On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Kano to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kano-Kaduna railway project.
A report by Daily Trust said that the project is worth 1.2 billion dollars. This is obviously one of the landmark achievements of the administration. When completed, the project will strengthen the supply chain between Kano and other parts of the country.
Apart from the Kano-Kaduna Railway project the President also commissioned the Dangi Interchange under Bridge road, and also paid a visit to the Emir of Kano.
One vital thing that happened during his visit to the state was the mammoth crowd that came out to welcome him. Seeing the thousands of people triggered curiosity in me.
This is not the first that President Buhari has demonstrated that he is a “crowd-puller”. In 2017, when he was in Kano to inaugurate the ultra-modern Special Hospital, Giginyu; the underpass bridge at Madobi/Panshekara Junction, and several other projects in the state, the crowds that came out to receive him were so thick that some people had to climb heights to catch a glimpse of him.
In 2018, we also saw the kind of heroic welcome he received from the people of Kaduna when he visited the state to sympathize with victims of security conflicts in the state:
With the kind of crowd that he pulled again in Kano on Thursday, Buhari has proven that over the years his popularity in Kano has remained unshaken. But now, the question is – why should the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be bothered about this?
Why PDP should be bothered about the crowd that came out to welcome Buhari.
PDP hopes to reclaim power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023, but with the way Buhari’s popularity has remained unshaken in some parts of the North, this might be a big challenge for them. As expected, Buhari will join in campaigning for the candidate that he will endorse to take over from him, and chances are that in the states that he is popular the people may respect his choice.
It should be recalled that Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle recently decamped from PDP to APC, and now APC controls six of the seven states that are in the North-West geopolitical zone. Sokoto is now the only state in the North-West that is being controlled by PDP.
Kano is one of the stronghold states in Nigeria as far as presidential elections are concerned and with the way Buhari’s popularity has remained unshaken there, it might not be easy for PDP to claim the state from APC. And this might also be the case in other parts of the North.