Deputy Minority Leader of the eight Senate, Dinstinguished Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Taraba South, has many parts fused in one form. He is the ultimate full package. A man of deep inner peace, Bwacha paradoxically is also a professor in the art of war. A thoroughly friendly personality, you underestimate him at your perils. An easy going fellow, his razor sharp mind works like that of a super detective with a keen eye for all the details. The military startegist, Sun Tsu, was probably thinking of the University of Jos graduate of law when he wrote his signature book. For bulldozer (as his constituents happily call him) is a bundle of war stories- open and covert battles he fought and won gloriously in the course of his brilliant political voyage spanning two decades and more years.
In the passage of time, Senator Bwacha has seen it all: intrigues, power games, betrayals, unalloyed loyalties, dangers, the midnights accords, meetings with foes and friends; he practically wrote the handbook of political manuovers and the deals that comes with power brokerage.
But in all, it is enduring faith in God that has seen him through the battles of life. That a certain super human ability to calculate propeely. Sen Bwacha wasn’t always a dedicated Christian that he is today. He was the rambunctious “Emma” in those days when his afro hair and exposed hairy chest made him the ladies man of Mararaba in modern day Donga local government- his place of birth and consciousness. He went to school in Takum. An old school picture showed he went to school late as he was the “big boy” of the class. He was a brilliant student but couldn’t resist the pull to explore the social sectors of life. “Yet, something was asking me to serve God and humanity in those heady days”, he once told this writer. He quit smoking even before he met the Lord. “I just got to one spot on the road and threw away the packet I was holding. Many years ago and never lighted anything since, ” he tells me. Before his service to God became his main occupation, it was politics that first took center stage. His political encounters are stuff for a full blown publication: an epic tale that saw him move from a chairmanship aspirant of Donga to the Taraba State House of Assembly and now the National Assembly where he’s principal officer.
And nothing came cheaply. It has been a roller coaster ride of battles against powerful opponents. As a warrior, Mr. Bwacha doesn’t fight selfish wars. He fights for justice and what’s right. Like when he insisted that Taraba’s deputy governor, Alhaji Garba Umar was wrong in trying to truncate the political project of his, at the time, ailing boss, late Governor Danbaba Suntai. At the height of the Umar ascendancy, a fearless Bwacha looked at him and declared he has to allow power shift to the southern part of the state. Umar”s plot was to retain power in the North with him as sole beneficiary. Nothing was going to stop him it seemed until Bwacha raised his hands and flagged him down literally. My book: “Suntai: Betrayers, Loyalists and the media war”, covered the thriller of Bwacha in that episode.
At the National Assembly, Bwacha started off in the House of Representatives and moved up to the Senate. Shaterring the glass ceiling and getting a second term, many believed it’s over for him but he’s on his way to the 9th Assembly having just won his primaries at Wukari last Tuesday. It was another moment of glory. I was with him in the morning of the historic day. Stepping out of his rooms with a bounce, it was clear to me Senator Bwacha has it all locked down already. I rose to greet him and said “let’s go and conquer”, to which he smiled and let out a chuckle. His inscrutable face betrayed nothing- a man who doesn’t let out anything he must keep inside. On the field itself, it was vintage Bwacha, calm, cool and collected as the votes poured in. It was a wallopping of his challengers who were taken to class by the grandmaster himself.
The path to the 9th Senate is clear now and the warrior is trudging a familiar road again. There are talks of the Senate Presidency. I have no doubts: for Senator Bwacha is today a man combining divine assistance with human abilities in a deadly collabo that could achieve anything.