Food crisis grips northern Nigeria sparking protests

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Desperate Nigerians have been protesting against soaring food prices as an economic crisis forces people to skip meals and eat poor-grade rice used as fish food. To feed their children, women in northern Nigeria have even resorted to digging up anthills in search of grain stored by the insects, according to videos shown on social media.

Since coming to office last year President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ended a fuel subsidy and currency controls, leading to a tripling of petrol prices and a spike in living costs as the naira slides against the dollar. Nigeria’s inflation rate hit a three-decade high above 28 percent in December, according to the national bureau of statistics.

Dire conditions have sparked protests in several northern cities including Suleja near the capital Abuja, Minna in Niger State, and the economic hub of Kano. On Monday, the influential traditional emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero warned that Nigerians faced “economic hardships, hunger and starvation” and called on the president to take urgent action.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf said this month he would ask the president “to intervene and check the prevailing hunger situation in Kano State, so as to save our people from starvation.” “We know that other parts of the country are experiencing the same thing,” he said.

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