By Ali Alkali
The Peoples’ Trust (PT) presidential candidate, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has pledged to pay Nigerian civil servants the minimum wage of 50,000 naira and end unemployment among youths within one year of his administration and turn Nigeria into a $4trn economy within 10 years, if elected president.
Olawepo-Hashim made the pledge during the official flag off his presidential campaign in Abuja on Saturday.
Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, who addressed a mammoth crowd at the Old Parade Ground, venue of the presidential campaign flag off, said Nigeria is presently at the cross roads facing existential challenges.
However, he assures Nigerians, “This is a turning point in the history of Nigeria. We are at a point where we will exchange instability for security. We are at a point where we will dump poverty for prosperity. We are at a point where we will stop the wave of violence and hatred and build a truly united Nigeria; where the live of every Nigerian will count,” he said.
The PT presidential candidate, who is in oil and gas business for over 25 years, also promised not only to create jobs for the youths and empower women but also create a 21st Century economy for Nigeria and turn it into a $4trn economy within 10 years.
“Our resolve is to build a new economy that will guarantee jobs for our teeming youths, empower our women with the capital to take their place in the society.
“We are resolved to expand our economy to a $4trn economy within 10 years. We will restructure the way power is organized between the states and the federal government by devolving power to the states as presently constituted so that they can mobilise more local resources to address problems.
“We will empower the states to have their own police side-by-side with the federal police, so that the internal security can be enhanced. We will create a national guard as an intermediate force between the Army and the Police so that we can restore internal security rapidly to the country.
“We will build a Nigeria where every Nigerian will be proud of his own passport because of our initiatives on foreign policies. We will create an environment where more youths will have access to education by increasing budgetary allocation to the educational sector. We will make the necessary sociallinvestments to take our people rapidly out of poverty.
“We are a party that is determined to build a better Nigeria. We want to put an end to the poverty squalor and underdevelopment that have been the hallmark of the incumbent government. We will fight corruption in a way that it would be done scientifically. It will be multi-various. It is not just going to be a police action.
“You cannot fight corruption when majority of the people are hungry. A people that pay his worker paltry minimum wage below N18, 000 cannot fight corruption efficiently. We will raise the minimum wage to N50, 000 at the first anniversary of our government.
“Nigeria has got the resources, both human and material to build a prosperous economy. Nigerians have no relationship with poverty with the amount of resources that God has bestowed this country with. Come with us in the Peoples’ Trust. You can trust us because we are people who have fought before for the country.”
He lamented that the current administration had worsened the security situation of the country, adding that 11 out of 19 Northern states are already groaning under the scourge of insecurity.
“Today, 11 out of 19 States of Northern Nigeria have literarily been overrun by bandits from across the border and violence caused by agents of disunity and destruction.
“The southern states have literarily been overtaken by kidnappers, robbers and all sorts of violence induced by the present state of the economy of the country.
“At the bottom of these massive upheavals in the land is youth unemployment, which has climbed to about 33 to 36 percent. Now we have more youths that are unemployed than youths that are gainfully employed. The national unemployment average has also climbed to 24 percent of the population.
National Chairman of the PT, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), who declared the rally opened, said that the progressive forces in the country have resolved to deliver the presidential candidate of the party at the February 16, 2019 polls.
Agbakoba, told the gathering that the progressives have decided to rally against the present set of leaders the same way they rallied against the military during the battle to regain democracy.