Leading civil rights advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has told President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from churning out anti-poor policies that have continuously inflicted deep pangs of poverty, want and disease on millions of heavily impoverished Nigerians but to carry out quick economic rescue policies to stave off imminent mass deaths from poverty and hunger.
HURIWA said the incessant introduction of outrageously obnoxious policies by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government that occasion high costs of living may instigate mass revolts just as the Rights group reminded the President that when the Hungry masses revolt, no amount of armoured tanks and military weaponry can stop them since a man who has fallen to the heavyweight of poverty fears no fall anymore even as the Rights group reminded the President that even armed security operatives are not immune to poverty and deprivation being inflicted on the populace through evil conceived policies.
Besides HURIWA has compared the World Bank to the Biblical serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden for its (World Bank’s) penchant for advocating the satanic withdrawal of petroleum subsidy in Nigeria which the rights group said remains a highly toxic and deceptive suggestion since the same World Bank has recently adjudged Nigeria as still the poverty capital of the world. HURIWA wonders how the global financial institution that knows that poverty is ballooning out of control is at the same time urging the Nigerian government to hike purchasing prices of essential items which will come ad a result of the withdrawal of petroleum products subsidy.
In a media release, the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the media director Miss Zainab Yusuf regretted that going ahead with the hike in the pump price of fuel will not only churn out more poverty-stricken Nigerians but will automatically result in the folding up of millions of small and medium scale businesses most of which rely on their fuel generators to power their businesses. HURIWA said the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and disaster management that ought to extend funding support to poor Nigerians carries on its mandate in an opaque manner that lacks transparency and accountability which is why poverty keeps running riout and out of control.
HURIWA said: “The federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari has since 2015 done nothing else but introduce one obnoxious economic policy or the other which have collectively made millions of Nigerians to become destitute and incapable of meeting up with the usual financial obligations of their families thereby pushing young boys into organized crimes of advanced fees fraud, ritual killings for the illusive quick cash and the girls into commercial sex and human trafficking.
HURIWA said it is unconventional that for seven years, Nigerians have only known their government for hiking pump prices of petrol, incapable of combating heightened State of insecurity, and being unwilling to realistically rebuild the broken down national infrastructures of national roads network, electricity power, collapsed health and educational institutions just as unemployment has now quadrupled since 2015. HURIWA said that because the National Assembly is corrupt, inefficient and ineffective to mount oversight functions and supervision of ministries and agencies of the central Government, Corruption has become widespread.
HURIWA said the aim of government especially the type that is constitutional democracy is to be able to enforce laws to curtail widespread insecurity, dispense affordable universal health care, implement and give to the populace sound education or to at least create the enabling environment for the thriving of a people’s friendly private sector made possible by functional State of social amenities.
The Rights group said sadly even, the few government’s favoured manufacturers who are monopolizing the production of essential items like cement with lots of government import waivers, have continued to jerk up the market prices of their products thereby increasing the rate of homelessness and making the right to housing an impossible aspiration to attain in Nigeria.
“We ask President Buhari to fear God and show human kindness and civility by checking the excesses of his friends who are monopolizing the manufacturing of cement so young Nigerians just starting jobs in both the public and private sector can afford to erect habitable shelters for themselves and their families to live like human beings in Nigeria.”
HURIWA said petrol subsidy is not the cause of Nigeria’s high costs of governance but corruption amongst top-flight government officials who are now treated by the anti-graft bodies appointed by them as sacred cows whilst poverty spreads exponentially amongst millions of deprived Nigerian citizens who now live like hostages only because they voted in a government in 2015.
HURIWA recalled that Nigeria has maintained the infamous position as the poverty capital of the world, with 93.9 people in Africa’s most populous country currently living below the poverty line as stated by the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited and a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Mr Bismarck Rewane, has stated.
Quoting a World Bank data, Rewane, in a presentation at the monthly Lagos Business School’s economic breakfast meeting for September 2021, stated that seven million Nigerians fell into extreme poverty in 2020.
The report was titled: “Re: Growth Spikes (5.01 per cent), But People are Hungry?”
Nigeria, with its 200 million-plus population, was first declared the world’s poverty capital in 2018 in a report by the Brookings Institution, knocking off India from the position.
The report had then stated that the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty increases by six people every minute.
The Brookings Institution’s report had stated in 2018, “At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall.”