ACF decries economic hardship, security challenges 

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Tuesday warned that social chaos looms across Nigeria as citizens face runaway inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living, incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry.

Speaking in a communiqué issue66d after its well attended NEC meeting, which was presided by its chairman, Mike Mamman Osuman (SAN), ACF called for action by government at all levels to confront rapid decline in living conditions of Nigerians as times have continued to be tough and challenging for the average citizens.

ACF said the removal of subsidies from petroleum products, floating of the naira, and astronomical hike in the cost of poorly supplied electricity were responsible for the hardship facing Nigerians.

The forum, while commending the federal and state governments for their efforts towards tackling the identified problems, stated that public policy response to the problems remains weak and ineffective. It however lamented the widening regional disparities in social demographic factors, such as access to education, health, public infrastructure, economic inclusion, political participation and living conditions.

The communique reads: “The National Executive Committee of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) rose from a well-attended meeting Tuesday, 21st May, 2024; preceded by a meeting of the organisations National Working Committee (NWC) which earlier held on Monday, 20th May, 2024.

The Meeting undertook a comprehensive review of ACFs activities, programmes, projects, finances, state chapters of ACF and miscellaneous related issues as well as took a general look at the state of the nation and polity.

“NEC noted with satisfaction the unfolding image of a rejuvenated ACF, under a new leadership, that is steadily re-inserting and re-asserting itself as a credible, active, responsive and visible pan-Northern political but non-partisan, pan-ethnic non-religious organisation, dedicated to articulating and defending the interests of the peoples of the Northern states of Nigeria, through consultation, research and advocacy.

“On the national front, and specifically applicable to the Northern states, NEC notes that the times continue to be tough and challenging for the average citizen who is daily confronted with runaway inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living, all in the face of incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry, etc. These problems have remained dire, acute or even chronic in some places in the North in particular.

“The immediate causes of the problems have been policies put in place by government over the past months, including but not confined to removal of subsidies from the prices of petroleum products, floating of the naira, and astronomical hike in the cost of poorly supplied electricity, increasing tariffs and taxes against the seemingly insensitive profligacy in spendings by public officials.