‘We’re battling renewed hardship,’ Osun youths protest high cost of living

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A group of youths on Friday staged a peaceful protest in Osogbo, Osun State, decrying the rising cost of living, with a call on the government to immediately intervene.

The demonstrators carried placards bearing messages such as ‘Revise Unfavorable Policies’, ‘Nigerians Are Enduring, We Can’t Bear It Anymore’, and ‘Respect Citizens’ Dignity, We Are Human’, among others, as they gathered along MDS Road in Osogbo early in the morning.

Despite a heavy presence of police personnel near the protest site, the youth continued to sing songs reflecting the widespread frustration felt by many Nigerians due to the challenging economic conditions.

Addressing the demonstrators, Mr. Waheed Lawal, the chairman of Osun Civil Societies Coalition, affirmed that the protest would persist until the Federal Government implements measures to alleviate the current economic hardships afflicting the nation.

He said, “Government must ameliorate the suffering of the people. They must do whatever they need to do to make sure that the people live in better conditions.

“Nigerians deserve the best. They promised us renewed hope but what they are giving us now is renewed hardship. We reject renewed hardship in our lives, and in our economy because Nigerians deserve the best.

“What Nigerians want is a peaceful atmosphere. We don’t want insecurity in our land again. We can’t travel from Osogbo to Ibadan without panicking. You will be thinking that they will kidnap you.

“The abduction of monarchs is the order of the day in our country now. We urge the government to provide security for the life and property of the citizens. It is their responsibility, it is a constitutional responsibility.

“Every government that fails to provide security for the lives of the citizens is no longer a government. What we are saying is simple, we are ready to face the government in this hardship and we are marathon runners.

“We have started this struggle today and if the government fails to listen to us, we will continue to mobilise our people to protest this hardship because enough is enough.”

Earlier in the week, both youths and women took to the streets of Minna and Kano to protest against the escalating cost of living in the country.

In Niger State, a group of women obstructed the busy Minna-Bida Road at the prominent Kpakungu Roundabout, demanding action from Tinubu to address the prevalent ‘hunger crisis.’

Furthermore, on Thursday, in response to the nation’s deepening food crisis and soaring commodity prices, President Bola Tinubu ordered the immediate release of over 102,000 metric tons of various grains from the National Food Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, conveyed this directive to State House correspondents following the conclusion of the third meeting of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday.

Idris said, “The first one is that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been directed to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri, and other commodities in their strategic reserve so that these items will be made available to Nigerians; 42,000 metric tons immediately.

“The second one is that we have held meetings with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. Those who are responsible for producing this rice and we have asked them to open up their stores.

“They’ve told us that they can guarantee about 60,000 metric tons of rice. This will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigerians the next one month to six weeks, perhaps up to two months.”