A group of youths on Friday staged a peaceful protest in Osogbo, Osun State, decrying the rising cost of living, with a call on the government to immediately intervene.

The protesters, who wielded placards with inscriptions such as ‘change the unfavourable policies’, ‘Nigerians are suffering, we can’t cope again’, and ‘We are humans, stop mistreating the citizens’, among others, assembled along MDS Road, Osogbo very early.

Despite the large presence of police operatives near the scene of the protest, the youth kept singing songs expressing the frustration of many Nigerians occasioned by the harsh economy.

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Addressing the protesters, the chairman, Osun Civil Societies Coalition, Mr. Waheed Lawal, said the protest would continue until the Federal Government finds solutions to the current economic hardship ravaging the country.

He said, “Government must ameliorate the suffering of the people. They must do whatever they need to do to make sure that the people live in better conditions.

“Nigerians deserve the best. They promised us renewed hope but what they are giving us now is renewed hardship. We reject renewed hardship in our lives, and in our economy because Nigerians deserve the best.

“What Nigerians want is a peaceful atmosphere. We don’t want insecurity in our land again. We can’t travel from Osogbo to Ibadan without panicking. You will be thinking that they will kidnap you.

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“The abduction of monarchs is the order of the day in our country now. We urge the government to provide security for the life and property of the citizens. It is their responsibility, it is a constitutional responsibility.

“Every government that fails to provide security for the lives of the citizens is no longer a government. What we are saying is simple, we are ready to face the government in this hardship and we are marathon runners.

“We have started this struggle today and if the government fails to listen to us, we will continue to mobilise our people to protest this hardship because enough is enough.”

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Meanwhile, earlier in the week, youths and women took to the streets of Minna and Kano to protest what they described as the rising cost of living in the country.

In Niger, a group of women blocked the ever-busy Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu Roundabout and called on Tinubu to address the problem of ‘hunger in the land.’

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Also on Thursday, as a temporary response to the nation’s growing food crisis and the rising cost of commodities, President Bola Tinubu ordered the immediate release of more than 102,000 metric tons of various grain types from the National Food Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the last leg of a series of three meetings of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday.

Idris said, “The first one is that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been directed to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri, and other commodities in their strategic reserve so that these items will be made available to Nigerians; 42,000 metric tons immediately.

“The second one is that we have held meetings with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. Those who are responsible for producing this rice and we have asked them to open up their stores.

“They’ve told us that they can guarantee about 60,000 metric tons of rice. This will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigerians the next one month to six weeks, perhaps up to two months.”