There was poor turnout during the North-east rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) comprising of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states which took place over the weekend at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium Bauchi.
Our correspondent reports that although the stadium has 20, 000 seats, only one section of the stadium was fully occupied where the President Goodluck Jonathan and his party’s officials were seated, while the remaining 15, 000 seats in the venue of the event remained almost empty.
Some of the people who attended the rally said the turnout was not satisfactory, in view of the fact that a serving president and six states governors were the organisers of the event.
They said “if it was General Muhammadu Buhari that was coming, the place might have been filled with crowds”.
Others, however, said the poor turnout was due to the tight security put in place at the venue of the event, which restricted many youths from entering the stadium to cheer up the president.
But when contacted on phone, the North-east zonal publicity secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Al’amin Sani Mohammed, attributed the development to the present high temperature in the town as a result of the hot season, adding that the rally was conducted ‘amidst serious heat’.
Blueprint gathered that well-armed policemen, soldiers and other security personnel were deployed all over the metropolis during the President’s visit in the state, even as business activities paralysed, due to the closure of the shops along Yan doka road, Wunti street and the stadium by authorities, apparently for security reasons.