Women, youths in Niger protest hunger, hardship

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From Rashidat Suleiman, Minna

Women and youths in Niger state on Monday blocked the Minna-Bida Road to protest over what they called hardship and the high cost of living in the state and the country at large.

The protest started when a group of women blocked Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu Roundabout to lament what they termed the suffering under the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu government. They were later joined by men and youths stopping vehicles from moving.

The protest occurred on Monday morning when some of the youths began lamenting how the country’s economy was getting worse under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

A deployment of police operatives to the scene could not stop the youths from the protest as some of them could be heard saying that the police were the agents of the government and they could not do anything.

Nigeria Pilot speaking to one of the youths who gave his name as Muhammed Shehu said, “Rice was sold at the cost of N2, 000 at Minna markets while maize was N1, 000 per mudu, measure.

“The Federal Government needs to take action to reduce the hardship being faced by the poor Nigerians. Things are becoming unbearable.” he said.

Attempts by the operatives to stop the protest and effect arrest of some of the youths failed as the youth chased away the officers who were coming after them.

Some passersby lamented how they narrowly escaped injuries as the youths continued to chase people away from going about their lawful duties.

The police operatives had to resort to firing teargas towards the direction of the rampaging youths to disperse them. But in spite of the teargas, the youths continued their protest.

The Niger State Command spokesman, Wasiu Abiodun who reacted to the protest said the police had to apply minimum force to disperse the protesters.

“Getting up this morning we got information that a large number of people protesting blocked Bida Road, obstructing motorists and people were unable to go about their work, so we had to deploy there this morning.

“After so much persuasion, they refused to open the road, even the deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba was there to address them as a result of that we had to use minimum force to disperse the protesters, the road was opened and there is free flow of traffic now”, he explained.