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Thousands defy security threats to receive Buhari

The blind, the crippled and other vulnerable groups were also at the rally venue which had the capacity of accommodating at least 500,000 people but…

The blind, the crippled and other vulnerable groups were also at the rally venue which had the capacity of accommodating at least 500,000 people but was overwhelmed by supporters.
Security operatives made fruitless efforts to control the surging crowd who broke gates and climbed fences to get to the venue.
As early as 6am, the Ramat Square was filled to capacity while people living in places  like Jakana, Auno, Jimtilo,  Moramti, Allah Kareem, Dalori among others trekked several kilometers to attend the rally.
There was stampede at the Ramat Square which led to the death of at least three people while several others fainted and were rushed to hospitals.
But the tense atmosphere occasioned by the firing of gunshots into the air did not scare the surging crowd.
All major roads in Maiduguri were taken over by people who had earlier purchased brooms and souvenirs of the APC.
The crowd was so large that no speech was delivered at the Ramat Square when Buhari and his entourage arrived the venue around 2pm and were received with a thunderous applause.
After several attempts to convince people to listen failed, Buhari simply waved to the crowd and left. Residents said there was never such a gathering in Maiduguri in the last 30 years.
Earlier on arrival at the Maiduguri International Airport, it took the motorcade of the APC presidential candidate over two hours to get to the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi to pay homage.Under normal circumstances, the journey should take less than 30 minutes.
Buhari, who was received by Governor Kashim Shettima was accompanied by the national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinuba, the national chairman, John Oyegun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and other chieftains of the party.
Buhari told the shehu that if voted into power, he would use his vast experience to address the problems that forced Nigeria to remain behind its contemporaries.
“It is not easy knowing that the damages have been done but my party is determined to end  the Boko Haram insurgency. Before this crisis, Borno was a centre of business as people used to come from all parts of the country and others from Cameroon and Chad to conduct businesses. At lease more than 2 million people have been disengaged from all this businesses”, he said.
Buhari said if APC takes over power,  Boko Haram will be crushed, schools would reopen and displaced persons from the 27 local government s would go back to their homes.
In his remarks, the Shehu said the people of Borno are peaceful and appealed to Buhari to ensure quick restoration of peace in the North east when voted into power.
“It is lamentable that millions of our people are now refugees in their country and their sources of livelihood have been crippled”, he said.

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