President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he expected two million votes for All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, from Katsina State.
He addressed a huge crowd of party faithful and supporters in Katsina, the state capital, where Tinubu vowed to defeat terror in the Northwest, if elected.
President Buhari said: “Tell your friends, brothers, sisters and children to continue to vote for APC. Tinubu will continue from where we stopped.
“Ensure your votes go to Tinubu for President and Dikko Radda for Governor of Katsina State and other candidates of the party.”
Tinubu described as evil the activities of bandits troubling the Northwest, killing innocent people and leaving in their throes many orphans.
He also said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should not be given a chance to bounce back to power.
The presidential candidate donated N100 million to victims of banditry, Governor Aminu Masari disclosed at the rally.
The rally, which held at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, was converted into a prayer session against the increasing wave of banditry in the state.
No fewer than 80 people were killed by bandits in an attack in Bakori Local Government Area at the weekend.
President Buhari, Tinubu, Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu and other party leaders commiserated with the families of the deceased, urging them to be courageous and hopeful.
Tinubu saluted those who summoned courage to attend the rally in spite of the tragedy, as he expressed condolences to the government and people of Katsina State.
He said he would work hard to eliminate banditry in the state.
Tinubu said: “Yesterday, we discussed whether we should continue or cancel the rally. If we had cancelled, they will appear to have achieved their aim.
“Nothing happens in life without the will of the Almighty Allah. We will continue with our rallies, and ignore the killers. They have committed a heinous crime before God and against humanity. No religion or society will tolerate killing of the innocent.
“We share in the pain, and sorrow of loss. Only Allah can soothe the pains of the widows and widowers, and all the loved ones. The killers have not won, and they will never win. The wicked shall perish. We will defeat the troublers of Nigeria”
Tinubu said President Buhari abhors violence, unfairness and injustice, and would not tolerate the mayhem by the terrorists.
He added: “President Buhari will never harm anyone. He wants peace, protection of citizens and progress. We will work with the President. He is a progressive leader.
“We will definitely deal with them. They will not go scot-free. Whether they derive some moment of joy or satisfaction, we are saying we are courageous, we are strong, we believe in Allah and we will defeat them. They are evil. We will eliminate them.”
Tinubu also gave kudos to security agents, assuring them that their sacrifice would be rewarded.
He urged voters not to allow what he called the “Poverty Development Party” to come back to power. “No to PDP, no to evil, no to killers,” he chanted along with the crowd.
Governor Masari warned Nigerians not to trust PDP with power again.
He said: “They had the opportunity. They didn’t do anything meaningful and now they want to deceive. Don’t fall for their sugar-coated words.”
The APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong urged voters to queue behind President Buhari to support APC candidates.
Adamu said the party would continue on the path of patience and steadfastness in growing the state and the nation.
He said: “We are, indeed, in very peculiar times. We are facing many challenges that require wisdom, patience and steadfastness to overcome.”
At the rally were Shettima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
Others were Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farooq, former Governor of Borno, Ali Modu Sheriff and a former governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar.
Masari, who called for special prayers for the repose of the souls of slain indigenes, thanked Tinubu for donating N100 million to the families of victims.
He said: “Leadership is not a joke. We should pray and support our leaders. The choice before us in the forthcoming elections is between light and darkness. We have a choice to move our state, and nation, or take it backwards
“Separate yourselves from liars and jokers. We have seen this people and we know them; they gather people and deceive them. We would not be dealing with Boko Haram and bandits today if they had provided the right leadership in the past.”
Masari said the APC was committed to rebuilding all that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had destroyed.
Buhari presents Tinubu to Emirate Council
President Buhari presented Tinubu to the Katsina Emirate and implored them to mobilise for his victory in the state.
“We are here to present our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the President said while on a courtesy call on the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman.
“Asiwaju has been chosen by our party, and we are fully in support of his candidature and we will work for his victory at the polls,” he added.
Masari noted that Tinubu’s record of service in Lagos State and the nation remained commendable.
He said: “Lagos State had a poor security record, with cases of attacks, robberies and dead bodies on streets, until Asiwaju took over leadership in 1999.
“The state has been transformed, with infrastructure and earned a reputation as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The state is now a centre of excellence because of the vision of the APC presidential candidate,”
The APC standard bearer thanked the Emirate Council for their support to the President, assuring that he will continue with Buhari’s legacy of discipline and fairness if elected President.
The Emir of Katsina lauded Buhari for presenting Tinubu to the council and citizens of Katsina. He assured that they would pray and mobilise for his victory at the polls.