Every bit of Alhaji Fate Mohammed Daura, a 70-year-old light-complexioned neignbour of President Muhammadu Buhari in his Daura native town, Katsina State, cuts the picture of a Fulani man. On Thursday, he took up a role he had not anticipated much less prepared for. He played the perfect host to our correspondent who was on a visit to the mud houses and cattle ranch, which were parts of the assets President Buhari made public penultimate Friday.
In a conversation with our correspondent in front of one of President Buhari’s ancient mud houses located in Shaiskawa Quarters, off Kano Road, Daura, a fluent speaker of Hausa and Fulani languages, said one of the buildings, which had been in existence for more than 35 years, harbours a twin two-bed room flats, a generator block, a packing space and a spacious veranda. According to him, the building, which had just been renovated, has a one-door entrance into the main flats.
He said: “I have been a neighbour to the incumbent President for over 30 years. The only thing I will tell you is that this ancient mud house is his property and has been there for more than 35 years. He built it when he was still in the Army , and this was where he lived with his family.
“I can say he is a peaceful man and has never had any problem within the neighbourhood. I could recall that any time Buhari returned home, people always rushed to welcome him. He was admired, liked and loved by everybody around here because of his simplicity and passion for the common people.”
According to him, “each time Buhari came back in his military uniform, people would hail and admire him because of his smart looks. In fact, just because of the way he looked in military uniform, so many youths in this area were inspired to join the military.
“Though he looks stern in appearance, making many people to perceive him as a wicked man, Buhari is just the opposite of it. He is a man with a kind heart; a gentle man who believes in justice and fair play. He can do anything to ensure that justice is done.
“He is also a man who does not believe in accumulating wealth. He is contented with whatever he acquires justly.”
Mallam Ibrahim Yusuf (35), a driver by profession and another resident of Shaiskawa Quarters, said of the President: “People in this neighbourhood cherish President Buhari because whenever he comes home, his aides don’t intimidate or harass his neighbours and other residents around.
“The only thing I always notice is that security men are sighted at strategic positions around the neighbourhood, but people are allowed to go about their normal businesses. His mud house has just been renovated.”
Our correspondent observed that the mud house was wearing a new look, painted pink and yellow. Residents said until about five days earlier, the mud house looked like other houses in the area except that of a former Ambassador, Alhaji Adamu Sa’idu, a modern edifice that overlooks the President’s house.
Our reporter, who also visited President Buhari’s farm on Mai’adua Road which leads to Kongonam, a border town in Niger Republic, also captured Massalachin Buhari (Buhari Mosque), located on the same road in Dumurkol, President Buhari’s village in Mai’adua Local Government Area. Within the same compound that harbours Massalanchin Buhari is another renovated but abandoned mud house also owned by the President.
Mallam Usman Muhammad, a 28-year- old cousin to President Buhari, told our reporter: “President Buhari inherited this one from his father. This Massalanchin Buhari you are seeing is known all over the world and President Buhari comes here to pray.
“Just there, another building of the same size owned by his brother had just collapsed. Within this compound, there is an abandoned well which used to serve the community.
“But now you can see that there is a borehole here serving the water needs of the community and travellers who would stop over to pray at Massalanchin Buhari.”
Usman, who has a diploma in Public Administration from the Federal College of Education, Kano, is a farmer, and he said he so much enjoys the occupation.
He led our reporter to President Buhari’s large farm. On it were millet, mango trees, guava trees, orange trees and cashew trees.
Although our correspondent was prevented from entering the main farm, workers in the farm said it harboured about 25 sheep, 270 cows and a horse stable containing five horses.
Our reporter also reports that the President’s village of Dumurkol is a sleepy but peaceful community in Maiadua, Daura, with a people whose main occupation is farming and cattle rearing.