By Abiodun OBA
An appeal has gone to both the federal and state governments to save Nigerians from the hardship they face over the current food crisis.
An Islamic organisation, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) made the plea in a statement by its Secretary-General, Prof. Khalid Aliyu.
The group said that it had been inundated with the cries of Nigerians over the prices of necessities.
The statement said: “The JNI under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, with all sense of responsibility calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently intervene over the difficulties Nigerians are passing through.
“In light of the troubling impact of hoarding and inflation on the availability and affordability of essential goods and services, particularly food items, the JNI is therefore, compelled to raise its voice on the matter.
“We have been inundated with reports and pleas from ordinary Nigerians, expressing their anguish over the soaring prices of necessities. We urgently call on the Federal and state governments to intervene before the situation worsens.
“Likewise, all those arrested during the protests should be released and future recurrence be avoided through synergy and prompt interventions. This call has become necessary such that citizens would not be further provoked.
“Government functionaries are also cautioned to choose their words very well while addressing citizens on the matter. More so, the impending Ramadan fast heightens the urgency of our call, as access to three square meals becomes a luxury for many households.
“As believers, we understand that food security is synonymous with home security. We equally implore the business community to resist the temptation of hoarding for selfish gains; instead, they should make essential commodities more affordable, by lowering prices, to serve as an act of charity for them.
“Let us emulate the generosity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by being more generous and kinder, especially during Ramadan. As we approach Ramadan, we urge all levels of government to extend assistance to the less fortunate, as reports of their plight are both alarming and worrying.
“All stakeholders must unite in patriotic fervour to implement measures that mitigate the impact of rising food costs, ensuring Nigeria’s continued path of growth and development is not halted.
“In this time of challenge, we pray for guidance, protection, good health, and peace for all leaders, and for tranquillity to prevail in Nigeria. May Allah, the Most High, also provide the quickest relief to all problems bedevilling the Nigerian state.”