The presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Katsina State was largely turned into a prayer session and mourning over the recent murder of over 40 vigilantes in Bakori Local Government Area of the state by bandits.
A statement today, February 6, by Abdulaziz Abdulaziz from the Tinubu Media Office, said that apart from scaling down the number of participants at the rally, which had President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, the event was conducted in a sober atmosphere at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.
He said that some party leaders, including the APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Katsina State Governor Aminu, Bello Masari and Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu attended the prayer session.
He said that the leaders gave a thought to the fact as to whether to postpone the rally outright in view of the mournful atmosphere.
“We decided to go on because some people are already here and it will be disappointing for them to come without getting to see the President and Asiwaju. But we are here to condole with you. We will be back,” said Governor Bagudu.
President Buhari regretted that he inherited a poorly managed country and that his administration has done well in turning the fortunes of the country.
He condoled the people of Katsina over the banditry attack, urging them to remain courageous and hopeful in order to defeat terror.
Asiwaju Tinubu saluted those who summoned courage to attend the rally in spite of the sorrowful situation, as he expressed condolences to the government and people of Katsina State.
He assured the Katsina electorate of working hard to eliminate banditry in the state.
“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 charged participants not to allow what he called “Poverty Development Party” to come back to power. “No to PDP, no to evil, no to killers,” he chanted along with the crowd.
Katsina State Governor Masari had warned Nigerians not to trust PDP with power again.
“They had the opportunity. They didn’t do anything meaningful and now they want to deceive. Don’t fall for their sugar-coated words,” he said.
The APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong urged Katsina electorate to queue behind President Buhari to support the APC presidential candidate and other candidates.