The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Wednesday advised Nigerians to embrace farming to produce adequate food for local consumption and for export.
Abubakar gave the advice in Sokoto while delivering his Eid el-Fitr message to the Muslim Ummah to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan fasting.
He said: “Nigerians are really facing difficult times, occasioned by the global financial crunch, due to the falling prices of oil.
“But happily, God, in His infinite mercy has endowed Nigeria with vast fertile land, with each region having its own peculiar comparative advantage.
“We should, therefore, collectively go back to the farms, and engage in both rain-fed and dry season farming.
“With this, we can produce adequate food to be locally self-sufficient and even export the surplus.’’
Abubakar, who said Nigeria had no business importing food, appealed to Nigerians to be patient and to continue to pray fervently for the country’s unity and progress.
The Sultan also appealed to Muslims to sustain the virtues of Ramadan, namely: patience, piety, and assisting the needy.
He condemned the recent blast in the Holy Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Medinah.
“Islam is a religion of peace and it preaches peace and unity. Violence breeds only breeds violence and underdevelopment.
“It is only the bad eggs among the Muslims who are perpetrating such heinous acts, and the Muslims are not fundamentalists.”
The Sultan praised the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, for spending more than N250 million on the Ramadan Feeding Programme.
He also lauded him for his efforts at revamping the state’s education sector.
Abubakar called on parents to enrol their children in school to enable them to acquire both Western and religious education.
“Education is the only key to success and no nation can fully develop without according it the priority attention it deserves,’’ he said.
In Zaria, Kaduna State, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, described religious tolerance as a critical element necessary for national integration.
Idris, who is also the Chairman, Kaduna State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, expressed the thought after the Eid el-Fitr prayers held at his palace in Zaria.
He said: “No nation has ever witnessed development in an atmosphere of rancour, acrimony, disunity, and war.
“We, therefore, call on our subjects in particular, and Nigerians in general, to shun all forms of rumour peddling as it will certainly breach the prevailing peace.’’
Idris appealed to Nigerians to pray fervently for Nigeria’s leaders to enable them to lead the people with the fear of God
In Uyo, the Chief Imam of the Uyo Central Mosque, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, urged the Federal Government to come up with policies and programmes that would help revive the nation’s economy to reduce the suffering of the people.
Adamu gave the advice while speaking with newsmen after the Eid el-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan fasting.
He applauded the Federal Government’s policies and programmes and expressed the hope that they would improve the living condition of citizens.
“We all know we are experiencing hardship; so we have prayed to Almighty Allah to bring succour to all of us.
“Government should expedite action in revamping the nation’s economy.
“Citizens are going through very difficult times that must be addressed promptly,” Adamu said.
He called for peaceful coexistence among the different ethnic, political, and religious groups in the country, saying that development would continue to elude Nigeria if its citizens did not live in harmony with one another.
In Gombe state, Alhaji Alkali Pindiga, the Chief Imam of the Gombe Central Mosque, called on the Muslim faithful to continue to pray for the peace and stability of the state and the country at large.
Pindiga, who was speaking in his Sallah sermon in Gombe, said there could not be any meaningful development in the country without peace and stability.
“We need to continue to pray for peace to reign in Gombe and the country at large,“ he said.
Meanwhile, in Enugu, Lt. Col. Abubakar Tahir, the Imam of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, has called on Muslims to use their wealth to improve the lives of the under-privileged.
He gave the advice after the Eid prayers held at the division’s praying ground to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting.
Tahir also called on Muslims to always give alms to the needy and to always remind them of the need to be honest in all they did in life.
“God created the rich and the poor for the purpose of those that are rich to use their wealth to help the poor ones.
“Be contented with what you have and be a source of happiness to others.
“Be mindful of God and do not follow your heart’s desires,’’ he advised.
The Imam further advised Nigerians to be security conscious always and not to relent in being their brother’s keeper.