Birnin Kebbi stood still for President Muhammadu Buhari, who flagged off his campaign in Kebbi state, acknowledging the resilience of farmers, especially in rice production.
Economic and social activities were locked down as people trooped to the venue of the campaign to welcome President Buhari, who also appealed to Nigerians to support efforts to diversify the economy and rely less on oil.
Buhari told the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his presidential campaign in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday, said agriculture was taking its pride of place in the economy.
“I was in Kebbi in 2015, during my campaigns and I made three promises – transform the economy, boost security and fight corruption.’’
He explained that modest achievements had been recorded in all the three sectors.
According to president, the economy of the nation has now been put on a sound footing, while the anti-corruption fight is also highly successful.
“On security, the people of Borno yesterday confirmed that Boko Haram have been fully decimated.
” On agriculture, the last two rainy seasons we recorded bumper harvests, as such , food security is highly guaranteed in the county as we have reduced the importation of rice by 90 per cent, and we have also provided subsidised fertilisers to our teeming farmers.
” While hoping that similar bumper harvests would be recorded this year, I am appealing to Nigerians to go back to farm for subsistence and for sale and they should not relent in efforts to achieve that,” he said.
Buhari also acknowledged the sustained invaluable support and cooperation of the people of the state to his policies and the APC, his party.
The Director – General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the Minister of Transport, told the mammoth crowd that the Federal Government would soon commence the construction of a rail line from Jibia to Gusau to Sokoto to Birnin Kebbi.
“There was no plan to construct the railway before we came into power.
“If you vote for the APC in the forthcoming elections we will do the railway but if otherwise, you will hardly get the railway from the other party,” he said.
Gov. Atiku Bagudu said APC had in the last three years strengthened unity among the people and facilitated industrial and agricultural development in the state.
“This has been manifested by the establishment of WACOT Rice Mill in Argungu, Kamba Rice Mill and the proposed Dangote Rice Mill in Saminaka, Dugu-Raha, in Shanga Local Government Area as well as Lagos and Kebbi Rice,” Bagudu said.
He noted that all the state’s democratically elected officials in since 1999 to date have joined APC.
“All the former governors, former deputy governors, former ministers and many national assembly members from 1999 to date are in APC,.
“All the deputy governors and politicians from that period to date are united in the same party; all courtesy of the support and encouragement we have been receiving from Mr President,” he said.
He assured the president that the people of the state would bring huge percentage of votes to the APC than all the states of the federation in the general elections.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said Nigerians would only vote for a person who is not a thief, adding that, former leaders who criticised the president were doing it out of their sheer personnel interests.
“These people don’t want to see the common man progresses; they envy Buhari for his policies in making sure that the common man is transformed and changed progressively to develop this country,” Oshiomhole said.NAN