President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Kano on Wednesday for a two-day official visit to the state.
Mr. Buhari was received at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, members of the State Executive Council, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, traditional rulers as well as politicians, among others.
A mammoth crowd was also at the airport and along the major streets in the metropolis, giving the president a rousing welcome.
The president is expected to inaugurate a number of projects executed by the Ganduje administration during the visit.
Among the projects are the ultra-modern Specialist Hospital, Giginyu, named after him; a Paediatric Hospital located on Zoo Road, Kano; and the underpass bridge at Madobi/Panshekara Junction.
On the second day, the President will inspect a rice mill, Fullmark Rice Mill Company at Kwanar Gunduwawa, and Gezawa Oil Mill, the largest oil mill in Africa at Tokarawa Industrial Estate both on Hadeja Road.
Mr. Buhari is also expected to meet with Ulamas and hold an interactive session with community leaders and politicians before returning to Abuja.
As part of his visit, the president on Wednesday afternoon visited the Kurmawa Central Prison in Kano where he freed 500 prisoners.
Mr. Buhari said while granting the amnesty to the prisoners that it was part of his general prison decongestion exercise in the country; and to allow those inmates with minor cases who have stayed long in prison to go home.
Scores of journalists covering the president’s visit were prevented from having access to the prison by the president’s security detail.
Before the visit to the prison, the president visited the Kano emir at his palace.
“I am overwhelmed by the sea of people I see,” Mr. Buhari said of the mammoth crowd that came to welcome him. “And by what I see today, if elections are contested I will no doubt win it.”
Speaking further, Mr. Buhari said, “I know Kano people are aware of the tremendous job we did on security and agriculture.”
He said he was at the emir’s palace because the emirate council has been playing tremendous roles in his government’s success.
He explained that the stability of the north and Nigeria is paramount and he is determined to make Nigeria a peaceful country.
Speaking on his actions while he was military Head of State, Mr. Buhari said, “I did so with a lot of youthful exuberance. And myself I was arrested and detained for years.”