Posted by News Express | 6 September 2020 | 533 times
Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on Nigerians to rise up and reject the evil policies of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration or be enslaved forever.
The group premised the call on “the rash of anti-people actions of the current administration, exemplified in the hike in petrol and electricity tariff at a time Nigerians are battling with the economic hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the frightening insecurity with almost the entire North East and North-West under continuous terror attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen and the so called armed bandits who are nothing but TERRORISTS.”
A statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator, and Miss. Zainab Yusuf, Director, National Media Affairs, noted that “it is unjustifiably distressing that the APC administration would increase the cost of essential commodities at a time the leadership of other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to HURIWA, “It is instructive to add that our nation is doomed under the APC watch. This is because, while other nations, even capitalist Nations such as France, US and UK are supporting businesses in the face of the prolonged lockdown caused by the global PANDEMIC of COVID-19, in Nigeria the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management did nothing but to rob poor Nigerians of the billions of Naira budgeted as palliatives and as we write there are widespread discontent and mass anger against the Ministry for lying that it undertook distribution of palliatives whereas Nigerians are aware that corruption and theft of public fund are the order of the day in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management.
“We are by this statement demanding to know the rationale for these insensitive, irrational and inhumane economic wars against Nigerians who are already facing mass hunger, mass unemployment and mass killings?
“We also challenge the Federal Government to publish details of its oil subsidy regime, including the involvement and interest of political leaders close to the corridor of power. Has subsidy actually been removed? If so, do we still have it in budget? If we have deregulated, how come the situation and what is the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) doing to control price? Is the government collecting tax from citizens on every liter of petrol sold? Nigerians need to know. Why are the refineries not working despite the colossal amount quoted as been used for turnaround maintenance? The group stated. The statement also said: “Furthermore, we demand to know what exactly President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda in the face of the collapse of the economy and security is. Our fear is that the Buhari government is pushing Nigerians to the wall with its obnoxious and anti-people penchants and we caution that nobody should misinterpret the peaceful and law-abiding nature of Nigerians as a sign of weakness.
“Therefore we call for the cancellation of the evil and inhumane hike in the rate of pump price of petrol and electricity as it is a travesty and would have a knock-on effect on millions of poor Nigerians who will struggle to meet the increased costs of transportation and basic goods. The development will eventually lead to increase in prices of goods produced by manufacturers, which will automatically result to increase in inflation. We join voices with other stakeholders to urge the National Assembly to save the nation by calling the Executives to order before the nation plunges into chaos.”
Highlighting the issue at stake the group said that Nigeria’s economy has been facing challenges largely due to the effects of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, massive corruption in government offices and the lack of transparency and accountability amongst officials of government at all levels. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Nigerian economy was already fragile.
Continuing, HURIA said: “Globally, the dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide. Organisations around the world are coming together and innovating to minimise the impact on public health and to limit disruptions to economies and supply chains. Regrettably, in Nigeria and in the midst of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged different households into poverty and hunger, the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari in despicable, outrageous, uncivil, wicked and reprehensible policy hiked the rates of electricity supply and the pump price of premium motor spirit simultaneously.
“Reportedly, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) had last Wednesday announced an increment of the pump price of premium motor spirit to N151.56 per litre. Earlier, before the PMS Price hike, the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) across the country on Tuesday began the implementation of a new electricity tariff regime of N66 per kilowatt.
“Many analysts have attributed as rather wicked for government to hike the purchasing prices of commodities when other nations of the World are implementing different types of relief packages and funding aides to businesses in the formal and informal sectors of the economy to keep them operational irrespective of the vicissitudes of the Covid-19 PANDEMIC and its attendant consequences on businesses.
“By increasing the price of fuel to an excruciating N151 while at the same time allowing the hike in electricity tariff from N30.23 per kwh to over N66, amidst rising economic plight of most Nigerians, the
“Buhari-led administration has left no one in doubt that its agenda is to inflict pain and hardship on Nigerians to satisfy the selfish interests of officials of the administration whose wives and children are funded lavishly by the state and these women and kids are junketing around the globe even in the face of Covid-19 to shop from Dubai.
“Relatedly, the frightening spate of insecurity, especially in the North-East and North-West Regions of the country occasioned by armed terrorism by the Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen is further heightening the concerns for social and economic security, which has seen mass hunger and poverty in Nigeria without any sincere attitude towards addressing it by the Federal Government.”
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