By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with Labour Unions in the country to allow his administration concentrate on fixing infrastructure, rather than distracting it.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President made the plea while playing host to the Executive Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in State House led by its president, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan.
Buhari said, “In three and a half years, we have improved tremendously on what we met. We are trying to do infrastructure. No matter which part of the country you come from, you will see the efforts we are making in terms of roads; we are trying to fix rails; we are trying to do power, through the use of gas and solar. If you note what we have done in these three and a half years, you will not regret voting this administration into power.”
He also stated that Nigeria is doing very well in agriculture as the country is about to attain food sufficiency and security.
While calling on the students to continue to plead with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the President assured that he will speak with the lecturers’ body “so that they don’t encroach on your efforts to qualify in time.”
President Buhari said that he had explained in details, while presenting the 2019 budget estimates, the earnings and expenditure of the country; and, therefore, expected the elite to understand the position of the government on certain issues, adding that it is the responsibility of the government to look after the employed as well as the unemployed.
The President urged the youths to start preparing themselves to lead the country, and admonished them that “There is a tendency for you to think that you can do better than anybody; but it is very good for you to know the facts that leadership entails.”
He assured Labour leaders that having been in positions of leadership at various stages in life, and with the experience he got along the way, he means well for Nigerians and, indeed, workers; and should be allowed to fix infrastructure so that more Nigerians could be taken out of the poverty cycle.
“I am totally loyal to this country. Whatever I do is in the interest of the ordinary people, especially those who do not have the benefit of being educated like you, and are just trusting whoever is leading them,” he said.
President Buhari expressed gratitude to the students for appreciating some of the things his administration has been able to put in place and called on them to mobilise support for his administration, as it strives to make Nigeria a better place.
Earlier in their remarks, the students, led by the president, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan, expressed appreciation of the efforts of the administration, especially in the transformation of the transportation sector, as well as the decimation of terrorists in the North-East.
They, however , requested the government to intervene in the incessant strikes in the education sector; involve more youths in governance; and look into the plight of students in different institutions who have been expelled for ‘political’ reasons.
Also yesterday, President Buhari appreciated the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians vowing that he will not disappoint them.
The president spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, as he was decorated Grand Patron of the Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA) by the Board of Trustees of the media awards organisation.
He described the investiture as “a timely honour,” adding that he had known a good number of the members of the NMMA board, “since the time I didn’t even know I would be here.”
Former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Vincent
Maduka, who led the delegation, said President Buhari was qualified to be a grand patron, “because you respect the rights of the media to practice, without any hindrance”.