By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.
Cash swap or not, the humongous crowd that trooped out to welcome Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was beyond imagination. One would have thought that the hardship from the swap policy would turn away party faithfuls and supporters of Asiwaju from the Maiduguri rally. The Maiduguri outing has been tagged the mother of all rallies; rightfully so because of the unprecedented turn out, inspite of the very crunching economic times we are faced with, as a result of the naira redesign policy. Most believe that no state capital has attracted so much crowd as Maiduguri has done, since the start of the campaigns, as it was literally filled to the brim. The town was agog with rallies and celebrations as they welcomed Asiwaju to the state capital, along with their son, Kashim Shettima, The Vice Presidential candidate.
Playing host to the mother of all rallies, The Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, reminded everyone that no one has remained a friend of the state, and shown so much empathy towards their challenges with insecurity; as Asiwaju has done. Asiwaju had visited the State no less than 8 times, to commiserate with them, and make contributions of different kinds, to help give reprieve to victims of terrorism in the state. From far away Lagos State, Asiwaju has never shied away from being with them at their most trying times. No politician or dignitary has been by their side, as Asiwaju has been. The people of Maiduguri have shown that they remain grateful to Asiwaju, for being a friend and an ally. They have shown appreciation to a friend in need, who has been a friend in deed.
The Palace of the Shehu of Borno, HRH Alh. Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai, was turned to another Elkanemi Warriors Stadium, as the crowd and celebrations at the Palace was a replica of the funfair at the stadium. The mammoth crowd was simply amazing as all the APC stalwarts were also present at the Palace. The party Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Gov. Badaru of Jigawa State, Gov. Maimala of Yobe State, Gov. Ganduje of Kano State, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nassarawa, and Gov. Sani Bello of Niger were all present at the rally. The rally was full of vibe, and energy and the crowd was full of excitement. The hardship situation did not take away anything from the rally. If it did anything, it was energising the party and its supporters.
Contrary to some paid puppeteers, paying lip service to their paymasters, claiming that Asiwaju doesn’t have any blueprints for The North; Asiwaju spoke about his plans for Borno State. This means that his renewed hope manifesto, has a clearly defined agenda for each state of the Federation, based on the states strengths and weaknesses. He promised to recharge Lake Chad, which will of course provide jobs and promote agricultural activities especially farming and fishing. He also spoke about sustaining oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin, as encouragement has been provided by the discoveries in Bauchi, Nassarawa and Kogi States. He noted that for all these to have any meaningful impact on the economics of the area, there must be an improvement in the security situation. To this effect, he pledged to double efforts in curbing the security challenges of Borno State. This only shows that Asiwaju has concise knowledge of the challenges of Borno as a State, and has adequately proffered solutions that could be implemented in improving the economy of Borno State.
A lot of credit too will be given to Sen. Kashim Shettima, The Vice Presidential candidate to Asiwaju, for the mammoth crowd in Borno. Kashim hails from Borno State, and was their Governor for eight years, through their most trying times. He rebuilt what is now seen as Borno State, from the wreckage of the Boko Haram menace, that engulfed the State for no less than 13 years now and counting. He rebuilt the churches and mosques that were burnt, as well as the schools and hospitals that were destroyed by terrorism. He built an industrial hub that has supported the growth of small scale businesses, as well as provide raw materials for larger businesses. He rebuilt the confidence of the ordinary Borno citizen, making them believe that their homestate could bounce back from the doldrums of terrorism and poverty. He restored Maiduguri’s pride as the capital of the former North-Eastern state. Life is now back in Borno State, and the leadership of Prof. Babagana Zulum has made sure that nothing is lost from the gains of the Kashim Shettima administration. He has continued right from where his predecessor left, making their governance example bear a semblance to the Asiwaju-Lagos blueprint; where governance continues to build on previous achievements without prejudice. Borno’s turnout has more than assured Asiwaju of Kashim’s pick as his VP candidate. It has emphasised that the APC would have millions of votes from the NE axis in the 2023 elections. Borno leads the pack of Yobe and Gombe States that are APC strongholds. Borno is truly and squarely APC.