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Wedding in Kano, homecoming to Daura — five states Buhari has visited since Benue massacre
Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari is prepared to visit Taraba, Benue and other states recently hit by violence? Cheery news — but what took the President so long, and what has he been doing since the loss of lives in those states?
Well, it’s not like the President has not been travelling in-country at all. In fact, since the deadly herdsmen attacks of New Year’s Day that left over 80 dead in Benue State, Buhari has visited five states, even visiting one, Kaduna, twice!
KADUNA STATE — JANUARY 4
Just few days after the Benue attacks, Buhari visited Kaduna State to inaugurate new train coaches and locomotives at Rigasa train station. He also commissioned Nigeria’s first inland dry port.
While herdsmen were running rampage in Benue on January 1, a similar incident was taking place in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where Gambo Makama, the traditional ruler of Gwantu community, was murdered alongside his wife, his son left battling for his life.
But after the niceties and ceremonies of tape-cutting and goodwill remarks that usually accompany project commissioning, Buhari returned to Abuja without as much as saying a word of comfort for the people of Gwantu or even visiting the community whose traditional ruler was murdered in cold blood just days earlier.
NASARAWA STATE – FEBRUARY 6
A month later, the President visited Nasarawa State to commission the Nasarawa State Comprehensive Special School Lafia.
He also commissioned an electronic library, a fire service facility, a township road, a model primary healthcare centre and the Karu International Market.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we will intensify our commitment towards the realization of the cardinal objectives of this Administration anchored on securing lives and property, curbing corruption and ensuring economic growth through diversification,” Buhari told the people of Nasarawa.
“We have deployed additional resources to all affected areas to maintain law and order. The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated.”
Well, Benue citizens can best attest to how secure, or otherwise, their lives and property have been, despite of the supposed deployment of additional security operatives.
2ND VISIT TO KADUNA IN FIVE WEEKS — FEBRUARY 15
On his second visitation to Kaduna, the President commissioned Tsaigumi, Nigeria’s first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), produced by a team of aeronautic engineers of the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology.
KATSINA STATE — FEBRUARY 15
From Kaduna, Buhari travelled to his hometown, Daura, in Katsina State, as he had lost two members of his extended family during the week.
The Nigerian Air Force Presidential Jet conveying him at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport at about 4:32pm. Buhari was received at the airport by Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina State Governor; Yahaya Kusada, Speaker of the state assembly and other top government officials.
Members of the APC governors’ forum, 15 in all, (perhaps also members of the Buharist movement) followed Buhari to Daura, to console him and more importantly, to thank him for appointing Tinubu to lead the APC reconciliation initiative, according to Rochas Okorocha.
Also, a group of Katsina senior citizens and traditional rulers used the opportunity to visit Buhari and reiterate their support for him to seek re-election in 2019.
ADAMAWA STATE — FEBRUARY 20
Buhari’s visited Adamawa State on February 20 to attend the state anti-corruption summit tagged ‘Performance Based Governance: Transparency, Accountability and Social Value’.
He also commissioned road projects during the visit.
KANO — MARCH 3
On Saturday, Buhari travelled to Kano State to witness the wedding fatiha between Idris Ajimobi and Fatima Ganduje, son and daughter of Governors Abiola Ajimobi and Umar Ganduje, of Oyo and Kano States respectively.
At the celebration, Buhari served as Fatima’s guardian while Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State and APC chieftain, served as Idris’ guardian.
Meanwhile, in Benue, Samuel Ortom, the State Governor, an APC member, has been left on his own to deal with a vicious group that did not spare even policemen deployed for safekeeping.
Now that Buhari is ready to visit the troubled states — Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers states — many Nigerians will be wondering what took him so long. More importantly, they will ask: are the five states (six visits) more important than the crisis-ridden ones he is just about to visit?