Economic Hardship: Protest Erupts in Borno, as Terrorists Lure Residents with Incentives

Hundreds of residents of Dikwa town in Borno State on Thursday protested over hunger and their inability to feed their families occasioned by the recent nationwide hike in prices of commodities. They also threatened to join Boko Haram insurgents operating in the state.

The protesters comprising women and children according to Daily Trust, staged out to the streets, saying “Hunger and thirst are killing us.”

According to an eyewitness, they described their problems as double tragedies due to lack of access to farmlands and severe shortages of foodstuff.

Insurgents in the bushes are said to be luring the residents with incentives to cross over to their side as a way to address their food problems.

A top government source said Dikwa town is suffering from severe food shortages as a result of the collapse of livelihoods since the Boko Haram crisis paralysed economic activities in the region.

“Sadly, things have gotten to this level; the women are threatening to join the insurgents due to lack of food to feed their families.

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You can agree with me that our governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has been trying his best, distributing food and non-food items to cushion the effects of the hardship; but the situation is overwhelming.

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“President Tinubu should urgently intervene; this is beyond what the state government can handle. We need special intervention as soon as possible to cushion the effects of hardships that our people are going through presently,” he said.

Another resident expressed fear that the current situation might jeopardise the peace restored over the past years.

He said the residents threatened to join Boko Haram camps, as they said they could not withstand the severe hunger anymore. “The government must understand what is going on, and take immediate action to avert this looming catastrophe from happening,” he said

The developments come amid the nationwide hardship that has triggered protests in different parts of the country.

Early this month, there was a protest in Minna, the capital of Niger, Kano, and Oyo States where residents groaned over the rising cost of food items, which has made access to three square meals per day become increasingly unattainable for millions of people.

Similarly, police operatives on Thursday halted protesters against hunger, and economic hardship in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.

The protest was organised by civil society organisations and political associations.

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However, police operatives were stationed at various locations around the strategic locations in the metropolis to halt the protesters.

The National Economic Council (NEC) said it will take steps to put an end to the economic challenges confronting the nation, including making fertilisers available to farmers and the establishment of agro-rangers to tackle insecurity in the farms.

The decision was reached on Thursday during the 139th meeting of the Council held virtually and chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The Vice President said that with collective efforts in developing a clear and actionable roadmap, Nigeria will overcome its economic challenges.

In his presentation during the virtual meeting, the Minister of Agriculture Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar also called for action against the dollarization of locally produced commodities like urea, which according to him is impacting negatively on fertiliser prices and agricultural productivity.


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