Amidst tight security, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), inaugurated projects executed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai during his two-day official visit to Kaduna State on Thursday.
The President who flew in from Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of the state, landed at the rebuilt multi-purpose Murtala Mohammed Square at exactly 11.45am where he commissioned it (the complex).
Also, 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. 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 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 go 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 that El-Rufai was writing his name in “history in letters of gold” because of the laudable projects executed under his Urban Renewal Projects in the state.
According to the President, he is from Daura, in Katsina State, but there is a likelihood of him staying in Kaduna after he must have left office in 2023.
Buhari praised el-Rufai saying that he had done well in transforming the state beyond recognition.
Meanwhile, the President 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 the 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 the official commissioning of four township roads constructed by the Kaduna State government under its urban renewal programme in Kafanchan town.
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 governor for ensuring peace, security and infrastructural development in his domain, said Kafanchan, which for ages had been known as a commercial centre of repute in southern Kaduna.
The monarch also requested for an Airforce base in Kafanchan to strengthen the present security network in the area.