Nigeria, Politics

Without Yar’Adua I Wouldn’t Have Been President – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday told the people of Katsina State that he would not have been president if not for their son, the late former president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua who chose him to be vice president in 2007.

Speaking to a mammoth crowd at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp, venue of the Katsina rally, the president also said it was the goodwill of the people of the state that has kept him, president.

He noted that it was for this reason that he is willing to do anything the people of the state needed even without them mentioning them.

He said, "I thank the people of Katsina State. But for you, I wouldn't have been here today. I am here because of Katsina. It is your own son that brought me as a vice president and that is why I am here today. Unfortunately, within the first tenure he left me, may Allah bless his soul.

"One thing you will know from me is that anything that you need, that you want, that government is in a position to do, we will do it without you asking for it".

The president said his administration was able to provide Katsina State with a federal university when it became embarrassing that, as the cradle of western education in the country, the state could not boast of a federal university.

He told the people that Katsina State had produced the first female pilot among those currently being trained under the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF) and that his administration has associated more with farmers more than any other in the country's history helping

On insecurity in the North, he said it was a problem facing other countries of the world, adding that his administration had been able to deal with the situation so far because of its focus.

He said: "We have challenges like many other countries in the world but we are still managing because of our focus. We will get through our challenges because we are working hard and you know it."

Also speaking at the rally, Governor Shema called on PDP supporters to remain steadfast and not be intimidated by any individual or groups for political reasons.

He said President Jonathan has done well for the state by providing a federal university, building almajiri schools, fighting desertification, youth unemployment among others in the state and the country in general.

Earlier, Jonathan had paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman in his palace.

Suspected APC supporters attack Jonathan's convoy in Yar'Adua's house

But for the timely intervention of security operatives, the campaign rally of President Jonathan in Katsina State yesterday would have been marred by some irate youths suspected to have been supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Jonathan was on his way from the venue of the campaign rally to the house of Hajia Dada, mother of late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua in her residence at Yar'Adua Quarters when hundreds of the youths threw stones at the convoy of the president, while some with brooms swept the ground and brandished the APC symbol, as they chanted "Sai Buhari".

It took a combined unit of soldiers and anti-riot policemen to disperse the supporters who heralded the president's entry into the area with chants of "sai Buhari" and some calling Jonathan "arna", meaning 'unbeliever.'

As the vehicles in the presidential convoy were gearing up in the preparation of the president's emergence from the residence of Hajia Dada, the APC supporters charged towards the convoy, throwing stones.

The security operatives repelled them by firing tear gas canisters to provide cover for the convoy to drive out safely, but as the president and his entourage sped off towards the Katsina Airport, the irate youths aimed stones at them.

Although nobody in the president's convoy or among the security personnel was injured in the incident, but there was panic in the aftermath.

As soon as Jonathan's jet took off, members of the presidential advance party who were left behind were advised to hide their identity to prevent them from mob attack.

Members of the Yar'Adua family had before the president left insisted that those behind the incident were mobilised by the APC leadership in the state.

The accused the opposition party of being the brain behind the action of their supporters which, according to them, was an attempt to embarrass the president.

One of the Yar'Adua family members who preferred not be named told reporters that a particular APC chieftain (name withheld), resident around the area, "was seen earlier in the day conferring with the resident APC chieftain apparently to advance the cause of disrupting the president's visit".

Buhari promise to boost agriculture for jobs, food security

The APC presidential candidates General Muhammadu Buhari has promised to revive the country agricultural sector if elected.

He stated this yesterday while his campaign team visited Jigawa State.

Buhari told thousands of his supporters who had gathered at Malam Aminu Square Dutse that if he eventually became the country president on May 29, the agricultural sector would be given priority to ensure food security and job opportunities.

"I have been saying wherever I went for a campaign - that if elected into office my government would revitalise agriculture from subsistence to commercial through the provision of modern techniques of farming and farm imputes to provide job opportunities to the teeming youths in Nigeria."

Buhari noted that Nigeria is presently at a crossroads

and would need concerted efforts of all for it to get out the socio-economic quagmire the PDP had plunged the country.

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