My long distance trek on Sallah Day not for fitness test—President Buhari…
Following the rumours and opinions of the public that President Buhari trekked a long distance to show his fitness, Mr. President has said that his long distance trek on Sallah day was not about testing his physical fitness but to show respect to thousands of people who wanted to greet him on the fateful day.
President Buhari stated this when he received some socio-political groups from Daura Emirate Council, who paid him Sallah homage at his private residence in Daura, Katsina state, on Friday.
He further stated that the trekking had nothing to do with his bid to seek for re-election in 2019, adding that he had since made his intention known to Nigerians about his political ambition.
The President who trekked 800 metres disclosed this in Hausa, said: “Let me react to some media reports about my trekking on Sallah day, insinuating that I trekked to demonstrate my fitness for 2019 presidential election.
“I didn’t need to convince anyone about my health and the decision to contest for a second term — a decision that I made public in April this year.
“After the prayer, I noticed that many people wanted to see me and I was in a black vehicle and security men were blocking them from seeing me.
“So, I opted to trek in spite the security implications, because I knew nothing would happen to me by the grace of Allah,’’ he said.
The President used the opportunity of his meeting with his kinsmen to inform them that he has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and the CBN to review the processes on the issuance of loans to smallholder farmers.
He said: ‘‘We want to make it easier for them to assess the loans, particularly the underprivileged people in the society.
“It has become necessary for the government to do this because banks will insist on collaterals which majority of farmers do not have.
“For our agriculture policy to succeed, we must be able to reach smallholders farmers with loans without collaterals. Collaterals are always a problem with smallholder farmers.’’
President Buhari also highlighted the achievements of the administration on local rice productions, which had expectedly led to the reduction of imports by over 90 per cent.
The President expressed delight that young people were returning to the farms and reaffirmed the Federal government’s commitment to implement policies to promote agriculture.