By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Thousands of supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Saturday, stormed Maiduguri, the Borno state capital to attend a rally in support of its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, a former governor of the state (2011 to 2019).
Tinubu and his team of the Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, led by the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and the governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, who represented the Director General of the Campaign Team, Governor Simon Lalong, were at the Shehu of Borno’s palace as a first point of call.
His Eminence, Dr Abubakar Garbai Ibn Umar El-Kanemi, in his speech, thanked Tinubu and his entourage for the visit and prayed for smooth, credible, peaceful and successful campaigns and the subsequent election.
The royal father said that the visit was a sign of respect for the traditional council and called for improved security as well as rehabilitation of basic infrastructure.
He mentioned federal roads, electricity, resuscitation of the Lake Chad Basin Authority, resumption oil exploration at the Lake Chad Basin and recruitment of unemployed youths among others, if given the mandate.
Tinubu, before departing to the venue for the rally, thanked the traditional ruler for his blessings and pledged to give much attention to the traditional institutions across the country if elected President.
During the rally, the Governor of Jigawa state urged the people of the state to vote for Tinubu and Shettima and all other APC candidates in the next week’s general elections.
While addressing the mammoth crowd at the Elkanemi Sports Centre in Maiduguri, the presidential candidate, Tinubu, vowed to run a true government of the people by the people and for the people if elected in next Saturday’s election.
He reiterated that he would run a government of hard work, honesty and accountability in managing the country’s affairs.
“Borno people, I am very grateful to you all for turning out en masse to welcome us.
“If elected as your President, I promise to run a true government of the people by the people and for the people.
“I would run a government of hard work, honesty and accountability in managing the country’s affairs,” Tinubu said.
The party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, also expressed delight at the turnout for the rally.
Expressing confidence on the ability of the party to win the election, Adamu said, “Nothing, apart from the will of God, will deprive us of victory in the election.”
Governor Babagana Zulum and Borno politics strongman, Ali Modu Sheriff, said it is payback time for the people of Borno State for Tinubu’s choice of Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Sheriff, who observed that no Nigerian loves Borno more than Tinubu, recalled how Tinubu helped him to win his second-term governorship bid in 2007.
Governor Zulum expressed confidence that “Tinubu would uphold the trust the people of Borno would repose in him by electing him president next Saturday.”
The vice presidential candidate, Senator Shettima in his address, expressed happiness for the large turn out.
He also pledged that when given the mandate by electing Tinubu as President, the lingering and much talked-about oil exploration along the Lake Chad Basin would be revisited.
According to him, resumption of the oil exploration in the region will not only generate income, but also provide job opportunities to the teaming youths and women in the state, and the North-East sub-region.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the state APC Chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori, assured Tinubu that come Saturday, February 25, Borno people would vote APC candidates “from top to bottom”, considering the development strides put in place by former governor Shettima and his successor, Governor Zulum which cut across education, health, agriculture, poverty alleviation among others.
Governors Abdullahi Ganduje, Mai Mala Buni, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar, Inuwa Yahaya and Abdullahi Sule of Kano, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe and Nassarawa states, Deputy Governor of Borno State, Umar Kadafur, Speaker Borno State House of Assemby, Abdulkarim Lawan, as well as several party stalwarts, including former Governors Ali Modu Sheriff, Maina Maaji Lawan, former Deputy Governors loyal to the party, APC candidates attended the rally.
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