… Maku seeks volunteers’ support for Jonathan
Ahead of the 2015 general elections, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku has called on volunteers to rise up in support of the sustenance of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Minister made the call in Abuja, when he received a coalition of youth organisations, under the Concerned Youth Forum who are campaigning for President Jonathan to continue beyond 2015.
Mr. Maku said the government would be pleased with volunteers using their widow’s mite to support good governance and champion the course of development that would enhance their social and economic well-being.
He urged the youths to draw inspiration from the political campaigns of President Obama in the United States, where scores of volunteers stood up in support of what they believed was good for their country.
“As our democracy grows, we are looking forward to seeing organisations that are not formed by government; organisations that are not controlled by government; organisations that are made up of volunteers, people who are volunteering their time freely to work for democracy, not people in the pocket of anybody or unions. They are people that have come up as citizens who are interested in the development of the country, interested in the unity of Nigeria and who want to make a mark for the country,” said the Minister.
Mr. Maku stated that President Jonathan has shown the capacity, commitment and the vision to transform Nigeria into a modern economy hence the need for volunteers to spring up and network through the Social Media to promote development.
He said through creative policies of the present administration in critical sectors of the economy, Nigeria has changed from a net importer of cement to an exporter thereby creating millions of direct and indirect jobs.
“For a long time agriculture was like it was no longer going to work. Peasants were abandoned, they were sitting here in Abuja and awarding billion of contracts for fertilizers that never came or when it came, it will be mixed with sand so that some people can make fraudulent money. Jonathan now brought a new Minister of Agriculture Dr. Adesina and said look I want this story in agriculture to change because majority of our people are still on the farms and they are the ones feeding this country, change agriculture and he brought a new transformation in agriculture. Now what is going on? If you go to Kebbi as I am talking to you now, you will see hundreds of thousands of youths farming across ten local governments, dry season. The same thing in Zamfara, the same thing in Sokoto, the same thing in Kano,” he stated.
Maku said the story has changed for the better in the transport sector with the revival of the railways and the remodelling of airports as well as roads construction where over 32 roads were completed. “In addition to this, the economy is growing at seven percent. They used to grow it at two percent, zero percent, sometimes depression and the story is changing. Nigeria is changing rapidly under Jonathan, the economy is working. We are growing almost 1.6 million jobs per annum. This is statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics,” Mr. Maku stated.
He continued: Performance everywhere, from sports to roads construction to railways to education. We just presented the report in education yesterday, come and see one hundred and twenty Almajirai schools built in two years for the Almajirai that are roaming the streets of our northern cities. If you go to Nasarawa now, the people just roam the streets, no schools. Since 1960, they have been doing like that walking the streets, young children that would be the people developing this country. Jonathan said no, it doesn’t matter, I am from Bayelsa but it doesn’t matter, these young Nigerians are Nigerians, I am concerned about everybody’s child. I am from poor family, I want every child developed. So what’s he doing? He has brought out Federal Government money to build schools all over the north to take these children from the streets so that you can go learn your Quranic education, learn western education and become an engineer while effectively practicing your Islam; become a pilot while practicing your Islam”.
He therefore charged the youth to be the vanguard of peace and the promotion of the unity of Nigeria to effectively guarantee their future and that of posterity.
Mr. Maku equally dismissed claims of the political opposition that President Jonathan’s government is not performing and said it is evident to all Nigerians that the President has returned Nigeria to the path of sustainable economic growth and development.
Speaking earlier, leader of the youth groups, Mr. Jonathan Lamawal said, they have identified with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan because of the remarkable achievements being recorded in the economy.
He said the youths would oppose any attempt to disrupt the development process currently taking place in the country and warned against politicians who fan the embers of disunity and violence for personal political ambitions.