Rising Cost Of Living: Hayab Warns Against Violent Protest 

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

The immediate past Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Rev John Joseph Hayab, has  observed with deep concern, the rising number of protests in different parts of the country recording citizens’ grievances on the high cost of goods and services every day, attributed to the rising exchange rate following the plunging purchasing power of the Naira. 

In a statement he personally signed, made available on Saturday February 24, he sued for restraint, appealing to Nigerians to shun violence while protesting.

“Any form of protest which destroys government buildings, establishments or any infrastructures, certainly, will do us no good. 

“As a result, Nigerians need to join hands to rethink the best way out of the present dilemma. The reason is that due to the hunger and anger in the land, genuine protest can easily be seized by hoodlums and selfish groups to cause enormous havoc on innocent citizens,” he said.

According to the statement titled, “Addressing Nigeria’s Rising Cost Of Living Needs Wisdom” he said that   undeniably, the hike in prices of commodities means that most Nigerians do not find things easy.

Despite the hardship, Rev Hayab appealed to Nigerians to seek other ways such as peaceful public advocacy to register the grievances of the citizenry on the biting economic suffering in the country, noting that violence has never done any good in the history of man on the planet Earth. 

“Accordingly, Nigerians should not allow anyone, group, or organization to instigate them to embark on street protests due to the high cost of living because some bad elements may hijack the protest to destroy the gains the nation must have made over the years compounding the current suffering and impacting the future.

“While it is correct most Nigerians, if not all, in one way or the other, feel the impact of the present economic challenges heightened by insecurity and misery, Nigerians must at the same time be guarded in the way the predicament is handled, so that we do not cause grave setbacks for ourselves as a result,” he advised. 

Hayab therefore, charged religious leaders, traditional rulers, stakeholders, aged and young Nigerians, with the political class to be united in finding solutions through constructive advice on the way forward for the country and not allow themselves to destroy the gains of democracy built over the years.

“Let us be reminded that poverty knows no ethnic group, faith, regional or political leanings that is why suffering affects all. As such, Nigerians need to come together to find solutions to the situation. Besides, the blame for the present economic challenges cannot simply be heaped on the present administration. 

“Consequently, the current economic depression calls us to reflect deeply and honestly acknowledge where we got it wrong for us to create a better tomorrow for generations yet unborn to gain from our collective response.

“Just as the saying divided we fall, united we stand, Nigerians need not allow the present hardship to divide us to deny us of the blessings that the Almighty has in stock for our country. It is time that the best comes out of us to overcome every challenge as we remain strong and united nation able to face any problem for the overall progress and development of the nation.

“Biblically, it was during a trying time that King Pharaoh of Egypt got to know about Joseph, who was brought out of prison to offer a desirable solution to the impending drought that was to befall Egypt. Just like the Egypt of old, Nigeria is blessed with many people like Joseph with wisdom and good knowledge of how to tackle our current situation. Our leaders at the federal, state and local levels should be humble enough to put aside politics and invite every good hand that can add value to our struggle to overcome the present economic downturn,” he said.

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