The Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All progressive Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has called on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) to urgently shutdown Nigeria following the recent hike in price of fuel and electricity tariff.
Reacting to the astronomical hike in Fuel Price and electricity tariff by the Buhari led federal government which took effect on Tuesday, he called the attention of all the organized Labour in Nigeria to as a matter of urgency shutdown the country, and also urged the National Assembly “to urgently reconvene and speak on behalf of Nigerians who elected them just like the 7th National Assembly did in 2012 when fuel was increased from N65.00 to N140.00 by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, in January 2012”.
Frank who made these assertions in a statement in Abuja, also strongly condemned the increase in the price of petrol from N148.50 to N151.56 per litre by the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and electricity tariff from N32.00 to N66.00 per kilowatt by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Frank further called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (PENGASSAN), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Median Association (NMA), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs),to rise up and defend the vulnerable, weak, poor and helpless masses in the face of the massive and unbearable onslaught against their very existence as citizens of the country.
He added that, “the NLC has rejected the evil price increase through a statement, it is now time for the Ayuba Wabba leadership of the Union to match their words with action on the streets just like ex-NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, did in collaboration with the Change Nigeria Group (CNG) in 2012,”.
He also claimed that the fuel price and electricity tariff increase was an injustice and a deliberate act of inflicting pains on the poor masses especially at a time when the global crude oil prices have drastically reduced and while majority of Nigerians are still constantly being heavily burdened under the yoke of estimated billing as well.
“The action of the Federal Government in hiking the prices of essentials goods and services, like fuel and electricity, is tantamount to removing economic ventilators from majority of Nigerians on life support due to COV-poverty”.
“This is manifestly anti-God, anti-people, unacceptable, provocative, oppressive, insensitive, wicked, satanic and a total negation of the social contract between a people and its Government,” Frank declared.
According to him, since the primary function of Government is to seek the welfare and security of its citizens, the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency increase the nation’s minimum wage to N100,000.00 to mitigate its induced rise in the cost of living.
The Bayelsa-born Political Activist lamented that rather than follow international best practices in granting palliative to her citizens to reduce in order to address the effect of economic hardship caused by the outbreak of of Covid – 19 Pandemic, the Federal Government has chosen to inflict more pains and impoverish Nigerians.
Therefore appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to qualify reverse the increament as well as its over-bloated cost of governance at least by 50 percent in order to conserve scarce resources.
“The duty of Government is to shield its people, especially the poor and vulnerable population, from the harsh effects of market forces and not to heap pain and anguish on them under the guise of full deregulation.
“Why have they chosen to increase the burdens of Nigerians rather than lighten them?
Why have they chosen to give Nigerians stones instead of bread? Why have they chosen to give Nigerians snakes instead of fish?
“It is dangerous for the Federal Government to aid a tiny cabal in preying on the people in order to satisfy their ostentatious cravings,” Frank said.
Finally, he warned the Federal Government to be mindful of certain policies which might result to political upheavals as witnessesd in Sudan and Mali following its kind of anti-people policies and actions.