By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Thousands of supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday left the venue of the presidential campaign rally in anger and embarrassment as a visibly disturbed President Muhammadu Buhari and the the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu could not address them as a result of technical hiccups at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi.
THISDAY reports that the embarrassed supporters who turned out in their large numbers from various states of the Northeast started leaving the venue after the address of the Director General of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the All Progressives Congress, Governor Simon Lalong.
Our Correspondent also reports that a visibly embarrassed President Buhari and Tinubu who were invited to the podium to address the crowd could not do so as a result of malfunctioning of the sound system.
The electricity supply at the stadium went off shortly after the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu alongside President Muhammadu Buhari, Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others mounted the podium to deliver his speech.
After waiting for some minutes and the technical crew could not rectify the problem, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu presented the flag to the Tinubu and the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in the state, Ambassador Saddique Baba Abubakar.
At this point, President Buhari simply went round the podium and waved to the disappointed crowd who were already on their way out of the venue of the event.
The President then led other dignitaries down the podium into the waiting cars and drove out of the stadium to the airport enroute to Lagos.
Meanwhile, political thugs had a field day as they vandalized facilities at the stadium carting them away while the security operatives looked helplessly and could not stop them.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari had arrived Bauchi to lead the All Progressives Congress’ presidential and governorship campaign rally as the aircraft conveying him and his delegation touched down at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa airport, Bauchi around 10:20 am.
He was received by the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, who is the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and his opponent in the March 11 governorship election, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (rtd).
Others at the airport to receive the President were the APC chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Sen Andy Ubahl, Governors of Borno, Kebbi and Yobe states, Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Bagudu and Mai Mala Buni, respectively.
The President had proceeded to the Palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Adamu, for a courtesy visit and thereafter headed to the Sir Tafawa Balewa Stadium, venue of the rally.
At the palace of the Emir, President Buhari commended Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed for his transformation initiative through huge investment in provision of infrastructure across the state.
He urged politicians across the country to play politics according to the rules of the game, and applauded Governor Mohammed for providing a level playing ground for political activities in the state.
He also appreciated the Emir and traditional institutions in the state for complementing government’s efforts towards promoting peaceful coexistence in their domains.
While receiving the President at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi and Palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Governor Bala Mohammed said that although the President was in the state for APC activities, he was honoured by the President’s commendation.
Mohammed assured the President of his commitment to consolidate on the efforts put in place to ensure a peaceful and hitch-free 2023 general election.
The governor also commended the Federal Government for its sincere fight against insecurity and insurgency in the North East subregion saying that the area is gradually regaining its sanity and safety.