President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged religious leaders in the country to “keep calming” Nigerians and assure them that his government was aware of the challenges confronting the average citizen.
The president appealed to Islamic leaders who visited him yesterday, to convey the message of hope to the citizens that things would improve soon.
Receiving the Council of Abuja Imams at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, President Buhari said the leadership at various levels was trying to solve problems of poverty, unemployment and insecurity bedeviling the country.
He noted that his administration decided to give priority to agriculture in order to create jobs and ensure food security, assuring that there was a bigger plan for the provision of fertiliser, insecticides and land preparations beginning from next year.
Mr. Buhari, therefore, urged state governments and community leaders across the country, to key into this by organising the citizens into cooperative societies.
“Extension services, not money, will be provided”, he said.
The president disclosed that efforts were being made to bring investors from China and other friendly countries interested in developing the proposed Mambila and other hydro-electric power projects in Nigeria.
He also assured that the steps the government was carefully taking on the Niger Delta crisis would bring about long-term peace and stability in the region.
Buhari told the clerics that his administration would remain resolute and relentless in the ongoing war against corruption and the Boko Haram insurgency.
“We have no plan to humiliate or embarrass anyone through these actions. We are merely interested in instituting justice and fairness for all”, he maintained.
He, however, vowed that whoever is found to have stolen public funds would be forced to return the funds because “The nation needs the money”.
In his remarks, the chairman of Abuja Council of Imams, Dr. Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, commended the administration’s efforts towards fighting corruption and terrorism but drew Buhari’s attention to the current economic challenges, especially unemployment as well as problems in the health and education sectors.