PHOTO: 'Why I Donated My Life Savings To Buhari' Kebbi Grandma Speaks

Malama Fatima Talle-Tara waited all day to meet General Buhari. “I was excited,” she says

Malama Fati Ibrahim Talle-Tara, 80, is a popular food vendor in Koko, Koko/Besse Local Government Area of Kebbi State. She famously offered her life savings to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, retired General Muhammadu Buhari for his campaign when he visited the state.

Weekly Trust had a chat with her. Excerpts:
Weekly Trust: What motivated you to offer your life savings to General Buhari for his campaign?

Fati Ibrahim Talle-Tara: The first time Buhari ventured into politics and contested, he lost. The second and third time, too, he lost but he appealed to us to be patient. This will be the fourth time Buhari will contest. It is his patriotism, humility and honesty that make me support him. As I speak to you, I have assigned one of my sons to Kano to produce 300,000 posters for Buhari’s campaign. The posters are in Jega right now, ready for distribution.

WT: How much money have you spent campaigning on behalf of General Buhari?

Talle-Tara: All my life savings during the times he has contested. There was a time I spent N2 million. I spend my money campaigning for him because everybody knows that he doesn’t have money to do so. I generate the money mostly from savings from my food-selling business which I’ve been doing for decades. It’s my life savings.

WT: How will you cope now that you’ve donated all your savings?
Talle-Tara: How much is the money? Compared to the good governance we will get, it’s nothing, really.

WT: How did General Buhari receive you when you met him at the airport?

Talle-Tara: I waited the whole day at the airport. I met him physically that day for the first time in my life and we greeted warmly. I felt fulfilled. He was also excited when we met.

Interestingly, my fathers’ name is Buhari, too. So, I will do everything for him like I would for my father. Moreover, General Buhari is sincere and patriotic.

When he landed at the airport, he said they should inform Sokoto State Governor Magatakarda Wamakko to take care of my needs.

WT: Did Governor Wamakko do so, as requested?

Talle-Tara: Yes, I was in Sokoto with my people last Saturday and we were lodged in one of the big hotels. He (Wamakko) asked me to make any request. I said all I need is for him to continue his good work and support good governance in Nigeria. He gave me N1million, one bale of wrappers and two Hajj seats, one for me and one for my daughter Umma whose husband died and left with seven children.

WT: How would you feel if the change you expect doesn’t come?

Talle-Tara: I will continue to use my money to campaign for good governance in Nigeria and I will never regret doing that. We have trust in God that this time around we will have that change that we are clamouring for. Even if we lose this election, we will still consider ourselves winners because we know that we lost not because we did not win.

WT: What contribution are you making towards credible, violence-free and credible elections?

Talle-Tara: I have commissioned religious scholars within my available resources to pray every day for Nigeria. We have faith in God, there won’t be any crisis.

WT: What is your dream for Nigeria?

Talle-Tara: My dream is to see a day that Buhari will win the election and be sworn into office. That day, I will slaughter a cow, cook plenty food and throw a big party. I have told them that I will declare free food at my shop for everybody including those in the town and villages to come and celebrate.

WT: Would you describe yourself as a politician?

Talle-Tara: My late son and I ventured into politics when Buhari did. I am into politics just to support Buhari.
WT: Are you married?

Talle-Tara: I’m a widow. My husband died and left me with 15 children and 15 grandchildren, and most of them are the ones helping me right now in my business place. I’m actually from Jega. It’s marriage that brought me to Koko.


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