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Anger, Protests Trail Hike In Fuel Price

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…PDP, SERAP, NCFront, Others Kick

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday rejected the increase in the pump price of fuel from N148 to N151. 56 announced by the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC) describing it as unacceptable.

This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the Minority Leader of the House of Rep, Ndidu Elumelu said that the new pump price would result in an increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services, and worsen the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.

According to Elumelu “the minority caucus in the House of Representatives, rejects the announced increase in the pump price of fuel.

“This is because such increase will directly result in more hardship on our citizens, particularly at this critical time when the majority of Nigerians, across the country, are struggling to survive under the burden of the high cost of living and low purchasing power occasioned by the prevailing economic challenges.

“Any increase in the cost of an essential commodity like fuel will therefore bring more hardship to the people and as such should not be contemplated.”

The Caucus challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to rather come up with strategies that would lead to decrease rather than increase in the cost of domestic fuel, including revamping the nation’s refineries, instead of always resorting to price increase, to the detriment of Nigerians.

The minority caucus, therefore, directed the PPMC to immediately rescind its announcement and revert to the former price, with a view of a downward review.

In the same vein, PDP has rejected the latest increase in pump price of fuel from N145 to N151 per litre.

It described the new price regime as callous, cruel and punishing.

In a statement on Wednesday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party demanded immediate reversal of the prices to avert a national crisis.

The PDP noted the increase will result in upsurge in costs of goods and services and worsen the biting hardship faced by Nigerians, who are already impoverished and overburdened by high costs of living imposed by the government in the last five years.

The party said: “It is distressing that the APC administration increased the cost of essential commodities at the time the leadership of other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is instructive to add that our nation is doomed under the APC watch.

“We know that the APC is an unfeeling party but it is indeed shocking that it could go to the extent of approving such a hike at this trying time, when many Nigerians are struggling to afford staple foods and other necessities of life”.

The party challenged the APC and the Buhari administration to publish the parameters with which they arrived at the increase in fuel price to N151 per litre given that with the prevailing values in the international market, the appropriate template for domestic pump price in Nigeria ought not to be above N100 per litre.

“Moreover, the APC and its government have failed to allow an open investigation into allegations of fuel price overcharge as well as the fraudulent subsidy regime through which over N14 trillion had allegedly been frittered by unscrupulous individuals in the APC.

“Our fear is that the APC is pushing Nigerians to the wall with its obnoxious and anti-people proclivities and we caution that nobody should misinterpret the peaceful and law-abiding nature of Nigerians as a sign of weakness.

“Our party therefore restates our call on the National Assembly to save the nation by calling the APC and its administration to order before they plunge our nation into chaos,” the PDP said.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has told President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to immediately reverse the increment in pump price of petrol.

The increment was announced by Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Wednesday.

SERAP, reacting on Iis official Twitter page, described the increment as a travesty, noting that the decision will affect millions of Nigerians struggling to make ends meet.

SERAP wrote: “We urge Nigerian authorities to immediately reverse the unfair hike in fuel price from N148 to N151.56k per litre.

In the same vein, Afenifere and PANDEF, in their separate reactions, wondered why the federal government would want to further impoverish the people with the fuel price at this trying period.

Spokesman of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, stated that the latest development was the fallout of the fake promises made to the electorate by APC to assume power over five years ago.

He also flayed Nigerians who he said failed to hold politicians to account for promises made to them during campaigns.
He said: “This is coming from those who made all fake promises to them before they got power. It is a reward for people who don’t hold politicians accountable for their words.”

PANDEF condemned the increase in the pump price of petrol, saying it was unfortunate that Nigerians were continuously being made to pay for the inefficiencies of the government and its agencies.

The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, said: “How can the government even consider increasing the pump price of fuel again at this time in the face of the COVID-19-induced socio-economic challenges when citizens are struggling to carry on with everyday living?

“Many businesses are barely managing to survive; workers in the private sector are either not being paid salaries or being sacked. And it is in the face of such damning situations that the government has again introduced conditions in the guise of a fraudulent deregulation regime that has reportedly warranted the increase in the pump price of fuel in the country.

“The action is insensitive, callous, and clearly anti-citizens and is definitely going to adversely impact on citizens’ livelihood and I wonder why do the people have to always bear the painful consequences of the failures of government?”

He called on the federal government to rescind the latest price increase so as not to further add to the hardship Nigerians are facing.
He stated: “It is unfathomable that a country said to be the sixth-largest oil-producing country in the world, has, paradoxically, for decades, depended on imported fuel products to meet domestic needs, due to lack of refining capacity. And we have four refineries in the country that have largely become economic drainpipes. Why do we have to continue like this? Why can’t citizens optimally benefit from a commodity that we produce, in abundance?”

Also, the Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED) described the increase in the price of petrol and the upward review of electricity tariffs by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as “draconian anti-masses policy by a heartless administration.”

In a press statement issued yesterday by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. O’Seun John, the organisation urged the federal government to revert to the initial price of petrol and electricity tariff.

“All over the world, people are just starting to pick up the pieces of their livelihood after months of economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While responsible governments are giving out tax relives, grants and offering succour to the citizens, including cash benefits and free electricity, the present government has chosen this low time in the lives of Nigerians to further elevate their suffering,” it said.

In addition, Nigeria’s emergent citizens’ movement, the National Consultative Front, NCFront, is incensed and aghast over President Muhammadu Buhari government’s inhuman ambush of Nigerians with an increase in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, better known as petrol, decreed to take effect same Tuesday it was announced.

Being a grassroot mass movement, we have observed the melancholic mood of Nigerians following reports that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Tuesday increased the ex-depot price of PMS from N138.62 per litre to N151.56 per litre.

With the ex-depot price being the amount at which the product is sold to marketers at the depots, it is a no-brainer that this unconscionable hike by the Federal Government will translate to an increase in the pump price of petrol thus worsening the woes of Nigerians who have just been yoked with an increased electricity tariff amongst other devastating policies of government.

We utterly regret that the administration is carrying on as if its sole aim of seeking and acquiring another term of political power is to punish Nigerians for a supposed grouse that has remained unclear. Else, there’s no other reason as to why a government would so prey on hapless citizens still battling with untold hardship foisted by Covid 19 lockdown. However, it is now up to the Nigerians to join hands with NCFront Leaders of conscience in emancipating themselves from a ruling class that can neither guarantee their security nor care about their welfare.

Some of the litany of woes visited on Nigerian citizens by the Buhari Government range from the serial increase in petroleum products since it came into power, jacking up of the Value Added Tax (VAT), introduction of stamp duties in all banking transactions, and the obnoxious, callous and unconscionable recent introduction of tax on all Tenancy and Lease Agreements.

Nigerians, if nothing is done can expect more vindictive economic policies tailored towards ensuring that the citizenry is pauperised into docility and submission to the administration’s full-blown dictatorial proclivities. The recent punitive amount of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira only) for hate speech announced by the Minister for Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, was another building block in the construction of the edifice for despotic rulership by the Buhari regime.

We believe that the impoverishment of citizens by the demobilising economic policies of the Buhari government is aimed at weakening Nigerians’ resolve to challenge the ruling political at elections by making them docile, malleable and submissive to the Buhari regime. Nigerians can wean themselves off their complacency and docility by joining NCFront to pull off a major Electoral Ballot Revolution that is underway.

On the same score, the Front also condemns the various state governments’ transfer of the economic hardship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to their already impoverished workforce, who we observe are being treated as scapegoats and made to bear the burden of state’s dwindling revenue occasioned by Covid 19 lockdown among others like reckless corruption and incompetence.

We have noted that workers in some states were not only paid a miniscule fraction of their meagre salaries, but are now being sacked arbitrarily in flagrant disregard of labour rights so that government officials can continue to live extravagant lifestyle aided by pilfered public funds

Given that the pay of Nigerian workers can barely take them home, it is wicked for those in authority to feed from the little they depend on for their survival as it is criminally to tamper with their rights under whatsoever guise. Therefore, If it is about reducing overhead cost, governors must leave workers salary alone and rather focus on their security votes and other funds being wasted on their coterie of do-nothing appointees.

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Ekiti Election: INEC Calls For Speedy Prosecution Of Arrested ‘Vote-Buyers’

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday called for the quick prosecution of all those arrested for vote-buying during the Ekiti State governorship election.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the call during a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security in Abuja.

He said he was satisfied with the conduct of security agencies during the election, and that the speedy prosecution of culprits of vote-buying will serve as a deterrent for others.

“Vote busying remains a major area of concern. We appreciate the role played by anti-corruption and security agencies,” he said.

“We are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the prosecution of persons arrested in the Ekiti governorship election.”

The INEC Chairman also highlighted the commission’s activities lined up for the forthcoming Osun State scheduled for July 16.

According to him, INEC is committed to the conduct of pre-election activities to perfect the Osun polls.

“The Commission is deploying a readiness assessment team to Osun State next week to assess our preparations. We will visit some of our local government offices in the state, hold meetings with our staff, we will also observe the mock accreditation of voters in some polling units across the three senatorial districts in the state,” the INEC Chairman added.

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2023: My WAEC Certificate Is Missing, Lost And Cannot Be Found, Okowa Tells INEC

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The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa has reportedly informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that his WAEC certificate is missing.

It was gathered that Okowa informed INEC about the missing certificate as part of his filings for eligibility in the race for the 2023 elections.

He said in an affidavit to that effect that he enrolled and sat for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) West African School Certificate (WASC) examinations in the year 1974.

The original certificate issued can no more be found however, he added in the affidavit.

The affidavit of loss of original certificate was obtained from the High Court of Justice, Delta State, in the Asaba Judicial Division on October 3, 2006.

“That I personally enrolled and sat for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) West African School Certificate (WASC) examinations in the year 1974 at Edo College, Benin City, in now Edo state,” The Delta State Governor was reported to have said in the affidavit according to Tribune.

“That I passed the said examinations and was subsequently issued the said certificate therefore. That the original of the said certificate issued to me is now missing, lost and cannot be found.

“That I make this oath for the records and do so knowing and believing the same to be true and in accordance with the Oaths Law of the Bendel State as applicable to Delta state,” he added.

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2023: Tinubu’s Presidency Will Handle Nigeria’s Diversity Better, Says Ganduje

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Saturday assured Nigerians that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidency would handle Nigerian diversity well.

Ganduje, who spoke in Abuja when he hosted the National Coalition of Tinubu Support Groups Worldwide, the national directorate, comprising Nigeria, USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Oman, UAE chapters, for his leading role in Tinubu’s victory at the party’s primary election was feted by the support group.

A statement by Malam Muhammad Garba, the Commissioner for Information, that was made available to SATURDAY INDEPENDENT quoted his principal to have explained that Tinubu’s outstanding performance as Lagos state governor where he formed a formidable team of diverse backgrounds transformed the state into the strongest economy in the sub-region was a pointer in that direction.

He said that “All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer is not going to be an experimental president given his dexterity and strong rooting in politics and administration in the Nigeria project.”

Ganduje expressed optimism that the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as APC standard-bearer has brightened the chance and gave hope and encouragement that the party would win the forthcoming 2023 general election.

The governor, therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for creating the enabling environment for the conduct of the primary, the APC and its governors as well as other aspirants who have expressed readiness to work with Asiwaju for the victory of the party.

He similarly expressed appreciation for the recognition by the coalition and promised to work harder for the success of Asiwaju’s presidential candidature.

Earlier, the Convener and Global Director-General of the coalition, Dr Doyin Johnson had said that the award was presented to Governor Ganduje as a way of saying thank you for the strategic role he played in the actualization of the Asiwaju presidency.


He charged the governor to continue to use his intellectual capacity and strong mobilization prowess to ensure the success of the APC presidential candidate at the polls.

Speaking earlier, the Imo state governor, who was part of the delegation, tasked the governor whom he described as a man of honour, to further mapped out strategies for winning the secondary election come 2023.

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