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APC rally: Bauchi and the boisterous bash for Tinubu

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By Bala Ibrahim

Since late last year, precisely September 28, when the ban on political campaigns for the 2023 general election was officially lifted, the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), has been busy working tirelessly to convince the electorate on the need to allow it continue in power. With the former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as its Presidential candidate, and the former governor of Borno state, Senator Kashim Shetima as his running mate, the party has been crisscrossing the country campaigning, with lavish receptions everywhere.

Today, the campaign train was in Bauchi, where as expected, the candidate was received with boisterous celebration. Yes, the bash for Bola in Bauchi today, was full of razzmatazz.

Bauchi was agog for a number of reasons, amongst which was the elation and excitement of seeing President Muhammadu Buhari, who took it upon himself to join Asiwaju at the rally, in his campaign for a renewed hope to Nigerians.

The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi was filled to capacity, as hundreds of thousands of APC supporters besieged the venue for the support of Tinubu’s presidential ambition. Amongst the dignitaries were the national chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the Director General, Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, former chief of Defense Staff, Gen Abdulrahman Danbazzau, Senator Andy Ubah, Yobe state Governor, Maimala Buni and his Kebbi and Borno state counterparts, Atiku Bagudu and Prof. Babagana Zulum respectively.

In what turned out to be more like speeches of eulogies and acclamations, speaker after speaker at the rally, everyone concentrated on lauding and praising the President, for the unprecedented transformation of the Bauchi/Gombe axis in particular, and the north east region in general.

Mention was made of the significant projects the President brought to Bauchi in the education sector, youth development, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), agro-processing, infrastructure and housing scheme. Some of the speakers specifically commended him for establishing the Federal College of Education Jama’are, Air Force Institute of Technology Complex Tafawa Balewa, Federal Government Science and Technical College Misau, Federal University of Health, Nutrition and Medical Sciences Azare, as well as support for primary education, through the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.

Only recently, the President was in Bauchi, where he flagged off the commercial production of crude oil and gas from the $3bn Kolmani Integrated Development Project. The project, located along the fields of Gombe and Bauchi, lie in the Gongola Basin of the Upper Benue Trough, which according to its promoters, will produce about 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and holds over one billion barrels of crude oil reserves, with the capacity of shooting up Nigeria’s oil reserves to over 38 billion barrels.

The Kolmani River field is expected to attract about $3bn worth of investments. Those conversant with what transpired said from the onset, PMB instructed NNPC Limited to utilise and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project, in order to attract the much-needed investment, the result of which is the birth of oil in Bauchi today.

“This is indeed significant, considering that efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the established Niger Delta Basin were attempted for many years without the desired outcomes. However, the successful discovery of the Kolmani oil and gas field by NNPC and her partners has finally broken the jinx record by the confirmation of a huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in Kolmani River field”- PMB.

With such a gift to the people of Bauchi, who are feeling extremely indebted, the coming of the president to Bauchi, would undoubtedly increase the electoral chances of the party, and boost the chances of victory for all the APC candidates at the polls.

In introducing the Turaki of Keffi and the national chairman of the party, the governor of Plateau state and Director General of the Tinubu/Shetima campaign council, H.E.Simon Lalong said, “let me call on the owner of the party to present our Presidential candidate as well as the gubernatorial candidate”.

As the Chairman commenced his comments, a little technical glitch interrupted the sound system, but the airwaves remained filled with the shout of Maye!, Maye!!, Maye!!!, the famous slogan for the Turaki of Keffi. However, not withstanding the temporary malfunction of the equipment, PMB, who was running late for other functions in Lagos, mounted the podium, along with the Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, where they joined the national chairman, as the crowd kept the pouring of accolades with ceaseless momentum.

All the same, despite the sound setback, the President raised the hands of Asiwaju, calling on the people to vote massively for him, as well as all the APC candidates, in next month’s general elections.

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