President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his deep attachment to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and impact so far, saying it had broadened the horizon of citizens, opened up opportunities and enhanced understanding of cultural differences.
He spoke when he received in audience corps members serving in his Daura country home in Katsina state, who paid him Sallah homage.
The president said he had consistently commended former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon for the initiative, which Buhari said had created more opportunities for uniting the country.
President Buhari urged the youth corps members to make the most of the opportunity of travelling around the country, especially in understanding different climates, cultures, languages and views on life.
“Every time I meet with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, like recently, I still commend him for the initiative of the NYSC. The NYSC is spectacular in many ways.
“Some of you have come from Port Harcourt, Lagos and Calabar and you can now feel the heat of Daura and how close it is to the desert,” he said.
President Buhari said the NYSC scheme was well thought-out to unite the country through understanding.
“I feel very strongly about the NYSC and I am wishing you all the very best. I assure you that you will be much better as Nigerians after your experience,’’ he said.
President Buhari gave the corps members two cows from his farm, 20 bags of rice and N1, 000,000 (one million naira).
Expressing their gratitude, the Corps Liaison Officer, Umaru Babayo, thanked President Buhari for all the efforts and sacrifices to restore peace in the country, and the policies to diversify the economy, with agriculture as the main driver.
He said the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk, had shown a lot of kindness and warmth to corps members as well in his domain, appreciating the community for always supporting them.
Faruk assured the president of prayers for a successful tenure in office, and God’s providence in decision making that would move the country forward.
On 2.5% of Nigerian arable land
In a related development, President Buhari has urged more Nigerians to embrace farming, saying he was surprised to hear only 2.5 per cent of arable lands in the country was being cultivated.
President Buhari told newsmen at his residence in Daura, after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, that the Presidential Economic Advisory Council notified him that only a small percentage of the land in the country was being used for farming, directing security outfits to work more with communities to create a more friendly environment for farmers.
The president mandated security outfits to be more relentless in maintaining peace in the country, and ensure a more harmonious relationship with communities so that they can glean intelligence.
He said the security situation had improved considerably over time in the North East and South South, and efforts were being made in North Central and North West, assuring that more would be done to fish out those that had been troubling the peace of the nation and citizens.
Earlier at the prayer ground, Emir of Daura Faruk Umar Faruk had called on citizens to be more supportive of the president so that he could actualise his vision of improving security and boosting the economy.
“Since the president came into power we have seen some positive changes in the country. May God continue to strengthen the President with good health and courage to bring peace to the country. God will not allow Nigeria to see shame. God has been keeping the country and he will keep the country,” he said.
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