#FuelSubsidyRemoval: Group hails Nigerian protesters – condemns “unprovoked attacks”

By Chi Ibe

Yesterday, Nigerians across the country turned out in their tens of thousands under the leadership of organised Labour and Civil Society groups, as well as notable Nigerians such as Tunde Bakare, Retired Col Hameed Ali, Prof Pat Utomi, Dr Tunji Braitwaithe, and entertainers like KWAM 1, 9ice, Banky W, Sam Dede, Ras Kimono, and Femi Kuti.

The protests against petroleum product subsidy removal were supported with solidarity messages from notable writers like Prof Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Okey Ndibe, Nduka Otiono and Helon Habila. The protests spread across major cities in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Lafia, Owo, Makurdi, Okene, Ile-Ife, Asaba, Oyo, Akoka, Zaria, Umuahia, Ogbomoso, LASU Ojo, Ikare, Warri, Zuru with over two million total turnout, though in Enugu an embargo on movement was issued by the reactionary governor.

In a statement released by the Building Leverage and Unity on Fuel Subsidy Struggle (BLUF) coalition, they hailed the bravery of the protesters and the solidarity support received but condemned the unprovoked overnight attack on the Occupy Nigeria protesters that camped peacefully near the Eagle Square for over four days.

“We also call for immediate prosecution of the security personnel who gunned down protesters in Ojota, Kano and other parts of the country. We consider it preposterous that the police say that the attacked protesters did not make an incident report at any police station. We urge the government to save further loss of lives and productivity by immediately reverting to N65/L, as demanded by the generality of Nigerians before beginning dialogue,” the group said.

 

 

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  1. Why does the Nigerian government find dealing decisively with the corruption that has plunged the nation into a global ridicule less important than removing oil subsidy? It is obvious that they are trying to mop up more money by taxing the helpless masses to increase the plunder available for their sharing so that there could be enough to continue to fuel their luxury and untamed appetites?

    You can see how all that come to support the government on TV are all government apologist, favoured politicians and shameless political contractors that parasite on the executive. …from one lying minister that never bought fuel to another minister that reels out polices and promises that he/she will never take responsibility for their delivery. From one hired analyst to one national economic team member that will naturally be ashamed to disclose his sitting allowance and, to one special /personal assistance/adviser on Niger delta or amnesty program; etc.

    The CBN governor that now lectures like a ‘holi-spirit’ and sounds like an angel is the same that came into CBN some years back and immediately tripled the number of licences awarded to BDC operators in a bid to bring in his own and also please his friends /godfathers without considering why his predecessor pegged it to a limited number of 50 class A operators. By the time he realised how the national reserved is depleted by this act, rather than take responsibility for his mismanagement, all he could do was to unilaterally revoke all licences with ridiculous claims. Even as that careless act of his killed genuine entrepreneurs in that sector, threw many out of job and eroded the people’s investments, he never cared but, he continued with lies upon lies to cover up his errors. The same Sanusi assured the affected BDC operators that they will get their mandatory 500m naira deposit returned to them quickly (within 3 months of the change in policy) in order to minimised their losses but, this never happened until after a full year of that promise. Yet, that was within the ‘small CBN’ that he has absolute control over its operations. All manner of things happened under his nose, including asking for bribes by CBN inspectors and this was reported to him in a meeting with stakeholder and he never acted. If he could not supervise CBN to implement those little promises of his, how is he going to supervise the Nigerian Government (executives) to implement this big one? one thing is to sell promises and another is to implement then as said. Is he just telling us what they plan to do with money saved from the petrol subsidy, how is he assuring us that he will follow through for the delivery of the promise made in the SURE document they are spending billions to promote. Am sure they are also preparing to pass the bulk or urge us to be patience when their failure in its delivery becomes obvious. That is if they are still left in that position, the new minister will explain how it is not their fault to us.

    The Petroleum Minister made a sensational visit to Benin-Ore express-way when she was minister for works with her well-ironed coverall, she cried and made remarkable promises for the construction of the road. That never happened and she is not even ashamed.

    But wait a minute, where is the money saved in diesel deregulation since 5years ago. Let us assume that diesel consumption is about a quarter of that of petrol, shouldn’t we have saved the same amount of money in five years and invested it where the people could see and trust the government.

    Ehhh…. Every nation that goes down the privatization road as Nigeria has for the past few years ends up in drastic reduction of their overheads as most of the non-performing government enterprises are sold out, the usual wage bills and subventions are severed from the national budget. Where are the savings in our privatization exercise? Instead, Nigeria’s recurrent expenditure has continued to be on the rise that it now gulps about 72% of National budget. What exactly is happening? Where are the gains of privatization?

    Here is a report of how Nigerian lawmakers earn over ten times Obama’s annual wage: http://travel.wikinut.com/​Nigerian-lawmakers-a… . This is just for the documented earnings, how about the off-the- records sharing. How about the executives and the game in public offices, should we talk about those presiding over ministries, departments and agencies?

    The question is: Is it really true that it is better to ignore corruption and increase the burden on the poor masses?

    My prayer is that whoever that supports corruption for what he/she benefits today should live to bear the agony of seeing his/her children and grand children consumed by the fire when it begins to burn tomorrow. Let everyone and his/her generation be vindicated by the role he/she played to put Nigeria where it is at any given time. AMEN

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