ZARIA – Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign, yesterday over flooded the ancient city of Zaria as thousands of party members and supporters of Hon. Isa Ashiru, its 2019 gubernatorial candidate and other candidates of the party, took over major roads of the city in exultant celebration of the man they believe would be a better alternative to the present governor of the state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai when voted to office on March, 2nd 2019.
The Zaria campaign tour to Zaria, kicked off in Palladan, Sabon Gari, Local Government Area (LGA), which hosts the famous Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Nigeria School of Aviation, Zaria among others
By 11am, motley throng of supporter, comprising members of all Nigerian ethnic groups resident in Zaria all dressed in their traditional attires, mixed up with their Hausa and Fulani hosts as they danced to specially made songs and heavy music of alluring percussion extolling the goodness of the PDP and Ashiru including his running mate, Hon. Sunday Marshal Katung.
Meanwhile, Ashiru and Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (PDP, Kaduna North Senatorial District), who is also seeking re-election under the PDP and other candidates of the party, where on courtesy calls to traditional leaders in the LGA and ended up at the Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Shika, where they briefly met some patients.
When they arrived the venue of the campaign rally the throng welcomed them with roaring ovation and ululation as the loud speaker blared, “Ahiru, your mere name scares them to hell” translated from Hausa.
Many Speakers took turn to speak.
Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State, and former National Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the PDP said: “Look all around you today, whatever development you see, was the handiwork of the PDP,” he told the cheering crowd.
“The Zaria Water work, township roads, schools and hospitals were built by us, or their contracts awarded before the PDP lost the state in 2015. They can’t even complete what we left behind.
“They said the PDP stole. But you can see what we have done. They say they are not stealing, but where is the money, where are the projects?,” and the crowd answered in an angry Babel of indiscernible responses at the ruling party.
“Ashiru was the Chairman, Appropriation Committee of Kaduna State House of Assembly (KDHA) for 8 years I was governor. So, all the portable water supply to Sabon Gari and environs, all the rural electricity, Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs), farming inputs and the rest were done by the approvals of his committee. So he knows all the areas, the people and the challenges. He shall come to replicate them, as governor when you vote him to power,” he said.
“He will not sack people from work, and will not insult our leaders,” he added.
Former Minister of Aviation, now Kaduna State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Felix Hassan Hyat, told the crowd that the deceit of the ruling party has been uncovered, and asked that everyone got his Permanent Voting Card (PVC) and vote out the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Presidency, governorship, the National and State House of Assembly.
A crucial meeting of stakeholders comprising the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) later took place behind closed doors the at GRA, Zaria.
The campaign train then proceeded to the palace of the Emir of Zaria. For a journey of less than 2km, it took over an hour for the long convoy of vehicles to make it to the palace.
Again, Ashiru was confronted with a sea of exhilarated humans, as the security attached to him furiously fought to clear path for him to enter the palace, where His Royal Highness, Alh. Shehu Idris and members of his Council were waiting.
“I just advice that you conduct yourselves orderly and shun any form of violence,” the Emir, who has ruled since 1975 told his quest after they had paid their homage and told him their mission.
“Everyone should get his PVC and vote for a candidate of his choice. I wish you good luck and God’s blessings, my children,” he said.
At the venue of the reception, along the Tudun Wada Road, Zaria City, the size of the crowd became even more daunting.
There was desperate struggle to mount the stage constructed in the centre of the field. It would appear that several important local PDP chieftains were knocking themselves over to gain access to the stage and swear their loyalty to Ashiru. Security battled in vain to control them, until the stage came crashing down. Ashiru had to mount a car to speak to the excited crowd.
“I am so grateful for the acceptance that Zaria has shown to me and other contestants today,” Ashiru said.
“I can see the desire for change in all of you and we shall never disappoint you, if you give us the chance,” he went on, as his voice was drowning among loud praises and prayers in acknowledgment of his speech.
“Come out, vote and protect your votes,” he told them.
Zaria marked the end of his campaign tour in Kaduna North Zone. He has been to 7 LGAs in the zone including Kauru, in Kaduna South Zone. He was greeted with similar goodwill throughout. Ashiru will be in in Kachia and Zangon Kataf on Monday in continuation.