and multiple diversion of funds meant for procurement of military hardware and allowances for personnel of the Armed Forces.
That during Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique’s tenure as Chief of Air Staff, soldiers under his command killed defenceless Nigerians without cause and in violation of every known domestic and international laws and conventions. Airstrikes in war zones across the country frequently resulted in civilian deaths. The casualty figure during his five years tenure were massive.
According to CTN which recalled how Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, had revealed that funds running into billions of naira meant for procuring arms and ammunition under the past service chiefs, including Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, were unaccounted for.
Corruption Track Network (CTN) also stated that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has been as a cesspool of corruption, lacking transparency and accountability, with hundreds of billions unaccounted for under the leadership of the Hajia Sadiya Umar, wife of Abubakar Sadique, who incidentally is the pioneer minister in the newly created ministry.
Another source who was at the meeting told our correspondent that the former military leader has already purchased and branded hundreds of cars for the campaigns and has already recruited several youths in all the local government areas of the state who are on his payroll for the purpose of political thuggery.
However, it can not be confirmed if these youths are being armed but as a top military officer, arming the youths may not unlikely be ruled out.