The man who promised to trek from Lagos to Abuja in celebration if Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential elections, has now arrived Abuja. Immediately after the election results were announced, 33 yr old Ibadan based Hasheem Suleiman embarked on his long trek from the South West to Abuja’s capital where he was greeted by scores of supporters. The journey is said to have taken 13 days and 5 pairs of sneakers.
There is a lot of sketchy information regarding this trek. What were his logistics arrangements? Where did he lay his head at night? What challenges did he encounter? There are pieces of sketchy details about meeting traditional rulers and paying them courtesy visits along the way. There is a story of armed robbers along the way, who instead of robbing him, gave him money. I am following this story. I find it fresh, and it rings of integrity (recall that he made this promise 2 years ago). As someone who thinks fitness is absolutely important, I am also linking this to active lifestyle. I must trek more often myself.
Interestingly, there are a lot of naysayers criticizing him and calling the whole journey a scam. These critics are saying that it is one huge scam that gullible Nigerians and APC (the party under which the president elect Buhari won his election) have bought. I have to say that details of this are sketchy, thus the critics do have a point. Although to the people who are wondering about navigation, phone charging, change of clothes, food and such, I say surely it can’t be rocket science? People embark upon treks all over the world. You rest your head where the sunsets; in a tent or a pre-arranged place, sometimes you hitch a ride to the nearest town where you can find shelter, you eat in the villages and motor parks, good Samaritans open their doors as you go along and tell your story. Surely this is how it must work? I do not expect that he walked every single kilometre or sleep in the bushes. However, he did trek for great distances, the media caught some of it.
However, I am hopeful that Hasheem will grant a detailed interview to the media and give Nigerians a clear view of his journey. In the interim, the word on the street is that companies like Lucozade and other energy drinks are after him. There may be endorsements! In addition, there are claims that he has been hosted to a welcome meeting by the wife of the president elect; Aisha Buhari and there may still be a chance to meet the president-elect himself.
Suleiman’s arrival in Abuja caused quite a stir. There was a lot of traffic congestion as thousands of fans gathered to greet him. I think it’s exciting. I think that Nigeria needs the occasional stories that are heartwarming and refreshing. This staff of an Ibadan based construction company may well be on his way to some endorsements and a more luxurious lifestyle.