By Sodiq Yusuf
The Coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call to Nigerian leaders to strengthen local production and grow the country’s economy.
President-General of the Osun State Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi made the submission while fielding questions from newsmen at a press conference to herald Hijrah 1442, the new year of the Islamic lunar calendar.
The pandemic, according to Olawuyi, an Agric Engineer, presents opportunity for Nigeria’s leaders and followers to embrace made-in-Nigeria products, to guarantee the prosperity of the nation.
Olawuyi stated that the society has more to gain from the pandemic, if governments at all levels support the enhancement of local products and grow the economy locally.
He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic can be a blessing in disguise to us. We could not go anywhere for a few months. Some aspects of the lockdown are still in place. We have not been able to import food, yet, we are eating. There is a lot of things going on in the country despite the stringent precautionary measures in place. We have been surviving and we will still continue to.
“Let us embrace made-in-Nigeria. Let the government organize large-scale farming for the unemployed population. I urge the leaders to grow the economy by encouraging more people to become more skilled and enterprising.”
The OSMC President argued that the bane of Nigeria’s multi-dimensional problems is heavy reliance on foreign-made goods; a development he opined has continued to under-develop the nation’s economy.
Olawuyi also sued for peace, calling for harmony and peaceful co-existence along religious, ethnic and tribal lines.
He stated: “Let us come together as one to work for the progress of this nation. Tribalism, nepotism, religious bigotry; let us stop all these things. Other states and countries are developing technologically, economically and in other ways. Let us join hands together so that we can enjoy it together when it becomes better.”
The Muslim cleric appealed to the people to observe the precautionary measures to protect themselves against COVID-19.
“It is only a healthy man that is alive that would have projections for the future. We should obey all the safety protocols in hand washing with soap and water or alcohol- based sanitizer, use of facemasks, social and physical distancing and so on. The virus is real and we should all be wary of it.
“As we congratulate Muslims for the New Year Hijrah 1442, we implore us to be good ambassadors of the state by preaching peace and obeying all government protocols and regulations. The Coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call to Nigerian leaders on strengthening production and growing the local economy”, he said.