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Fix Hunger Problem or Quit, Edo CSOs Tell Tinubu as Protest Rocks Benin - TELL Magazine

Fix Hunger Problem or Quit, Edo CSOs Tell Tinubu as Protest Rocks Benin

Protest in Benin city

As Nigerians continue to take to the streets across the country to protest against asphyxiating hunger as a result of runaway inflation, the Edo State Civil Society Organisations, EDOSCOs, have joined the fray, giving President Bola Tinubu the option of either fixing the economy, or throw in the towel. Trooping out in their large numbers on Monday to express their discontent over the strangulating economic situation in the country, commercial activities were temporarily paralysed in Benin City, as the protesters called on Tinubu to address the problem of hunger in the country.

Marching through major roads in the city centre brandishing placards with various inscriptions like “Nigerians are starving to death; Tinubu, end hunger and suffering in Nigeria; FG, end the hunger in Nigeria now; Tinubu, let Nigerians breathe” among others, the protesters were unequivocal in warning that enough was enough.

Recall that EDOSCO had a fortnight ago in a communiqué signed by its Interim TEC Chairman, Austine Enabulele, and made available to newsmen, given President Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima, 14 days ultimatum to fix the economy or resign.

Addressing newsmen at the venue of the protest, Enabulele, said the 14 days ultimatum given to President Bola Tinubu to fix the Nigerian economy had since elapsed yet nothing had been done to address the issue of hunger in the country.

According to him, “If you remember, on the 10th of February, we did hold a press briefing and gave the federal government two weeks to fix the problems of Nigeria; to fix the suffering and hunger in Nigeria. Those two weeks have long expired, and nothing has been done. So we have come out today to tell President Bola Tinubu to fix the hunger and suffering in Nigeria; that enough is enough. We cannot take the pains anymore. Enough of the hunger; enough of the hardship; enough of bad governance in Nigeria! If he can’t fix the problems of Nigeria, he should resign quickly with his vice president, Shettima, and let us conduct a fresh election because Nigerians are dying every day. Children are now becoming orphans because their fathers are dying of the hardship in Nigeria. We are saying enough is enough. If he can’t fix the problems of Nigeria, he should resign and go”.

Enabulele also deplored the dollarisation of the Nigerian economy saying that Nigerians should be using their currency which is the naira. He charged President Tinubu “to give value to our naira because Nigerians do not use dollars. We cannot be living our lives in dollars. You want to buy something in the market, they will tell you that dollar has increased; you want to buy common pumpkin leaves, they will say dollar has increased. We are using naira and they must give value to our naira. If he can’t fix the problems, he should resign”.

Also joining the protest was a clergyman turned politician, Pastor Azemhe Azena of the Omega Fire Ministry, Benin. Addressing the protesters, Azena, who is governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the September 21, 2024 governorship election in the state, said the situation in the country was getting out of hand and that the government at all levels needed to do something to checkmate it as church leaders were the ones feeling the heat because of the demands placed on them by their members. Pastor Azena said, sometimes, they had to pick their bills and that it was really affecting them.

He lamented that “Hunger is biting harder in our country. People are suffering. This is more than suffering; this is “sufferer”. We are here to draw the attention of the government to the state of the economy in the entire country; that they should do something fast because a hungry man is an angry man. To prevent anger, crime, violence in the society, you have to attend to hunger. The prices of things are going up in Nigeria per hour. So, we should control, regulate the price of goods so that the poor man can breathe, and be able to afford it.

“So, we are here to say, from the local government to the federal level, look into the price and do something about it. I am a pastor; I can feel it in the faces of my congregation. The load is becoming too much on the clergy and religious men because they need to pay people”.

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