Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has, in his Eid el-Adha message filled with blame and lamentation, identified some of the root causes of the astronomical hike in prices of food and other consumer products in the country without mentioning leadership failure.
President Buhari who rejoiced with all Muslims in Nigeria and around the world on the occasion of the Islamic religious festival lamented that the celebrations were taking place amidst a devastating health and economic pandemic.
“This is in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.
“These unfortunate circumstances have led to food inflation, which our government is working very hard to address. No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.
“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices,” he added.
He however claimed that they are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerian citizens, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to farmers.
President Buhari further lamented that the current insecurity in the country has also produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by terrorists and those he erroneously refers to as bandits.
The Federal Bureau Investigation which has done a lot of work investigating and combating the activities of terrorists defined Terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Judging from the above, President Buhari should quit ethnocentrism and correctly label ‘bandits’ as terrorists since they are engaged in the unlawful use of force and violence against farming families and their properties to intimidate or coerce the Nigerian government in furtherance of their objective of forcing the redistribution of lands that belong to indigenous communities.
Until he does that his reassurance to Nigerians that they are taking measures to address their security challenges remains a grand deception.
President Buhari also used the opportunity of the Eid message to announce that his administration has started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of the security forces “to confront terrorism and banditry.”
He appealed to Muslims in the country to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices. He said taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with the fine virtues of Islam.
“As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others. Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
“I urge all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country,” he concluded.