DAURA, hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, has always been an epic city, renowned for its gallantry, culture and devotion to Islamic religion.
Several years ago, according to oral tradition, Daura was associated with Queen Daurama, who, as a warrior-princess, married Bayajidda, after his epic feat of killing the notorious snake that prevented Daura people from fetching from the well, except on Fridays.
As it were in times past, the same thrilling tale of triumph and overcoming spirit has trailed the shadows of the brownish town, located on the nation’s border with Niger Republic.
In the history of post-colonial Nigeria, Daura enjoys a position of pride, uncommon to many frontline towns and cities. In the years after Independence, twice, Daura has produced the political headship of the Nigerian State, a feat no other town in Nigeria can lay claim to.
In 1983, shortly after the commencement of the second tenure of President Shehu Shagari, a military coup led by Muhammadu Buhari, an army General, toppled the civilian dispensation, bringing it to an abrupt end.
Again, in 2015, a civilian volcano led by the candidate, Muhammadu Buhari exerted an uncommon pressure on the political order of Nigeria and toppled the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through the ballot box. The second coming of Buhari is premised on the change mantra, an idea of enthroning unprecedented changes in the lifestyle and fortunes of Nigerians.
But while a majority of Nigerians await the promised change, the story is slightly different in Daura. Little by little, prosperity and positive living are finding their ways into the town, which until last May, was a glorified local settlement.
Daura’s once rustic skyline is getting clearer; the same for its landmarks which are dotted in no less brilliance. Their age-long aspirations as well as their unfulfilled yearnings are being redeemed courtesy of a cocktail of variables that extract their essence from the political headship of Nigeria. Such, indeed, is the fortune of fathering the Presidency in Nigeria.
Driving down to Daura surely, is not a bad idea. The road architecture leading to this ancient town is unblemished. The long stretch of tar from Kano to Daura is delightful, same for a number of other roads leading to and out of the town. More of the roads, if not all, were however, constructed long before May 2015.
However, Saturday Sun investigation in Daura revealed some remarkable developments that have been recorded in the past few months of the current political dispensation.
Notable among them is the airport project in Daura, which at best is an addition to the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport in Katsina, the State capital. The project, located a few metres walk to the family home of President Buhari, is gradually coming to fruition and soon, the President would have no need to stop over in the state capital whenever he is returning to the warmth of his immediate family in Daura. Work is ongoing on this project in a dignified pace and haste.
Another landmark is the spring of social structures, some of which were recently upgraded to match the new status of the town, while some are being constructed afresh. An example of the gradual widening of infrastructure in Daura town is the state-owned Daura Motel. The hotel, magnificent in its own right, anticipates to welcome the unending stream of visitors that would trooping to the town, at least, within the 4-year tenure of President Buhari. Of course, the hotel comes with a number of associated dividends such as employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the town.
Another observation worthy of mention is the devotion of the Katsina State government Federal government agencies to Daura town in the recent times. Policy actions are, no doubt, more than favourable to the town.
Besides, where these bodies are not directly appropriating money, they are diligent and clinical in the execution of any assignment that concerns the area.
Talk of the management of the recurrent flood crisis in the town. In years past, flooding was a nightmare that had hunted the people. Government agencies, responsible for tackling the menace, had demonstrated little concern and far less efficiency in the management of the problem. Hence, the devastation by flood left an incurable sore on the town.
But today, the story has changed. The hydra-headed problem of is well-tackled. The prompt response of Federal agencies to the challenge after the last general elections underscored the fact that power has changed hands in the politics of Nigeria. Saturday Sun findings indicate that aside the prompt donation of relief materials to the flood victims by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), its counterpart, the Ecological Fund Office in the Presidency is constructing multimillion naira two kilometres drainage across Daura, to ease the mess.
Another landmark in Daura is the ongoing installation of a Power Transmitting Station in the town. Sources told Saturday Sun that the project is nearing completion. The haste with which the project, which contract was awarded by the previous administration is being handled, is generally believed to be coming with a lot of value added for Daura town.
“In the past, we stay more than three weeks without electricity, but in the past six months now, Daura town has never been in darkness. You can go round and see and verify my statement”, the source stated.
And for the citizens of the town, especially pupils and parents of primary schools, which were named after the President, they have since realized that it is not for nothing that their schools took the names of big wigs and, heavy -weights in the polity.
Most of these schools have not only benefitted from new blocks of classrooms and offices, but have been generally rehabilitated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja.
As a further boost to basic education in the town, the Katsina State Universal Education Board (SUBEB), headed by a cousin of the President, Alhaji Musa Buhari, is not sleeping. He is making sure that other primary schools in Daura get the required face-lift, in terms of structure and other teaching and learning materials.
Being the hometown of the President may also have contributed to the elevation or placement opportunities of some of the indigenes of the town, at the state and federal levels. One of such remarkable appointments is that of the Director General of the Directorate of State Service, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura. Other sons of Daura who have come to higher responsibilities under the present administration include Lawal Ado Daura, Acting Managing Director, (NAN), AIG Abdulsalam Musa Daura, Police headquarters Abuja, and Barrister Ahmed El Marzuq, the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Katsina State, among others.
Naturally, these far-reaching possibilities, occasioned by the change in the political equation of Nigeria, eight months ago, have translated into a new, flawless air in Daura.
From the proprietors of petty businesses scattered everywhere to the commercial motorcycle service providers, many residents wear a sense of deserving pride. They not only rejoice over their status, they display instant marks of good citizenship, quickly throwing their support to each and every of Federal Government policies. There is hardly a dissenting view or voice in the President’s home town.
Alhaji Abdurrahaman Dan Mallam is a member of Daura Emirate Council and holds the title of Dan Madmamin Daura. From his vintage position, he told Saturday Sun that President Buhari will bring progressive changes in all spheres of life in Nigeria.
“The people of Daura are very much delighted to see their own son, General Buhari became President for the second time. Daura people had been in the opposition side for a long time”, he declared.
He added that the government of President Buhari is a reformist one, which is currently committed to correcting the mis-governance of the last administration while noting that under Buhari, the journey is brighter, though requiring a little patience and endurance. He admitted that there are several benefits that are attributed to the new order in Daura.
Before now, he recalled that they were faced with the threat of terrorists and experienced periodic attacks on commercial banks in the area, especially given its proximity to Niger Republic, which is an exit route for the robbers. “Now, robbery in Daura is history. We are enjoying a peaceful setting, just like most parts of the North and Nigeria as whole” he enthused.
“Allah has saved this country by bringing back President Buhari. He is a gentle man, a principled and disciplined man. We know his good mission and vision for Nigeria. As such, people should pray for his success. It is not easy for anybody to correct past mistakes within the shortest possible time, it has to be gradual.
“Our people feel that the President is doing the right thing, they are proud to identify with his administration. The general perception is that the government is on the right track and in due course, people will start to enjoy,” said Buhari Mamman, Daura-born chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Katsina State Council.
Buhari Mamman, acknowledged the positive changes in Daura since the new administration came on board, expressing confidence that they would not be left out in whatever the administration is extending to Nigerians while admitting that their expectations from the administration are modest and reasonable.
Abdul’manaf Muhammad is the state Coordinator of The Buhari Organization, (TBO). He believes that the germane issue should not be in terms of the gains Daura stand to benefit from Buhari, rather it should be focused on what Buhari will to do for all Nigerians as President.
Describing the President in glowering adjectives, he said President Buhari is a man of the people, adding that he demonstrates devotion by very simple things like coming home during festivities, assisting those in need, by sending rams to those eligible for the gift during Sallah and by maintaining close contacts, either personally or through trusted aides, with the people of Daura.
“Nobody is expecting undue favour from him because we know the kind of person he is. He belongs to all, not to some relatives or a particular tribe. He is there to serve the nation and we want him to serve the country rather than serving his relatives or people of his town,” said Muhammad.
He added that the family of the President and the people of the area are not perturbed by some of the criticisms against their son as they are sure that he would remain honest to his promise to fight corruption and move the nation forward, despite the odds. He asked for prayers for the President, saying he needs the prayers and support of all well-meaning Nigerians.