Anti-Monopoly Group Denies Planning Nationwide Protest Against SON
THE Alliance Against Monopoly (AAM) has debunked a recent report in some national newspapers that it was planning a nationwide protest against some policy initiatives of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, saying the stories were conceived to hoodwink and mislead the unsuspecting public.
The group, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the management of the SON to order so as to forestall what they described as the organisation’s “avidity to pursuing enlightened self-interest in the guise of public good.”
Addressing a press conference in Lagos recently, President of AAM, Mazi Omife I. Omife disassociated the organisation from the said publication, noting that it was part of an orchestrated onslaught on the image and integrity of the association.
He added that contrary to the erroneous impression created, AAM did not at any time, in the recent past, indicate that it would hold demonstration in any part of the country.
According to him, “these attacks which have escalated in the past few days are intended to misrepresent AAM and impose on it phantom officers and activities that are alien to our organisation.”
Omife stressed that one Mr. Mohammed Aliu Usman, who purportedly spoke on behalf of the AAM in the said publication, was neither a member of the organisation nor known to the body.
He argued that “obviously, those behind the shadowy and non-existent Mr. Mohammed Aliu Usman are the same people who consistently spin the lie that AAM is either fronting for a multinational in the construction industry or is being sponsored to propagate interests inimical to public good.”
He added: “AAM is not being sponsored, influenced or teleguided by any individual or organisation as insinuated by faceless groups apparently acting at the behest of a seemingly partial government agency nay regulator. We are not in the payroll of any organisation and do not pursue an agenda that will serve the interest of any vested group. Our goal is and remains the public good.”
He reaffirmed that “AAM remains an anti-monopoly association of Nigerian citizens bonded together for the protection of our mutual social, economic and other existential interest in society from the invidious and destructive forces of monopoly, oligarchy and anti-democratic policies in corporate, industries and social life in Nigeria.”
Omife restated that members of the AAM would remain committed to their duties, adding that they would continue to seek the welfare of fellow citizens of Nigeria and denounce the cement standardisation and pigmentation policy of the SON as illegal, anti-people and calculated to send Nigerians to avoidable economic servitude.
The organisation expressed support for “every well-meaning move by those in authority to entrench best practices in the construction industry as long as this move is transparent and not a ploy by the SON to surreptitiously hoist monopoly in the cement industry or indeed in any other sector of the Nigerian economy.”
He urged Nigerians “to continue to shun monopoly and the lies of its purveyors, whether they operate as government organs or as private corporations.”