It is was like a carnival in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday when hundreds of youths trooped out to welcome Suleiman Hashimu, now called ‘The Traveller,’ who pledged to walk from Lagos to Abuja if General Muhammadu Buhari won the 2015 presidential election.
Hashimu arrived in Abuja on Monday evening after trekking for about three weeks.
A native of Katsina State, Hashimu said he was in Lagos when Buhari was announced the president-elect of Nigeria, so he left Lagos at about 5am the next day and arrived in Ibadan around 6pm.
He told journalists on her arrival in Abuja that he had gone to get a police report at Ibadan to allow for an unimpeded journey, but that as he could not wait for the processes to be completed, the DPO gave him his phone number.
He said that he received both encouragement and discouragement from friends and loved ones, but that he continued from Ibadan to Oyo, then from Ogbomoso to Ilorin with much welcome at every stop.
Hashimu explained that at Ilorin, people escorted him for several miles until he stopped at Oloru. He received much hospitality in Jebba, where unlike in other villages he met people who had heard of him.
He further explained that about 20 people set off with him from Jebba and after some miles, 18 turned back, but the other two were more strong-minded and followed him.
The Traveller narrated how they encountered armed robbers close to Mokwa, but that, fortunately, he had already met one of them in Jebba and the would-be robber ended up giving him N200 for ‘pure’ (sachet) water.
Hashimu said he continued his trip from Mokwa to Kudu, then from Kutigi to Bida, and then to Suleja, after which he finally arrived in Abuja, his destination.
Hundreds of youths in the FCT lined up along Kubwa expressway from Dutse junction to welcome Hasimu, who they described as a hero. Most of them posed for photographs with him.
The journey, according to Google map, is over 700 kilometres.