What started with a gesture by Suleiman Hasheem who walked from Lagos to Abuja (a distance of about 700km) in commemoration of General Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the Saturday, March 28, 2015 presidential polls, has now become a trend in recent weeks.
At the last count, not less than four other young Nigerians have embarked on trekking across the country over different distances.
From Yola (Adamawa), to Kaduna and Lagos, young people have caught the trekking bug and embarked on audacious attempts walking across the country. ENCOMIUM Weekly takes a look at the trekkers…
trekked from Lagos to Abuja (about 700km)
Some two years ago, Katsina-born 33-year-old Hasheem vowed that he would walk from Lagos to Abuja if the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) won the presidential election.
He set out on April 3, two days after Buhari was declared winner of the polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and arrived FCT, Abuja on April 22. He was welcomed into Abuja with much fanfare.
Hasheem, while meeting Buhari in Abuja on April 23, presented to the President-elect, a folder filled with messages from emirs and other Nigerians in the communities he passed through on his way to Abuja.
trekking from Yola (Adamawa) to Abuja (about 750km)
43-year-old Mallam “Duduwalle” Abubakar Umar walked from Yola, Adamawa state capital to Abuja. He started his journey on April 26 and arrived Bauchi on Saturday, May 2. His trek was in the hope to meet the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and hand him letters from people.
The trek was in fulfillment of his promise that if the ex-general emerged President-elect, he would honour the victory with the long walk. Abubakar told newsmen in Bauchi that he was carrying over 300 request letters for Buhari, which were given to him by people at different locations as he trekked through the North East sub-region. According to him, most of the letters contained requests urging the President-elect to address insecurity in the country and re-build the sub-region.
HARUNA THE TREKKER:
from Kano to Abuja (about 441km)
A young man and student of Bayero University, Kano who has interestingly been nicknamed ‘Haruna the Trekker’ is walking from Kano to Abuja in protest over what he perceived as rigging in the Taraba State governorship election.
The Taraba gubernatorial polls saw the All Progressives Congress (APC) female candidate, Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, lose out to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Darius Isyaku.
Haruna feels the only female APC candidate was rigged out and denied victory; and as such, he must undertake the mother of all protests, therefore the trekking.
From Abuja to Otuoke (Bayelsa) -700km
Kogi-born Oladele John Nihi commenced his trip down south to President Goodluck Jonathan’s country home of Otuoke in Bayelsa State, to honour the Nigerian leader as the Hero of Democracy. Nihi started his long journey from Abuja on Monday, May 4, at 6am and hopes to meet the President in his hometown to celebrate him for sustaining democracy and keeping to his promise of free, fair and transparent elections in the country.
Using the Twitter hashtag, #TrekForGEJ, he has been updating his followers on the happenings on his trek. On May 5, he was joined by a female, Gloria, who volunteered to accompany him along the journey. He was, sadly left heart broken when she pulled out of the journey after her family recalled her on May 7. His joy knew no bounds when she, however, rejoined the quest.
From Kaduna to Abuja (about 200km)
A double amputee, Musa Ibrahim has embarked on a 200km walk from Kaduna to Abuja in solidarity with President -elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The 30-year-old said he is going to Abuja to deliver a message to the President-elect on the need to consider the physically-challenged under his government.
According to him, there is need for the APC-led government to look into the plight of the disabled, particularly in the areas of employment and political appointments. In his words, “I don’t think past administrations were fair to the disabled in this country. They talk about our plight yet do less to help us.”
He set off from Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, Kaduna.
– MICHAEL NWOKIKE