Buhari recalls Kaduna bombing experience, El-Rufai demands N7bn reimbursement

Amidst tight security, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), on Thursday, inaugurated some projects executed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai as part of activities lined up for his two-day official visit to Kaduna State.

Buhari flew into Kaduna on Wednesday night from Banjul, The Gambia, where he attended the inauguration of President Adama Barrow for his second term in office.

At Kafanchan in the Jema’a Local Government Area of the state, the President landed at the rebuilt multi-purpose Murtala Mohammed Square at exactly 11.45am and inaugurated the complex.

While inaugurating the Kawo Bridge, the President recalled how he was almost bombed near the bridge while travelling to Katsina in July 2014.

Buhari said, “They wanted to blow me (up). But my escort somehow stopped them. Before we came to this bridge, they became so desperate and there was a small market or something like this here.

“They exploded (detonated) the device (bomb). God protected us and here I am again. Thank you very much your Excellency and remarkably you became my governor. I don’t think I have any input. Zainab Ahmed became my minister of finance. I didn’t know you’re from the gentleman I respect and went to his house. This is a fabulous coincidence and I thank God for it. Therefore, I have taken your loyalty for granted.”

Earlier while inaugurating the ultra modern sports and shopping complex at the Murtala Square, Kaduna, the President showered encomiums on the governor, saying El-Rufai was writing his names in “history in letters of gold,” because of the laudable projects under the urban renewal projects in the state.

Buhari said though he is from Daura in Katsina State, there was the likelihood of him living in Kaduna State after 2023 when he must have left office.

He praised the governor, saying that he had done well in transforming the state beyond recognition.

The President also made a pledge to the people of Kafanchan in Southern Kaduna of the possibility of establishing an air force base in the area to fortify security in the southern part of the state.


Buhari stated this at the palace of the Emir of Jema’a, Alhaji Muhammadu Isa Muhammadu, shortly after inaugurating four township roads constructed by the Kaduna State Government under its urban renewal programme in Kafanchan.

The President also said the government would look into the possibility of modernising the Kafanchan railway station to boost rail and commercial activities in the area.

The Emir, who commended the President and the governor for ensuring peace, security and infrastructural development in his domain, said Kafanchan had for ages been a commercial centre of repute in Southern Kaduna.

The monarch also requested for an air force base in Kafanchan to strengthen the present security network in the area.

The President hailed El-Rufai for committing himself to changing the face of the state.

While noting the impact of the urban renewal programme of the state government, Buhari said he could no longer find his way around Kaduna even though he lived in the city for long.

Some of the 19 completed urban renewal road projects inaugurated by Buhari are the reconstructed Kawo Flyover, an almost one kilometre long dual carriageway with three ground rotaries; the 5.6km Aliyu Makama Road; the multi-storey Basic Education Mega School on Lokoja Road in Rigasa; and the dualised Yakubu Gowon Way and Leventis Underpass in the metropolis.

The President also inaugurated the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Mando as well as the fertiliser blending plant of the Barbedos Group.

El-Rufai introduced the Kaduna State Urban Renewal Programme in June 2019, which commenced in Kaduna before those of Kafanchan and Zaria started.

The governor stated, “The goal of the urban renewal programme is to regenerate Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria, the three major cities in the state.

“These unprecedented investments in urban infrastructure are to consolidate the state’s position as an investment destination, improve its economic competitiveness and promote the welfare of the residents.”