President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC for supporting the country’s electoral process that led to his re-election for a second term of office.
He made the remark on Thursday, when he received the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and its affiliates at the State House on a congratulatory visit.
According to the President, labour unions in the country stepped in as patriots, leading to a peaceful and successful Presidential election.
“Let me start by thanking you for the support and patriotism that you have shown during the presidential elections especially You and many Nigerians stepped in to help many Nigerians exercise their rights to votes, you intervened as patriots not for political, religious and tribal reasons. You stood in during a very difficult period for all of us. On behalf of all Nigerians who benefited from your kind support, I want to say thank you. As a result of what you did, many citizens were able to travel and vote. I am also aware that many of your members were very active in voters’ education and promotion of peaceful elections in your various communities, thankfully, the presidential elections were conducted peacefully in most parts of the country,” he said.
Ahead of Saturday’s Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the President encouraged all to participate actively, as they elect their leaders at that level peacefully.
“As we go to the polls this weekend, my prayer is that we also conduct elections in a non violent manner,” the President stated.
While soliciting for more support from the organised labour, the President said: “I very much look forward to your continued support and engagement to ensure creative ways we cannot afford to go back to the days of violence. By the grace of God, majority of Nigerians have given me another four years of continue. We will remain focused on our promises which remain security, economy and fighting corruption. I want to assure you that the next four years will be peaceful, prosperous and corruption free. I therefore look forward to receiving your proposals so that together we can achieve these goals.”
President Buhari lamented the mismanagement of Nigeria’s resources by previous administrations, when the country generated a lot of revenue through oil.
“I don’t think the PDP has been able to successfully explain to Nigerians what they did with that money. Because some of the roads especially the main ones, from here to Onitsha, to Port Harcourt since PTF days not to talk of new ones… monies they earned from petroleum in 16 years. You know the rail was virtually gone and power, I asked where the power is? They spent $16 billion on power and Nigerians are asking, where is the power? So unprecedented, irresponsible expenditure… most of you are unanswerable to Nigerians, I appeal to you through our mutual friend, the Minister of labour to tell you where we found the country, where we are, and what we have been able to do with the resources available to us,” he said.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba said they were in the State House to congratulate President Buhari for emerging victorious in the February 23 Presidential election.
He commended the President for improving Nigeria in various aspects during his first four years in office, urging him to maintain the tempo.
He said: “We urge that in this second term Your Excellency, you should continue to make the Nigerian people especially the poor the centrepiece of your policy initiatives and actions. You have pushed economic diversification programmes, you have introduced steady and sustainable reform programmes in the public sector, such as the Treasury Single Account TSA, you have executed various counter-insurgency programmes that have restored peace and stability in conflict areas.”
Furthermore, he said the organised labour share common priorities with the Buhari led administration especially in the area of fighting corruption.
He suggested three ways in which governance can be improved, thus impacting positively on the lives of Nigeirans.
“We will like to bring to your attention, suggestions on key areas of focus for your kind consideration Sir. They are, employment generation especially youth unemployment; provision of affordable power across the country; re-activation and upgrading of our refineries and pipeline infrastructure; continued diversification of our economy through agriculture and upgrading of our hospitals and academic institutions as well as revitalising the civil service,” he suggested.
The congratulatory visit by labour unions is coming on the heels of a similar one by the Council of Traditional rulers on Wednesday.