Osun civil societies protest against economic hardship

By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

A group, Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) on Monday staged a sensitization protest against the current economic hardship among other challenges being faced by Nigerians.

The protest took off at the popular Ayetoro junction and terminated at the Olaiya Bridge in Osogbo, the state capital.

The group said the protest is targeted against economic hardship, hike in electricity tariff, hike in fuel price, commercialization of education, non-provision of palliatives after subsidy removal, insecurity, and double taxation.

The group called on President Bola Tinubu as a matter of urgency to provide palliative measures to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

The state chairman of the coalition, Waheed Lawal, said the protest was not about political party, but about the suffering of innocent Nigerians who can hardly eat one square meal in a day.

He said every human being deserves decent living and dignity, adding that Nigeria has been blessed with both human and natural resources but bad leadership has continued to be the major problem hindering the development of the country.

Lawal condemned the economic reforms of the Federal Government, saying they are strangulating Nigerians and impoverishing the poor just as he called on President Tinubu to rescind some of the harsh economic policies in the overall interest of the poor and ordinary Nigerians.

“Every human needs food, water, clothing, shelter, and sleep but the rising cost of living is gradually taking away human dignity to the extent that the average Nigerian cannot afford to eat twice daily or fuel their vehicles again.

“The cost of food is high, the cost of public education is getting higher and job opportunities declining every day.

“The current economic hardship has pushed millions of Nigerians into poverty. The middle class has fallen. The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer,” he said.

Also addressing journalists, Ayo Ologun condemned the proposed N8,000 palliatives targeted at 12 million Nigerians describing it as insensitive to the plight of the people.

Ologun said: “We reject in totality the palliative of N8,000, fuel hike, electricity tariff hike, commercialization of education, double taxes and other harsh economic reforms. The poor are not breathing, people are suffocating.

“We are calling on Mr President to stop suffocating the poor Nigerians rather he should cut down the cost of governance and be sincere in judiciously using the gains of subsidy removal to better the lives of the poor masses.”

Also speaking, Emmanuel Olowu dispelled the rumour that hoodlums will hijack the mass protest planned for Wednesday, saying such will not happen as the suffering affects millions of Nigerians who were yearning for a good life.

He, however, called on the people of the state to come out in solidarity with the Nigerian Labour Congress to fight a just course.

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