ICYMI: Buhari seeks increased food production, awareness on population explosion

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Former president, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged Nigerians to take up farming to increase food production and reduce prices, while also expressing concern over the country’s rapid population growth.

Speaking to journalists shortly after he observed prayers at the township Eid ground, the former president said: “I am Wishing everyone a Happy Sallah. May this special festival bring joy, prosperity and wonderful health to everyone. I use this occasion to make an appeal to all citizens to make Nigeria self-reliant. Let us grow our own food. We have shown that we can do it. This is not the time to relent when we see prices going up. Let us buy what is produced in the country. The foundation of a prosperous and stable country has been laid by successive governments, and I encourage our youth, in particular, to continue to play an active role in various nation-building efforts.

“I urge the youth of the country to seek to know about the founding fathers of the nation, the important personalities of their regions, and derive inspiration from them.”

Reflecting on the massive crowd at the Eid in Daura, the former president expressed concern at unchecked population expansion, saying it would bring a lot of problems to future generations.

“There is a need for greater discussion and awareness about this problem, as well as a need to invest more in education and health. Considering the situation in the country, and in the spirit of the Sallah, let us help one another and be our brother’s keepers. I wish everyone a happy Sallah.”

Speaking to members of the National Youth Service (NYSC) who have maintained a tradition of paying homage to him every Sallah, Buhari said, “the scheme continues to be a strong fabric holding the country together and urged successive administrations to continue to strengthen it.”

He described the NYSC as one of the greatest achievements of General Yakubu Gowon as head of state.

As he has every year, the former president gave a cow, 10 bags of rice and some cash to the NYSC members to celebrate the occasion.

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