By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled how he was almost killed by a bomb near Kawo bridge while travelling to Katsina State in July 2014.
Buhari recalled the incident on Thursday while inaugurating Kawo bridge and other projects executed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai during his two-day official visit to Kaduna State.
“They wanted to blow me (up). 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 that 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 (in your becoming the governor).
“Zainab Ahmed also became my minister of finance. I didn’t know she is a daughter of a 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,” Buhari said.
While inaugurating the ultra-modern sports and shopping complex at the Murtala Square, the President poured encomiums on el-Rufai, saying that the governor was writing his name and “history in letters of gold,” because of the laudable projects executed under his urban renewal programme in the state.
According to the President, though he is from Daura, in Katsina State, there is a likelihood of 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 has made a pledge to the people of Kafanchan, in Southern Kaduna, that there was a possibility of establishing an Air Force base in the area to fortify 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 inauguration of four township roads constructed by the Kaduna State Government 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, had for ages been known as a commercial centre of repute in Southern Kaduna.
The monarch also requested an Air Force base in Kafanchan to strengthen the present security network in the area.