File photo: A Nigerian market
As the month of Ramadan approaches, a group of 20 Muslim and Christian clerics, have commenced a campaign in local markets across the Northern states to appeal to traders to bring down food prices.
The clergymen, working under the Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation, said they would visit markets, interact with traders and their leaders to halt the sharp rise in the prices, especially during the Muslim fasting period of the Ramadan.
“We have organised 10 pastors and 10 Imams for the campaign and we will visit markets, interact with traders unions and individual traders in some part of Northern Nigeria.
“It is to open talks with the traders, appeal to them, and discuss the various roles they will play toward cutting down prices of goods and services during Ramadan,” Yohanna Buru, Coordinator of the foundation said in Kaduna.
He said, “it was observed that each and every year, marketers take advantage of the holy month to extort the public.
“This is not really good, because God is angry with such marketers, and as such there won’t be any God Blessings from the money they make from such dirty gains,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria [NAN].
NAN reports that the foundation had conducted similar campaign in Kaduna State in 2016.
He said that the 20 clerics would pursue the assignment with zeal, so as to reach every part of the region.
“The sharp increase in prices affects every citizen, whether Muslim, Christian or believers in traditional religion. So, we must team up as Christians and Muslims to kick against all forms of extortion by the marketers.”
Buru advised government to also come up with concrete measures to halt unwarranted increase in food prices and other commodities.
He urged philantropists to set up parallel markets to help the poor and force price reduction in local markets.
Another clergyman, Malam Gambo Abdullahi, reminded traders on the need to seek God’s blessings by being considerate in fixing prices, avoiding hoarding and racketeering.