President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday appealed to #EndSARS protesters to take advantage of the various initiatives put in place by the Federal Government to make life more meaningful for the citizens.
Buhari, who stated this in his nationwide address on the current unrest in the country, said no previous government in the country had methodically and seriously approached poverty alleviation programmes like the current administration.
He counseled the protesters to resist the temptation of being used by some “subversive elements” to cause chaos in the country.
The president also advised the #EndSARS protesters to discontinue the street rallies and constructively engage the government in finding solutions to the problems.
He said the government has put in place measures principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society, adding that the administration’s broad plan was to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
Buhari said: “The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgment and disruptive behaviour.
“On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“The creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which the government is paying three-month salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises, paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission, giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans and guaranteeing market for the products of traders.
“These are in addition to many other initiatives such as Farmermoni, Tradermoni, Marketmoni, N-Power, N-Tech, and N-Agro.
“No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.
“With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.
“The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.
“In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.
“Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.
“In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful.
“And resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.”
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