Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta and Joel Oladele, Abuja
Stakeholders have charged President Muhammadu Buhari on good governance, improved economy, citizens’ welfare as well as the need to intensify the fight against insecurity in the new year.
The National President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Workers (NULGE) Alhaji Akeem Ambali said President Buhari must be more decisive in the fight against all forms of insecurity challenges confronting the nation.
Alhaji Ambali disclosed that 2022 would obviously be full of series of political activities and campaign being the year preceding the general election in 2023, saying that the government must, therefore, intensify efforts to ensure that everyone is safe and could carry out their activities without any cause for alarm.
The union leader said that the labour equally expects the federal government to hit the ground running this year with the sole aim of making life more comfortable for the populace saying that labour will not tolerate any policy that would add to the suffering of Nigerians such as increment in fuel price.
Ambali stated this on Monday while speaking on the expectations of the labour movement in the new year.
He said, “In the new year, labour demands that President Buhari should intensify fight against all forms of insecurity bedeviling the nation. This is even important as we are in a year that would be full of political activities, campaigns as prelude to the general elections in 2023. All these banditry, violence, kidnappings and killing of innocent citizens must stop.
“We also demand that the in the new year, the President should work on the erratic power supply, it is our belief that this challenge is conquered, we would have gone a long way to solve problem of unemployment in the country, it’s painful we are still grappling with erratic power supply.
“Another thing we want the government to also work on this year has to do with implementation of policies that will make life more comfortable for the people and lift them out of poverty. That’s why labour is poised this year to defend the people against any harsh policy such as the rumoured plan of the government to increase the fuel price. This won’t be accepted at all because it will only make life more miserable for the people. The people are impoverished already, so no more load should be put on their heads.
“We also crave that the government will fix our troubling economy, the inflation is terrible and we surely need all the help to bring back the economy on track.
“Another thing we are also expecting from the President is to help lobby the national assembly to grant full autonomy to the local government so that development can permeate to the grassroots. He should also address the implementation of autonomy of the judiciary and the parliamentary.”
Similarly, Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ogun State, Comr. Emmanuel Bankole has tasked those at the helm of affairs in the country to be more sensitive and address the various woes making life difficult for many Nigerians.
While speaking on his expectations for the new year, Comr. Bankole said, “I expect the political leadership in the country to be more sensitive to the plight of Nigerians, across the country, people are suffering, that is the bitter truth. If you go down the street you will see pains, poverty, anguish… the problem of insecurity is there, it is really not the best of time for many Nigerians.
“Our leaders will be doing humanity a lot of good if they can begin to be selfless and really serve the people for that is what they promised to do when seeking for the votes of the people. So, I expect that issues revolving around good governance will be prioritised in 2022. The government should restore hope to the citizenry, they should come out with plans and programmes that will make life a lot better for all.
“I equally expect that being a year preceding the 2023 elections, there will certainly be a lot of political activities. The politicians will come out to market themselves in readiness for the 2023 general elections. Nigerians must be ready to scrutinise those who will be coming out to take up the political space, they must possess the right leadership qualities.
“We can’t continue to stay aloof, we must play active roles and ensure that we pitch our tent with those politicians who are ready to be selfless and work for the betterment of the country.”
According to him, “We must be ready to scrutinise them and ensure that they are really the right representatives before they are empowered because once they are empowered, you may not see them again until after four years when another election is around the horizon.
“And the workers too must be more diligent, they should double up their efforts and be selfless in their service to the nation. They should support the government to serve the people far better than before.”
Also speaking, a Public Affairs Analyst and C.E.O of Sekani Integrated Services in Abuja, Joy Ebeben, urged the Federal Government to prioritise the security and welfare of the citizens.
Her words: “For the new year, I don’t think Nigerians expect anything other than serious improvement in security and welfare of citizens.
“I think the security situation has gotten out of hand where even staying in the heart of the city of Abuja doesn’t immunise you from attack.
“These Hausa or Fulani guys excesses have become too glaring to ignore. I am a victim of their onslaught and I understand very well how every Abuja resident and Nigerians In general feel.
“I also know that there are other people under the disguise of these so supposed bandits feel.
“The leadership of President Buhari needs to do more than just seemingly paying lip service to the issue of insecurity because his administration has been adjudged by every average Nigerian as being biased to the fight against insecurity because the major perpetrators are his kinsmen and ethnic people.
“The president also needs to know to that though he’s got great plans to eliminate insecurity in the country, the people or persons he’s chosen at the helms of affairs are taking advantage of his trusting nature to take advantage of the situation to cash out on the precarious nature of the lives of the average Nigerian to enrich themselves beyond measure.
“Also, I as a Nigerian; expect more from the presidency of Muhamadu Buhari to be more proactive with the concerns of human lives for there cannot be a people to vote in elections if their lives are threatened by the current state of affairs with regards to security.
“In conclusion, I believe Nigerians expect a safe and secure nation where they can go about earning their means of livelihood without the fear of those who chose to live on the livelihood of others just because they feel they can because the security outfit cannot curtail them.
“Finally, I think Nigerians expect better welfare and motivation for our security agencies devoid of political interference for them to do as needed,” she ended.
On his part, a Public Issues Analyst and Founder of Hope for our Future Initiative from Ondo State, Samuel Adebayo Abodunrin, requested the federal government to be more proactive in tackling Nigeria’s insecurity challenges, noting that this will go a long way to stabilise the economy.
His words: “It is a new year and the last phase for the present government in Nigeria. In recent years, the Nigerian economy has been in major crisis owing to insecurities in some parts of the country, Covid-19 pandemic and lack of deliberate efforts to stabilise the Nigerian economy.
“Therefore in 2022, I will request that the Federal government of Nigeria be more more intentional and proactive to restore stability in terms of security to the states facing insecurity challenges and tame the spread of banditry across the country. The fight against insurgency should be upped while bandits should be treated as enemies of the state.
“Also, investment into 21st century mode of Agriculture must be taken serious. Youths should be empowered more than ever to venture into mechanized farming as means of diversifying the Nigerian economy and solving the economic problems.
“These two sectors security and Agriculture should enjoy huge share of attention and policies to improve the sectors should be introduced and executed without diversion of funds as well as other resources meant for the execution of the policies,” Adebayo said.