2019: INEC Draws The Curtain To A Close Over Political Campaigns As Nigerians Go To The Poll

By Stephen Ubanna

Not many people were surprised at the large turnout of crowd at the wand up of President Muhammadu Buhari, Electioneering Campaigns in his home town , Daura, Katsina state, after about one month of touring the country to sell his manifestoes on Thursday, February 14, 2019, the last day set by INEC, for political Campaigns.

  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos and Chairman of the APC Presidential Council and the members had prepared a programme that made it possible for him to go round the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital territory, FCT, to speak to the people instead of handing over the assignment entirely to Tinubu  and his Presidential Council members to do.

Buhari , who could not hide his joy ”thanked the people for their  huge show of  support”. He expressed  appreciations to all his supporters throughout the country   for their show of love at every Campaign stop. ”The crowds  I saw in every state  we Campaigned  were not rented ones. Money cannot  buy them”, stressing that People turned out en-masse to listen to us  and I am encouraged by the willingness of our people  to freely choose leaders of their choice  and further strengthen our democracy”.  The coming to round up his Campaign may have given opportunity to pay to pay homage  to Umar Farouk, the Emir of Daura, to receive his Royal blessing.

Farouk may have seen the battle to occupy the Presidential villa as a battle between the people of Katsina and Adamawa state. The Emir  said the re-election of Buhari, on the Saturday, February 16, 2019, Presidential election , was a task for all Daura people  and all Nigerians who desired  a peaceful, prosperous and stable country.

In a show of Campaign for his re-election bid , the Monarch maintained that” Buhari has done well for the nation  and therefore, deserves  another four years in office to consolidate  on his numerous and remarkable achievements for the good of the country”. The 16 district heads  and 50 village heads  representing various religious and traditional  leaders in Daura Emirate , were said to have thrown their full weight  behind his re-election . Their major reason why Farouk, the Emir, the district and village heads  under the Daura Emirate Council were said to have started mobilising support for him according  to a district head who spoke to The Value News on phone  was because he has shown ” responsible and honest leadership” in the last three and half years.

Atiku Abubakar: Presidential Candidate , PDP

The situation was the same in Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Candidate, PDP’s home state. In a voice laden with emotion,  Atiku, had told the people of the state  to appreciate the ”emergence  of one of their own sons  as a Candidate of the PDP and vote for him en-masse. The PDP Presidential Candidate , who believes that he has no other Candidate to compete with in the state believes there was no need for him to ”Campaign at home” but would rather urge his kinsmen not to fail him on Saturday”.

An urbane Atiku reiterated  his pledge to solve the country mirage of problems ranging from unemployment, poverty and other challenges militating  against the development of the country. Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Party , may have lend his voice to the special appeal by Atiku to the people of Adamawa state to vote him en-masse on Saturday  by describing him as ”a tested and trusted Candidate  that had all that it takes  to change for the better”. The PDP Presidential Candidate may have rounded up the Campaign by paying homage to Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha,  the lamido of Adamawa, to receive the Royal blessing. The Monarch has call on the people of the state to turn out en-masse on the Saturday election to vote for their son, Atiku. The appeal may have registered on the mind of the people as they have seen as a challenge to ensure that he becomes the next occupant of the Presidential villa.  Note that the people of the state have not been happy with the Buhari government over the assassination of Alex Badeh, a retired  Air Chief Marshall and former Chief of Defense Staff  and are determined to vote against him in the election.

But the Adamawa state born politician may have to worry about Ibrahim Modibbo, a former Vice Presidential Candidate of the Grassroot Democratic Party of Nigeria, GDPN, who had earlier dumped the party to work for the actualisation of the Atiku Presidency but appears to have urged his teeming supporters  throughout Adamawa state to vote for Buhari  in the Saturday Presidential election . Moddibo had justified h is support for him  over his impressive performance  since taking he mounted the saddle in 2015. The former Atiku ally said  ”re-electing the retired-Army General,  will re-launch  the country  into another phase of development”.

But a member of the Atiku Presidential Council, who spoke to The Value News describe Modibbo as a ”feather weight in Adamawa politics who could not sway the people’s vote in favour of Buhari or any other Presidential Candidate. Notwithstanding the dismissal of Modibbbo by Atiku’s supporters as Mr. nobody in Adamawa politic, the Guardian of London, in one of its reports said Nigeria has a choice between a ” right wing  stingy dictator  and an established thief”. Olusegun Obasanjo may have alluded to this when he said  ” Atiku knows he is not a saint  nor the messiah the country is seriously looking for but the best Candidate in the current situation of the country.

 The fear of many was his  avowed” plan to make his friends rich and privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, if elected the next President of Nigeria”, an indication that he is not thinking about the development of the country.

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