From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Amid tight security, President Muhammadu Buhari’s chopper landed in sleepy Baramba, in Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State, for the ground-breaking ceremony of commencement of oil drilling in northern Nigeria.
Buhari arrived in Barambu in a presidential helicopter in company with Governor Bala Mohammed at exactly 12:00 noon Tuesday.
The area has been terrorized by kidnappers and bandits in recent times, causing residents to live in perpetual fear.
He alighted and was driven in a convoy to the Kolmani River II Oil Field Project Site in a heavily guarded motorcade as as he waved to locals who defied the scorching sun to welcome him.
Already seated awaiting the President’s arrival not far from the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site which will mark the first oil drilling in Northern Nigeria Bauchi and Gombe States were high profile personalities from all walks of life.
Among them were the President of the Senate Ahmed Lawal, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, almost all the Northern Governors, traditional rulers from across the North East, Ministers, Captains of Industries as well as well meaning Nigerians.
“History will remember you as the brain behind the successful search for Oil in some Northern states which led to the discovery of the Oil in commercial quantity in Bauchi, Gombe States,” Mohammed said in a welcome address.
“We are proud to associate ourselves with this key milestone achievement of the first official Drilling of Oil at the Kolmani River II Oil Field Project site in Alkaleri Local Government Area, Bauchi State
“Your patriotism, selfless service and commitment to the Development of Nigeria is indelible and will remain forever.
The people Bauchi State, North East and other Nigerians welcomes you to this historical event”
The President arrived Barambu amidst fears and anxiety among the locals about the insecurity in the oil rich community.
Musa Mohammed from Dembe in Pingida, Akko Local Government Area captures the mood of the people.
He said most of the people live in fear as they can no longer to to their farms because of fear of being kidnapped saying the government is not doing anything about it.
Babangida Garba Maishinko from Barambu community said several people have been kidnapped in the area and the families of victims had to sell farm produce to pay for ransom running into millions of naira.
“We are happy with the news of the oil found in our community but what we need desperately is security to be restored,” Maishinko, who revealed that at least three resident of the community are still being held by kidnappers, said.