The Presidential elections are just around the corner and it appears and at times like this, strange alliances are not far from the view of politicians. This year’s elections are not different from the ones in the past and politicians are in the desperate hunt for endorsement.
In a country like Nigeria where winning or losing elections depend mostly on the political structure of the party and indeed the candidate, endorsements can go a long way in determining who wins or who lose particularly when the contending parties are evenly matched in terms of structure and mobilisation strength.
The larger the organisation the more coveted the endorsement of such a body will be, it is in line with this thing thinking that Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari made the decision to enrol the support of the country’s largest transport union.
Mrs Buhari recently seeks the support of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), stating that her husband is committed to making life easier for people in the transport sector.
This is coming at a time when the members of the NURTW are in the spotlight for the wrong reasons following the violence that ensued during the campaign flag off the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos, Jide Sanwo Olu.
The situation resulted in the stabbing of the notorious national treasurer of the body, MC Oluomo, by a rival faction, the ensuing chaos resulted in the abrupt ending of proceedings as high profile dignitaries ran for safety.
However, it would appear that the First Lady is willing to look beyond the excesses of the likes of MC Oluomo and other members of the NURTW due to the large number of its members which can translate to voting numbers if properly annexed.
Speaking at a meeting with the member of the organisation, Mrs Buhari praised the virtue of her husband stressing that the President is a compassionate and loving man who genuinely care about the Nigerians.
“President Buhari is leading by example. There are two kinds of leaders. One will lead by example and tell you, do as I do and you have the other one saying do as I say and not as I do.
“You will agree with me that when you have a leader who leads by example you do the right thing and don’t steal so that the money is stretched further to cover more projects. This is the secret behind the success of the President,” Mrs Buhari said.
“Without all the interest usually built into projects as a result of corruption, more projects will be executed with little and the money can go further. In the area of security, the Road Transport Workers will be in a better position to know and say the parks are safer. It is a clear indication that things are working because the President is up and doing.
“Electricity is better now than before and by the time you add Mambilla to it, everything will be normalised. But of greater interest to you are the roads. Work is ongoing in the entire trunk A roads across the country and there are about 25 special roads that are being dualised. You know the roads better because you ply the roads,” the First Lady continued.
“One of the first things he did was not to start building infrastructure, but to ensure that workers who are owed salaries are paid. He gave states money to pay salaries and also paid over 20 billion to Nigeria Airways pensioners. He also paid Biafra Police who served during the civil war. He has clearly demonstrated that he is a man of the people and he wants to improve the lives of Nigerians and make everyone safe,” She concluded.
Earlier in the day, members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) announced their support for President Buhari vowing to mobilise as much as 16 million votes of the president come Saturday.
RTEAN National President, Mr Osakpamwan Eriyo revealed this in a statement made available to reporters, he said:
“Why we said that they should support Buhari is because he has done so much for the country, you can see today that we have good roads.
“We have investments in the country and there is peace, if there is no peace we can’t have investment, we have over 16 million members in Nigeria, that is why we urged all of them to vote for Buhari for continuity. If we vote for continuity all the good roads and good projects will continue and that is the reason why we decided to support the president.”
It is not known it the effort by the first lady and the endorsement of the transport body would eventually yield dividends, Nigerians will not have to wait long to find out.
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