Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is acutely aware of challenges of life facing the average citizen, and appealed to Muslim religious leaders to carry the message of hope to the people that things will improve.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, in a statement said Buhari spoke yesterday at a meeting with the Council of Abuja Imams at the State House in Abuja.
The president requested religious leaders throughout the country “to keep calming the people. The leadership at various levels is trying to solve problems of poverty, unemployment and insecurity bedeviling the country.”
Buhari said the government chose to give priority to agriculture so as to create jobs for unemployed citizens and give the country food security.
He said although efforts had begun, there was a bigger plan for the provision of fertilizers, insecticides and land preparations starting next year.
To key into this, the president requested state governments and community leaders across the country to organise the population into cooperative societies, stressing that “extension services, not money will be provided.”
The president also addressed the religious leaders on the efforts to improve power supply in the country with on-going efforts to bring foreign investment from China and some friendly countries that indicated willingness in developing the proposed Mambila and other hydro-electric power projects in the country.
Buhari said the steps the government was carefully taking on the crisis situation in the Niger Delta would lead to long term peace and stabilise the region.
On the war against corruption and the Boko Haram terrorism, the president said his government would remain resolute and relentless. “We have no plan to humiliate or embarrass anyone through these actions. We are merely interested in instituting justice and fairness for all,” the president assured.
He reiterated that whoever was caught as having stolen from the public would be forced to return the loot to the treasury.
“The nation needs the money,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman of Abuja Council of Imams, Dr. Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun on behalf of the delegation commended the efforts of the Buhari administration in the war against corruption and terrorism.
He also drew the President’s attention to problems in the economy, health services, education and unemployment.