Residents of Minna, the Niger State capital, have staged a protest over rising cost of living in the country.
As early as 7 a.m. on Monday, a group of women blocked Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu roundabout to express their grievances over the rising cost of food items.
Our correspondent gathered that gunshots were fired by the police to disperse the protesting residents.
The protesters stopped all vehicles from moving.
Vanguard gathered that efforts by the police to control the crowd almost resulted in violence as protesters asked the police to leave, forcing the police to fire several shots in the air.
One of the youths, Ibrahim Gana, who spoke with newsmen, said rice was sold at the cost of N2,000 per mudu at Minna markets, while maize was N1, 000 per measure.
“The Federal Government needs to take action to reduce the hardship being faced by poor Nigerians. Things are becoming unbearable,” he said.
According to a civil servant and father of five, Malam Shehu Usman, the current situation is beyond explanation. He described the price hikes as something that needed divine intervention.
“We have to turn to God and seek his forgiveness, because what is happening goes beyond human explanation. Imagine an increase of N10, 300 within 30 days on a 50kg bag of rice and no one is saying anything?
“To many of us, life has never been so difficult than what we are going through presently. Many households cannot afford three meals in a day,” he said.
Another protester, Isah Bello, said his major concern is how people will cope with the situation during Ramadan when Muslims observe fast. He stressed the need for the authorities to do the needful before things get out of control.
The spokesperson of the Niger State Police Command, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, is yet to issue a statement on the incident.
Citizens across the country had expressed concern over the cost of living and the rising prices of essential commodities such as rice, flour, sugar, and cement.
In Kano, a 50-kg bag of sugar at Singer Market is now selling for N73, 000, as against N62, 000 sold in early January.
A bag of cement, which was N5,500 at the beginning of January 2024, rose to N7,300 as of Thursday.