Poverty: 106 Husbands Fled Home In Gombe Over High Cost Of Living

by J.J Olawuyi

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) revealed that in 2023, a staggering 106 male heads of households fled their homes in Gombe State, Northeast Nigeria, citing the high cost of living as the primary reason.

According to Ali Alola-Alfinti, the NHRC spokesperson, this alarming trend is expected to persist as the prices of essential commodities and other necessities continue to soar, adversely impacting the security and social fabric of the region. He disclosed this information during a press conference in Gombe on Saturday.

The economic challenges faced by families in Gombe State are exacerbated by Nigeria’s current inflation rate, which stands at 28.92%. The soaring cost of basic food items, such as a 50kg bag of rice, now priced at N46,000 compared to N8,500 in 2015, is placing an unbearable burden on the average citizen.

The removal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, has further aggravated the economic situation. Alola-Alfinti emphasized the severity of the issue, stating, “The increasing number of male parents abdicating their responsibilities is alarming. It should disturb all of us that a father would abandon his own children and run away.”

Out of the 280 complaints received by the commission in 2023, 106 cases involved parents fleeing their homes or abandoning their families. Alola-Alfinti attributed this trend to the frustration arising from the inability to meet basic needs, often leading to mental health challenges among individuals.

He stressed that the poor state of the country’s economy plays a significant role in this problem, as households grapple with the escalating cost of living. Alola-Alfinti warned that abandoning responsibilities is a violation of children’s rights and highlighted the potential societal repercussions, as abandoned children may become a menace to society.

In response to this disturbing trend, the NHRC announced plans to collaborate with relevant agencies to provide support to parents in fulfilling their responsibilities in raising children.

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