Buhari Resumes Work Today, NLC, Groups, Others Set Target

As President Muhammadu Buhari resumes duty on Monday (today), Nigeria Labour Congress and other eminent groups have set a target for the President on what should be his focus.

Besides the NLC, organisations and personalities, who spoke in separate interviews with The PUNCH, included the Northern Elders’ Council, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; and Dr. Junaid Mohammed.

They advised the President to focus on the economy so that the plight of the masses, who could not travel abroad for medical treatment, would improve.

While addressing members of the Federal Executive Council shortly after his arrival, Buhari said he would rest last weekend and resume duty on Monday.

The NLC called on Buhari to focus on the challenges facing the country, especially the economy.

The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said the government should tackle the problem of the economy to get the country out of recession.

He stated that it was important for the government to initiate policies that would reduce the suffering of Nigerians.

Ozo-Eson also called for the immediate constitution of the tripartite committee on the new Minimum Wage.

He stressed that the continuing delay in the constitution of the wage committee was no longer acceptable to organised labour.

He added, “Well, the challenges facing the country remain the same. The economy is at the top of it. The government needs to tackle the economy and see how to get it out of recession. Within that framework, we believe that with the suffering of Nigerians, policies need to be deployed quickly to ensure that it is reduced, that inflation is controlled.

Also, the Executive Secretary, Anti-corruption Network, Mr. Ebenezer Oyetakin, said the President should improve on the economy.

Oyetakin stated, “Buhari should focus on getting the economy to work better in the interest of the common masses. He should increase the battle against corruption and make it more potent. He should work towards the re-denomination of the naira as a way to administratively deal with corruption in one swoop and to free the naira from both local and international currency war and manipulations.”

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said it was high time the country was restructured.

Odumakin said, “The President has told us he has never been this sick and he is going back for treatment in weeks. All he can do in the immediate dispensation is to reorganise his team so it can face the urgency of now.

“The country is drifting dangerously and the release of the timetable for the next elections by INEC will put the government under serious pressure as it signals the commencement of serious politicking.

“He therefore needs a dedicated team that can deliver on his core commitments to Nigeria in the few months left for governance under this dispensation.

“It would be nice if the President realises that holding elections under this structure without modifications may not augur well for the polity. A restructured polity therefore seems the low hanging fruit that can give him a lasting legacy.”

The spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said it was left for the President and his close aides to decide his area of priorities.

He believed Buhari must have used part of his medical leave to refresh his mind on areas he would like to face.

He stated, “If he cannot do all, he would probably have to prioritise areas that will be of greater importance to the public. It is entirely up to him and those who are close to him, either as ministers or others, whatever their functions are in the system.”