By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
THE immediate past President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has said that with the removal of oil subsidy, Nigerians should stay hopeful in the face of challenges occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy by the federal government.
Speaking yesterday while flagging off the distribution of 9,000 bags of grains as palliatives to his constituents in Yobe North Senatorial District, Lawan who sympathized with Nigerians over the high cost of living that trailed the removal of petrol subsidy, however, expressed optimism that the policies of the President Bola Tinubu-led government would over time yield the much desired result.
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Ezrel Tabiowo, Lawan said that the intervention scheme which was undertaken by his foundation – The Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (SAIL) Empowerment Foundation – held at Filin Katuzu in Bade local government area of Yobe State.
The beneficiaries of the intervention are from 60 wards in the six local government areas of Yobe North Senatorial District.
Also to benefit are Muslim religious groups, Christian communities and Persons with Disabilities.
The former President of the Senate said, “We are in dire straits; most of our people are in need of foodstuffs because of recent events and situations and, of course, interventions of government that would yield the desired results in the future.
“People are in serious trouble of feeding themselves. But the federal government has taken a lot of measures, some of which include giving N5 billion to every state; and 5 or 6 trucks of grains to every state including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“This intervention is my token to complement what the federal government and my state have done for my community. These 9,000 bags of grains that I have given is a way of saying, ‘I know your situation, I can do only this, I wish I could do better.’
“We pray to Almighty Allah (SWT) that this situation comes to an end as quickly as possible. I’m a believer in the fact that the recent policies – especially the withdrawal of the petroleum subsidy that is part of the problem – are going to yield the desired results later.
“We will see a better life, we will see more infrastructural developments in our states and communities, but for now, this is the price we have to pay.
The former Senate President explained that the distribution of grains as palliatives targets the most vulnerable of his constituents who are unable to cope with high living costs.
He said, “Our target are the most vulnerable, the weakest in our communities, those who are disabled and not able to feed themselves but have to beg.
“But even outside of those who are less than able or disabled, there are people who, ordinarily, could feed themselves, but because of recent events, they are also in need. So, the weakest part of our communities is what we are targeting.
“Our clerics have preached to us the necessity of ensuring that whatever is given to you in trust for others, that you deliver such. And, I’m sure that those 9,000 bags will get to those that this intervention targets.”
In his message to the beneficiaries, Lawan said, “We should continue to pray to God and be positive and hopeful that this situation comes to an end. It is not a permanent situation; it is a temporary setback. Sometimes, public policies come with unintended consequences that are the price we have to pay to have a good life.
“So, we tarry a while and pray, as we continue to give support to our government at various levels. This is a situation that will not last for too long.”