•‘They Seek To Ravage Our Agriculture’
National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that terrible people and strong forces want to break Nigeria’s appointment with its greater destiny.
He said that these “people have unleashed terror and violent criminality against us,” adding that by attacking agricultural players across the nation, they seek not only to ravage the agricultural community but to visit misery on the rest of the nation through food scarcity and food costs that poor people can simply not afford.
“In effect, these mean forces seek to impose a food production and distribution crisis on us by disrupting strategically important agricultural areas and activities,” he noted.
The former Lagos State governor, therefore, declared that good Nigerians must stop fighting one another in order to present a unified front to confront the common violent threat.
Tinubu’s assertions were contained in his acceptance speech at the award of honorary doctorate degree at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, yesterday. He noted that 33 years after it was established, the university “has become one of the best tertiary institutions in Nigeria and continues to impress with the quality education imparted on this campus.”
While expressing hope that this year’s graduating class will surely continue the University’s fine tradition of distinguishing itself, Tinubu reminded them that having survived difficult years of study, “You represent the best of who we are and the best of what this nation still can be.”
“We approach a defining moment as a nation. A reckoning of special importance beckons. We must decide whether to give the truest meaning to our national motto “peace and unity” or we allow the agents of destruction and merchants of violence to have their way with us.”
He remarked that Nigeria’s present circumstance has underscored the importance of the agricultural sector to our collective condition, noting that the Federal Government has devoted itself to improving the nation’s agricultural sector and important strides made.
Offering some tips on how to make the agricultural sector perform its role in developing the country, Tinubu stated: “Agricultural players cannot feed the nation and fight evil actors at the same time. We must decide whether our farmland and grazing areas are to be battlegrounds, or they are to return to their role of feeding the nation.
“This is where committed Nigerians of all stripes and vocations must join in peace and unity. Whether city or rural dweller, whether farmer or herder, we must join in common cause against the real enemies that we face: the terrorists and bandits who attempt to pull us apart…”
“Those who need peace in order to ply their trade must recognize the bigger threat that now confronts them. We can work on the differences between farmer and herder. However, there is no way to reconcile either with terror or banditry without forfeiting their livelihoods, if not their very lives.
“Second, in the war against terror and criminality, the nation must protect its ability to feed its people. The military must begin to revise its strategies so that agricultural communities are better protected. This will enable higher food production, thereby reducing hunger and poverty.
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