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Combat Poverty To Reduce Crime, Rights Activist Tells Political Leaders



Comrade Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen

By Daniel Dafe

A rights activist in Delta State, Comrade Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen, has said that the fight against insecurity (insurgency) in Nigeria, is politicized, adding that the Federal Government has spent huge amounts of money since 2014 till date fighting insecurity, but has refused to spend the same in combating poverty which has lingered for years.

In a statement on Thursday, the vocal activist said that the President and other Government officials are aware that if poverty is dealt with, sixty percent of social crimes would have be dealt with.

“This is a very clear reality, but the Federal Government has, for years, feigned ignorance,” he opined.

According to him, the recent increase in petrol price by NNPCL through the Independent Petroleum Marketers after the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy has brought most Nigerians nothing but anguish.

His statement reads further: “There is a circulation of agony due to this increase because it is almost impossible to do anything without petrol. Transporters need to fuel their vehicles to take people to their workplaces. Those, who have afforded cars, will definitely fuel their cars to go out. Traders need to transport their commodities to their shops for sale. These routines authenticate that our daily activities revolve around or are dependent on the availability and affordability of petrol. If citizens are not able to assess or buy petrol, the consequence is that activities gets stalled and life becomes frustrating and insipid.

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“Since the Nigerian Government has failed to solve power (electricity) problems in Nigeria, almost all Nigerians depend on generators which use fuel products. In April 7, 2023, it was reported that over 65.9 million litres of petrol, according to the NNPCL, was the daily PMS consumption. This crystalizes that almost all Nigerians depend on the petroleum product to survive. Though, every agency has its own estimated daily PMS consumption rate.

“The removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government has hugely affected the economy. This is seen in the heartrending cost of commodities and the exorbitant charges for services, rendered. This flawed decision further exposes the incapabilities of the Federal Government. It acted without first putting in place some ameliorative modalities which would help relax the effect of the fuel subsidy removal. We do not know if we should say that the Government is myopic or that it is insensitive to the people’s plights. Well, the situation tends to point that the Government is insensitive because it knew that the removal of fuel subsidy will definitely negatively affect the cost of living.

“Concerned Nigerians have regularly suggested solutions to these socioeconomic instabilities. Even though the Government has continued to treat these suggestions with levity, we will not stop suggesting them. The Federal and State Governments must be responsive to the current hardship, caused by the increased fuel price. They must find a means to reduce the cost of petrol or find a means to regulate the prices of goods and services. This must be done very quickly especially now that the suffering Nigerians still have their sanity in tact.

“The State Governments should also make good use of the security vote. They should make provisions for palliatives to lessen the effect of the increase in fuel price. This will help.

“Insecurity (crime) will worsen if the measures, suggested above, are not considered and implemented. Palliatives must be provided and prices of commodities must be regulated to discourage the exploitation of people. These are some of the steps, among many, which the Federal Government must take towards redeeming the economy and the fading hopes of the people.”



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