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Falana, activists protest high cost of living, insecurity

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Falana and others during the process

Scores of protesters yesterday took to the streets of Lagos to protest insecurity and high cost of living in the state.

The protesters, led by Jaye Gaskiya, an activist, included human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana (SAN), and his son, Folarin. Others were trade unions, civil society, students, farmers and peasants.

They were a coalition of groups, including the Nigeria Labour Congress and its affiliates, the Alliance On Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond; Joint Action Front; Coalition of Northern Groups; Green Alliance Nigeria; CONGOS – Edo; and North East Development.

The demonstration, which was tagged, ‘Enough is Enough,’ lasted for several hours as youths carried placards which read ‘No to Exploitation and Multiple Taxation,’ ‘Provide Jobs or Unemployment Benefits for Youths,’ ‘Provide Security in Schools,’ ‘End Kidnapping and Banditry’ and ‘Stop Killings, Secure Nigeria.’

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They came under the aegis of the Peoples Alternative Political Movement, demonstrators and marched from the Ikeja Bus Stop to the Governor’s Office through the secretariat to the Lagos State House of Assembly, chanting protest songs.

Addressing journalists, Gaskiya said the protest was organised to express displeasure over how badly the country had degenerated.

He expressed worry that Nigeria, characterised by extreme poverty, arms proliferation, religious intolerance, the rise of hate and ethnic nationalism, is moving towards social upheavals due to exploitation of the people, and greed of a spineless political class that had reached its wits end.

In a statement, the protesters captured seven key demands, including the immediate convening of the Nigeria Police Council to discuss security challenges and an end to the arbitrary sack of workers.

“We reject any plans to further hike energy costs in price of fuel and electricity tariff, as these costs are not only already at unbearable levels, but also because these price hikes are the major cause of rising and unbearable costs of living, expressed in rising inflation,” the statement added.

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