The compelling story of Suleiman – the heartbroken father whose support for Buhari is unwavering despite daughter’s kidnap

To these people, the Northerners are deserving of whatever misfortune that comes their way.

Umar Suleiman has every reason to be angry, hostile and disgusted at President Muhammadu Buhari and his security agencies.

On November 19, 2016, at just two years and few months old, his daughter, Khadija, was abducted by a strange woman in Kuje, Abuja. Little Khadija had happily followed another young boy, 7-year-old Usman, to buy milk cake on the fateful day.

The would-be kidnapper, according to little Usman’s narration, had accosted the children with deceptively endearing gestures before luring them to a lonely bush path. She suddenly pushed aside the older child and sped off with Khadija.

The news of the incident forced Khadijah’s mother, who was heavily pregnant at the time, into premature labour.

Nothing has been heard of Khadija nor the evil abductor over two years since the incident, even as Suleiman has made it a duty to keep tabs on all cases of child abduction across the country.

Nothing has been heard of Khadija since her disappearance. (Photo: Facebook/Umar Suleiman).

In several Facebook posts, he has criticised the government, and police, of only showing desperation in solving crime cases that have to do with people of high social and political standing. He, a nobody, has been constantly ignored by a government that has repeatedly sworn to protect all citizens.

It is why it came as a surprise that when election period came, Suleiman was unapologetic in his support of Buhari. In fact, he littered his social media with public endorsement of the President, while being vocal about his disapproval of Atiku Abubakar’s aim of “selling the NNPC” if he was elected as the number one citizen of the country.

“If NNPC is sold, what becomes of 70% oil revenue? Worst of it, if it is sold to friends. Please think twice,” Suleiman, a staff of a Nigerian airline, writes in one of his posts.

But besides the enormous heartache his daughter’s mysterious disappearance has caused him and his family, Suleiman’s trust in Buhari is unwavering. He trusts that the wheels of the country is safe in the president’s ageing hands.

Suleiman shows support for Buhari (Facebook/Umar Suleiman)

Many Nigerians have not been able to fathom how Buhari was still able to get so much support from the North during the election, particularly in Borno. Even Atiku has based one of his reasons for refusing to concede defeat to Buhari on the “unbelievable” voter turnout in the state, where the president won 90.94% of votes.

Since Buhari was officially declared winner of the presidential poll which held February 23, some aggrieved Nigerians have embarked on a rather unpleasant route of shaming Northerners seeking alms on major roads – claiming that it is the punishment they deserve for voting an “incompetent” President over Atiku. Some have even wished unfathomable evil on citizens in the North East.

To these people, the Northerners are deserving of whatever misfortune that comes their way.

But, for Suleiman, he says he can continue to believe in Buhari’s capabilities and his anti-corruption war while still eagerly looking through his window to see his daughter, whom he fondly calls ‘Nana’, run into his arms again.

He will hope that, one day, the men tasked by the president to provide adequate security for every citizen, would make him even more proud of supporting the man from Daura by bringing his child home.

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