There were huge cheer in the camp of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and even a broader smile on the face of former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar after the one million- man march planned for President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday witness a low turnout.
It looked like an indication that the people are fed up with the administration of the Buhari-led government and that left organisers very disappointed. The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) in Niger state had expected a large turnout with the presidential election less than 48hours away.
The march which was supposed to be for a million people started at the Trade fair complex in Sango, Minna at 10 am with less than 100 people. It continued to Government House and rounded off at the Buhari campaign office opposite the old state secretariat, some other people joined in the march.
People from the 25 local government areas of Niger state were expected but there was no representation from over 20 local government areas. Banners representing people from Bosso and Chachanga local government areas.
While the target was meant for one million people, the crowd was not up to 2,000 as observed by our correspondent.
Speaking to newsmen after the march, Chairman of the Buhari Support Organisation in Niger, Mallam Umar Shuiabu refused to comment on the low turnout but said they never induced anyone to join the march.
He expressed satisfaction over the turnout and the number recorded at the march but refused to give the total head count of participants.
“The march was organised to garner support for Buhari. We have never had a government that has fulfilled its campaign promises like the Buhari administration.
“We did not induce anyone with money to come out to march. The people you saw during the march joined because of their love for the President. We do not rent crowd. People came here on their volition.”
Shuaibu called on Niger people to vote for the President on Saturday, saying Buhari ‘s administration has been able to turn the nation into a prosperous economy.
In the run-up to the 2015 Presidential elections, the campaign team of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan asked for the disqualification of General Buhari from the election, claiming that he is in breach of the Constitution.
According to the fundamental document, in order to qualify for election to the office of the President, an individual must be “educated up to at least School certificate level or its equivalent”. Buhari has failed to submit any such evidence, claiming that he lost the original copies of his diplomas when his house was raided following his overthrow from power in 1985.
Buhari ran in the 2015 Presidential election as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress party. His platform was built around his image as a staunch anti-corruption fighter and his incorruptible and honest reputation. However, Buhari stated in an interview that he would not probe past corrupt leaders and that he would give officials who stole in the past amnesty, insofar as they repent.
In January 2015, the insurgent group “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta” (MEND) endorsed Buhari in the Presidential race, saying he is the best candidate to lead the country.
Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign was briefly advised by former Obama campaign manager, David Axelrod, and his AKPD consultancy.
In February 2015, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo quit the ruling PDP party and threw his support behind the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket.
On 31 March, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan called Buhari to offer his concession and congratulations for his election as president. Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015 in a ceremony attended by at least 23 Heads of State and Government.
Atiku looks like massive favourite to win the election on Saturday as the pendulum seems to be swinging his way.
Abubakar declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the PDP mid 2018 and won the nomination at its convention on 7 October. He defeated 11 other contestants and got 1,532 votes, 839 more than the runner-up, the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal.
Atiku Abubakar continued his campaign rally in Kogi State as he promised to complete abandoned projects in the state. On 30 January, he participated in the town hall meeting tagged #NGTheCandidate.
And in the meeting, he declared that he will grant amnesty to looters and he vowed to privatize 90% of NNPC, Nigeria’s primary source of income. Atiku took his campaigns to Katsina, visit Emir of Daura on 7 February 2019.
Source: Daily Advent
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