Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has extended the olive branch to his opponents in the March 18 governorship election after the Justice P.T Kwahar-led tribunal upheld his re-election.
Governor Bala Mohammed who spoke to the press after his victory was affirmed by the Election Petition Tribunal in Bauchi on Wednesday, said that it is time to set aside whatever misgivings and move on.
“Today, the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Bauchi revalidated the mandate that you gave to me last March. It was a profound judgment that will continue to resonate within multiple circles as a demonstration of judicial rigour and commonsense and an affirmation of the sovereign will of the people over political brinksmanship and an entitlement mentality.
“Our victory today is by the grace of Allah who gives power to whom he wishes and takes it without consulting the holder. We are once again reminded that all power is held in trust on behalf of God.
“It is an unambiguous statement that despite the mischief of political merchants who arrogate to themselves kingmaker status and deceive some of our unsuspecting compatriots into believing that they can determine the destiny of others, God still reigns in the affairs of all his creations.
“In the nature of things, many of our supporters would expect me to jubilate over the verdict that has just confirmed the overwhelming mandate that they freely gave to me at the last governorship election in the state. Naturally, I am relieved and happy that this distraction has been put aside.
“However, how I wish that we got to this point devoid of the acrimony, the bitterness, the resource haemorrhage, the bickering, the time wasted. How I wish that rather than dissipate energy through avoidable litigation, we had all resolved what is a disagreement among brothers through discussion, consultation and unity of purpose. How I wish all of us had submitted to the Supreme will of Allah than succumb to our ego and personal fantasies,” he said.
He also hailed the judiciary over the judgement; however, he decried that unbridled litigation continues to wreak incalculable havoc on politics, social consciousness and economic progress.
“As a constitutionalist who has stood with the law at critical moments in our country’s history, I will be the first to admit that the framers of our constitution did not err by coopting judicial intervention as part and parcel of the electoral process.
“It is the epitome of our Doctrine of Separation of Powers that gives confidence to the aggrieved not to resort to self-help. It ensures constitutional and social harmony.
“However, I wish to state, with every sense of responsibility, that unbridled litigation continues to wreak incalculable havoc on our body politics, social consciousness and economic progress. More importantly, it gives a segment of the populace a false sense of indignation just as it unnecessarily polarizes the society. In all sincerity, I do not think it pays to continue this way.
“Now that the tribunal has ruled, it is my candid opinion that it is time to set aside whatever misgivings we may have and move on. The task ahead of us is enormous, requiring unity of purpose, a polling together of resources, integration of talents and leveraging the unique attributes of each of the contestants, as we seek to create a better society for our people.
“Against the above background, I solemnly invite my worthy opponents, each of whom is an unqualified success in his own right, to sheath their swords, and to join me in the collective quest to harness the enormous resources of the state to create a modern economy that would benefit everyone within Bauchi State, Nigeria’s pearl of tourism,” he added.