After successfully completing his second tenure as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and handing over power to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on May 29, 2023, former President Muhammadu Buhari returned to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State the same day.
He was received by a mammoth crowd of supporters, friends and well-wishers. The following day, he was hosted to a special durbar by the Emir of Daura. Different dignitaries, including former ministers and aides who served under the former president, graced the occasion.
However, after the ceremony, attention is now on whether he would stay in Daura, which is a few kilometers away from the border between Nigeria and Niger Republic or Kaduna, where he stayed before becoming president in 2015. Daura, his hometown, is said to be among the biggest cities in Katsina State but with poor social amenities.
Buhari’s hometown is one of the 34 local government areas in Katsina and one of the most populous towns in the state. It has played a pivotal role in the history of the state, producing people that became popular, not only in Nigeria but Africa and the whole world. Notable among them are Bayajidda and Sani Zangon Daura.
Also, Daura Emirate has a long history that dates back to 9th and 10th centuries during the Bayajidda (Abuyazidu) time.
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Despite the history of the town and the number of prominent personalities it produced, the town lacked the required amenities for prominent people to stay. In terms of health care, education and infrastructural development, it had little or nothing to boast of, a situation that exposed residents to serious challenges.
It was gathered that before Buhari became the president of the country, there was no university in Daura and their only hospital was at a lower level. Daura also lacked a federal medical centre; hence they had to refer patients to Katsina State general hospitals or and other places.
The town also lacked adequate road network and good schools, such that residents migrated to either Katsina town or Kano, some even to Niger Republic for better living, especially those that are rich.
“Before Buhari became president we lacked a lot in the town. We didn’t have roads or other things significant to development. Although the town is big, it looked very scanty as many people, especially the rich, could not stay,” one of the residents, Sani Shayi Daura said.
But Daily Trust Saturday reports that the Buhari administration brought a lot of development to the town in terms of human and infrastructural development and residents can now move everywhere on good roads.
Among the developmental projects brought to Daura by the Buhari administration are the Muhammadu Buhari University of Transportation, Federal Polytechnic, Daura, Air Force Reference Hospital, Women and Children Hospital, Kano-Maradi rail line that passes through Daura, School for People with Special Needs, Nigerian Air Force Response Air Wing, and the Nigerian Army 171 Battalion Base.
A 50-bed maternity centre at the Daura General Hospital, as well as the upgrade of the hospital to a federal medical center, several works of rehabilitation, expansion, reactivation and completion of abandoned and existing projects, including roads, schools, drainages, water projects, among many others, were brought by the former president.
When Daily Trust Saturday went round the town after the durbar that welcomed the former president back home, it was gathered that majority of the projects were completed while others are ongoing. Residents are expressing hope that the remaining uncompleted projects would be continued.
Buhari in Daura
There are divergent views on whether the ex-president would stay in Daura. Many people in the town, including his relatives, said he would stay for the rest of his life, while others are of the view that he would stay for some time and relocate to Kaduna. There are also speculations that Buhari would relocate to Niger Republic or Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Daily Trust Saturday also reports that Buhari’s residence in Daura is almost at the extreme end of the town, which is 18 kilometers away from Kwangolom town, a border between Nigeria and Niger Republic. He stays in a Government Reserved Area (GRA), which is not far from his parents’ home in Dumurkul village, one of the districts in Daura.
The former president said severally that he would relocate to his hometown and stay with his family after his tenure. He was also quoted to have said that he would face his farm.
“I have successfully finished and handed over power to the person that won the election. We allowed democracy to play its part. I will now face my farm,” he had said.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent said they were certain that Buhari would stay in Daura, adding that his pattern of life had not changed although he ruled Nigeria for eight years.
“He is still the Buhari we know; he hasn’t changed. I am very sure he will stay with us. He didn’t make a lot of changes at his house. He runs a simple life. We believe he would stay here.”
Yusuf Zailani Daura said, “As he said, he is going nowhere. He has a farm and family here, so he will stay in Daura. He has fulfilled almost 95 per cent of his promises and I believe that Nigerians would forgive him for the rest of the promises. For Daura town, Buhari has done everything for us. We are now a known city and will be counted among the top in Nigeria.”
Bashir Ahmad, a former aide to Buhari, told Daily Trust Saturday that his boss would stay in Daura but may occasionally go for official or personal engagements outside the town.
“Wherever he goes, his base is Daura. I believe he can go outside the state or even the country, but not with the intention to stay there permanently. Daura is his home now,” he said.
Speaking to Daily Trust Saturday, an uncle to the former president, Lawal Buhari, who is also a traditional titleholder in their district, said their son would not relocate to another place, adding that they were happy to have him back after eight years as president.
“He has done his best for the country. We are glad that he is back home after serving the country to the satisfaction of Nigerians. He has done beyond our expectations. If not that the country was spoiled before he came, he would have performed better than this. We are very proud of him. May Allah reward him,” he said.
On whether the former president would stay in Daura for the rest of his life, Lawal Buhari said, “You don’t know who Buhari is, that is why you are doubting. He will stay here; he said it and he meant it.
“He has provided a lot of infrastructures in this town. We have never witnessed development like this in this country. All I know is that he is back to Daura permanently.”
Another resident, Alhaji Kabiru Sani Wakilin Kasuwa, said their prayer for the former president to finish successfully was answered. He described the ex-president as a loving and caring person, adding that he would stay with them.
A political analyst and public commentator, Professor Kamilu Sani Fage, said that like past presidents, Buhari has the choice to live at any place he chooses in Nigeria or even abroad.
“There is nothing wrong with him staying there. If you look at the situation, they have been provided with adequate security and protocols; and they have their families around. Above all, he has the right to live where he wants,” he said.