Jokowi, Bakhtiar Sibarani, and Central Tapanuli

 

Sunday, March 17, 2019 is not a special day. There is nothing special to make that date so special.

 

But this is not the case for Central Tapanuli. This is the third time President Joko Widodo has set foot in Central Tapanuli District. This is the history of Central Tapanuli, because of the total of 514 regencies and cities in Indonesia, Central Tapanuli has been visited by the President for the 3rd times in the 5 years of Joko Widodo's government.

 

And for me, the date may be said to be rather special, because at that time the author could see Republic of Indonesia President Joko Widodo from a very close distance, even shaking hands with him. The moment where the writer can understand Mr. Jokowi with a better understanding.

 

Jokowi, a very simple figure, who is delighted to always close to the people he leads. How could I not, it seems that this President of the Republic of Indonesia is very eager and very often in the crowd even though he must sometimes be caught up in the pressure of the crowds to gather around.

 

For some people, it's not important, and has no meaning. But for others, looking closely at President Joko Widodo and being able to shake hands with him is an unforgettable experience, especially if that moment can encourage and to have a better understanding to what a President is fighting for.

 

***

 

The enthusiasm of the people of Central Tapanuli can be seen from the long queue to the gate of Pandan Sports Center. One thing that makes the public a little disappointed is that when entering the arena it turns out that they must use an ID Card and must pass the Metal Detectors placed at the Pandan Sports Center Gate as part of the President's standard security procedures.

 

Even though it does not mean that the people go home because of it. The masses patiently waited outside the fence starting at around 7:00 a.m., until Jokowi's arrival approached 13.30.

 

Some people can enter the Pandan Sports Hall, including the writer, who is willingly waiting for President Jokowi's arrival since in the morning. Likewise, the crowd had filled the Pandan Sports Center which seemed patiently waiting for President Joko Widodo's arrival, who might only want to see the President directly at close range. And if we're lucky we can shake hands with him.

 

***

 

No exception with the Regent of Central Tapanuli, Bakhtiar Ahmad Sibarani, who enthusiastically directly led the yells that will be used to welcome Jokowi at the Pandan Sports Center (GOR). It is not impossible for him to submit the assignment to the master of ceremony. But he did not do that. Even when Bakhtiar Sibarani gave a speech welcoming Jokowi's presence, the Regent seemed to be somewhat hoarse, although firmness and enthusiasm were still present in the delivery of the speech.

 

***

 

It is the turn of President Jokowi to get on stage. The crowd present continued to shout the chants taught by the Regent. "Jokowi - Amin, Jokowi - Amin, Jokowi - Amin ... Jokowi - Amin, Jokowi - Amin, Jokowi-Amin" Followed by a shout of "Jokowi!" by the Regent, and then the masses answered with shouts of "Win!" 3 times, adding to the enthusiasm of the masses present, as you can see on this youtube link.

 

In his speech, President Jokowi immediately told Bakhtiar Sibarani's request that Pinang Sori Airport needed an additional runway to be able to be landed by wide-body aircrafts. The president said he would add a runway of 400 meters. It is this kind of commitment that makes the day special for Central Tapanuli, because at the moment of the President's arrival this is how a regional head can spontaneously convey his request. It seems that the President approved the Regent's request by assigning his minister to follow up on the request.

 

***

 

And, for the writer, that moment has become so special. Looking at the President up close, and even shaking hands with him, maybe this is the only opportunity the author has. Maybe it won't happen again. Chance never comes twice. Although actually the author still has the desire to be able to greet him again. But is it possible? For ordinary people like me, it's unlikely that it will happen again, unless the author has a very remarkable achievement, and then gets an invitation to the National Palace. ( just dreaming ...)

 

Nothing is impossible. I still have a hope. Who knows.

 

However, being very close to him, shaking hands, was a very satisfying thing, and giving energy to ourselves, and being able to better understand why the President wanted to jostle in the crowd who idolized him.

 

Once again, salute to Jokowi, he is so simple, that maybe even the clothes he wears are no more expensive than the clothes of the people who try to grab his hands just bloom to shake hands as a token of thanks. For me, greeting him, is a thank you for everything he did. Thank you, Mr. Jokowi.

 

Long Live Mr. President.

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