Senator Bulkachuwa’s leaked phone call

“Is someone dying?” He asked. “I thought someone was dying because I had spare lives in my library or vault so I could get one for them.”

The speaker was Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa representing Bauchi North, speaking to a young man identified as Marafa in a recorded phone conversation that made the rounds on social media this week.

It started with a young man who was trying to be respectful, hopeful but pushy and a senator who you could tell was exasperated but trying to control his anger.

Apparently, Marafa harassed the senator with phone calls to the point that the senator was irritated enough to inform a title holder to locate the young man and ask him to refrain from calling him that.

It was a conversation that was doomed, a conversation that was meant for the rocks, a conversation that often wavered at the edge of a cliff but was rebuffed out of sheer desire not to make the problem worse.

Marafa has found himself a brand new wife. Or he was given one, to paraphrase it correctly. He was desperate to inform the senator and called his phone more times than the senator could bear. Bulkachuwa wondered, and rightly so since the two had no personal connection, what Marafa wanted from him with this information. He argued that being a senator doesn’t mean he should know about every wedding in his constituency, especially people he doesn’t know.

If Marafa had read Bulkachuwa’s verbal cues, the conversation would and should have ended sooner. But Marafa was hopeful, after all he didn’t pester the senator to take his call only to be put off by the man ostensibly telling him he was pestering. So he dragged out this conversation for six minutes and 50 seconds.

“That was the first element, there’s more,” says Marafa.

“Okay. Tell me. What is it?” Bulkachuwa was calm.

“I wanted to remind you of this issue of getting me a job.”

Again, Bulkachuwa was blunt. He said point-blank to Marafa: “You already asked me, I told you that I couldn’t find you a job. I don’t know how to find you a job.

At this point the conversation, loosely held together by the fraying, but restrained temper (on Bulkachuwa’s side) and barely restrained desperation (on Marafa’s side) began to unravel. The young man circled and presented his request that the senator find him a job because there was “new information”. This information being, of course, that he had been “given a wife”.

“My job doesn’t include people’s weddings…” Bulkachuwa began.

“But it is,” Marafa cut in.

“This is not the case.”

Valahi It does.”

At this point, the senator nearly lost it. I almost overdid it while listening to the recording.

“Kai! Do not swear in vain if you are a Muslim,” the senator said.

It was painful to listen to. And because Marafa didn’t know when to stop. Refusing to know when to stop, he pushed back. Apologizing and yet coming back to the point, each time expecting something to change, the senator agrees to get him a job. At the end, the senator realized he was being drawn into a cyclical conversation and excused himself to go and do his job before ending the call.

Now, various social media pages have shared this audio recording, each of them framing it differently. For some, he was a “boring” young man pestering a public official, for others he was an “elderly senator doing ‘wulakanci’ or mistreating a young man.”

Depending on which side of the divide you are on, there are questions and scenarios this audio leak raises.

First, why were we invited into this private moment to witness an embarrassing encounter that should never have happened? Who recorded the audio? Why did he record it? Why was the audio leaked and what did the leaker hope to accomplish?

This will of course require forensic investigation, but on the face of it, Senator Bulkachuwa does not look like someone who would leak such audio and does not look like someone who would selfishly take advantage of this available audio. It would be reckless for Bulkachuwa or anyone on his team to commit Fani-Kayode by leaking the recording.

You will remember, of course, that Fani-Kayode’s attempt to ridicule a journalist and issue a warning to other journalists with probing questions backfired when his media team released a video of him insulting a journalist for asking this famous question which finances you. I doubt Bulkachuwa would post this to deter pestilent callers like Marafa.

Marafa, on the other hand, is young. He is the one who launched the call and we can say that he is unhappy with the senator’s rejection of his approach. If he or his relatives leak this audio, it would be counterproductive as there are legal implications that the other party could sue for being recorded without permission and for such recording to be released with malicious intent. I doubt it escalates into that though.

But the most culturally significant revelation that flows from this is the ignorance of the duties of various public officials and what should reasonably be expected of them.

Marafa had access to the senator by having his telephone number. If he had called the senator about constituency matters that fall within his legislative duties, it would have been justified. But calling an elected official and harassing them with personal information about your marriage and demanding a job, while insisting against the logic that finding one is part of their job description is a faux pas.

Citizens have the right to demand that their elected officials serve them in accordance with their job descriptions and campaign promises.

The fact that some politicians have used their offices to propel certain people into jobs with government agencies does not mean that all politicians are and should be expected to do so. Technically, if we are to follow these things to the letter, politicians abusing due process to secure such jobs for their “people” could constitute ethical lapses. But we’re not doing anything by the rules here, so that doesn’t really matter.

Unreasonable expectations like this on Bulkachuwa justify the usual abuse of public office when politicians go to the treasury to hand out party favors to Marafas who receive wives every day and deliver children and lack money to pay tuition and other fees. things that people often run to their elected officials, neighborhood jagabans and sometimes mean joes with.

In the spirit of fairness (and this may be misplaced), consideration should be given to Marafa. These are tough times in the country, but then again, they have always been tough times in the country. What he did is symptomatic of several deeper underlying issues. First, there is the lack of employment opportunities to fight for fairly and to win fairly. And second, the reluctance or lack of awareness among educated young Nigerians to explore opportunities outside of “government work”. It also shows the individualistic dimension of our engagements with our politicians. Not once during this conversation did Marafa mention anything about the constituency. It was frustrating because it was a missed opportunity to fulfill the civic duty of demanding better governance from their leaders. If the aspiration of the average electorate to know and engage their elected representatives is to call them with private demands like these, then their priorities are confused.

Was Senator Bulkachuwa right to silence the young man? I would say yes. Obviously he was nervous and irritated, but he did an outstanding job of holding on. In the end, he told Marafa the right thing to do. “If I run for office again, please don’t vote for me.”

Well, Mr. Marafa, address still undetermined, the power is on your thumb, if you know what I mean.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim [email protected] 09094529888 (text only)

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