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‘Nigerians are dying slowly’ — northern CSOs write Buhari over insecurity, unemployment

‘Nigerians are dying slowly’ — northern CSOs write Buhari over insecurity, unemployment
December 10
22:30 2021

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) based in the north has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address insecurity and “high cost of living” in the country.

The CSOs, under the Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks, in a letter signed by Ibrahim Waiya and Ibrahim Yusuf, the chairman and the secretary of the coalition, respectively, said the threat to the security of lives and properties calls for urgent concern.

“The continuous activities of bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram in many northern states such as Borno, Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and others have adversely affected the economy of people in those states. Many lives and properties have been destroyed,” the letter reads.

“It is also important to draw the attention of the federal government to the increasing crisis of farmers/herders in places like Benue, which resulted in the number of persons displaced.

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“The nonchalant attitude of the federal government in Benue State herders/farmers crisis would not augur well, and political differences should not give political leaders the right to jeopardise the lives of the citizenry.”

The group also advocated for a holistic approach that would achieve stability in the country, and expressed concern over the proposal to remove fuel subsidy by 2022.

“We acknowledge that the petroleum sector contributes substantially to the Nigerian economy. Nonetheless, the prospective benefits are diminished due to the practice of significant subsidies on imports of petroleum products,” the group said.

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“Nigerians are dying slowly due to rising cost of living, as the country’s inflation hits a 4-year high by more than 18% in March, with food prices going high by almost 23% high-ceilinged prices. A rise in joblessness has also left a third of Nigeria’s workforce unemployed at the end of 2020, and this is a figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The World Poverty Clock reports that at the latest count, Nigeria had 43% of its population that is over 90 million people living below the poverty line of less than $1.90 per day. Therefore, fuel subsidy removal at this hardest time in Nigeria is nothing but an invitation to a higher level of poverty and social insecurity.”

The group also advocated a reduction in the cost of governance.

“As the country is steadily drifting into more economic difficulties due to high inflation, we believe that one of the practical avenues to be exploited is the reduction of the cost of governance, which is comparatively one of the most expensive in the whole of Africa,” they said.

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Other signatories to the letter are Idris Muraina, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET); Ibrahim Tudu, Zamfara Coalition of NGOs (ZASCONS); Abdulrahman Abdullahi, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, Katisna; Ibrahim Yusuf, Association of NGOs, Gombe; and Muhammad Basrika, Network of Civil Society Organisations, Jigawa.

Others are Ibrahim Shuni, Coalition of NGOs in Sokoto; Emmanuel Bonet, Concerned Civil Society, Kaduna; Jinjiri Garba, Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organisations (BASNEC); Habila Kudu, NGOs Forum, Niger; Peter Egwudah, Network of Adamawa Non-Governmental Organisations; Baba Shehu, Network of Yobe Civil Society Organisations; and Joseph Gimba, Coalition for Civil Society Organisations in Taraba.

Ade Bodunde, Kwara State Coalition of NGOs; Bulama Abiso, Network of Civil Society Organisations, Borno; Shimenenge Kyaagba, Benue Network of NGOs; Usman Ali, Coalition of NGOs in Kebbi; Solomon Enjola, Nasarawa NGO Network; and Gad Peter, Coalition of NGOs, Plateau, also signed the letter.

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