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Food crisis: Ex-Senate president, Lawan, warns of impending mass protest

A former Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has cautioned the federal government to urgently address the food crisis and electricity tariff hike to avoid an impending…

A former Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has cautioned the federal government to urgently address the food crisis and electricity tariff hike to avoid an impending mass protest that will plunge the country into chaos.

His warning comes on the heels of the recent situation in Kenya, where violent protests by citizens against the government’s move to increase taxes evolved into demands for better governance and for the resignation of President William Ruto.

Senator Lawan (APC/Yobe North) made the observation during plenary on Tuesday while contributing to a motion sponsored by Senator Karimi Sunday Steve (Kogi West) and co-sponsored by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South) on the “urgent need to address food insecurity and market exploitation of consumables in Nigeria.”

He highlighted the severe hunger facing Nigerians and stressed the necessity for the Senate to immediately engage the executive on the issue.

Lawan said, “If we don’t take urgent actions on increased food prices and electricity tariffs, we will not like the actions we will see in the streets. We can’t take the people for granted for too long.”

He also noted that the country’s silos were empty and that importing foodstuffs would require foreign exchange.

Senator Karimi, presenting the motion, expressed concern over the skyrocketing prices of food items since March and urged the Senate to take measures to alleviate the situation.

Senator Ndume added that Nigeria was listed among the countries experiencing food crisis and emphasised the seriousness of food insecurity.

Senator Ahmed Wadada (Nasarawa West) remarked that while Nigerians were patient, there would come a time when they could no longer endure the atmosphere of hunger.

But Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, attributed food insecurity to a decade of challenges, including farmer-herder clashes.

He stressed that “there is no doubt that the government must rise to the occasion. The food situation is an emergency. We must save our people. We must assist our people to produce. The primary role of the government is to ensure the welfare and security of the people.”

Akpabio announced that the federal government had directed the distribution of 60 trucks of fertiliser to each state governor and two trucks to each senator for onward distribution to farmers to boost food production and mitigate the food crisis.

The Senate concluded by urging the federal government to address the food crisis and insecurity to alleviate the hunger, poverty, and suffering of Nigerians.

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