Embarrassing power failure disrupts APC rally, stops Buhari, Tinubu’s speeches


The presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State was brought to an abrupt end by power outage on Monday.

The rally was going on at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, when the power supply ceased and the sound system went off and could not be restored.

The event commenced at 11.50am.

However, there was an outage when the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu, was making his speech at 12.20pm.

Shortly after, the electricity supply was restored and Bagudu came back to conclude his remarks.

But at exactly 1.10pm, the power supply again went off shortly after the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, mounted the podium and began addressing the party supporters.

On the podium with the national chairman were the APC standard bearer, Bola Tinubu; his running mate, Kashim Shettima and his wife Nana, while Buhari, who was sitting at the VIP (Very important persons’) section of the stadium, waited for electricity to be restored.

While Adamu, Tinubu, Shettima and others were on the podium, the power was restored again before it went off for the third time and all efforts to resolve it failed.

Also, the party’s standard bearer could not address the mammoth crowd at the rally, following the departure of the President.

Buhari had arrived in Bauchi to lead the APC presidential and governorship campaign rally.

The aircraft conveying the President touched down at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Airport, Bauchi around 10:20 am.

He was received by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, who is the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and his opponent in the March 11 governorship election, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).

Others, who were at the airport to receive the President include the APC chairman, Adamu; the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (retd.); Andy Ubah, Governors of Borno, Kebbi and Yobe states, Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Bagudu and Mai Mala Buni, respectively.

From the airport, Buhari proceeded to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Adamu, for a courtesy visit and thereafter headed to the campaign venue.

Buhari was to officially present the APC candidates to the Bauchi electorate at the rally, from where he would depart for Lagos on a two-day working visit.

But after waiting in vain for power to be restored, the president marched to the podium and raised Tinubu, Shettima and the Bauchi State governorship candidate, Sadique Abubakar’s hands as a sign of endorsement.

He also went round the podium to show  Tinubu and his running mate to the thousands of supporters who were becoming restless.

While that was going on, the technical team was running up and down trying to fix the outage but they could not.

Buhari, who subsequently left the stadium without delivering any speech, waved to the crowd as he headed toward his vehicle.

The rally ended shortly after the President’s departure.

Other party chieftains who spoke at the event before the outage include the state Chairman of the APC, Musa Babayo; the state governorship candidate;  the Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum; a former Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda;

However, thousands of party supporters who had gathered to show their solidarity and catch a glimpse at the president left in anger, confusion and disappointment.

It was also gathered  that some youths vandalized and took away some of the iron barricades used for crowd control at the stadium.

A statement from the Tinubu Media Office signed by Abdulaziz Abdulaziz , said the APC standard bearer, who spent the night at the state capital, joined the party bigwigs to receive Buhari at the airport.

It explained that both Buhari and Tinubu could not address the rally due to an electrical glitch encountered mid-way into the programme, adding that the presence of the two leaders electrified the elated crowd which danced to campaign songs.

 Addressing the rally, the President of the Senate hailed the President for discharging himself creditably and making the party proud.

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