From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The national leader and presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, said Nigeria is bleeding as a result of insecurity.
He urged Nigerians to fight banditry and terrorism with everything that the country has to end terrorism.
Tinubu stated this when he paid a condolence visit on Governor Nasir el-Rufai, to commiserate with the government and people of Kaduna State over last Monday’s attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train.
Tinubu donated N50 million to assist the Kaduna state government in rehabilitating and catering for the wellbeing of the victims of the train attack.
This was just as Governor el-Rufai said Nigeria is at a critical crossroads and needs to take a very difficult decision to pick a leader come 2023, who would lead the country out of the various challenges facing it.
Tinubu, who is a presidential hopeful of APC, said: “We are facing the current challenges seriously and we have to do more. Nigeria bleeds. We need to fight terrorism with all our energy and whatever we have. It’s not shameful for people to be poor, but it’s unacceptable to accept poverty as a norm. It’s shameful to be callous, wicked and be a bully or terror to instil fear in humanity, and it’s not acceptable.
“I’m here on a condolence visit to Kaduna to sympathise with the governor and people of Kaduna and the entire Nigeria. What happened to the people on the Abuja-Kaduna train, on Monday, last week, was a disaster for all of us. It was a sad day. Whatever happens to Nigerians happens to all of us. I understand that some people are still missing. Innocent people maimed, killed, family suddenly thrown into sorrow, it’s frustrating. But we must submit to the will of God.
“Malam el-Rufai, the governor, we walk with you in every aspect of the way because you are the symbol of unity. We cannot forget that in a hurry. It’s about service, but if enemies of progress feel they can deter you from that service and human development, we would all say no.
“I’m here with my entourage to support and pledge that whatever we need to do, we will do to make a reasonable contribution to the welfare of the victims. I urge Nigerians to contribute to the welfare of the victims, either in hospital recovering or in their homes.”
Governor el-Rufai, in his response, expressed appreciation to Tinubu for cancelling his 70th anniversary colloquium as a mark of honour for the victims of the attack.
“This visit preempted my planned visit to Asiwaju to thank him for solidarity with the people of Kaduna, for cancelling his colloquium the day it was to take place.
“The gesture by Asiwaju is a show of powerful leadership, empathy and concern for the lives and property of Nigerians. It’s unprecedented in our history in Nigeria. The government and people of Kaduna state will never forget this gesture. We are very grateful to you for service, sacrifice and commitment to the unity and that of our country. We appreciate your call for people to contribute to enable us to rehabilitate the victims of this tragedy.
“We are aware of your aspiration to be president of this country, we look forward to further engagement, so that we can progress that aspiration.
“Nigeria is at a critical crossroads, and we must take very difficult decisions to get the right leaders that would take us out of the multiple quagmires that we are going through. These are human challenges and they can be solved by human ingenuity. I pray for God to choose who is best for Nigeria, so that we will be the better, united, progressive and exemplary country that is fair and just to everyone.”
Tinubu later visited the St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital, Kaduna, to commiserate with the victims of the attack who were hospitalised, including the staff of the hospital, a doctor, who was killed by the bandits.
However, he was told that the victims had all been discharged.