On Monday, 16
th January 2012, Nigerians woke up to find their streets invaded by soldiers all over the country. This was done in an apparent bid to stop the freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association of citizens as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution. Over the last 8 days, Nigerians in their millions all over the country, have been peacefully demanding that, as a very basic minimum, the Federal Government should revert the price of petrol to N65.00 and enter into negotiations with representatives of civil society and Labour to work on achieving a framework for deregulation.
We strongly condemn this deployment of soldiers and call for their immediate withdrawal from areas not declared to be under a state of emergency.
We reject the removal of the “purported” fuel subsidy and the unilateral imposition of N97.00 [ninety seven naira] as the pump price of petrol.
We dissociate from the decision of Labour to call off the national strike against the removal of fuel subsidy and thereby withdraw their members from the mass action being carried out by Nigerian citizens. We wish to emphasize that contrary to Labour’s claim, civil society was not consulted in the decisions leading up to this unacceptable position by Labour. Nigerians feel betrayed by Labour’s decision to call off the strike without achieving their minimum demand of reverting to N65.00 [sixty five naira].
We call on Nigerians to remain peaceful but resolute in the fight against corruption, wastage, and fraudulent cum incompetent management of our resources. Corruption is the principal cause of underdevelopment in Nigeria. We must continue to ask for transparency, accountability and good governance.
We commend Nigerians for their perseverance and endurance over these times and covenant to continue to work and sacrifice to bring about the Nigeria of their dream. We assure Nigerians that we shall continue the fight against the increase in their burden, which is a result of corruption and bad management of oil resources.
We continue our consultation with all of civil society, faith and youth groups and we will communicate shortly the next line of action to be taken by Nigerians in the struggle. We encourage Nigerians to maintain the momentum against bad governance as a fundamental right. In defence of your liberty we advise that you to stay at home until the soldiers are withdrawn from the streets.
A press conference will be held at 12.00 noon, Tuesday, 17 January 2012 at Dr. Tunji Braithwaithe’s residence,
PROF ANTHONY KILA NIKE RANSOME KUTI
Signed for and on behalf of the civil society groups present at a meeting convened today; Monday 16th January 2012 at Anthony Village, Lagos by
Professor Ben Nwabueze, Dr Tunji Braithwaithe, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Professor Pat Utomi