Katsina Man Rides Bicycle to See President-Elect in Lagos
A cyclist from Katsina State, Mallam Bello Ahmed, 25, has explained why he rode his bicycle from the Northwestern state to see President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos.
Ahmed, a native of Gubuchi in Makarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna State and currently a social media sensation, performed the feat within 15 days from Kaduna to Lagos to celebrate Tinubu.
Though fatigued by his stressful journey when he arrived the corporate headquarters of the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation titles, yesterday, the cyclist managed to smile and show some excitement as he relived his experience during the journey and what prompted him to embark on the trip.
His bicycle was branded in the symbols of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the national flag, and some mementoes of his long journey, which he wrapped around the handlebars.
The traveler and APC supporter had few other things on the journey to see his idol, the President-e
Adorning one of the campaign vests of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on a native sky blue trousers with a black pair of sandals, Ahmed, who claimed to be a card-carrying member of the APC, said he embarked on the journey to fulfill a dream he had last year.
Ahmed, who has no parents and is one of the 28 children his polygamous father left behind, said he has become a celebrity on Facebook and Tik Tok with a continually growing fan base who regularly look out for his newsfeeds.
Speaking in staccato English, which he punctuated for the most part with Hausa and carefully translated by our correspondent, the traveler described himself as a rice, maize, sugarcane and beans farmer in his hometown.
He recalled that he had two revelations about Tinubu’s political victory sometime ago.
“Last year, after a rainfall, I slept and my God showed me that Tinubu would win this year’s election. In the dream, I saw myself inside Tinubu house; it was a very big house. In the dream, I wanted to see him, but I could not see him,” Ahmed said.
But a few weeks to this year’s general election, when he had the second dream, where he saw Tinubu being declared the winner with President Muhammadu Buhari in tow, he was convinced that he needed to do something.
Ahmed said he decided to embark on a journey on a bicycle to see his hero.
According to him, before he embarked on the journey, he had N60, 000 left in his bank account, from which he bought a new bicycle at the cost of N25, 000.
The traveler said he left some money with his immediate siblings for their upkeep and decided to trudge on all by himself.
“When I told my people that I wanted to travel to Lagos to see Tinubu, they dissuaded me. They said I should wait till after the election and celebrate him. But I told them I was ready to go and I took off,” Ahmed said.
Asked if he ever told his folks or anyone else about his dreams, he said: “I didn’t tell anybody about the dream. You’re the first person I ever told, Wallahi!”
When he sensed that the correspondent was staring at him with a sense of disbelief, Ahmed said: “You can give me anything to swear with. I can swear with the Bible and the Qur’an. I travelled on the road for 15 days on my bicycle from Kaduna to Lagos. After I reached Lagos, I stayed seven days with Baba (President-elect) Tinubu’s house to see him.”
He put up a call to one of his kinsmen who sells farm produce at Alaba-Suru in Lagos, Ali Mayar, who confirmed that Ahmed was visiting Lagos for the first time.
The traveler said he had to make a stopover at every state office of the APC, adding that a member of the APC, identified simply as Inuwa Mallam, gave him N5, 000 after he left Kaduna.
In Niger State, another member gave him a tube to change his already worn out tyres, ditto for Kwara and Oyo, where he was given a hero’s welcome.
On arriving Lagos, Ahmed went to Bourdillon in Ikoyi to see Asiwaju Tinubu.
When our correspondent asked if he had seen Asiwaju Tinubu, he answered in the negative, but expressed a strong will to personally meet the President-elect.
Ahmed said he had to lay siege to the President-elect’s Bourdillon home where he endured the elements for a week.
“For seven days, I slept outside (Tinubu’s house). They didn’t allow me to see him. One police officer gave me N1, 000 for food. I saw Seyi (Tinubu’s son), he gave me N10, 000 yesterday (Tuesday). I cannot say if Tinubu even knew I was around. But I will still try again,” he said.
Ahmed said his other ambitions in life are to join the Army and ride a bicycle to Saudi Arabia for holy pilgrimage.