The Federal Government has been advised to adopt a phased removal of fuel subsidy

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Nigerians Stop Gas Stations From Selling Fuel

Nigerians Stop Gas Stations From Selling Fuel

The Federal Government has been advised to adopt a phased removal of fuel subsidy from now to the next five years, as the holistic adjustment from N65 per litre to N141 per litre is nothing but imposition of hardship and pains on Nigerians.

Addressing journalists Tuesday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of Campaign Against Total Removal of Fuel Subsidy (CATROFS), Chief Obi Aguocha, said much as the group recognised the need for total deregulation of the downstream sector it would be better and human to adopt a phased removal instead of an immediate deregulation of the petroleum sector.

According to the national coordinator, “Fuel prices all over the country now range from N138 – N170 per litre, Nigerians on Christmas and New Year holidays will now be stranded at home because of the multiple transport fare increases.”

He said:”Owerri to Lagos typically N3000 per seat is now N12000. Soon in the market, cost of basic goods will increase, a mudu of garri sold at N100 has raised to N500…all this is going on while wages remain stagnant and unemployment is on the increase.

It is indeed a burden on our yet unknown economic transformation agenda,” he said. As at today, the masses will begin to transform from their known hardship to their grave”.

The leader of the group who also said that they have posted their position on the fuel increase on the President Goodluck Jonathan face book, said to the President, “do you even understand or feel our pain? You spend N1.5 Billion on your food, whether we starve or not is irrelevant. You have a private jet, you are not affected by air ticket increases. You have fleet of cars, but won’t worry about the fuel price hike. For a man who “walked” to school without shoes…it appears now that you love the life of a man born with a “golden spoon” in his mouth?

” It appears you inadvertently want us to suffer, because the IMF is breathing down on your neck. Do you not think Sir that a phased removal approach will best serve the nation and the masses? We can achieve same in five years…then allowing the necessary new refinery infrastructure to be in place, the N18000 minimum wage payment becomes routine, better road infrastructure, electricity supply is enhanced, and administrative and new legal frameworks to guide the new regiment”, the statement said.

The group’s national coordinator told President Jonathan that most Nigerians voted for him because of the hopes of new generational ideals, saying, “Many of us now, have buyer remorse. It is sad, that despite the supper charged and urgent security challenges facing the nation, of which more than 5000 Nigerians, especially Christians have paid the ultimate sacrifice…you’ve yet to bring the same zeal and commitment to the porous security challenges as you’ve now brought to the subsidy removal.

“With due respect Sir, your priorities seems out of sink with Nigerians and their daily life deficiencies. As my President, I pray for you, family and administration daily, but I pray now not to vote for you in 2015. Enough is enough as you’ve shown that you do not have the command, respect and appreciation of the Nigerian masses”, the national coordinator of CATROFS said.

Commission Advises Security Agents on Rights to Protest By Tobi Soniyi

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advised security agents to allow aggrieved Nigerians to exercise their right to protest the deregulation of petroleum products.

In an advisory issued yesterday, the commission affirmed that the right to assemble freely, and to protest or demonstrate peacefully was a human right recognised and guaranteed within Sections 39-40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 9-11 of the African charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is domestic law in Nigeria.

The advisory was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Secretary of the commission, Oti Anukpe Ovrawah.

The commission said law enforcement agents should at all times respect and protect the human rights of all persons; avoid use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests and detention or resort to “third-degree” methods of policing. According to the commission, peaceful protest was a duty of citizens and an essential characteristic of an open and democratic society.

It also cited Article 13 of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance, which Nigeria had ratified, saying it required government to “take measures to ensure and maintain political and social dialogue, as well as public trust and transparency between political leaders and the people, in order to consolidate democracy and peace.”

In implementing this obligation, NHRC said government had a duty to encourage its citizens to channel or express their grievances in a peaceful manner.

It said: “Therefore, individuals or groups should be free to express their views, offer their criticisms, canvass their ideas for democratic change and improvement, and assemble or protest for these purposes provided they do not seek to propagate these ideas by violent means or in a manner that disturbs public peace, safety or security.”

To enable security agents to manage limited assets and enhance the effective protection of persons or groups exercising the right to protest, the commission said that persons seeking to exercise the right to protest should notify the Police or other responsible authorities in the areas in which a protest was planned.

“This will enable the agencies to monitor the activities proposed, offer protection as may be required and ensure that there is no breach of the peace,” the commission said.

It also advised protest organisers to designate leaders, whose contact details should be communicated to the Police or law enforcement.

 

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