The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has said that it is going ahead with all willing groups to continue protesting the removal of fuel subsidy and the increase of the pump price of petrol to N97 noting that the agitation against anti-people policy goes beyond the organized labour.
CNPP stated this in reaction to developments on Monday in which President Goodluck Jonathan announced the N97 price and labour’s prompt suspension of its strike as well as asking Nigerians to accept the new price.
A statement by CNPP’s Chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe-Musa and Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu said it is glaring that the demands of Nigerians have not been met since they not only rejected the initial anti-people N141 per liter but also asked that government genuinely fight corruption and cut the cost of running government.
“Nigerians had been on the street before labour called its, what now appears to be a staged managed, strike. The demands of Nigerians as articulated by the CNPP, the Occupy Movement, Save Nigeria Group among others went beyond the return to N65 per liter as the people also asked for the unmasking of the subsidy theft cabal, as well as ending the criminal amounts those in government pay themselves.” The statement said.
“It is therefore unfair that labour, which officially joined the protests one week after others have been on the streets, can now be calling off the streets protests following its clandestine meeting with President Jonathan. There is a widespread worry on the streets that the militarization of the country on Monday was a strategy agreed by government and labour, knowing full well the popularity and moral challenges their decisions would face. How come that labour met the President and kept mute on what was agreed until after he has read a speech that was totally insulting to the memories of those killed by security agencies under his command?
“We condemn the militarization of Nigeria by a government that claims it enjoys popular mandate especially when the same government had repeatedly failed to use this same military to address the security challenges of the land. Nigerians would prefer that the president is able to tackle corruption and infrastructural deficit with the same dispatch with which he sent the army to harass law abiding citizens. This intimidation of citizens with people paid with public funds must stop as there is a limit to despotic rule.” The statement said.
The conference called on all pro-people political parties, the Occupy Movement, the Save Nigeria Group, civil society and all freedom loving Nigerians not to give up the constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protests pointing out that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) were only part of and not the leadership of the protests. It said giving up on the struggle now would mean that the entire protests and the lives lost therein are a waste since the government initially announced a higher price thinking that it can brow beat Nigerians to accept the N97 seeming reduction that was the originally targeted price.
Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe-Musa
Chief Willy Ezugwu
Secrtetary General, CNPP