By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Apparently disturbed by the effects of Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak on the agricultural activities of the citizens in the post-pandemic Nigeria,
President Muhammadu Buhari today (Sunday) challenged Nigerian farmers on the need to embark on massive productive agricultural activities this farming season as Nigeria has no money for food importation.
The President gave the challenge shortly after observing this year’s Eid prayer alongside members of his family and few Presidential aides at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Sunday.
The Eid-El-Fitr prayer was observed in line with the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, while the protocol of social distancing was also exhibited during the two-raka’at prayer.
President Buhari, who spoke to State House Correspondents, said: “I hope the raining season would be bountiful, so that we get a lot of food.
“I wish the farmers will go to farms and save the lives so that we can produce what we need in sufficient quantity so that we don’t have to import food.
“In any, we don’t have any money to import food. So we must produce what we are going to eat.’’
On the COVID 19 pandemic, President Buhari reiterated his advice to Nigerians to strictly adhere to guidelines and measures put in place against the spread of the deadly virus in the country.
He noted that the pandemic had reduced both developed and developing nations to the same level, and advised Nigerians to always be careful so as to avoid infections.
He said: “Nigerians can see that the COVID-19 has reduced us, both the developing and developed countries, to the same level. In fact, we have least casualties than they we have.
“So, it’s a very frightening development and I advised Nigerians to be very careful and take the advice of the Ministry of Health. Ministers of Health have been doing very well, speaking and educating the citizens on the deadly virus.
“So Nigeria, we should be very careful.’’
The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, who also observed the Eid prayer with the president, thanked almighty Allah for sparing the lives of Muslim ummah throughout the Ramadan period.
Aisha, who enjoined the Nigerian women to continue to be on the fore front of the fight the Coronavirus pandemic across the country, prayed that Allah would forgive the sins of those who lost their lives as a result of the virus, and grant them Aljanah Firdausi (Paradise).
“We must thank the almighty Allah for the successful completion of the holy Month of Ramadan, despite the current difficult circumstances we found ourselves.
“I wish to thank the Federal Ministry of Health and also the NCDC for their efforts in combating the pandemic,’’ she said.
President Buhari had on May 22 pledged to conduct his Eid prayers with his family at home as directed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who is also the President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI).