Gunshots were fired by the Police to disperse residents of Minna, the Niger State capital, who were protesting against the rising cost of living.
As early as 7am 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.
They were later joined by men, who stopped vehicles from moving.
Efforts by the police to control the crowd almost resulted in violence as protesters asked police to leave, forcing the police to fire several shots in the air.
One of the youths, Ibrahim Gana, 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 the poor Nigerians. Things are becoming unbearable,” he said.
Spokesperson of the Niger State Police Command, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.
Reports say citizens across Nigeria had expressed concern over the rising prices of essential commodities such as rice, flour, sugar and cement.
Investigations by our correspondents in Kano, Kwara, Ebonyi, Oyo, and Lagos states as well as Abuja revealed challenging situations for various groups of people, with some residents resorting to prayers while others calling on the government to take decisive control measures.
In Kano, a 50kg bag of sugar at Singer Market is now selling at N73, 000 as against N62, 000 sold in early January.
A bag of cement, which was N5, 500 in the beginning of January 2024, rose to N7, 300 as of Thursday.
According to a civil servant and a 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 resident, Isah Bello, said his major concern is on 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.