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HomeNewsEconomyDon’t blame Buhari for going back on N5,000 promise – Al-Makura

Don’t blame Buhari for going back on N5,000 promise – Al-Makura

Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura on Monday urged Nigerians to remain calm and not challenge ‎President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to fulfill his government’s pledge of paying N5,000 to unemployment citizens.

According to him, Buhari reserves the right to change his mind or review the promise based on prevailing realities in the country.

The President had at the weekend in Saudi‎ Arabia declared that the N5,000 stipend was not on his priority list and that he would rather channel resources into the building of infrastructure, education, agriculture and mining to create employment opportunities for able bodied young men.

Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Al-Makura said: “The president is the person that can tell you precisely how he is working on promises and interventions that he has created by his ingenuity. And if at any point in time the president is reviewing that issue, I think he is the only person to that because what he is doing is in the best interest of the country. And so, it is not challengeable by anybody whatever his position.”

Imo State Governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, after meeting with the Vice President however said that the promise will be implemented one way or the other.

He said: “Well you see to be honest with you it is a great idea, but there are many ways to give that support, sometimes it could be in cash which has its own challenges. Handling of that is also in itself a wonderful and great idea.

“Take for instance, in Imo State now I have introduced what is called empowerment, they buy motor cycles and give people N5,000 or N 10,000, for me that is not my style. My style is to declare free education, from primary, secondary to university; nobody pays one Naira in Imo state.

“The very poor people who have to ensure a lot of social inconveniences to pay school fees are no longer dong that, what has happened is that he has saved that money to produce further wealth, so if you keep money through that system, it creates more impact than physical cash.

“Physical cash sometimes creates more problems, so it is great idea, we have to do it one way or the other as time comes,” he said.

He supported President Buhari’s anti-corruption battle, stressing that any money stolen out of the treasury will always have adverse effect on development of infrastructure in the country.

Earlier, Al-Malkura also disclosed that he discussed with the Vice-President the incessant violent clashes between farmers’ ‎and Fulani herdsmen in Nasarawa which spilled over to neighboring Benue State.

Attacks by the herdsmen on Agatu communities in Benue state last week had left hundreds dead and several building and farms destroyed.

‎Al-Makura said he was liaising with the Benue State government to end the clashes and that the Vice-President was quite understanding and cooperative as he promised federal government’s quick intervention.


He said: “Secondly, I have also discussed with Mr. Vice President about the security situation in my state and what effort we are making to bring everything to sanity.

“Also, I am making effort with my colleague the governor of Benue state in having a joint effort to see what we can do to ensure that these long standing communal clashes between Fulanis and farmers and Agatus in Nasarawa and Agatus in Benue to see that we find a lasting solution to it.” He said

He also lamented that since 1978 when the state was connected to the national grid with 33KVA transmission lines, no improvement had been made despite growing population and energy needs in the state.

According to him, he discussed with Osinbajo the need to connect the state with 330KVA transmission lines.

He said: “Basically, I spoke with the Vice President about the issues of power and energy in my state.  And as you must have known, Nasarawa State being very close to the federal capital territory, and I raised a lot of demands for power and energy for domestic and industrial purposes. And given the sophistication of this area in terms of different kinds of activities.

“And ironically, the state which was first connected to power in 1978, is still within 33KV which is not even enough for the state capital not to talk about other local government councils.

“So, I have come specifically to request and plead with Mr. Vice President and the chairman of NIPP about the impending power initiative in the country to consider Nasarawa State as one of the states that will benefit from the 330KV which is the robust infrastructure for power that comes all the way from Enugu to Benue and to Plateau States. It just passed beside the Government House but Nasarawa State has not been able to benefit.

“I have been on this struggle since 2012, but up till this time the state is still terribly deprived of power and he has listened to me. I believe that the people of Nasarawa State will heave a sigh of relief once the 330 Kva is done and another 132kva is connected to it for easy distribution,” he added.

On the Vice President’s response, he said: “It was very fantastic and he assured us that they will see what the federal government can do to quickly ameliorate the problem and about the power, I got assurance from the Vice President that we will succeed.”




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