President Muhammadu Buhari has described 2017 as a very tough year for Nigeria, but expressed optimism that 2018 will be a more prosperous year.
The president made the remark yesterday when he received a delegation of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents, who paid him Christmas homage, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He, however, noted with delight that God had answered the prayers of Nigerians as the rainy season was good and farmers recorded bumper harvest across the country.
“It has been a tough year for Nigeria, and I hope next year will be a much more prosperous one.
“God listened to the majority of us; the rainy season was very good. I never knew that the people from Kano, who are more resourceful, used to go to my area and hire farms, this year, nobody hired farm, and nobody regretted it.
“And, again, the Governor of Sokoto State said all the people who registered early to perform last pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia were farmers. But he didn’t tell me if they took additional wives.
“I am very pleased that people have gone back to the land with very good harvests,’’ he said.
Buhari used the opportunity to commend religious leaders for partnering government in ensuring peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethno-religious groups in the country.
He said reports reaching him from security organisations across the country indicated that the religious leaders had been assisting the security agents in the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the society.
“I thank you very much for coming, especially the religious leaders.
“I am very pleased you are doing your best, from the intelligence I am getting, to make sure that people live as good neighbours and good Nigerians,’’ the president said.