Fuel, Naira Scarcity: We’ll Embark On Nationwide Protest If…, Falana Warns FG
The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has threatened a nationwide demonstration should the Federal Government fail to bring to an end the scarcity of fuel and naira notes in the country.
The group, in a statement signed by its interim Chairman, Femi Falana, on Monday, said the currency and fuel crises constitute an unprecedented challenge to economic survival of ordinary people and these may threaten the 2023 elections.
“Unless the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity are immediately resolved within the timeline given by the President, ASCAB has resolved to call on the Nigerian people to commence series of peaceful mass actions in their communities to resist the unjustifiable economic hardship which may compel postponement of the forthcoming elections as INEC has hinted.
“If the Federal Government fails to resolve the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity before February 10, 2023 the country will witness nationwide peaceful mass actions by the Nigerian people,” ASCAB said.
See full statement below:
TIME TO END CURRENCY AND FUEL CRISES
The Federal Government has unleashed untold hardship on the masses of Nigeria by the unprecedented scarcity of the Naira, fuel scarcity and skyrocketing rise in fuel prices. Fuel and currency scarcity is inexplicable and unacceptable.The Federal Government has shirked its obligation to guarantee the security and welfare of the Nigerian people as provided under Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
Sporadic peaceful protests have erupted throughout the country expressing the deep displeasure of the masses.There is an urgent need for leading human and pro-democracy organisations to provide leadership in canalizing the energies and anger of the masses in order to give the protests direction and prevent anarchy, state terrorism and continued arbitrary repression of the masses.
Since it is now clear that enough Naira notes have not been printed the Central Bank should allow the old and new Naira notes to be legal tender in Nigeria. This suggestion is in line with Section 22 of the Central Bank Act which permits the replacement of old currency notes with new ones after the deadline fixed by the CBN.
Meanwhile, officials of the CBN and other banks involved in hoarding or selling the new currency notes should be prosecuted to serve as a deterent to other economic saboteurs.
The soldiers who unleashed violence on the students of the University of Benin as well as trigger happy troops who murdered a young man and injured several others at Ibadan, Oyo State should be arrested and prosecuted without any delay.
ON ARTIFICIAL FUEL SCARCITY
Against the increasing fuel scarcity across the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said that it has two billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, in stock. The artificial scarcity of fuel is designed to force Nigerians to accept the increase in the pump price of PMS. In many parts of the country, petrol is sold between N300 and N600 per litre.
To give the impression that the crisis is being addressed a Task Force headed by President Buhari was set up a couple of weeks ago. Like similar Task Forces set up in the past the new Task Force will not solve the crisis. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari should direct the NNPCL to supply adequate fuel and ensure that the product is sold at the official price. Anyone who hoards the product or who sell it beyond the official price should be arrested and prosecuted.
ALTERNATIVE TO PMS
On January 16, 2020, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timpere Silva announced the plan of the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of fuel by migrating from the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) at a cost of about N95 to N97 per litre. The Minister further informed the members of the public that the CNG had undergone a pilot project in Benin City, Edo State where over 10,000 vehicles are already running on it.
In order to facilitate the conversion of vehicles run on PMS to CNG the Federal Government caused the Central Bank of Nigeria to set aside a whopping sum of N250 billion for willing investors in autogas assembly plants. But in a bid to continue the fraud laden subsidy regime the Federal Government has abandoned the planned conversion of vehicles run on PMS to CNG .
Instead of committing themselves to the investigation of the massive fuel subsidy scam, some presidential candidates have threatened to remove subsidy and consequently increase the prices of petroleum products in the country if they win the election. We warn such politicians to drop the dangerous agenda unless they are prepared to rule a dead people. We are compelled to call on the Federal Government to join the list of governments in Africa that are encouraging end users to convert their conventional fuel vehicles to bio-fuel vehicles like CNG and LPG fuel as these fuels are environment friendly and have lower carbon dioxide emissions.
The currency and fuel crises constitute unprecedented challenge to economic survival of ordinary people that may threaten the 2023 elections which provide an opportunity for the people to choose a party considered to be representative of their aspirations.
Unless the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity are immediately resolved within the timeline given by the President, ASCAB has resolved to call on the Nigerian people to commence series of peaceful mass actions in their communities to resist the unjustifiable economic hardship which may compel postponement of the forthcoming elections as INEC has hinted.
If the Federal Government fails to resolve the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity before February 10, 2023 the country will witness nationwide peaceful mass actions by the Nigerian people.
Femi Falana SAN,
Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB)
672 total views, 3 views today
Tinubu: ‘Big Lie, I Can’t Endorse Feb 25 Illegitimate Outcome Of Flawed Process, Atiku Clears Air
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has denied endorsing Bola Tinubu’s victory.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential flagbearer defeated Atiku and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
In a statement on Saturday, Atiku said his attention was drawn to a fake press release attributed to him, “purportedly giving legitimacy to the widely rigged presidential election”.
Atiku stressed that it did not emanate from him and should be treated with repudiation because it was contrived “by those who illegally appropriated the mandate of the people”.
The former Vice President said his lawyers still have been mandated to challenge the outcome of the February 25 poll.
Atiku reiterated his outright rejection of the “pre-determined outcome of the February 25 election” and vowed to continue to challenge the legality.
Calling it the “worst election in our democratic history”, the Wazirin Adamawa said his fight was not for personal interest but for the interest of Nigeria and its citizens.
“It is aimed at deepening democracy and ensuring that we do not confer legitimacy to an outcome of illegitimacy,” the statement added
1,211 total views, 1,211 views today
INEC To Issue Certificates Of Return To Governors-Elect, Others From March 29
INEC has fixed Wednesday, March 29 to Friday March 31 as days for the issuance of Certificates of Return to governors, deputy governors-elect and states Houses of Assembly members-elect.
Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye made the declaration in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday.
“By the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.
“Pursuant to the provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday March 29, Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31 for the issuance of Certificates of Return to those elected on March 18.
“The presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the federation,’’ Okoye stated.
He added that specific dates for the issuance of the certificates would be communicated to those elected by the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of the various states. (NAN).
1,030 total views, 1,030 views today
#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu Orders Payment Of N5m To Assaulted Uber Driver
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the payment of N5 million compensation to an Uber driver, Adedotun Clement, who was assaulted by security operatives during an #ENDSARS anniversary rally in the state in October 2021.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on March 14 ordered the state government and Nigeria Police Force to pay the sum while ruling on an application filed by the driver.
Clement was assaulted by police operatives and members of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency during a rally to mark the first anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest near the Lekki Toll Gate in the state.
The governor, who confirmed the development on his Twitter handle on Saturday, said he had directed the state’s Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to set up a meeting with the driver and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.
He reaffirmed his commitment to the rule of law in the state.
Sanwo-Olu wrote: “Good evening Lagos, as governor, I’m committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ rights with empathy and authority.
“I recently became aware of the case involving Mr. Clement Adedotun and the judgement by the Federal High Court, and I understand the impact this legal battle has had on him.
“After reviewing Mr. Clement’s case, I’ve directed the Honorable Attorney General to set up a meeting and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.”
The governor, who confirmed that the state government has appealed the ruling, said he ordered the payment of the compensation for the good of the society.
“Although the State Government has appealed the ruling, I’ve interceded in this instance in the interest of the public good and requested that the State’s Attorney General comply with the court’s ruling.
“As a strong advocate for the rule of law, I commend all parties for seeking justice through the appropriate channels, and I remain committed to upholding the rights of all Lagosians,” he added.
3,800 total views, 1,662 views today
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