Civil groups protest non-compliance with new petrol price in Abuja
• Declare support for Jonathan
MEMBERS of various civil society groups under the umbrella of National Coalition for Civil Society Organizations, Wednesday matched through major roads in Abuja to protest non-compliance with the new pump price by most filling stations across the country.
The Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, Mr. Tosin Adeyanju, who spoke on behalf of the group called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to immediately swing into action to ensure all fuel service stations comply with the directive. The group also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to empower the two agencies to seal any filling station hoarding fuel or fails to sell at the new price
Adeyanju said: “At this point, we call on the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency to immediately swing into action and make sure that all filling stations comply with the directive.
“We even need a presidential directive to the two agencies to seal any filling station hoarding fuel or fails to sell at the new price”.
While commending Mr. President for reducing price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N97 to N87, the group urged critics to appreciate government’s effort, stressing that it was devoid of political undertone.
“Since 1999, this is the first time the price of oil was reduced without any form of protest. This is commendable. Rather than appreciate government’s gesture, critics are out there condemning the N10 reduction, but as civil society group, we are here to commend President Jonathan, while at the same time demanding for more.
“It is wrong to think that the President reduced pump price so as to gain popularity towards his election. He contested election in 2011 and he did not announce slash in pump price. This has to do with the global trend in oil market and any reasonable leader that loves his country should do what Mr. President has done, to cushion the effect of the current austerity measure. We believe strongly that what the President has done is in the best interest of this country and we are proud of it,” he said.
The group however implored Mr. President to further review the pump price in line with the declining rate of oil price at the global scene.
Adeyanju said the group which comprised over 20 civil society organisations had also converged to openly pledge their support for President Jonathan in the coming election.
“We are also here to let President Jonathan know that the civil society movement in Nigeria is behind him. We do not follow the crowd but when the need arises, we rise to the occasion and stand by what is right,” he stated.