Connect with us


‘A big nation united by hunger and starvation,’ Obi reacts to death of Nigerians scrambling for Customs’ N10K rice



The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has expressed sadness at the death of some Nigerians buying rice at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) office in Lagos.

Reports emerged at the weekend that at least three people died in a stampede while jostling to buy the rice offered by the Customs at its zonal office in Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos.

The Service had offered a 25kg bag of rice for sale at N10,000 as part of measures to tackle the current hardship in the country.

Obi, who reacted to the unfortunate development in a post on his X handle on Monday, lamented that Nigerians should not be dying chasing cheaper food.

He wrote: “Just yesterday (Sunday), I read the saddening reports of how the search for cheap rice claimed the lives of some Nigerians in Lagos.

“According to the report, a massive crowd of hungry Nigerians had besieged the Zonal Office of the Nigerian Customs Service in Yaba, Lagos, to purchase the discounted 25kg bags of rice being offered by the Customs Service.

“In the course of the heavy stampede that ensued, some lives were lost. It is heartbreaking to think that despite all the wealth of our nation, Nigerians are losing their lives in their desperate quest to buy cheaper food in the face of the growing hunger and starvation in the country.

“This sad occurrence reflects the level of hardship, hunger, and starvation prevalent in the country, with millions of people not knowing where their next meal will come from.”

The former governor noted that the Nigerian economy has been driven into perhaps its worst state since independence.

“The population of those who are today classified as multi-dimensionally poor has climbed astronomically to over 80% of our population. We have a hunger index considered very serious, with Nigeria ranking 109th out of 125 countries measured.

READ ALSO: Customs suspends sale of seized rice after death of seven buyers in Lagos

“Our food inflation rate is at an all-time high, at over 35 percent. Similarly, unemployment is galloping, and for a predominantly youthful population, this scenario is dire and frighteningly dangerous.

“For the first time in our peacetime history, stark undisguised hunger has become a national epidemic with hundreds of thousands of our people driven into open protests over food scarcity and unaffordability.

“The hunger protests have united our people across ethnicity, language, region, faith, and location

“We have seen our government spend more money on car parks for politicians than for the running of half of our teaching hospitals.

“In all this, there has been scanty attention to the living conditions of the ordinary people they were elected to care for.

“The huge amounts of borrowed resources that should have been channeled into production, especially food production, to guarantee an abundant supply of food in the nation, were rather consumed on inanities, rather than invested.

“Today, we are one big nation united by hunger and starvation, to the point of dying to make ends meet.

“Again, I strongly urge the government to lead the crusade against hunger by investing aggressively in our agricultural sector. The vast uncultivated lands in the North, as I have always said, are our biggest assets.

“Now is the time to put them into maximum use for food production in the nation and for exports.

“In doing this, the government and security agencies must ensure the safety and security of the farmers,” the former Anambra governor stated.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now