Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, group of marketers in Kwara state under the auspices of the Association of Kwara state Marketers, yesterday, Thursday converged on PAKU Hall, Oloje , Ilorin to attend the interfaith prayer service organized by the association in support of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s presidential bid.
It was gathered that the market women and men who won T-shirts and face caps that had the Vice President’s name and picture emblazoned on them, also distributed food parcels to attendees of the prayer service.
Alhaja Bilikis Baba Kobi, who is the Iyaloja of Mandate Market, told reporters that Osinbajo had endeared himself to the market men and women in the state because of what he did during his visit to markets in Ilorin , the state capital, four years ago to launch the tradermoni scheme .
She also said they were convinced that if elected as president, Osinbajo will do more to support traders across the country while urging him to make revolving loans available for them.
“We are here to organize prayer session in support of our Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. We chose to hold a prayer session for him because he has done a lot for the market women and men in Kwara state, he was here during the launching of the Tradermoni he visited markets in the state capital, he was not only exchanged pleasantries with market men and women but also interacted freely with our children, kids and everybody. That really endeared him to us and we have since developed interest in him, we have a strong hope that if elected as president things will change for the better especially the market men and women.
“More than ten thousand people benefited from the scheme and it has assisted us a lot you know many people used what you called the little money to improve their businesses.
We want him to make revolving loans available for the market men and women, you know many of us do approach commercial banks for capital and the interest rate is killing it is just like you are working for them. So he should pay attention to this” she said.
Alhaja Lateefat Ajanaku, who is the Iyaloja of Agaka, also commended the Vice President for the support the market women and men had enjoyed through the Tradermoni scheme.
“He has shown concern about market women and men especially the market women and that is why we are endorsing his candidacy. we are the one taking care of children and seeing to their welfare and he has been quite supportive to us and we know if he gets elected as president such an effort would be increased.
“He will do things to improve the lives of our children. We also expect him if he gets elected to tackle insecurity. The spate of kidnapping has become a source of worry. It is God that can help him and get him elected if it is in his destiny. We pray that God will help him get elected. He would however have to make creation of job opportunities for the young people and tackling of insecurity his focus”she said.
Alhaji Akeem Aladie , who owns a shop in Oja tuntun market , said they have announced support for Osinbajo’s candidacy because they were convinced that he has the capacity to get things done and change things for the better in the country.
“We have gathered in solidarity with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo , we are endorsing his candidacy , we are here to pray for him because of what he has done to support us.
He was here four years ago to make money available for us through the Tradermoni scheme, we are of the opinion that this is payback time because we benefitted from the scheme, we commend his efforts may God be with him. If he is elected we would like him to focus on youth and women empowerment.
“All of them are aspirants but we prefer him because we believe he has the capacity and we use this medium to urge his party members to support him” he submitted.
Alhaja Sikirat Olojoku, Organizing Secretary, Kwara state Market Women, also said it had become important for them to support Osinbajo’s candidacy having given them necessary supports in the past.
“We are supporting him and that is why we have gathered here to pray for him.
We however want him to focus on education and security if he gets elected. When teachers are taken good care of they will teach the students better and students that get the right education will not be involved in anti-social behaviour” she said.