…Ashiru, La’ah mourns death of 3 supporters.
Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Felix Hassan Hyat, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kaduna state of failing in all its 2015 campaign promises to the people “in a shocking bad style” and does not deserve to be entrusted with power again.
Hyat, who is Kaduna state chairman of the PDP, made the accusation during the combined PDP 2019 general elections campaigns under the banner of the Ashiru/Katung Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation tour in Gwantu, Sanga local government area, LGA, of Kaduna state.
The 2019 Kaduna state gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Isah Ashiru, and Senator Danjuma La’ah (PDP Kaduna South Senatorial zone), where emotionally laddened after an accident among the convoy of the Ashiru/Katung campaign train in the week claimed the lives of three PDP members.
The two were also over awed by the large turnout of the supporters, who came out in a festive mood, in Sanga and Kaura LGAs to express their support for the PDP. The running mate to Governor Nasir el-Rufai – the 2019 gubernatorial flag-bearer of the APC for Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, is from Sanga, while Kaduna state deputy governor, Arc Barnabas Bala Bantex, is from Kaura LGA. Bantex is also the APC Senatorial candidate for Kaduna South Senatorial District.
The size of the crowd that received Ashiru, according to long time residents of Gwantu, “is unprecedented since 1979.” Hyat, who addressed the gathering of PDP supporters in Gwantu, started by regretting the passing away of three PDP faithful, who had been escorting the PDP entourage on the Fadan Karshi-Gwantu express way to Gwantu. A ‘One-minute Silence’ was observed in their honour.
Before the rally took off, Ashiru, his running mate, Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung, and top members of the campaign train had visited two persons who sustained injuries in the accident in which the three died.
Our reporter gathered that Ashiru expressed his sympathy and promised to take care of all the medical bills that will be incurred, after dropping down an unspecified sum of money. One of the deceased was identified as Mrs Rahila Thomas, who was before her death a PDP women leader of Ara Ward in Sanga LGA. The identity of the other two could not be ascertained at the time of filling this report.
Some eyewitness accounts has it that length of the convoy was unusually too long and large, prompting impatient motorists to take untoward measures to be in the lead, as such endangering their safety. Another eyewitness account said that the Mazda car had a burst tyre.
Ashiru instructed that all forms of music, drumming and any form of celebration be banned in respect of the departed three during the Gwantu rally.
Speaking to the crowd, Hyat said: “The APC promised roads in rural areas, but did none in Sanga and most parts of the state. They promised you more jobs, but sacked your sons and daughters in large numbers, then employed non-residents of Kaduna state and made them bosses over us.
“The APC promised you security and peace; instead, you now have killings, kidnapping and the words and actions of the APC is the greatest threat to peace in Kaduna state.
“Again, the APC bragged that it will turn Kaduna into ‘Dubai,’ but today, Kaduna is probably the dirtiest city in northern Nigeria, with demolished properties making it looks ugly.
“The APC said it will build more houses for us; today, they could not build one room. Instead, they sold all the houses the PDP built for civil servants, including properties built as far back to Sir Ahmadu Bello time in the ‘50s and ‘60s.”
He also alleged that the APC has destroyed education in Kaduna state. “The APC has failed in a shocking bad style, because people very much trusted them, against all caution from the PDP. Sanga cannot afford to be fooled twice,” he told the cheering crowd.
Ashiru, on his part was calm and rather emotional when he spoke. “I thank you, the people of Sanga, for the show of this love. I shall never disappoint you, if you trust me with mandate,” he said.
An hour later, the campaign train reached Manchok, in Kaura LGA, to a cacophony of massive, uncontrolled revelling by several dance groups and individuals. Our reporter reports that the size of the Manchok crowd was even larger than that of Gwantu.
Senator Danjuma La’ah, waved through the rooftop of his jeep, at the sea of humans, which thronged around it, while more almost ‘mobbed’ Ashiru, who had to walk to his seat, sobbing intermittently in joyful appreciation.
“I never expected that you have so much love for Ashiru and I. You have honoured me and made me strong. I want to assure you that, Atiku, Ashiru, myself and all the PDP candidates will do our best for you,” he said.
Former Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, told the gathering that the suffering that had been endured in the past three years and seven months must not continue to another term of APC.
“Look at how suffering has reduced everyone to paupers. If they don’t care about our welfare at this level that they are desperate to get a second term, is it at the next level when they will not need your votes that they will care?” she asked. “There ‘Next Level’ means death to all of us. We must use our PVCs to stop the APC,” she said. Ashiru, again said he was overawed by the large turnout. He assured the throng of his commitment to improve the well-being of Kaura and Kaduna state.
Speaking to our correspond at the event, the Deputy Campaign-General of the Ashiru/Katung Campania Organisation, Hon. Danjuma Sarki, said: “We have never doubted our popularity in Sanga and Kaura. We have done our homework well. But, most importantly, the wicked, anti-people policies of the current government in Kaduna have also helped us. Again, Ashiru has packaged a workable working plan to restart Kaduna state; and our people trust him that he will deliver,” he said. The rally will shift to Kajuru and Chikun LGAs.