President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians to be willing to farm what they would eat or starve to death, stating that no one has the right to complain of hunger in Nigeria.
Buhari stated this on Wednesday in an interview with Tambarin Hausa TV, a Kano State-based media, that despite the floods that had devastated farming communities, Nigeria could still feed itself.
He added that one of the policies he undertook upon assuming office in 2015 was to block the Nigerian borders from food importation and force people back to farm.
He said, “I took that decision to stop rice importation and said we should farm what we eat or die of hunger.”
“I said that since we have farm land and God has blessed us with rain, what reason does a Nigerian have to say he’s hungry?”
“If you are hungry, go to the farm. I’m aware that floods have ravaged some farmlands this season but we are still selling rice made in Nigeria, and we can feed ourselves. Is that not an achievement?”
“We have workers who left their air-conditioned offices and went into farming, and they had bounty harvests. So, we are grateful.”
Meanwhile, banditry, insurgency, and other criminal activities have driven thousands of farmers from their fields during the last seven years of Buhari government, as insecurity envelops vast swaths of ungoverned space across Nigeria, particularly in the North.
For instance, in November 2020, now fewer than 110 farmers were murdered by Boko Haram terrorists in northern Borno, according to the United Nations.
It was also learnt that many villagers in northern states such as Niger, Kaduna, and Katsina pay taxes to bandits and insurgents in order to work peacefully on their farms.