Presidential Campaign: Confusion As APC Rally Flops In Bauchi

Presidential Campaign: Confusion As APC Rally Flops In Bauchi
  • Buhari, Tinubu failed to make speeches
  • Atiku takes campaign to Bayelsa, promises better deal

By  Mbachu Godwin

There was confusion in the camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday in Bauchi when the  presidential campaign rally of the party  ended abruptly over a faulty sound system.

The rally which was to drum up support for all the candidates of the party for the forthcoming general elections at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, was disrupted when the light suddenly went off and could not be restored after several efforts by party chieftains.

It was gathered that the light went off shortly after the National Chairman of the party, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, mounted the podium and began delivering his speech to call the president to make his speech.

After a long wait, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was present at the rally, had to leave immediately with his entourage without making a speech. Also, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu could not make his speech before the mammoth crowd who thronged the stadium to receive him. However, Mr Buhari handed over the party’s flag to Mr Tinubu and the gubernatorial candidate Sadique Abubakar and waved to the crowd from the podium

Buhari had arrived in Bauchi to lead the All Progressives Congress’ presidential and governorship campaign rally.

Recall that the aircraft carrying the President touched down at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa airport, Bauchi around 10:20 am.

Buhari was received by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, who is the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and his opponent in the March 11 governorship election, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, retd.

Others at the airport to receive the President were the APC party chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Andy Ubah, Governors of Borno, Kebbi and Yobe States, Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Bagudu and Mai Mala Buni, respectively.

Buhari had proceeded to the Palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Adamu, for a courtesy visit and thereafter headed to the Sir Tafawa Balewa stadium, venue for campaign rally.

Buhari was to officially present the APC candidates to the Bauchi electorate at the rally, and afterwards depart for Lagos where he is scheduled to begin his two-day working visit.

In Lagos, Buhari will unveil several projects, including the Lekki deep sea port, the blue line rail project designed to run from Mile 2 (on the mainland) to Marina; 32-metric tons Lagos Rice Mill, Imota; and 18.75km Eleko to Epe T Junction express road.

Others are the John Randle centre for Yoruba culture and history and the groundbreaking for the blue line rail phase 2 (Mile 2 to Okokomaiko)

Meanwhile, before the sound system at the rally went dead, the APC gubernatorial candidate, Sadiq Abubakar, promised to enroll more children in school to roll back the high number of out-of-school children in the state.

Mr Abubakar also promised to reduce maternal and infant mortalities in the state.

He said he will use his experience in the military and the training he obtained while working with President Buhari as the Chief of Air Staff to improve a lot of people in Bauchi.

“Under Buhari’s administration, we commissioned many Air force bases and units for rapid response to improve security in various States in Nigeria including Bauchi.

“This shows the concern that President Muhammadu Buhari has for the security of Nigerians, I will replicate the discipline I learnt from working with the president to improve security in Bauchi State.

“If given the opportunity I am assuring you the number of out-of-school children in Bauchi state is up to 1.4 million roaming the streets, we will take them back to school God willing.

“I will initiate a program to help the large numbers of Bauchi unskilled youth who are roaming the streets unengaged.

“Today in Bauchi’s hospitals 1,549 women are dying in every 100,000 births. This shows that the government is negligent, we will address this problem by ensuring access to medical care across the state by building more facilities and services for health seekers”

In a related development, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice-President, Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar, has promised to give all Nigerians irrespective of the ethno-religious or political affiliations a true sense of belonging if elected President.

 Atiku made the promise yesterday at the party’s presidential campaign rally in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital.

The PDP candidate, who pleaded with voters in Bayelsa not to make the mistake of leaving the party, said the state owes all of the development so far recorded to the purposeful leadership provided by successive PDP-led administrations in the state.

“I am committed to implementing five key programmes in this country starting from the unification of this Country.

“The reason why I want to unify the country is because we have never been divided along a number of fault lines either the North and South or Muslim and Christian.

“I am going to give every part of this Country a sense of belonging in the next PDP Government, I promise to tackle insecurity.

“Here in Bayelsa State you have faced a number of security challenges, you have lost so many people, due to breach of law and order. I promise I will restore security in this country.

“I also said I am going to tackle the economy of this Country, if you recall, the PDP government between 1999 and 2015, we had the best economy in Africa, but the APC has pushed us back and brought us down.

“We promised that we are going to tackle the economy and make sure that we provide jobs and other opportunities for our young men and women to be gainfully employed either in the private sector or public sector.

“Again, we promised that we would never see any more ASUU strikes, we would devote a lot of resources to education to make sure that our young men and women are educated and they continue to go to school without any interruption.

“Finally, we propose to restructure this country, you people in the Niger Delta need more restructuring than any other part of this country, we would give you more resources and power to deal with your problems, you don’t need to always beg the federal government for everything, when you are actually producing the resources of the country, so we will devolve more power and resources to you in the Niger Delta”.

Earlier in his remarks, National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu expressed delight that the state has remained loyal to the PDP since inception.

He said, “I am happy to say that all presidential candidates Bayelsa has always voted for the PDP. You promised to vote for the PDP and the PDP has promised to look after your welfare.

“I was here with our presidential candidate, when nearly all of Bayelsa was under water, we know your problems, and we will stand by you.

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