Thirty-three-year-old Hashimu Suleiman from Katsina State blazed the trail in the torrent of foot – trips which recently pervaded the nation. He trekked from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate President Mohammadu Buhari’s victory at the last presidential election, and in quick succession, other like minds took a cue from him. They trekked for other personalities – all politicians, for divergent reasons. Suleiman was based in Ibadan but started his journey from Berger, Lagos and arrived in Abuja to a rousing welcome. Security operatives even accompanied him to protect him from zealous Abuja residents who wanted to catch a glimpse of him. He concluded his self-imposed project by presenting a gift to the President who appreciated his gesture and spoke kind words to him. Some admirers accosted Suleiman while on the bizarre trip. They assured him that if they had had the stamina, they would have joined him because Buhari was somebody they believed would put food on their table.
While Suleiman embarked on his historic travel, some admirers eyed him and wanted to record a similar feat. Oladele John Nihi from Kogi State, for example, quickly toed the line by trekking from Abuja to Otuoke to honour former President Goodluck Jonathan. A lady identified as Gloria joined him in the expedition designed to hail the former President as a national hero. Similarly, Abdullahi Nadabagi from Nupe, Niger State trekked from Abeokuta to Lagos to thank Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for supporting Mohammadu Buhari to win the presidential election. He started the journey from OPIC roundabout in Oke Ilewo Abeokuta and got cash reward of N200, 000 for his effort. Yet again, Abubakar Wali trekked from Yola to Abuja in recognition of APC’s victory at the March and April 2015 elections. He was received by the former Vice-President, Alhaji atiku Abubakar, and APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The next episode was that of the trio of Salihu Jibrin, Aliyu Adamu and Abubakar Suleiman who trekked and rode on bicycles from Lagos to Yola to honour Atiku for helping the All Progressives Congress, APC, to win the elections. But they got stranded in Yola as they were left with no money to return home.
Nigerians are hailing these adventurous trekkers even though they cannot track their itinerary. It does appear that people are not interested in proving the veracity of their trekking claims. What is important is that the trekkers are honouring their heroes who parade different outlooks. The lesson is that democracy produces different heroes for different people, and therefore it is expedient for people to learn to respect other people’s views. More importantly, these trekkers and their applauders all desire one common thing – humane leaders who can make their lives better.