The ruling All Progressives Congress on Tuesday accused opposition parties in the country of orchestrating the protests that took place simultaneously in Kano and Niger States on Monday.
The allegation comes barely 24 hours after angry youths and women took to the streets of Minna and Kano to protest what they described as the rising cost of living in the country.
In Niger, a group of women blocked the ever-busy Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu Roundabout and called on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to address the problem of ‘hunger in the land.’
Attempts by security operatives to quell the protest by firing tear gas cannisters into the crowd and making some arrests were rebuffed by the mob.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, in Abuja on Tuesday, the ruling party accused opposition parties of being the brain behind the protests, which it claimed were not mere coincidence.
Morka added that it was a desperate move to portray the APC-led administration as underperforming.
The statement read, “The protests in Minna and Kano on Monday were the manifestation of this devious and unpatriotic plot. That the protests happened simultaneously in both cities is not coincidental. It bears the bold stamp of an orchestrated and coordinated effort to instigate unrest and undermine the government.
“This mercenary opposition tactic is a clear and present threat to public peace and national security.
“While we recognise the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest, we urge our good people to be vigilant and not lend themselves to the treacherous attempt by the opposition to promote social strife by its incendiary rhetoric and manipulative plots.
“The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is solidly committed to doing everything in its power to mitigate the transient pains of critically important reforms that are crucial to economic recovery and sustainable prosperity for all Nigerians.
“It behooves us as good citizens of our beloved country to stand fast with our government in this noble stride. In due time, these policy reforms will yield an enduring beneficial transformation of the material conditions of life in the country.
“We implore Nigerians to shun the guile and unpatriotic attempt by opposition elements to destabilize the country for their own base and parochial political gains.”
Reacting, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ibrahim Abdullahi, mocked the ruling party, stating that governance is a responsibility an individual or organisation owes the followers that come with consequences.
This was even as Abdullahi expressed concern that the nation is under siege following the rising cost of living, insecurity and free fall of the naira.
He said, “If the PDP were to be in power, there is a tendency it might likely accuse the APC of masterminding these protests. It is a normal thing in a democracy.
“But what is the crux of the matter here? If the issue at hand is a true reflection of the situation in the land, I don’t think it behooves the APC to start complaining about the people behind it. What is more critical is that the country is under siege and facing a very terrible situation as we speak. You and I go to the same market and we are all witnesses to the massive degeneration of our economy as well as the tragic fall of our beloved country from the high point of glory.
“From 2015, we could barely wait for the tenure of Muhammed Buhari to end till after eight years. Just when Nigerians thought they had seen worse, little did they know the worst is on its way. Today, you can see the rooftop inflation, biting economic reality, sabotage, rising unemployment and insecurity. Nigerians are the ones bearing all the brunt. And for anyone to say the people should not groan or complain leaves much to be desired.
“For the APC to ask the opposition to keep quiet at a time when they should be the ones putting the FG on its toes, I don’t know if they expect the PDP and other political parties to accept what is going as the phase of life. Then where is the opposition? Insecurity has never been as worse as it is today.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, also shared the same sentiment.
He said, “The APC-led government is aloof and doesn’t understand the mood of the nation. They are still living in highfalutin estates for not understanding that virtually everything in Nigeria has gone up. They need not look at where to anchor their frustration. It is all out there unless they have markets different from the ones Nigerians use.
“It is not about the opposition parties orchestrating protests against the government. The work of the opposition is to remind the federal government that it is derailing and that a hungry man is an angry man. How can they be living in luxury and the nation is burning?
“There is anger when a man can no longer feed his wife and the family. You can’t expect such a man to laugh. We (the opposition) are only asking them to live up to expectations. When they were sworn in in May last year, they said a whole lot of things they promised to do. Nine months down the line, they have not done any and Nigerians are bearing the brunt.
“The food storage is empty. Even the farmers producing don’t facility to store when people refuse to buy. That is why we are having food crisis. A bag of rice now costs N70,000 and you are still calling out opposition. The opposition are also Nigerians and have the right to speak when things are not going well.”