Stakeholders express concerns over Senator Bwacha’s unsettling political stance.

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Distinguished Senator Emmanuel Bwacha

Stakeholders express concerns over Senator Bwacha’s unsettling political stance.

By Christiana Babayo

The Senate Deputy Minority Leader Senator Emmanuel Bwacha is by all ramifications, a political figure to reckon with as far as the political landscape of Taraba state is concerned. However, as the hustle and tussle for the number one seat in the state come 2023 intensifies, stakeholders are becoming increasingly worried about his seemingly indecisive political stance.

Bwacha is unarguably one of the key political players who made the advent of the current political leadership in the state possible. As a major proponent of power shift to southern Taraba penultimate the 2015 general elections, Bwacha is among those who literally made the way for the then relatively unknown Darius Ishaku to have a smooth sail in the race to and eventually become the Governor.

However, it became apparent that the Governor and by implication the People’s Democratic Party PDP in the state were trading on different paths from Bwacha just months into Ishaku’s first tenure.

Though there had been no open confrontation from either party, Bwacha’s conspicuous absence at the party’s last state congress along side other key party stakeholders who are loyal to him, the alleged witch-hunting of party members loyal to Bwacha by the government, culminating in the arrest and detention of some youths loyal to Bwacha and the ensuing drama have left no one in doubt that the duo of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha on one hand and Taraba state government with the PDP on the other hand are trading on different paths.

For some political analysts, Bwacha is only body in the PDP and soul in the APC.

According to Mr Gayus Yakubu who is a PDP stalwart, “no one can eat his cake and have it. The Senator is clearly on the crossroads from all indications because I don’t understand how he holds the membership card of the PDP but still finds a way to meddle with the affairs of the APC and even go as far trying to hijack the party structure. I would advise that Bwacha should pick a side and define his stand on political issues”

This position is made even stronger with the defection of some party members known to be loyal to Senator the Emmanuel Bwacha to the APC such as Honorable David Fuo, Hon Danji S. S. and others. Analysts also believe that the move is part of the Senator’s plot to have a safe landing, should PDP frustrate his efforts come 2023.

However, as a principal officer of the Senate, some believe that Bwacha has too much to lose if he leaves the PDP too soon.

Jubril Abdulkadir of the APC told our correspondent that the senator is torn between the benefits that comes with been a principal officer of the Senate which he will lose once he defects to the APC and the chances of moving over to the party in good time and strategizing from the inside.

“If you ask me, the Senator has certain privileges as Deputy Minority Leader and he wants to utilise them to the very last before anything happens which is why he cannot leave the party anytime soon even if he wants to. But I also think this move is part of the Senator’s plot to have a safe Ianding should PDP frustrate his efforts in 2023. Moreover, you know that he has literally sent most of his people ahead of him into the APC so they will work hard to cover his tracks there while still enjoying his membership of the PDP. Of course all of this is still speculative because I have not heard him say he was leaving for the APC or any other party. We are only speculating based on the unfolding political trends” Abdulkadir said.

But a switch to the APC also comes with tough challenges. Sources close to the distinguished Senator and one of Taraba’s finest politicians have said that the three time Senator wants the number one seat in the state for himself, a seat that some formidable members of the party who have built and sustained the party over the years are also aspiring for. And so to clinch this, he will have to dislodge them or have a way of getting them to either concede the party’s ticket to him willingly, or muscle his way around to secure it.

Either ways, it would be smarter if he were to do it from within than from without.

As a grassroots politician who is generally considered to be more open handed than even the State Governor Darius Ishaku who is rather a very prudent handler of resources, Bwacha is widely loved and accepted by many who would rather have a generous leader than a very prudent resource manager with a businessman’s mindset.

So in as much as Bwacha may be a beautiful bride for many, his rather conspicuous sit on the fence, been neither here nor there is beginning to really worry some persons.

In the aftermath of the last ward congresses of the APC in Taraba, stakeholders from the APC have pointed accusing fingers at Bwacha for surreptitiously trying to take over the structure of the APC as an external force using his political proteges in the APC.

A Chieftain of the APC Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afukonyo while addressing the press recently alleged that some external forces were trying to destabilize the APC by sponsoring mercenaries to take over the structure of the party while they are still in other political parties.

According to Afukonyo, “In the APC, it is true that we have personal interests but we don’t allow that to becloud our sense of purpose.
In the southern Taraba here, for instance, Chief David Sabo Kente and I are the major aspirants for the governorship ticket but we didn’t let that stop us from joining hands to tackle some external forces who wanted to come through the back door and highjack the party structure at the last ward congresses.

“We know that there are so many people out there who want to join the party. The APC is big enough to accommodate everyone. All you need to do is come through the door as tens of thousands have been doing and you will be welcomed rather than staying in another political party and scheming to take over the structure you have not contributed anything to build” he said.

Clearly, the Senator is caught between the devil and the deep, and not taking a stand is just as tricky as taking one is. And like most politicians, one of founding members Taraba’s PDP may be sailing on turbulent waters all the way to 2023.

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