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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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2023: I Will Restore Unity, Bring Sense Of Belonging To All Nigerians, Atiku Vows As He Emerges PDP Presidential Flagbearer

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…Tinubu Congratulates Atiku, Welcomes Former VP To Presidential Contest

…Worthy Candidate, Says Shehu Sani

North Will Always Outsmart Southern Nigeria On Election’, Nigerians React

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has pledged to unify the country following his victory in the party’s primary poll. 

Atiku, a former vice president, polled 371 votes to beat his closest rival and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who scored 237 votes during the exercise held on Saturday in Abuja. Saraki polled 70 votes. Emmanuel (38), Mohammed (38), Anyim Pius Anyim (14), Mrs Tari Diana Oliver (1), and Sam Ohuabunwa (1) shared the remainder of the valid votes.

“I pledge to unify this country,” he said in his victory speech. “That’s why I refer to myself as a unifier.

“The reason I feel that unity is important is because APC has disunited Nigerians completely,” the PDP chieftain added. “I will work to restore unity and bring a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.”

The Adamawa-born politician accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of mismanaging the country but promised to fix the economy and tackle Nigeria’s security challenges.

“The PDP made Nigeria one of the most prosperous countries in Africa,” Atiku said. “We implemented economic reforms. The APC wiped out all those gains.”

Meanwhile, National Leader of All Progressives Congress and frontline presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has congratulated former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for emerging as the flag bearer of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, following the primary conducted at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday.

Tinubu commended Atiku for his patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s progress.

Tinubu also congratulated the other contestants for the orderly and peaceful way they conducted themselves and for pledging to rally round the winner, in the true spirit of democratic sportsmanship.

He expected the former Vice-president , who was also the 2019 presidential candidate of the PDP, to be his worthy opponent, by the Grace of God and the support of APC delegates, in the coming 2023 President election.

The APC National Leader said Atiku’s victory didn’t come as a surprise to Nigerians because of his vast experience as a statesman and veteran of many presidential contests from 1993.

While welcoming the PDP candidate to the race, Tinubu added that the coming election should be about issues that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians; bring peace, progress, political stability and solve myriad of sociopolitical challenges and insecurity currently facing the country.

“I welcome the victory of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the just concluded primary. I look forward to squaring up with him as a worthy opponent in the coming election. I have known the former Vice President as a formidable politician and a patriot who believes in the unity and progress of our dear country.

“ As we move further into the election season, I charge the PDP presidential candidate and all political actors across Party lines that we should make this election season one that is devoid of bitterness, rancour and strife.

“We should make our campaigns peaceful and issue based. Election season should be a festival of ideas that will uplift our country and improve the living condition of all our people.

“Unfortunately for the PDP, its candidate will be burdened to explain why Nigerians should give it another opportunity, after squandering 16 years at the central government, without much to show”.

“Nigerians are yet to forget the national ruin and mismanagement of our country for 16 years by successive PDP administration and this bad memory will dog the campaign of the PDP Candidate”

“ Nevertheless, I once again congratulate our former Vice President for his victory in his party’s primary.”

In the same vein, former Kaduna Central lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 presidential election.

Reacting to the development in a tweet on Sunday morning, Sani congratulated Abubakar for emerging as the winner of the contest.

The PDP chieftain and governorship aspirant was also at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, the venue of the PDP Presidential primary.

He wrote: “Congratulations to Atiku Abubakar.”

Also, Nigerians on social media have, however, reacted to Atiku’s victory as they expressed their different views.

One Yinkuzeh [@Yinkuzeh71] wrote: “PDP produced Atiku. Delegates can give him the ticket. But will his own kinsmen who are currently suffering under a fulani leadership elect another fulani man as president? He might end up a miscalculation on the part of Pdp.

On his part, PhilCollins_LFC [@PhilColins_O] said: “The North will almost always outsmart Southern Nigeria on election matters. Imagine Tambuwal waiting until the last minute to step aside for Atiku. Wike was busy attacking Peter Obi. APC is likely to go the same way except they learn from this. Meanwhile, #PeterObi to the rescue.”

A netizen, Amalinze the Cat [@DominicNonso96] accused Wike of hating on everybody. He said: [Wike hates everybody. And feels he can’t be touched. After 2023 handover, em go see something.

“Atiku would definitely pick a South Southern person Sha.”

Congratulating Atiku, one ZAKARI ALFA [@zakarialfa2024] said: “God Almighty Allah has done it for Nigeria and Nigerian as Atiku is officially declared the candidate of PDP for the next presidential election. Congratulations to all of us Nigerian.”

 

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Counting Of Votes Commences As PDP Elects 2023 Presidential Candidate

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Voting has ended in the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the emergence of the 2023 presidential candidate of the party.

The delegates from Abuja were the last to cast their votes last at the Abuja National Stadium venue of the PDP special national convention.

Next up will be the sorting and counting of votes.

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I Warned Nigerians Against Voting For Buhari In 2014 – Fayose

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The former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Saturday reiterated that he warned Nigerians against voting for President Muhammadu Buhari In 2014.

Fayose, who said this during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention in Abuja, said he had been vindicated by happenings in the country since Buhari assumed office in 2015.

The ex-governor is one of the 13 aspirants vying for the PDP presidential ticket at the convention.

He said: “Let me remind you that if I were to be a prophet, I will be making a lot of money. I told you if Buhari was elected and he was indeed elected, he has nothing to offer and the All Progressives Congress (APC) never meant well for the people.

“I want to remind you that I was a two-term governor of Ekiti State and defeated two incumbents at two different attempts, which means if given this opportunity, I will defeat anyone brought forward by President Buhari in a landslide victory.

“Let me remind you that I have a penchant for defeating incumbents.

“Today, I am calling on all of you to equally remember that the PDP should be in the bigger picture. The PDP should be the party, not what we want to tear into pieces. Whoever becomes the flag bearer, we should be ready to work with him. Power comes only from God.”

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