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OPINION: Katagum Zone: Who will rescue other LGAs from the grip of Azare politicians?


By Jibrin Alhassan
Kasuwar Kaji,
Bauchi State


As the 2023 elections fast approaches, permutations points to agitations for the next governor of Bauchi State to be produced by “Katagum Zone.” of the State.

There is no aota of doubt this agitation has been there since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999. However, this agitation always crumbles on the altar of selfishness of some vested interests from within. Whenever you hear Katagum, one would think it is the actual geography which consists of Giade, Shira, Jama’are, Itas/Gadau, Zaki, Gamawa and Katagum local Governments Areas. But Katagum has always not represented the actual geography of the zone, but one local government area – Katagum, or more precisely, Azare Town.

The domineering influence of Azare Town over the rest of Katagum zone has reached exploitative levels. The other local government areas are suffering this domination, to the extent that they are feeling totally alienated. “Yan Kauye”, literally, villagers with little or no exposure, is a common term used by most of Azare people, to describe people in the zone who are not from Azare Town.

Examples abound, of the domination of Azare over the rest of Katagum zone. The current deputy governor of Bauchi State Senator Baba Tela is from Azare Town. The ministers of Education and that for Industry, Trade and Investment, Adamu Adamu and Maryam Yalwaji Katagum respectively, are from Azare Town.

The Senator currently Representating Bauchi North Senatorial Zone, Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa is from Katagum LGA, residing all his life in Azare Town.

Since 1999 to date, Azare Town has been producing the Member Representing Katagum Federal Constituency, at the expense of Madara and Chinade Towns, that make up the Constituency. The Majority Leader of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Honourable Tijjani Mohammed Aliyu is also from Azare Town.

All the aides of the two minsters are also from Azare Town. In fact, they were said to be either directly or indirectly related to them. The Minister of Education has three
aides; that of Industry, Trade and Investment has about similar number.

The APC has degenerated to the extent that a former member of the PDP National Board of Trustees, Kaulaha Aliyu is now a Chieftain of the APC. He also hails from Azare Town. And this man is now calling the shots in the APC. He’s believed to be very close to Adamu Adamu, and therefore his chief strategist. There are indications that Alhaji Aliyu, who decamped from the PDP to the APC on the eve of the 2019 general elections, is now set to select who will fly the APC gubernatorial flag from Katagum zone come 2023.

It is also deeply regrettable that a former National Secretary of the PDP, Musa Babayo, who decamped to APC sometime after the 2015 general elections is now a gubernatorial hopeful. He hails from Azare Town. Babayo, a former Chairman of the Board of TETFund is believed to have the biggest warchest to contest the gubernatorial election come 2023.

Also regrettable is that, a former Member of House of Representatives who represented Katagum Federal Constituency between 2007 and 2015, on the platform of the PDP Farouk Mustapha, and who just decamped to APC a fortnight ago, is also a gubernatorial aspirant in the APC, with strong backing from the new powers that be in Azare.

There are presently seven gubernatorial aspirants, all from Azare Town, with each claiming to be Adamu Adamu’s favourite, who always remains in the background.

Azare Town has dominated Bauchi North Senatorial District, thus making the other six local government areas irrelevant. They are only used during political bargains, and dumped after success is achieved.

Now if Azare, Katagum Local Government Area cannot do justice to Giade, Shira, Jama’are, Itas/Gadau, Zaki and Gamawa local government areas, what more with the two other senatorial zones of Bauchi South and Bauchi Central? Will the other two senatorial zones be comfortable with Katagum such that any meaningful alliances could be made?

As it is now, all the traditional Buharists, who have kept faith since 2003 have been sidelined from the APC in Bauchi State. The decision makers of the APC today are decampees from the PDP and other political parties. All the major gubernatorial aspirants in the APC are also decampees from PDP and other political parties. Major party decisions in the State are been carried out by a tiny group of decampees, who are enjoying the support and confidence of the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, whom they now refer to as the APC leader in Bauchi State.

Key stakeholders, who are mostly Buhari’s men have been relegated to the background.
Adamu Adamu, who always say he is not a politician, has now connived with those decampees who were mostly his benefactors before he became minister, and are wrecking havoc in the Bauchi APC. Nocturnal meetings are been held in Abuja, where key decisions are been carried out by these selfish individuals.

Only recently, there was a meeting that took place in Abuja, in which a they held that the chairman of the Bauchi State Chapter of the APC Uba Ahmed Nana, in whose hands the party suffered its worst defeat in the State, should continue as the chairman of the party, a decision kicked against by core Buharists in Bauchi State.

The question remains, when will other Local government Areas in Katagum be rescued from the exploitative grip of Azare politicians – the “Yan Birni or the cosmopolitans?”

By Jibrin Alhassan
Kasuwar Kaji,
Bauchi State


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