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We have no money to import food — Buhari begs farmers to increase cultivation

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerian farmers to embark on massive productive agricultural activities this farming season.

The President gave the advice on Sunday, shortly after observing the two raqa’at Eid prayer alongside members of his family and few presidential aides at the presidential villa, Abuja.

The Eid al-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 prayer.

President Buhari, who spoke to State House Correspondents, said: “I hope the rainy season would be bountiful, so that we get a lot of food.

“I wish the farmers will go to farms and save their lives so that we can produce what we need in sufficient quantity so that we don’t have to import food.

“In any case, 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 have.

“So, it’s a very frightening development and I advise 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.”

The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, who also observed the Eid prayer with the President, thanked almighty Allah for sparing the lives of Muslims throughout the Ramadan period.

Aisha, who enjoined Nigerian women to continue to be on the fore front of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic across the country, prayed that God 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).

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