A member of the National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised Nigerians to be careful about the way they handle the fall out of the removal of fuel subsidies. In an interview, he queried the protests which ended last week.
“On January 1, 2012 PPPRA announced the removal of fuel subsidy which was confirmed by the Presidency. A lot of people were angered by the swift announcement of the subsidy removal as they were indeed caught unawares,” he said.
Metuh also challenged the focus of Nigerians in the light of the security challenges facing the country. “Besides, the highly disturbing Boko Haram phenomenon and unrelenting destruction of lives and property everywhere by the Islamic sect, and other socio-economic and political challenges overwhelming this administration already, one is indeed, piqued to ask: Why
take this potentially self-destructing path in the fledgling economy again?”
People took to the streets to protest and show their displeasure at what they termed “an insensitive decision by the Federal Government”. Several lives were lost by both protesters and innocent bystanders.
When it appeared that the pressure of the subsidy revolts was subsiding, the largest city in northern Nigeria was hit by multiple bomb blasts and gun battles between security forces and the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
“We have pointed fingers and planned retaliations against attacks supposedly targeted at Christians and Ndi Igbo. However, let us tread with caution,” Metuh cautioned, “It is in the heart of men that war and fighting is initiated and so we must stop thinking ill of one another and proceed to practice the peace taught by both the Christians and Muslims. If we practice love, this wanton destruction of properties and taking of lives will stop. Properties can be reclaimed but lives lost cannot. We all need to join hands together and assist the Federal Government to fish out these hoodlums patiently. They are our neighbors, friends and relatives. The government cannot work in isolation.”
Talking directly to his fellow Igbos who are reported to be leaving the north in large numbers, Metuh had this to say, “I want us to look beyond our differences as a people and join hands to wipe out what is eating up our nation in form of terrorism or corruption. I implore Ndi Igbo not to take laws into their hands in form of retaliation but rather, find ways of protecting the members of the Islamic community in their midst whilst reporting suspicious characters. The government is working hard to resolve security issues once and for all.”