Posted by News Express | 15 February 2019 | 757 times
Abubakar Shettima, a resident of Duala in Dogon Dutse, Jos North local government area of Plateau state has relocated to his polling unit at Dogon Agogo where he is already queuing up ahead of Saturday’s Presidential election.
Shettima, aged 59, said he wants to be the first person to cast his vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, as a payback for his freedom after he was falsely accused of being a member of Boko Haram in 2015.
Having left his home on Wednesday morning, Shettima said he has already spent a night at his polling unit and would spend the next 48hours at the same spot to exercise his franchise.
Abubakar Shettima’s name is number 119 on the voters register. “I have already sent my wife to Borno state, this morning (Thursday) to exercise her franchise while I have three children who are of age to vote.
“Two of them are in Jos and would vote for Buhari on Saturday while the other is married in Maiduguri so it would be up to her husband,” he said.
Sitting on his praying mat spread across the elevated platform of a residence where the names and pictures of eligible voters have been pasted, Shettima holds tight his Holy Qur’an while his PVC is tucked in his pocket.
The indigene of Borno state recalled how himself and hundreds of others were unjustly arrested as suspected Boko Haram members in 2015 and made to go through very harsh conditions before they were later profiled and released after investigations revealed they were innocent.
“I was at the Bauchi motor park in Jos when they arrested me and other people, they moved us to Bauchi, then Yobe and Borno states where we were crammed in cells and ignored for months.
“But when President Buhari came to power, he visited the cells and seeing our conditions, instructed that we should be separated into 200 persons per cell and investigation into our arrest be carried out.”
He said the investigations revealed their innocence, adding that they were later released with an apology.
“Before we were asked to go, the Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima invited us and apologized on behalf of the government. We were each given N10, 000 and brocade to return home.
“They told us that it was routine to make such arrests but that after investigations, those found to be innocent would eventually be released.”
“So this is payback,” he said. “If not for President Buhari, we would probably not have been released. I am committed to him; I have prayed about it and by Allah’s grace he would continue as the president of this country because the masses are solidly behind him. We know that his policies are targeted at ensuring a better life for us,” he said.
•Sourced from a Tribune report
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