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Food Crisis: ‘We Are Gradually Descending To Level Of Survival Of The Fittest’ – Peter Obi Warns

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has warned that the nation is inching towards a state of survival of the fittest, where desperation driven by hunger leads individuals to abandon all sense of morality.

He cautioned that Nigeria is at risk of hunger and famine if bandits and terrorists persist in preventing farmers from accessing their farms.

Obi, while responding to publications and warnings from international agencies, underscored the need to address the raised alarm with adequate attention.

He also expressed deep concern over the escalating food crisis in Nigeria, citing reports indicating a significant increase in food insecurity, with millions facing acute hunger and resorting to crisis-level coping strategies.

Obi highlighted the grim reality that the situation is even worse than reported, with many Nigerians losing their lives in search of food, leading to a desperate struggle for survival.

He underscored the impact of recurrent bandit and terror attacks on farmers, resulting in widespread abandonment of farms and loss of lives.

He urged immediate government action to address insecurity and ensure farmers’ safety and emphasized the urgent need for a hunger-free Nigeria.

In a series of posts on X. Obi said: “I just read on the daily this morning, about the concerns being expressed by stakeholders in our agriculture sector over the worsening food insecurity in Nigeria.”

“I have remained consistent in public voicing out my worries over this growing food crisis, which has even continued to claim the lives of our fellow citizens.

I do believe that the urgency required to address these issues cannot be over-emphasized.

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The report this morning reads, in part, ‘The number of food-insecure Nigerians increased significantly, from 66.2 million in Q1 2023 to 100 million in Q1 2024 (WFP, 2024), with 18.6 million facing acute hunger and 43.7 million Nigerians showing crisis-level or above crisis-level hunger- coping strategies as of March 2024.’

While the above report gives an understanding of the present and impending food crisis looming large on the nation, the present realities show that we are already in a worse situation than is presented in the report.

An earlier similar report by Cadre Harmonise stated that about 31.5 million Nigerians are projected to face acute hunger by the June-August of this year.

What is now very worrisome is that many Nigerians have lost their lives in their quest to find food, reflecting a very acute level of hunger not yet captured in the media.

We are gradually descending to the level of the survival of the fittest, where, driven by hunger and a quest for survival, one loses every sense of order to do the unthinkable.

With the recurrent bandits and terror attacks on farmers, many of them have abandoned their farms. It is reported that in a state like Sokoto, farmers have paid an accumulated sum of N3 billion in ransom to bandits, others pay as high as N100,000 to bandits to gain access to their farmlands. About 165 farmers have reportedly lost their lives to insecurity this year alone.

It is, therefore, a matter of urgency, for the government to solve the problems of insecurity in the country. This will, in turn, reduce the problems of food insecurity when farmers safely return to their farms. A New and hunger-free Nigeria is POssible.”

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