President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan today in Kano, the capital of Kano State, commissioned a recently constructed flyover paid for by the Federal Government. The flyover is located near Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital on Zaria Road in the Kano metropolis.
There was a political undertone to the event as Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, who belongs to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), recently brought his party’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a recent critic of Mr. Jonathan’s, to commission flyovers built by the state government.
Speaking at the commissioning, Mr. Jonathan, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), described Kano as a strategic commercial center. He said the flyover would help the state in the trans-Saharan trade. “Kano is important to us and we will not forget the state in our developmental projects,” Mr. Jonathan promised.
The new flyover was named after Ado Bayero, the late Emir of Kano.
In a speech that lasted less than four minutes speech, President Jonathan urged people to use the project effectively for the advancement of their businesses. He implored voters to consider public office seekers who were bringing development to them.
An aide to Senator Bashir Garba Lado, a PDP member who represents Kano Central senatorial district, told SaharaReporters that the legislator effectively lobbied the Federal Government to finance the project in the ancient city of Kano.
The flyover cost N2.5 billion.
The city of Kano was virtually shut down during the presidential visit, with all routes leading to the venue of the event blocked by battle-ready soldiers and other security agents.
Today’s commissioning of the project seems to set off a phase of flyover-politics. In the last few weeks, Mr. Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC, had commissioned one of the three flyovers constructed by Governor Kwankwaso of Kano State.
Before Mr. Buhari's commissioning of one flyover, Mr. Kwankwaso had also invited former President Obasanjo to commission the first flyover built by the state government and named after the former president. Mr. Obasanjo, who was elected twice on the ticket of the PDP, has been stridently critical of President Jonathan. At a public event a few weeks ago, the former president dramatized his break from Mr. Jonathan and the PDP when he offered his PDP membership card to be torn up.