Kano and Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he will still win an election in Kano State because of the overwhelming reception he got at the start of his two-day visit.
The president spoke when he paid homage to the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II in his palace.
"I am overwhelmed by the reception the people of Kano offered to me. This has indicated that I can still win an election in Kano. The people of Kano are aware of the tremendous jobs we did on security and agriculture," Buhari said.
He said his government had played significant roles in restoring peace and harmony in the northeast.
"We have recorded tremendous successes in our efforts to achieve the three agenda of my government; security, economy, and fight against corruption," he said.
"Nigeria, Chad and Niger Republic have succeeded in crushing Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast. The countries have come together to fight a common goal because without peace and stability we cannot achieve anything," he said.
President Buhari said the north is important to the country, because "If there is peace and stability in the north, there will be peace and stability in the whole country and if there is a problem in the region it will affect the entire country."
The president said he had seen a lot in politics since he joined it in 2003, adding that Nigerians must understand the difference between democratic and military administration.
"When I was the military head of state, I have arrested many people and jailed them for alleged corruption and in the end, I also ended in a jail," he said.
He lamented that from 1999 to 2014, Nigeria got so much wealth but it was misused.
"They squandered the money and we still don't have a constant power supply, no good education for our children and we don't have good hospitals and roads," he said.
Speaking on his relationship with the emirate, he said "Kano Emirate Council has contributed a lot to my life. Whatever I become in my life, I always consult the Kano Emirate Council."
President pardons 500 inmates
President Buhari also yesterday pardoned 500 inmates in Kano and donated undisclosed cash to them to start businesses.
The inmates including men and women were selected from the Kurmawa Central Prison, Kano.
The 500 inmates were either pardoned or set free upon the payment of fines by the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
"If we have people of 18 and 19 years in the prison, and there is no continuous training, then their lives will be completely destroyed. We will invest more in education and vocational training," he said.
The 500 inmates granted pardon, including men and women, were drawn from various prisons in Kano state, including Kurmawa prison, which has 1,398 inmates as opposed to 750, the established capacity.
APC change mantra is working in Kano
The president commissioned a multi-billion naira 500-bed Giginyu Ultramodern Hospital in Kano. He urged other governors to emulate their Kano counterpart Abdullahi Umar Ganduje by executing more people-oriented projects in their states.
Speaking shortly before he commissioned the hospital, Buhari noted that Governor Ganduje is executing the agenda of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state through execution of projects that had a direct impact in the lives of the electorate.
"The APC change is real and is for all Nigerians irrespective of their beliefs, tribe, ethnic and or party differences. The APC change agenda is working in Kano. I'm highly impressed with what Governor Ganduje is doing in Kano."
"I am urging other states governors to emulate Ganduje by executing similar projects in their states. I'm proud to see this kind of gigantic project executed for the people of Kano. I commended Ganduje for trying to make life easier for Kano People," Buhari said.
Governor Ganduje in his remarks said, "I must confess that this hospital construction was started 10 years ago by another administration and as part of my cardinal principle of continuity, the present administration continued from where it stopped. And today we are here to commission it after completing it."
Ganduje explained that the Giginyu hospital cost his administration over N4 billion, while that of Zoo road gulped over N3 billion. He said the funds covered completion of all unfinished structure and provision of equipment and other hospital facilities to the two hospitals.
Buhari doesn't deserve second term - PDP
In its reaction, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the president lacked any quality to be reelected.
Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party stressed Buhari has failed on his campaign promises.
"I do not agree with him (Buhari). The APC led government has nothing to show that would warrant them a second term," Adeyeye told our reporter last night by telephone.
He said most Nigerians were hungry as a result of Buhari government's "non-performance."
He said the PDP would meet and defeat Buhari at the field in 2019, if his party, the APC grants him the ticket for a second term.
Similarly, a former deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, said the circumstances that led to Buhari's emergence in 2015 were different, stressing that Nigerians have seen that the APC government cannot put food on their table and would dislodge the APC in order for the PDP to take over power at the centre.