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Tinubu Caged, Unaware of Food Crisis – Ndume

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Senate Chief Whip Ali Ndume has accused forces within the Presidential Villa of isolating President Bola Tinubu from the harsh realities facing the nation.

Speaking to journalists at the National Assembly complex, on Tuesday, Ndume claimed that Tinubu is effectively held captive, shielded from genuine voices that could provide him with accurate information.

The senator’s remarks come in the wake of a Senate resolution urging the federal government to urgently address widespread hunger or face escalating public discontent.

Ndume, who co-sponsored a motion on food insecurity, expressed deep concern over the government’s perceived inaction amidst the dual crises of food scarcity and security threats.

“Mister President is not aware of what’s happening outside the villa. He’s been fenced off and caged,” Ndume asserted, suggesting that Tinubu has been deprived of direct contact with unbiased advisors who could offer unfiltered insights into the nation’s plight.

Ndume further criticized the handling of national security challenges, emphasizing their direct impact on food production and distribution.

“The unavailability of food is exacerbating an already severe crisis,” he declared, urging immediate governmental intervention to avert a deeper catastrophe.

Ndume said, “Mr. President is not in the picture of what is happening outside the villa. He has been fenced off and caged. So many of us won’t go through the backdoor to engage him.

“Now, they have stopped him from talking and he doesn’t have public affairs managers, except that his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, who writes press statements.

“Nigerians are getting very, very angry. The government is not doing anything about the food scarcity and it needs to do something urgently. We don’t have food reserve.”

He stressed that food crisis is the worst crisis that any nation could encounter.

He added, “If we add that to security crisis, it will be severe. The president should wake up, it seems he isn’t in the picture of what is happening because he has been caged off.

“He has been fenced off by plutocrats. He should open his doors and meet those who will tell him the truth. Unfortunately, the people who will tell him the truth won’t struggle to meet him.

“I am very worried not only for the president himself, but myself.”

Ndume spoke hours after a former Senate President Ahmad Lawan issued a stark warning to the federal government, urging immediate action to address Nigeria’s escalating food crisis and the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

His caution, delivered during a plenary session on Tuesday, underscores growing fears of widespread public unrest if these critical issues remain unresolved.

Lawan’s remarks were made in response to a motion sponsored by Senator Karimi Sunday Steve of Kogi West, highlighting the urgent need to tackle food insecurity and market exploitation of consumables in Nigeria.

The former Senate President emphasised the severity of hunger affecting Nigerians and stressed the Senate’s responsibility to engage the executive urgently on these pressing matters.

“If we don’t take urgent actions on increased food prices and electricity tariffs, we will not like the actions we will see in the streets,” Lawan cautioned, expressing concern over potential mass protests similar to recent unrest in Kenya triggered by economic grievances.

Senator Karimi had earlier detailed the factors contributing to the soaring prices of food staples, citing the removal of petrol subsidies, insecurity in food-producing regions, poor infrastructure, and currency depreciation as major culprits.

He lamented that these conditions had driven up costs and exacerbated the hardship faced by ordinary Nigerians.

In response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio acknowledged the gravity of the situation, attributing food insecurity to longstanding challenges including farmer-herder conflicts.

Akpabio underscored the government’s obligation to ensure the welfare and security of the populace, announcing immediate measures such as the distribution of fertilizers to boost agricultural productivity.

The Senate concluded its session by urging the federal government to take decisive steps to alleviate the food crisis and mitigate the suffering of Nigerians grappling with poverty and hunger.

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