A founding member of All Progressives Congress, APC, Osita Okechukwu says President Muhammadu Buhari has laid the foundation to banish hunger from the country.
Mr Okechukwu stayed this while reacting to comments by Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumin Kabir Usman, on the increasing rate of poverty in northern Nigeria.
Mr Usman had while receiving the entourage of Arewa Organisation Movement for Asiwaju, led by Sen. Abu Ibrahim at his palace, declared that while Lagos State was prospering, the entire poverty in Nigeria reside in northern Nigeria.
The Emir, who is also the chairman of Katsina State Traditional Rulers Council had stated that the North had suffered set backs in recent times.
“I was in Lagos some two to three weeks ago, the first since 1967 and I have seen how Lagos commercial activities are transformed. I concluded that all the nation’s wealth is in Lagos State.
“But, when you come back here, the whole poverty of Nigeria is in the Northern part of the country. I say my mind even if it is going to be a problem. And I bear it even if it turns out to be a problem.
“I don’t speak from my mouth; I speak from my heart. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) says we should say the truth and if we can’t we should keep quiet,” he said.
But, speaking with journalists in Abuja, Sunday, Mr Okechukwu, who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, VON, consoled the monarch, pointing out that as a prudent farmer, Mr Buhari has planted the seeds for economic prosperity in the north and by extension, the entire country.
He insisted that President Buhari used the greater part of his terms in office to lay the foundation for freedom from hunger, and declaration that we must produce what we eat.
Mr Okechukwu pleaded with the traditional ruler to exercise patience, knowing that seeds of buoyancy have sprouted and ready to start yielding fruits.
“I understand the frustration of His Royal Majesty; however, President Buhari’s unprecedented investment in agriculture and infrastructure are aimed at wiping out poverty in Nigeria as a whole. That’s why Mr President launched a programme to lift 100 million people out of poverty in ten years,” Okechukwu said.
When reminded by reporters that the Emir spoke the minds of many Nigerians, who feel that Buhari has failed the country, Mr Okechukwu contended that investment in agriculture and infrastructure takes some time to manifest their immense gross value. He regretted that the palpable insecurity in various parts of the country tends to overshadow the benefits of President Buhari’s initiatives in agriculture and food security among other prosperity enhancing economic policies and programmes.
“The enormous investment Buhari made in agriculture and infrastructure are the critical pillars holding the foundation for economic growth and prosperity of our dear country. As insecurity abates the flowers of agriculture and infrastructure will flourish and bear fruits.
“One cannot easily forget the tremendous contribution of the Emir and Asiwaju to Buhari’s 2015 victory. With patience, the solid foundation Mr President has laid will turn out as the President’s everlasting legacy. Sooner than later we will stop importation of food.”