By Galaxy Imanmadu
Human rights activist and Executive Director of Global Action Against Hunger, Crime and Violation of Peoples’ Rights (GAHCAVPER), Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, has called on the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to come to the rescue of Deltans, and residents in the state by intervening urgently in the rising cost of foodstuffs in the state, saying, “families are starving to death silently in their homes because parents can no longer feed their children in the face of astronomical rise in prices of foodstuffs.”
Comrade Nwokocha made the call in Warri recently while lamenting the rising cost of living occasioned by food crisis hitting the oil-rich state in recent times. He said, “going by the astronomical rise in foodstuffs, families are silently dying of hunger everyday, because parents cannot feed their children. It is a crisis situation staring us in the face, just as the situation demands the political leadership of Delta State to intervene urgently to ameliorate the hardship in the state.”
Continuing, Comrade Nwokocha said, “there is no mincing words in saying that the value of life is continuously depreciating everyday in this town (Effurun) because people cannot afford two square meals a day, even one good meal has become very difficult. This is not a matter of rhetorics, the governor must be told the true situation of things in the state currently, because he may not have a full grasp of the bout of hunger the people contend with everyday. It is so bad that prices of food stuffs are inexplicably too high, beyond what the low income earner can afford. When you visit our local markets in Warri, Effurun and other towns, traders and customers are unhappy about the soaring prices. One could easily see frustration on their faces, I mean the customers who lament everyday, the increasing hardship in the state. When confronted with the stark reality of the hard times the people groan in, you will be amazed at the hardship the people are subjected to because all the staple foods such as garri, yam, beans, rice, plantain and others have become foods only the “rich’ can buy.
“It is a chaotic situation that urgently calls for the intervention of governor Okowa now or else, starvation will snuff life out of poor Deltans. I hope the governor would take this call serious so he could put workable measures in place to save lives before it is too late.”
Asked if he knew why prices of foodstuffs had skyrocketed, Comrade Nwokocha said, “from my investigation, the causes of rising cost of foodstuffs are mostly sheer wickedness, I mean the unions, the so called food sellers unions have an evil hand in it. Truth is, the progressive ideas that informed the creation of unions have overtime been bastardized and contrived to serve selfish and personal interest at the detriment of the poor customers. This profiteering tendency on the part of the unions causes a sharp rise in foodstuffs, which are often justified with flimsy and puerile excuses by the food sellers. Another major factor that causes a rise in prices of foodstuffs is high cost of transportation and multiple taxes in the markets. I call on governor Okowa to take a critical look at these challenges and put modalities in place to reduce the prices of foodstuffs. I don’t see any government policies that will be more meaningful, impactful and people-oriented than reducing the prices of foodstuffs this auspicious time, to cushion hardship in the state.”
Comrade Nwokocha noted that the economy of the state is dominated by low income earners, saying that governor Okowa needs to prioritize food production to promote food security and ameliorate harship in the state.