- Bauchi comes to a standstill as former Head of State visits
- He’s a despot – Ahmadu Ali
by Ahmed Mohammed and Nuruddeen M. Abdallah
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pledged to investigate the crisis rocking the Nigerian military, comprising the Army, the Navy and the Air-force to understand the reasons why they were running away from the battle ground despite huge amount of money being spent on security.
Buhari, who spoke for less than ten minutes at Ibrahim Babangida Trade Fair Complex, venue of his presidential campaign in Bauchi State, told the gathering that it was a shame that Nigerian soldiers were running away from the war front, leaving their arms for the terrorists.
He said Nigerian soldiers, who had shown bravery and expertise in many countries, were now looking for assistance from other parts of the world to fight the insurgents.
He reiterated his commitment to end insecurity and corruption, create employment opportunities through the provision of adequate electricity and explore opportunities provided by the abundant mineral resources and agriculture.
The APC presidential candidate urged voters to collect their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), come out to vote and protect their votes on the election day. Yesterday’s afternoon, business activities were at standstill after the campaign trail of the APC presidential candidate visited Bauchi State. People closed down their activities to receive Buhari who arrived the state around 5:30pm.
The entire Bauchi metropolis was also locked down in a gridlock as the campaign trail meandered through the city from the airport.
The APC flag bearer arrived Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport around 5:30pm but it took him more than 20 minutes before his entourage left the airport because of heavy traffic occasioned by presence of mammoth crowd.
The Bauchi airport was besieged by thousands of supporters as early as10am by curious supporters waiting for the opposition candidate.
The presence of heavily armed soldiers, police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel didn’t succeed in preventing the mammoth crowd from getting into the tarmac when Buhari’s plane finally landed.
The surging crowd finally broke down the gate of the airport when the chartered planes that brought Buhari and his delegation landed. The crowd charged into the tarmac, milling around the presidential candidate’s plane for close to 20 minutes. It took security details time before they succeeded in controlling the crowd to allow Buhari alight from the plane.
Thereafter, Buhari entered an open bus in a very long motorcade that stretched from the airport to the metropolis. APC supporters bearing brooms in cars, tricycles and motorcycles followed the APC candidate throughout the 22 kilometers drive to the city centre.
Men, women and children lined up the streets of Bauchi, waiving brooms and APC flags waiting to catch the glimse of the General.
Due to the crowd, the delegation had to abandon its plan of visiting the Emir of Bauchi at his palace and drove straight to the venue of the campaign.
Even at the Babangida square, Buhari spent over one hour without alighting from his vehicle due to the crowd. Due to the surging crowd and power failure at the complex, Buhari had to drive out of the square again.
Sunday Trust observed that throughout the event, the complex was dark and the public address system was not functioning.
On the Buhari entourage were his running mate Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the campaign director general Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and the APC deputy national chairman, North, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, among others.