Our Suffering In Nigeria Incomparable To Others- HURIWA to President Tinubu

Oru Leonard 

Following the media publication that President Bola Tinubu said that Nigerians are not the only ones facing poverty in the world, the Civil Rights Advocacy Group: Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), said President Tinubu is totally cut off from the realities of the unprecedented poverty and deprivation afflicting over 97 percent of the citizenry.

The Rights group said it was impossible for the President to realise how hungry millions of Nigerians have become since his administration increased fuel price and devalued the Naira because the President and the rest of the political class are fed from taxpayers funds costing the taxpayers billions of Naira to feed political elite yearly. For instance, it was discovered recently that only 30 of the 36 governors blew away nearly N1 Trillion of public funds (exactly N968.64 billion) to feed and entertain themselves and their numerous visitors within three months this year. Besides, President Tinubu completed the N22 billion worth of Abuja mansion for the Vice president. “So how can the political elite that live in insane opulence at public costs know the extent of suffering and poverty of the citizenry?”

But while admitting that there are poverty and suffering in the land, Tinubu said the challenges must be tackled even as the Nigerian president averred that one of the ways of tackling them, he explained, is to eliminate banditry and terrorism so that farmers cab return to the farm.

According to a statement on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Ajuri Ngelale, the President said this in Lagos on Monday when he received a delegation from the National Assembly who came to felicitate with him on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir.

The delegation was led by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, alongside the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, among others.

According to him, it is imperative for Nigerians to have a change of value system for the nation to make progress.

“Yes, there is poverty; there is suffering in the land. We are not the only people facing such, but we must face our challenges.

HURIWA has however tasked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to borrow a leaf from the immediate past Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbanjo who was known for disguising as a commoner and mingling with traders in places like Garki and Wuse market Abuja to ascertain the unprecedented, incomparable and unique nature of the Nigerian poverty to all others as faced by other people outside of our shores.

Alternatively, HURIWA is advising President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to randomly select some commoners from motor parks, markets and the street in about 5 states to have a direct dialogues in camera so they can individually narrate our nature of suffering which makes ours much more unique.

“The suffering in Nigeria is such that due to impunity, corruption and weak institutions, only less than 3 percent of Nigerians are wealthy beyond imagination whereas 97 percent of the population wallow in squalid poverty and absolute deprivation just as Nigeria is the only Country whereby people go to bed hungry without the interventions of government to ameliorate their poverty situation.”

“In Nigeria, out of the over 133 million multidimensionally poor households, only less than 10 percent have benefitted from the Federal Government’s cash transfer initiative which in itself has been marred by corruption and those indicted for corruption in the Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Ministry are walking freely in the streets of Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that the Corrupt politicians are protected by the political system from surrendering to the EFCC to give accounts of their alleged heist of billions of public fund such as the immediate past governor of Kogi state. Mr. President Sir, this is why our poverty and suffering are the worst globally”.

HURIWA in a statement issued by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko noted that unlike in Nigeria whereby inflation rate rises like a freshly baked bread, in Great Britain, the government of Rishik Sunak worked transparently in one year or less to reduce their inflation rate.

HURIWA noted that in the UK inflation rate was two percent in May 2024, the lowest inflation rate in the country since April 2021. Between September 2022 and March 2023, the UK experienced seven months of double-digit inflation, which peaked at 11.1 percent in October 2022. As of the most recent month, alcohol and tobacco was the sector with the highest inflation rate. In general, the last time overall inflation was rising at comparable levels was in 1992, when inflation peaked at 8.4 percent. Between 1993 and 2021, the UK inflation rate never exceeded 5.4 percent and was usually at much lower levels.

HURIWA has therefore challenged the federal government to truly be determined to stop corruption which is pervasive in the current dispensation. The Rights group said the President should demonstrate his government’s determination to solve the costs of living crises by adopting measures to economically empower the greatest numbers of disadvantaged citizens to become wealth creators. HURIWA lamented that price instability in Nigeria has made essential commodities out of the reach of millions of Nigerians therefore multiplying absolute deprivation amongst millions of Nigerians.

(HURIWA Media)

Photo Credit: Thisday

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