On Sunday, the two main opposition parties urged the Federal Government to fulfill its pledge to distribute 102,000 metric tons of various grains as an immediate action to alleviate the nation's food shortage.
In separate discussions, the heads of both the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party called on President Bola Tinubu's government to make amends by fulfilling its commitments, emphasizing that the administration had not succeeded in upholding past assurances.
Last Thursday, the Federal Government declared its intention to distribute 42,000 metric tons of various foodstuffs including maize, millet, garri, and additional items from the country's National Strategic Grain Reserve.
Idris Mohammed, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, announced that the Federal Government has struck a deal with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria for the release of 60,000 metric tons of rice.
The government's action came in response to escalating demonstrations by Nigerians, who were voicing their grievances about the increasing cost of everyday necessities and the upward trend in food prices.
In response to the commitment made by the Federal Government, Yunusa Tanko, the spokesperson for the Labour Party Campaign Organisation, emphasized that the current administration under Tinubu has to honor its pledge on this occasion, as the government had failed to deliver on its earlier assurances.
"102,000 metric tons of grain? That seems questionable to me. The issue with the current APC-led government is that they are quick to make announcements without ensuring follow-through. They just want to impress the public, neglecting the actual implementation and execution of their statements. They deceive the populace without carrying out their promises. Take the N25,000 they pledged to Nigerians last year for example; it's already February and the people have yet to receive anything."
Relief measures consistently seem to land in the personal coffers of individuals. As of now, a minister from the current administration has embezzled the intended aid. Concurrently, this administration had vowed to raise government workers' wages, yet in reality, they are merely compounding the hardships for Nigerians, essentially picking up where the previous leadership under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari left off.
"The suffering is unbearable and it's the general public who are experiencing it. A dog is unaware of its master having a celebration until it starts to notice bones scattered on the ground," he expressed sorrowfully.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Abdullahi Ibrahim, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, stated, "It's important to continually remind ourselves that there is widespread hunger in Nigeria. The situation has deteriorated to the extent that almost everyone is stepping back to evaluate what's happening. I'm not convinced that this strategy is based on a clear understanding. However, under the current conditions in Nigeria, this method might be considered if the government is truly genuine about their intentions. That's the significant uncertainty, though. But I doubt that they possess the level of commitment one would hope for. That's precisely where the issue lies."