It was a day of joy for residents of Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown in Katsina State, when, penultimate Saturday, the President returned to the country after his medical vacation in the United Kingdom which lasted more than 100 days.
Following the announcement that the President would return to the country that Saturday, his kinsmen took position around their radio and television sets to watch the event live.
Nobody was prepared to miss the arrival or be told about the story.
And the moment the live broadcast of the President’s return ended, the natives, instead of the usual rally to show their love for Buhari, they headed to their places of worship to glorify God for the restoration of the President’s health.
The Muslims among them went to the mosque just as the Christian folks offered prayers in churches.
Some other individuals celebrated Buhari’’s arrival in different forms like ordering for free food for the needy and entertainers (Kallangu) taking to the streets to sing God’s praise.
Daura remained in celebration mood on Tuesday when Sunday Vanguard visited the town as the natives shared the anxiety they went through while their son was away for the medical treatment in the UK, especially when the rumour of his death spread across the country like wild bush fire.
One of the natives, Yawale Musa Kallah, obviously happy about the President’s return to the country, said the people of Daura felt no cause for alarm while Buhari received treatment as they continually prayed God to heal him.
Asked how the natives took the rumour that the President was dead, Kallah, who is the Treasurer, Buhari Youth Congress for Change, BYCC, said, “As Muslims, we know certainly that there is sickness and that any human being can die. But we were not disturbed about Mr President’s medical vacation in London. As Muslims, we have faith in God that he will be healed”.
He continued: “When it was announced that President Buhari will return on (penultimate) Saturday, we had rest of mind. We had prayed and we knew God had answered our prayers and he was hale and hearty. So we knew it was mere rumour that he was dead. And here it has come to pass that it was a rumour.
“And what many people fail to understand is that those wishing him death too will not live till eternity. So spreading the rumour that the President was dead was useless. Every soul must taste death.
“As Muslims, we have forgiven the mischief makers while advising them to put aside their bad wishes and sentiments and let’s together move the nation forward. We should rally round Mr. President and give him the necessary support for the rapid growth and development of our nation”.
‘I laughed at rumour mongers’
Another native, Adnan Na Abu, who claimed to be a relation of the President, said he laughed at the rumour mongers who claimed Buhari was dead.
“I laughed at them because the rumour was spread by mischief makers, those who don’t wish Mr President well. And whatever we do, our lives are in the hands of God, nobody has control over his life or health or whatever. So the people were just talking nonsense. So, when they were spreading the rumour, I was just laughing because I knew Mr President was alive and recuperating”, Na Abu said.
“As I told you earlier on, I was in touch with our relations in the UK. As a member of the family, I had update on the health of the President almost on daily basis. So, as the rumour spread, I kept laughing because I had privileged information on how he was recuperating. And when I heard that he was returning, it just added to my expectations.
“Of course, when he eventually landed was a moment of joy. It was a moment to glorify the Almighty Allah. What we did to celebrate his coming was not just to drum and dance but we also prayed in our mosques and encouraged our Christian brothers to pray in their churches. In fact, it was just a time to give glory to God”.
Asked if Daura natives had forgiven those who wished Buhari dead, Na Abu said the rumour mongers didn’t offend them. “If you are wishing somebody dead, you are being myopic because if the person dies, that doesn’t mean you will live for eternity. So whichever way, I think we should just let them bury their faces in shame because they have spread rumour and it has failed to come to pass,” he said.
I wish those wishing Buhari dead good luck – President’s grand daughter
A granddaughter of the President, Jamila Muhammad Anda, who also spoke to Sunday Vanguard in Daura, said she was sad by the death rumour but has now forgiven those behind it.
“When I heard that President Buhari was coming back, I was so excited because some disgruntled elements don’t want him to come back. So when he landed hale and hearty, I was very happy”, Jamila said.
“We collaborated and prayed for him.
“I don’t wish them bad; I wish them good luck”.
She went on: “I felt so sad when the rumour took over the airwaves. I believe that if you were in my shoes, you will feel same way because Buhari is a very good man and he loves Nigeria.
“We celebrated his return. We hired a music band (Masu Kalangu) and a DJ to celebrate and entertain ourselves and the President’s well-wishers. We also invited some scholars to pray and recite the Qur’an for Allah to protect and give him good health.
“We have forgiven those that wished him dead”.
We couldn’t hide our joy – APC Women Leader
Katsina State All Progressive Congress, APC, Women Leader, Hajiya Safiya Umar, also speaking on Buhari’s return, said she couldn’t hide her joy over the safe return of their son.
“We thank God for bringing back President Muhammadu Buhari safe, hale and hearty”, Safiya stated.
“We are very excited. I can’t hide the joy and happiness I’m feeling inside me”.
Our expectations were high while we awaited his return – BYCC Chairman
The Chairman of Buhari Youth Congress for Change, BYCC, Musa Badamasi, said the natives’ expectations were high when it was announced that Mr. President will return that Saturday.
“When it was announced that the President will return to the country, most of the natives were anxious to see him. Our expectations were high such that everybody was sitting next to his television set to watch as Mr President alights from the plane. Nobody wanted to be told the story,” he said.
Badamasi said the natives had moved on and had forgiven the mischief makers wishing Buhari dead, asking them to bury their heads and face in shame