Residents of Daura, Katsina State, trooped out in their thousands yesterday to attend the Eid-el-Kabir prayers with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Eid prayer ground in the city.
The President is in his native town for the first time since he returned from medical vacation in London.
He arrived Daura on Wednesday.
The crowd, including members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state, lined the President’s route from his residence, waving as his convoy snaked its way to the prayerground.
It was gathered that some of the people had already observed their owns prayers at different prayergrounds in the city.
They concluded their prayers before 9 am and immediately headed straight to the President’s route to catch a glimpse of him.
By the time Buhari arrived the prayerground, it was already filled to the brim.
He joined the congregation to observe the two rakaat prayers led by the Chief Imam of Daura Emirate, Mallam Muhammadu Salisu Rabe.
The crowd that greeted him on the road as he headed back home after the prayers seemed to have doubled with many of them struggling to record the President and his convoy on their mobile phones.
A similar large crowd of residents had trooped out on Wednesday to welcome him back home.
Many of them rushed to the helipad to receive him and his entourage.
So massive was the crowd that he opted to walk from the helipad to his residence with the people.
Speaking with journalists at his residence after the prayer, the President expressed happiness that many Nigerians came out to observe the prayer.
For the umpteenth time, he asked Nigerians to continue to live peacefully together for the sake of national unity.
He was particularly pleased to see the NYSC members, noting that the scheme has gone a long way in fostering national unity since its inception in 1973.
”I am always pleased to see corps members in Daura and other parts of the country. From the postings, we get to learn more about other cultures,” he said.
He also posited that that the large number of corps members in Daura, mostly from the southern part of the country, was an indication that the dream of a unified Nigeria remains a reality.
According to him, graduates from the North serving in the Southern states also learn a lot from the diversity that makes Nigeria a unique country.
He recalled his experiences working in different parts of the country as an army officer, saying that serving in southern parts of the country, including Lagos and Ibadan, gives him a lot of joy.
Through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President sent a cow, ten bags of rice and N250,000 cash to members of the NYSC who lined the road to greet him.
The Corpers Liaison Officer (CLO) Nnamdi John, on behalf of the group, thanked the President for the gift.
He expressed happiness with the President’s decision to do everything within his power to keep Nigeria united.
Corps members, he said, would be safer under a peaceful and united Nigeria.
Shehu later told reporters that the President’s kinsmen had the double joy of celebrating Eid-el-Kabir and seeing him after almost a year since his last visit home.