Friday, 24 May 2024 04:50

Nigerians facing dire hardships, so much that ‘people could commit murder for N500’ - Sultan

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Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has expressed deep concern over the growing frustration among Nigerians due to escalating poverty and hunger, urging political leaders to fulfill their duties in improving the populace's living standards. Addressing the Federal Government, the Sultan emphasized that the current socio-economic conditions are extremely challenging, and political office holders must acknowledge and address this reality.

Speaking at the first quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in Abuja, the Sultan highlighted the severe impact of poverty and hunger, noting that desperation has driven some individuals to commit serious crimes for meager sums. “Nigeria has got to a point where some people could commit any kind of crime, including murder for as little as N500”.

He called on all levels of government to take immediate action to uplift the citizens' living conditions.

The Sultan, who co-chairs NIREC, remarked, “Corruption in Nigeria is a persistent issue discussed in every public and private forum, yet it remains entrenched. It’s crucial to research why eradicating corruption is so challenging.”

He criticized the pervasive corruption among politicians, who often exploit public resources without accountability, becoming wealthier than the states they serve. “Politicians come into office targeting public wealth, growing richer overnight without being questioned. This sad reality will persist as long as political office holders operate unchecked, continuing the cycle of corruption after their terms,” he lamented.

Highlighting the dire state of the nation, the Sultan declared, “We are living in very difficult and challenging times, and nobody should deny this. Even our leaders recognize this fact. Acknowledging a problem is the first step towards solving it.”

Daniel Okoh, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and co-chair of NIREC, noted that the meeting's theme, “The role of religious leaders in combating corruption and cybercrime,” would provide a platform to evaluate the situation with insights from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). He urged religious leaders to speak out against cybercrime, emphasizing the collective effort needed to build a just and ethical society for future generations.

EFCC Chairman Ola Olukoyede, represented by the Commission’s Director of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwajaren, highlighted the severe impact of cybercrime among Nigerian youth, noting numerous convictions. He identified corruption as the primary obstacle to Nigeria’s development, stating, “Corruption is a cankerworm that has deeply infiltrated our society, impeding our progress despite our vast human and mineral resources.”

Olukoyede stressed that public office is often seen as a means to accumulate personal wealth, neglecting the society's well-being. He warned that this has led to widespread insecurity and social unrest. “Children who have never experienced good governance are now taking up arms. No one is safe, and even those with amassed wealth realize their fortunes are fragile against uncontrolled rage.”

He also addressed the global reputation damage caused by cybercrime, urging a unified approach to combat corruption. “When it comes to looting, the corrupt are united by greed, transcending ethnic and religious differences. Therefore, our fight against corruption must be comprehensive and collective,” he concluded.

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