Protest economic hardship responsibly, Shettima begs Nigerians

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Sunday urged Nigerians to apply discretion in protesting the current economic hardship in the country, asking them to do so “in a responsible and mature manner.”

Nigerians, including organized labour have demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living.

However, the Vice President while speaking at the 29th pre-Ramadan lecture organised by the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni in Lagos, called for caution amid demonstrations.

“We expect that Nigerians should express their feelings over our circumstances in a responsible and mature manner. We are also a deeply religious people, and we believe in the powers of faith and prayers,” he said.

The lecture is themed, “Economic Reforms for Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for the Future.”

Represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the Vice-President also warned Nigerians about “severe” economic challenges as they approach the holy month.

He appealed to citizens not to interpret the hardship as the government’s attempt to punish them.

“The leadership of President Tinubu recognizes that this Ramadan will come with severe challenges for most Nigerians.

“The road to where we are today was long and full of missed opportunities and tragic failures to build on our great potential.

“The consequences of our past are the stark realities we face today, such as rising cost of living and pessimism over our prospect to turn round our economy in the direction of growth and inclusive development,” he said

Shettima argued that the country does not “have the choice of continuing in the direction that brought us where we are today.”

He stressed, “We have to fix this country, and failure to do this is not an option. All the options we have are difficult and challenging, and they are, without a doubt, more telling on the poor. If there were easier and reliable alternatives to the policy choices we have adopted, we would have adopted them.