A mammoth crowd of party supporters and other residents on Monday thronged the streets of Bauchi to receive President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on a campaign tour of the state.
Tinubu, who had spent the night at the capital of the north-eastern state, joined the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, governors and other party chieftains to receive President Buhari at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport Monday morning.
On ground to receive the president were Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; APC vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima; Governors Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Muhammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Prof Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), former governors Ali Modu Sheriff, Isa Yuguda and Mohammed Abubakar, members of the National Assembly, among other chieftains of the party.
The airport reception was also joined by Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, who led the delegation to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi.
The campaign motorcade snaked through filled up streets to the Emir’s Palace in the city for a homage to the emir, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, before moving to the campaign ground at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, which was filled to the brim.
The presence of the two leaders electrified the elated crowd which danced to campaign songs. Waving to the crowd Tinubu also danced as he moved around the podium along with the president.
Addressing the rally, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for discharging himself creditably a d making the party proud.
He said the outpouring of people indicated the appreciation of the North East to the Buhari administration for liberating them from the menace of Boko Haram, in addition to other benefits brought to the people.
“PDP abandoned the North East to Boko Haram. They left us in their hands to kill us, at a point when we complained they blamed us for it. But when you came, you liberated our people, you changed the story.
“It is incumbent upon us to continue to do what is expected of us by voting for the APC in appreciation of the benefits our people got from your leadership,” he said.
Kebbi State governor, Senator Bagudu, who spoke on behalf of APC governors, expressed appreciation to President Buhari for many people-centered policies which enriched poor farmers and aided the poor and vulnerable.
He said APC governors are solidly behind the APC candidate in line with the directive of President Buhari for all party members to ensure the victory of “his friend and partner, Asiwaju Tinubu”.
Bagudu urged the people of Bauchi State to replicate the support they have always accorded President Buhari to Tinubu in the February 25 election.
Though both Buhari and Tinubu could not address the crowd due to electrical glitch encountered mid-way into the programme, the president went back to the podium to once again cheer up the crowd before handing over the party’s flag to the presidential candidate to bring the rally to an end.
In his prepared speech which he could not read at the venue Tinubu promised to consolidate on recent gains to foster prosperity across the country.
“Mr President, you have showed them that our party is a party of thinkers and doers; people who can find a way where there is none. We thank you for that.
“And it is this spirit of finding way in the middle of nowhere, of drawing water from dried wells that we seek to consolidate when we succeed in getting the mandate of Nigerians.
“At a time of dwindling revenues and global economic crises, we need to explore all available resources that could help resolve our development challenges. It is for this reason that projects like Kolmani and AKK gas pipeline started by the Buhari administration will be accelerated under my leadership.
“We will create wealth through value addition across all the major planks of our economy. We will make farming profitable and support agro-allied industries that will help us process what we produce, instead of just selling raw produce. We will bring forth prosperity, insha Allah!”
Tinubu also promised to prioritize security in order to engender the right environment for business to thrive.
“Our security forces will be adequately empowered to respond to residual challenges we are facing. You will have the peaceful environment you require to engage in productive enterprise.
“My dear people of Bauchi State, I urge you to offer me the same support you have always accorded our party, the APC, and even more. You have always loved President Buhari and his party. I count on you to victory.”
Tinubu Media Office
Monday, January 23, 2023