By Bala Ibrahim.
As expected, and in what looks like the repeat of what is happening everywhere Asiwaju visits in Nigeria, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has received a remarkably rousing welcome in Kano today. In fact, the show in Kano today, can easily be described as an awesome knees up for the Asiwaju, whose visit had literally compelled the city to stand still.
From the Government House on Tarauni road in the Nasarawa GRA, all roads leading to the Sani Abacha Stadium, venue of the grand rally were completely shut, as people in their thousands trooped from everywhere, singing and dancing on the streets in support of the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
The convoy of the Asiwaju was in a raised campaign truck, that conveyed the candidate, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the National Chairman of the APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and others. All through the journey to the stadium, Tinubu and his team were simply waving to the tumultuous crowd, which kept singing and chanting his name, as singers and drummers took control of everywhere.
Without doubt, it was a grand entry for Tinubu into the ancient and historical city of Kano, and a big pointer to the fact that indeed Kano state is in the kitty for the ruling APC.
It took him and his campaign train nearly three hours to access the stadium, where they met a huge crowd of supporters that had thronged the stadium since the early hours of the day. In excitement, which he expressed by dancing, Tinubu kept saying in Hausa, “Mungode, mungode, mungode.”
Earlier on, in another show of support for his candidature and that of the state governor, His Excellency Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, more than 5000 football clubs, comprising over 100,000 youths came out in numbers, to welcome Tinubu and his team. The sports enthusiasts escorted the campaign caravan all the way from the Government House to the Sani Abacha Stadium where the campaign rally was held.
In introducing Tinubu to the crowd, the national chairman of the party, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke in Hausa, gave all praises to Allah for giving the people the chance to display this show of support and solidarity with the party. He said, if what is seen today can be taken as a gauge of public opinion on the level of acceptance of Tinubu’s candidature and that of Gawuna, then Kano has fully spoken in favour of the APC.
Tinubu had been in Kano since midnight of Monday, where he had a town hall meeting on Tuesday with Muslim leaders from the North-West. In the meeting, he said he has what it takes to continue the developmental strides started by President Muhammadu Buhari, with the intent of igniting a renewed hope, as against the dashed hope of the 16 inglorious years of the Peoples Democratic Party in power.
Also, he promised to offer fair and just leadership to all Nigerians if elected president. He therefore called on them to preach unity and harmony among their followers rather than division and disunity, saying that is the only way the nation could experience development. “Religious leaders like you are agents of harmony and hope, not division and disunity. All well-meaning Nigerians, regardless of political affiliation, must join hands against violence, hunger, ignorance and bigotry. We all must live together. No one has the right to try to lord over the other. Allah stands against such injustice. And where Allah stands, all bad things must fall. Mean-spirited politicians – those thinking only of themselves or those who think they mean more than the nation itself – will go to great lengths to deceive or recruit eminent persons to unknowingly preach division and hatred”.
As Nigeria’s oldest commercial centre, the people were particularly pleased with the promise made specifically about Kano, where he mentioned consolidating the gains recorded by the present administration in the agriculture sector. “For this important Kano city, we shall work with the state government to make it a first class economic mega city. Also, the famous dams such Tiga, Chalawa Gorge, Thomas, Kusalla, will get special attention. We shall increase irrigated land, create water catchments and implement other measures that will allow you to cultivate these lands all year round – improving productivity, creating jobs and increasing food supply while ending hunger. Through Commodity Exchange boards and better credit access, we will guarantee incomes for farmers while also allowing them to get affordable loans to improve their output and incomes. The commercial expertise of traders and businessmen in Kwari Textile Market, Sabon Gari Market, Singer Market will be further encouraged. Their ability to serve Kano, the Northwest, and the rest of this region of sub-Saharan Africa will be enhanced. My industrial policy shall revive the respected but now idle industrial estates in Sharada, Bompai, Panshekara, Jogana, etc. We have the policies and tools to make them competitive and to create thousands and thousands of new jobs for you”.
Yes, indeed Asiwaju had gotten an awesome knees up from the people of Kano today.