SSANU, NLC plan protest against hike in petrol price, electricity tariff
•It is an act of executive cruelty, says HURIWA
•Revert to status quo, GPAAN tells FG
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) yesterday asked the Federal Government to reverse the hike in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff or face a nationwide protest.
SSANU said the peaceful protest, which was being planned in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), would force the government to rescind its decision.
At a press conference held at the SSANU secretariat, University of Ibadan, the National Vice President, Mr. Alfred Jimoh, condemned the recent increase in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff.
He said: “Nigerians that are just battling the agony of insecurity and COVID-19 without any visible and empirical succour or palliatives from the government are now being visited with the double tragedy. It is a trite of reality that these two commodities are key to the economy and touch on the lives of every Nigerian.
“Why would a government that claims to be responsive to the sufferings of its people chose a time like this to add more pains to their agony and trauma?
“It is on record that this government rode to power through the popular mass protest against similar action taken by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012. With this action, it does appear that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government is taking Nigerians for granted.
“Be that as it may, and as you all know, the organised labour and the civil society collaborators are seriously mobilising to engage the government in a peaceful protest across the nation. SSANU is a member of the NLC and we are fully ready to carry out the directives of our centre (NLC) as soon as we receive the signal.”
THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said it was an act of cruelty for President Muhammadu Buhari to “impose punitive price hikes at the time millions of Nigerians are bearing the brunt of the economic loses brought upon them by the lockdown that greeted the outbreak of COVID-19.
HURIWA stated that “history is not fraudulent but accurately represents the heartbeat of the time which goes to show that on no account will any historical account of the last five years vindicate the vindictive, mischievous, cruelest, clueless, and anti-people policies that have been unleashed on Nigerians by the Buhari-led administration.”
In a statement signed on Monday in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the human rights group reminded President Buhari that as the leading political opponent of the then Jonathan’s administration, he was at the forefront of the well-orchestrated and heavily induced opposition to the move by the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government to stop the subsidy on fuel.
“Can we tell President Buhari that revisionism is an attribute of cruelty and the decision to impose further hardships on the already impoverished and oppressed populace at this time that all other nations of the world are rolling out remedial economic subsidies to revive private businesses of citizens buffeted by the consequences of COVID-19 lockdown, is nothing short of absolute wickedness, “ HURIWA said.
THE Guild of Public Affairs Analysts (GPAAN) described the hikes as a burden too heavy for Nigerians to bear. It called upon the Federal Government to support citizens by reverting to the old price and tariff.
In a statement signed by the Secretary, Victor Anya, the group pointed out that apart from the fuel price hike, the government had also raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent. While lamenting the impact of the hike on Nigerians, it urged the government to follow in the footsteps of other countries by mitigating the economic effects of COVID-19.
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