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Lamido, Adeyanju warn of impending disaster if govt fails to reduce hardship

By admin Feb 8, 2024
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A former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration of President Bola Tinubu to take pre-emptive measures against the general discontent in the country arising from poverty, high cost of living and widespread insecurity, to avert an impending disaster.

In a similar vein, human rights activist and convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, called on President Tinubu to reconsider the suspension of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) because of prevailing hunger, hardship, and food insecurity plaguing the nation.

Thousands of Nigerians in Minna, the Niger State capital, had taken to the streets recently in protest against what they described as severe hunger and escalating cost of living. There have been similar protests in Kano, Plateau and Kogi States.

Reacting to the protests on his verified Facebook page, Mr Lamido, a former Foreign Affairs minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the protests signal a disaster waiting to happen if the Nigerian government does not take immediate preemptive measures.

On his part, Mr Adeyanju said the development in Niger, Kano, and Kogi underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for decisive action by the President.

In the post on his Facebook wall, Mr Lamido used two analogies by two famous persons to capture the disaster awaiting Nigeria in the event of inaction by the government.

“The first of the two famous people is Fidel Castro. He narrated a story of a rich man on a holiday in his luxurious yacht. While indulging in the upper deck of the yacht with all the comfort money can buy, his workers were groaning in the heat of the engine room.

“The commotion coming from the engine room arising from the unbearable heat started shaking the yacht violently! It was a signal to the rich man and his friends in the upper deck to either respond to the commotion from the engine room or risk the Yatch overturn,” he said.

“The other famous man is our very own Bishop Kukah. During the era of our blessed PDP, there were cries of hardship arising from the increase of the pump price of fuel and the then serious insecurity from Boko Haram culminating in the abduction of Chibok girls in Yobe State.

“There was general outcry all over the country from the then opposition APC, organising protests against the PDP government. I vividly recall when Buhari, Tinubu, Bisi and other bigwigs of the APC poured out and filled the streets of Abuja, chanting and condemning our government for allegedly failing to secure Nigeria and unleashing hardship on the citizens!

“That was when my good friend Bishop Kukah presented his paper alerting of the impending danger should the government fail to take urgent action,” he further added.

Mr Lamido noted that today, the hardship is so unbearable that signs of ‘early warnings’ are manifesting all over the country. “In Lagos and Minna, women are demonstrating over the high cost of living. Women in Plateau State are demonstrating over the cost of their favourite local brew called ‘burkutu’. Above all, there is hunger everywhere and people are starving!”

According to Mr Lamido, the manifestation of the seeming tension arising from the protests and demonstrations, and their likely spread nationwide, is enough to make the government take urgent action. “It must not be allowed to reach a combustion point,” he added.

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In his reaction on Thursday, Mr Adeyanju noted that Nigeria was sitting on a time bomb, considering the prevailing hardship and heightened insecurity in the country.

“The cumulative effect of these challenges has pushed our nation to the brink. If urgent measures are not taken to cushion the effects of this hardship, we fear that mass protests may erupt across the country, potentially leading to a serious revolution.

“We must acknowledge that there is a limit to what the people can endure. If President Tinubu genuinely cares about the well-being of the citizens and seeks to alleviate their suffering, it is important that he reinstates the suspended programmes that can provide much-needed support to ordinary citizens and the vulnerable,” he said.

While acknowledging that the suspension of all administered programmes by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) was initiated as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged financial malfeasance, he urged President Tinubu to recognise the dire consequences of the continued suspension on the lives of ordinary citizens.

Mr Adeyanju proposed that the President should explore alternative avenues for the management of the programmes such as involving religious bodies, including churches, mosques, and traditional rulers.

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By doing so, he said the government can mitigate the risk of political interference and ensure that funds are utilised transparently and efficiently, reaching the intended beneficiaries.

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