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By M. U. Ismaila

As presidential and National Assembly campaigns for the 2019 general elections begin in earnest, History is in the making in Nigeria’s political landscape as Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, member representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency and Chairman of House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration is set to flag off his campaign in Minna with distribution of over 100 vehicles to the President Mohammed Buhari and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s re-election bid in Niger State.

The flag off ceremony will hold along side a grand rally tagged #NigerNaBuhariDaLolone on Saturday 8th of December, 2018 and is expected to be graced by chieftains, including the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, commissioners, special advisers, APC national leaders, traditional rulers, party stakeholders, trade groups and associations as well as Party faithfuls across the state and beyond.

Hon Mohammed Bago’s gesture is owing to his stated belief that incumbent President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has performed far above expectations and therefore deserves another term in order to consolidate and advance on his remarkable change agenda, that has drastically reduced institutional corruption while improving the socio-economic indices of the nation for the better since May 29 2015. According to Hon. Bago: “I want to make it categorically clear that this gesture is stemmed out of my genuine love and commitment to the course of governance of our dear country and my state‎ in particular. There is no gain saying the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has in the last three years done what other presidents did not achieve within a similar period. We are all witnesses to the massive infrastructural development going on in different parts of the country, especially construction and rehabilitation of roads. We are also witnesses to the unprecedented development that Gov. Abubakar Bello has brought to Niger State within these few years that he got the opportunity to govern our dear state. I feel that these two leaders should be supported by every well-meaning Nigerian that has genuine love for the country. If for nothing, I believe we should support them so that we will continue to enjoy good governance in the next four years.”
Hon. Mohammed Bago’s unflinching and rock solid support and commitment to President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda comes as no surprise to many given the fact that the dynamic federal lawmaker has been a steadfast loyalist of Mr. President going as far back as formative stage of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC party founded by Buhari. As a principled political gadfly, Hon Bago had been an ardent supporter of CPC and it’s political ideals, egalitarian and populist agenda in Niger state and beyond despite unrelenting hostility and acrimony by the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party state institutions and party fanatics. Indeed Hon Mohammed Bago weathered all manner of political storms and tempests to emerge victorious in the 2011 National Assembly polls as the CPC flagbearer representing Chanchaga federal constituency in the House of Representatives, a feat unprecedented in the annals of Niger state politics thus establishing the youngish Hon Bago as a force to be reckoned with in state and national politics. Therefore it can be seen that Bago is not an emergency political tactician who shifts according to the dictates of exigency or contingency; rather he is resolute, reliable and redoubtable, committed to improving the lot of his constituents and Nigerians in general not caring whose ox is gored in the process. While there has been a rush of questionable converts to the President Buhari’s change agenda particularly after the 2015 elections, it is manifestly clear that the true adherents to the President’s political philosophy and populist ideology like Hon Mohammed Bago have been right there with PMB in the dark halcyon days when the opposition was hounded, harassed and intimidated day and night by the PDP hegemons utilizing the security, military and law enforcement agencies in an attempt to subdue and vanquish the CPC and other opposition forces in the run up to the 2011 and 2015 general elections respectively. Despite the all encompassing rigging machinery of the PDP’s atavistic forces deployed in Niger state and beyond, Hon Mohammed Bago snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to clinch the coveted Chanchaga seat thus ushering an era of progressive lawmaking, effective representation and enhanced oversight of the nation’s vast MDA bureaucracy. Without doubt, Hon Bago has delivered on his promises to his beloved people in the crucial arenas of youth empowerment and women empowerment, health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, water borehole, electrification, thus raising their socio-economic indices to the next level. A determined Hon Mohammed Bago never shied away from intensively lobbying for the siting of federally funded projects in his constituency and Niger state as a whole as he believes that his mission is the total economic, social and infrastructural development of his constituency which has suffered from decades of neglect, oppression and misrepresentation by retrogressive political actors and pretenders. Also Hon. Mohammed Bago is acutely aware that a rotten fish head will definitely infect other parts of the fish therefore he is irrevocably committed to the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari who he knows is on the right path to turn the country around after over 16 years of corruption, waste, mismanagement, looting of state and federal treasuries, official impunity and arrogance by the PDP quite unprecedented in the nation’s history. However, with the inauguration of the revolutionary Buhari administration, the situation has taken a drastic turn for the better with sanity and probity having been restored in the conduct of governmental business and procedures, the era of Business As Usual has been consigned to the dust heap of history while the relevant anti-graft agencies have continued to pursue and prosecute light fingered politicians and civil servants to all corners of the globe not caring a hoot about their sectional, religious or partisan affiliations or connections for that matter. Therefore without much ado, Hon Mohammed Bago has thrown his considerable weight, intellectual heft and political acumen in unassailable support and commitment to the President Buhari and Governor Bello’s re-election campaign effort by the donation of this record number of campaign vehicles and other unquantifiable gestures in the firm belief and conviction that posterity will be the judge as another political vista is opened come 2019 and beyond.

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