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Sallah: Tackle rising inflation, falling living standards – ACF beckons government to 

 

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has felicitated with Nigerian Muslim ummah on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, while urging President Bola Tinubu to address the rapid deterioration in standards of living of Nigerians across the country. 

Speaking in a statement signed by it’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, on Saturday, ACF said Nigerians are faced with serious socio-economic challenges like runaway inflation, deteriorating standards of living, high food inflation wobbly value of the Naira, insurgency, terrorism and banditry, especially in the Northern Nigeria, which if not tackled could give room for disillusion, despair and angst among the citizens. 

The ACF therefore tasked government at all levels to shed profligacy and excess spending on mundane things and rise up to debase the challenges. 

“The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) felicitates with the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and worldwide on the 1445AH (2024) celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir festival of sacrifice, fellowship and  merriment, in appreciation of Almighty God’s Benevolence in His Gift of Life to humanity. ACF also wishes Nigerian pilgrims in the Holy land Saudi Arabia a fruitful observance of the Arafat Day and urge all to include Nigeria in prayers for Divine Providence. Eid-el-Kabir celebrations clearly transcend merriments. 

“Most  importantly it provides ground for engaging in deep spiritual reflections and to extend goodwill to those caught up in daily struggles with difficult existential challenges. These range from, foremost, dire economic difficulties as in, runaway inflation, to rapid deterioration in citizens’ standards of living. To the cauldron, we add insurgency, terrorism and banditry, problems more demonstrably acute for people in the Northern states of Nigeria. 

“Most worrisome is the obvious ineffectiveness and determination of public policy to respond to the problems on the one hand and, on the other, demonstration of visible profligacy and reckless spending by highly placed public officials even as they frequently call for sacrifices by citizens. ACF appreciates the efforts being made by various government agencies to confront the challenges facing Nigerians. However, it is inescapable that the efforts are not nearly enough, adequate or effective because the challenges refused to abate. 

“Living conditions continue to deteriorate; food inflation is at historic high, the Naira remains fumbling and loosing value, just as health, education, water and sanitation, energy and transportation costs, etc., confront citizens daily. These are symptoms of serious malaise in the political economy and should give sleepless nights to government officials at all levels, and ginger them for action. The combined burden of the existential challenges is becoming too heavy to bear. 

“Such scenario is a breeding ground for mass disillusionment, despair, discontent and angst which may result in social chaos and unrests. ACF remains steadfastly optimistic that the problems can be overcome with transparency, determination, sacrifice and the entrenchment of the principles of good governance by public officials. ACF agrees with Ahmed Bola Tinubu, President and Commander-in-Chief, in his recent observation, that government at local, state and federal levels have responsibility for the amelioration of any challenges faced by citizens. 

“All should rise to the occasion, transparently, in the light of increased fiscal allocations so that justice, equity and hope replaces despair and hopelessness. ACF calls for fervent prayers for Nigeria. A peaceful, secure, vibrant and prosperous country is possible and achievable. ACF also solicits support and prayers for our security agents in their efforts to exterminate criminality in the country,” the group said.