By Ali Abare
The media is a powerful tool when used appropriately and effectively. However, the same media can serve to expose inherent fallacies and inadequacies, especially in a personality that has evolved through sustained bigotry and half-truths.
Recently, Mr David Emmanuel Ombugadu, gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded 2023 general election in Nasarawa State, appeared on a live television programme on Arise TV, as was monitored in Lafia.
As is to be expected, supporters of Ombugadu and the PDP, went to town celebrating the outing without really paying much attention to the overall performance of their principal during that particular session on Arise TV.
In spite of the concerted efforts by the anchor of the programme, a veteran journalist of repute, Sumner Shagari Sambo, to guide his guest to respond appropriately, Ombugadu only succeeded in exposing his inadequacies and complete lack of understanding of not only governance, but most importantly, the dynamics of the politics of Nasarawa State.
Ombugadu succeeded in showing his lack of understanding of what it means to be a governor of a state like Nasarawa, which has tremendous potentials waiting to be exploited. He completely exposed his lack of grasp of the dynamics of power and what it actually takes to be governor.
While attempting to denigrate the personality and reputation of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, the PDP guber candidate exposed to the world the bigotry that is the single motivating factor behind his quest to become governor.
During the interview, Ombugadu, who aspires to govern Nasarawa State, told the whole world that his only credentials are that he was able to sink boreholes while he was a lawmaker representing Akwanga/Wamba/Nasarawa-Eggon Federal Constituency!
To further demonstrate his well entrenched prejudice against the person of an accomplished administrator and manager of resources, Ombugadu claimed that Engineer Sule has nothing to offer simply because he participated with the governor in a public debate leading to the 2019 general election.
This is most uncharitable for a leader that has committed himself to the service of Nasarawa State and its people. Engineer Sule has more than it takes to govern Nasarawa State, having spent most of his life managing big corporations that control more money than the monthly Federal subvention coming to the state.
No wonder, even the anchor of the programme voiced his disagreement to Ombugadu’s claim, drawing his attention to the inroads made by the present administration especially in the area of attracting commercial agro-industries into the state.
Aside exposing his obvious bigotry, the PDP guber candidate made startling revelations regarding to the continous show of shame by his supporters who display brazenness and desecration of womanhood by displaying nudity supposedly in protest to the outcome of the 2023 govership election.
Now Ombugadu has come out clean to say that the outcome of the guber election is the least among the concerns of the women, when he revealed 80 percent of them are widows who are protesting the killings of their husbands.
What the PDP gubernatorial candidate did not inform his audience was that, during the four years under His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa State was rated amongst the most peaceful states in the country, which saw the state turning into a safe haven, hosting several national and regional events.
Ombugadu came short of telling the truth, which is that even during the past regime of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, it was the outlawed Ombatse militia that attempted to make the state ungovernable, simply because the Eggon felt it was their turn to lead the state. It is on record that this terror group murdered over 75 security operatives in Alakyo.
Is it that Ombugadu and the PDP have hijacked the continued cry for justice by the widows of the slain security operatives and to conscript them into a show of nudity while branding them as PDP supporters?
Honestly, Ombugadu who is merely exploiting the economic situation of these widows, lied to high heavens when he claimed the women are mothers and that he and his party cherished them. If he so much cherished the naked women, where are his daughters, sisters and even wife, if he is even married? Why are they not part of the protest?
Agreed that governance is not about age but what antecedence is Ombugadu bringing to the table other than that he sunk boreholes and built hand pumps? Granted, water supply is key to the development aspirations of the state but does sinking boreholes across three local government areas qualifies Ombugadu with the sufficient and necessary experience and leadership to seek to govern a cosmopolitan state like Nasarawa State?
The PDP candidate has only succeeded in exposing his uniformed mind, especially regarding the complexities of running a large conglomerates like the Dangote Group, where Engineer Sule retired as the group managing director to become governor. He especially showed his lack of grasp of the current trends in leadership, particularly across the states in the country. Nasarawa State should be grateful and appreciate the fact that she has someone like Engineer Sule that has acquired the experience and reputation to drive development.
Ombugadu was vociferous in his claim that he defeated Engineer Sule in his own local government area, which he said is sufficient reason for him to have won the election. This is a complete fallacy. Nasarawa North and Akwanga Local Government Area in particular does not have the number of votes to swing the governorship election. What happened in Akwanga, as well as all the other local governments areas where the PDP won, bigotry and politics of tribe and religion dominated. Akwanga is dominated by the Mada and Eggon people. Most of whom demonstrated envy and open disdain for the governor simply because they consider him to be a stranger amongst them. This is not minding the fact that Engineer Sule’s biological father is the Sarkin Gudi.
On his alleged alliance with the Labour Party, Ombugadu is only being outlandish and dishonest. For it’s on record that only the state chairman of the LP went into alliance with the PDP while the entire structure of the party collapsed into the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The hues and cries by the PDP guber candidate and his supporters over the outcome of the governorship election is to be expected since they hardly acknowledge their defeat in all previous elections. His comments on the actual voting pattern across the state is not only false but the habitual rantings of a serial election loser. Besides, as the matter is before the election petition tribunal, it’s better Ombugadu present his case where it will matter most and not to resort to emotional blackmail.
It’s clear to all and sundry, that Ombugadu lacks what it takes to govern Nasarawa State. It’s obvious that he will continue to suffer defeat as long as bigotry remains the sole motivation behind his quest to become governor.
He should immediately save the state and its people from the ludicrous show of shame at the state secretariat of the party, by allowing the widows of the slain operatives murdered by the Ombatse militia to go home.
Again, it’s safe to offer him a piece of advice. He should henceforth avoid speaking to the media since he has demonstrated obvious incoherence and the inability to further his cause. This is a great favour being done to him. Especially that he will be saving the state from further ridicule.
Nasarawa State is the new kid on the block. All thanks to the sterling leadership qualities of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule. A seasoned technocrat who is bringing his reputation and experience to bear in the administration of the state. Other states are desiring for such accomplished individuals to take the gauntlet in order to bring about sustainable development but Ombugadu and the PDP are on a voyage of political bigotry and vendetta. They have failed and they will continue to fail!
Abare is Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Nasarawa State.