A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has called on Nigerians to be patient with the federal government to enable it repair the damage inflicted by the previous administrations.
Addressing protesters outside his Ikoyi, Lagos, home on Monday, Mr. Tinubu said the current foreign exchange scarcity could be a blessing in disguise, for Nigerians to begin relying on locally made goods.
“They are in two years into their administration,” Mr. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said.
“To make those changes effective and positive eventually, you have to be patient. The damage of 16 years will go through the system, you cannot get water out of a dry lake.
“I’m not worried about the exchange rate because your salary should be in naira, and you are not an importer. Maybe that is even teaching us a lesson to be dependent on our domestic product. I understand what your grievances are all about, unemployment, to tackle security, corruption is seriously being attacked.”
Hundreds of protesters on Monday marched through Nigerian streets demanding government’s accountability, transparency, and a reduction in the cost of governance.
In Lagos, the protesters, escorted by the police, marched from the National Stadium in Surulere, through Ojuelegba, to the National Theatre where the organisers addressed the crowd.
In Abuja, they marched from the Unity Fountain towards the Presidential Villa but was denied access by armed security officials.
In Uyo, a group of mostly unemployed youth gathered at the Ibom Plaza where they demonstrated against the economic hardship in the country.
On Monday, the federal government responded to the protests saying it understands the grievances of Nigerians who took part in the exercise.
“You deserve a decent life and we are working night and day to make life easier,” vice president Yemi Osinbajo said in a statement.
“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis, the recession for many individuals and families is real. For some it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it is not being able to afford the high cost of rice, millet, or of local or international travel. And for many of our young people, the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.”