The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said that he is highly connected to the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party governors.
Mohammed, who said this on Wednesday when the aggrieved governors paid him a solidarity visit in Bauchi, said he shared his fears and worries with the governors during the visit.
The governor hosted his Rivers, Abia, Benue and Enugu state counterparts-Nyesom Wike, Okezie Ikpeazu, Samuel Ortom and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, was absent as he was said to be out of the country.
The governors arrived the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi in four chartered aircrafts – 5N- BZS, 5N-RSG, 5N-AOO and 5N-IZY, and were driven straight to the Presidential Lodge also known as Ramat House.
During their meeting, Mohammed bared his mind on the developments in the state chapter of the party as well as the personal issues he had with the PDP flag bearer.
The PUNCH reliably gathered that the governors would meet in Enugu on Saturday where they would witness the inauguration of the state PDP campaign council.
Mohammed is expected to attend the Enugu meeting where he would formally join the group of aggrieved governors.
A senior aide to Governor Ortom confided in our correspondent that the sole purpose of the visit by the five governors was to lure Mohammed into their fold.
Addressing the media shortly before going into their meeting, the governors described themselves as the bedrock of the party, adding that they were open to reconciliation.
In response, Mohammed, who was full of appreciation to the governors for the visit, noted that he was with them but they “excommunicated” him.
He said, “I am supposed to be with them but they excommunicated me for reasons best known to them but I am highly connected to each and every one of them. There is hardly a day I don’t call or speak to one of them because in politics, you go with the people you share things in common with.
“This presidency (Presidential primaries) that we ran when my brother was defeated, who in turn defeated me, has brought us close and of course at the governors forum, we are very close. One thing I appreciate about them is that they look at your challenges. They are not going back for a second term but they are always worried about others.
“Their own particular ideas, principles may be slightly different from mine, but certainly, I feel their pains as much as they feel my own pains. We share so much in common.”
Continuing, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory said the governors knew his challenges which he said include what he described as the treachery in the state chapter of the PDP.
Mohammed said: “They know I have challenges in Bauchi, the challenges of anti-party, the challenges of undercutting, treachery and mischief. But of course, politics is about all these. And when you know that you have people of this stature and calibre behind you, you feel fulfilled.
“I’m happy they are here and I’ll have the opportunity of confiding in people that I believe I can confide in, some of my worries, fears, apprehensions and that of my state.
“So, I’m happy that you came because some of those things may not be said on the telephone, but to say that as PDP members from the same family, I always see you as fellow comrades in this journey of life. I thank you most sincerely for taking the trouble to come.”
In a brief interview with journalists, Mohammed admitted that he wrote to the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyiorcha Ayu, to intimate him about the opposition to his second term ambition by some elements in the party.
He said that the letter was written by the PDP family in Bauchi state in order to express their displeasure about the way things were going on with him and the state at large.
Mohammed said that in response to the letter, the national headquarters of the PDP directed him to meet and discuss with the presidential flag bearer of the party, in order to find an amicable resolution to the problem.
The governor, however, did not disclose whether he reconciled with Atiku, adding that they discussed “extensively.”
Mohammed stated, “It is no longer news that I wrote a letter to the party on my position in Bauchi; what I have found out to be working against me as a leader and as a first term governor going for my second term.
“I wrote it with all honesty and sincerity and with a deep sense of humility and that was why the party invited me to go and discuss with the flag bearer of the PDP and leader, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we discussed extensively and I have gotten some explanations.
“The letter I wrote was not only written by me, it was written by the PDP family in Bauchi and the government of Bauchi and that was why I was there and we discussed extensively.”
Asked if he had decided to team up with the Wike camp, the ex-FCT minister replied, “As for the G-5 Governors, I always joke with them that I am a G-1, but I am inexorably connected with them. We have always been together and you know it: governor Wike, governor Ortom, governor Ugwuanyi and governor Ikpeazu, have been here several times and I have been with them several times.
“I think these are some of the takeaways I have as a governor, having friends for life. So, I am everywhere, but of course, it doesn’t mean that I am nowhere.”
copied from Punch except the headline
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