The ancient city of Kano was agog last week when the APC campaign train stormed the state amidst earlier insinuations that the party would ignore the state over some developments in the recent past. BASHIR MOHAMMED writes that the president used the visit to thank the people.
At the time President Muhammadu Buhari started his presidential campaign across the nation, there was a high degree of apprehension and emotional frenzy in the opposition circles that Kano would likely be skipped in his itinerary, predicating such speculation on the recent controversial bribery video saga involving Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.Naysayers disappointedSuch speculation came to naught when it was confirmed that the president had planned to visit the city as part of his campaign tour across the nation. It was, however, the contention of notable political pundits that the president would have no reason to skip the state in his nationwide campaign tour in the face of sustained effort of Gov Ganduje who was doing what was politically expedient in order to woo voters. Using his knowledge of statecraft in convincing voters to comprehend the fact that APC still stands invincible, Ganduje successfully strove to maintain his grip on the state despite the onslaught from opposition parties.
“The opposition have failed to actualise their dastardly mission owing to the fact that millions of voters in the state are pitching their tents with the president having had a marvellous score-card to prove his mettle as one who had been certified to live above board with no traces of theft that could be used against his return for the second tenure,” said Murtala Jango a Buhari supporter.
The recent campaign visit to Kano by the president had boosted, in no small measure, the political popularity of Ganduje considering the sea of human heads at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano as a testimony of the tumultuous reception the president received.
However, investigation by Blueprint reveals that the orchestrated campaign against Ganduje days to the visit hit a brick wall, given the manner the president raised his hand to the consternation of naysayers on the campaign ground.
It was a grand reception
As the president sets foot in Kano on Thursday last week, the city stood still with thousands of spectators besieging the main roads leading to stadium, Emir’s palace and Government House where he made a brief stop over to observe their prayer and have launch with his host governor.
The president, along with Ganduje were received by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The monarch used the occasion to celebrate the president for all his people-oriented programmes. The president, on his part, used the occasion to appreciate the sustained effort of the monarch whom he said is an indispensable pillar in the present quest for transforming the nation in all spheres of human endeavour.
Buhari bared his mind
While at the rally, President Buhari said he was in Kano not for campaign purpose but primarily to express his appreciation to the people for their confidence in his ability to propel the country to greater heights.
“I consider Kano my formidable platform of political struggle right from the days I made my foray into partisan politics,” he said. He added that the mammoth crowd that had attended the rally had convinced him beyond any reasonable doubt that the APC is on the road to winning the forthcoming elections at all levels.
According to him, reforming Nigeria had been his life ambition without any primordial inclination. He noted that he had effected giant strides in all the areas he had enumerated during his 2015 presidential campaign, affirming that his stewardship in the last four years was enough for Nigerian voters to decide his fate during the forthcoming presidential electionHe stated that he has fulfilled his ambition in life, considering the pace at which he was able to attain greatness. He said, “The only way I can express my gratitude to God is by way of exhibiting the traits of a good and responsible leader.”He said, “I can beat my chest to tell everyone that , I have fulfilled my ambition in life. I was a minister and a governor; positions I held at the peak of my youthful exuberance. I became Head of State in my capacity as a military officer. I was elected president in 2015, after a rigorous and painstaking struggle. I have nothing to tell Nigerians than to say thank you.
“It is our expectation that this time around, the APC is also on the road to winning the elections at all levels without any headache. we have put the right structure in place to ensure that we win the election without employing the dirty tricks employed by those who had lost grip on the political lexicon of the nation,” he added.
Earlier, Gov Ganduje said the rally had demonstrated the commitment and resolve of Kano people to giving a second mandate to him and President Buhari. He pointed out that the Buhari administration had done a lot to convince everyone that it had lived up to its billing.
Also speaking, the national chairman, All Progressives Congress(APC) Mr. Adams Oshiomhole said the party has discerned the conspiracy theory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which invented the gimmick of deceiving Nigerians into believing that APC was poised to rig the forthcoming election. He said such insinuations are the imagination of the opposition parties.
According to him, PDP’s 16 years have had a scathing effect on the lives of the down- trodden, noting that PDP’s administrations had only succeeded in looting the treasury of the nation. He stressed that Buhari’s administration was out to clean the polity for the nation to prosper in all spheres of human endeavour.He noted with optimism that with the calibre of notable politicians that had defected from PDP to APC, the stage was set for the ruling party to stamp its imprint on the political landscape of the nation.
However, the historic Presidential visit to Kano, had elicited a flurry of reactions in political circles, considering the cacophony of debate that had greeted the visit.
In the words of an APC chieftain in Kano, Alhaji Auwalu Aliyu Fagge, ” I am pretty confident that both President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje are on the road to winning their respective seats in a landslide. They all have a stunning score-card to convince voters. we are tied of propaganda from the opposition.”We should not make the mistake of voting agents of mediocrity and wanton brigandage to the positions of authority.” he added.But the overriding contention among political observers in Kano is that APC, being the ruling party had to walk a tight rope to maintaining its dominance on the political landscape of the state considering certain developments in recent times.