Dr Bature Abdul-Aziz, the President, National Harmonised Traders’ Union on Thursday pledged the support of the union to the efforts being made to reposition the nation’s economy.
Addressing a press conference in Zaria, Kaduna State, Abdul-Aziz said all well meaning Nigerians must support the Federal Government as it strives to ensure integrity in service and the growth and development of the country.
Abdul-Aziz noted that President Muhammadu Buhari administration had taken holistic approach in fighting insurgency which helped in the restoration of peace in the North-East.
He added that the fight against corruption, stabilisation of the economy, review of minimum wage and the school feeding programme were bold policies that would have multiple positive impacts on the nation.
“It gladdens my mind that the minimum wage review had reached advanced stage and is expected to be due and implemented by September while the feeding of primary school pupils is being carried out in about 15 states.”
The president said the union, which is an amalgamation of small traders’ unions across Nigeria, would support Buhari in 2019 election to ensure continuity.
He faulted those asking the president not to re-contest as “real enemies of Nigeria”, stressing that the present administration has rekindled the hope for a better Nigeria.
“Remember, toward the end of PDP administration, the then Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okwonjo-Iwela had publicly announced that the Federal Government is bankrupt and can no longer pay salaries.
“She also said that there are some states in Nigeria that cannot sustain themselves economically. However, the global oil price then was high for three to four consecutive years.
“Yet, this is an unanswered question, where did Nigerian money that ran into billions of dollars go that we cannot pay salaries then? To God be the glory, Buhari is holistically fixing Nigeria,” he noted.
He said the rise in the nation’s foreign reserve from $25 billion in 2015 to about $48 billion in 2018 was one of the indicators that Buhari would lead Nigeria to the promise land.
On democracy day and democratic dividends, the president advised Nigerians to support government policies and programmes to pave way for more benefits.
Abdul-Aziz lauded the courage of the president for pledging to unlock the age barrier in holding elective positions, saying, “this is a commendable effort that will motivate the youths to actively partake in governance”.
He, however, appealed to the youths not to allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians.
“As youths, you are the engine room of politics if you know how to play the game, therefore, don’t allow yourselves to be used as political thugs, use your youthful agility wisely for your own good and for the good of the society.
“Only peace can guarantee development, no society ever developed in an atmosphere of rancour, violence, acrimony, hate, sycophancy and breach of the peace,” he said.
Speaking on national unity, Abdul-Aziz said those agitating for the break-up of Nigeria were myopic, because there are more to gain in a united Nigeria than living in fragmented countries.
He advised that the best way to live in peace with one another in Nigeria was by tolerating, accommodating and embracing each other irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation.