By Olugbenga Salami
Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG, has challenged the state governors and lawmakers at at all levels of government to confront hunger, poverty and high prices of food items facing the country.
This is even as the group called on the National Assembly to suspend its plenary till next month and direct all members to proceed to their states for crucial master plans with their governors on how to reduce the cost of food items.
Rising from its extraordinary meeting held on Monday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, MMWG advised that states’ resources could be used to purchase food items and positioned in all local government headquarters with heavy military surveillance and sold at reduced cost to the people for the time-being, while efforts on high agricultural revolutions could be worked upon in all states.
In a communique jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi and National Secretary, Dr. Nasir Balogun and made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the group maintained that the governors and members of the national and state assemblies are closer to the people than the President, “hence they should be able to utilise justifiably the increased federal monthly allocations being obtained for the benefit of the masses.”
“Nigerians are now facing double tragedies of increase in pump price of fuel, food and other essential commodities without corresponding benefits from anywhere; thereby resulting in serious hardship for the people.
“With a higher increase in Federal Account Allocations Committee, FAAC monthly allocations to sptates since June last year, poor masses of Nigeria are in serious hardship that has increased tremendously,” it lamented.
The group, however, singled out Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and commended him on his welfarist approach to governance and called on all his colleagues to emulate him by putting the interest of the masses in their hearts instead of political propaganda.
It reminded them that Almighty Allah has promised to punish bad leaders who use the commonwealth of the people to pursue their selfish interests instead of using it to serve the masses, here and the hereafter.
MMWG also called on President Bola Tinubu to stop further increase of prices of goods that are produced in the country, wondering while cement and other materials are on high sides on daily basis despite the fact that the raw-materials are sourced locally.
On corruption, the group declared that “no anti-corruption fight could succeed in Nigeria, as all economic crimes are bailable no matter how humongus.”
“With plea bargaining, looters could steal any amount, but must be ready to refund certain percentage of it. Nigeria has left its funds and property in the hands of thieves,” it stated, maintaining that economic crimes be criminalised and made unvailable with the removal of plea bargaining from the Administration of Criminal Justice, ACJ.
To stop the astronomical increase of dollars to naira, the group called for reactivation of moribund industries realistically, alleging that funds meant for this purpose and that of agriculture are being diverted, “whereas a nation without export value cannot rank its currency along with that of productive and exporting nations.”