The presidential campaign rally of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State on Saturday witnessed low turnout as the twenty four thousand capacity Ahmadu Bello Stadium, venue of the rally, was scanty.
The poorly attended event was a slap on the face of the planning committee of the rally, which had boasted that it would mobilize two million supporters to receive President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his campaign team.
Although the stadium was almost full at the arrival of the president and other party leaders, close to half of the crowd left before President Jonathan mounted the podium to deliver his address.
Though, none of them expressed their displeasure with the low turnout, disappointment was visibly written on the faces of both Vice President Namadi Sambo, who hails from the state and Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that a section of the crowd was intermittently chanting, ‘Sai Buhari’, in apparent show of support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, while security personnel had to wade in to prevent the crowd from becoming unruly.
However, President Jonathan in his speech said, his administration would revive textile industries in the state if re-elected.
According to him, the state has already benefited tremendously in terms of education, transportation and many more from his administration, saying the attention would not be shifted to revamp the textile industries.
“We cannot change people without education. Education is the key. That is why we brought Ahmadu Ali (a former chairman of the party) because of his vast knowledge in education.
“But the greater thing we need to do within the next one year is to revive Kaduna textile industries. We understand that it will generate employment opportunities for our people.
“With power in place now, reviving these companies and ensuring continuity will now easy. We must do everything to revive it”, he stated.
In his address, Senate President David Mark, who described Kaduna as a political melting pot of Northern Nigeria, urged the people of the state to vote Jonathan in the February 14 presidential election so he could continue with his transformation agenda, which he noted the state was a major beneficiary.
He said, “Mr. President has the love of the country at heart than any other presidential candidate today. Here is a man who has done a lot for the country. The least you can do is vote for him to continue his transformation agenda, added the senate president”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the host governor, Yero, commended President Jonathan for his transformation programmes, saying the state has benefited immensely from them.