Rivers CSOs Issues 14Days Ultimatum To NNPC To End Fuel Scarcity
A Coalition of Civil society Organisations in Rivers State have issued 14days ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL and security agencies to solve the issue of fuel price hike in the state or face a full blown protest.
Rivers State Chairman of CSOs Enefaa Georgewill, told newsmen that the warning protest match that was to hold in Port Harcourt could not hold today because of intervention of security agencies, particularly the Department of State Services.
Georgewill said DSS has assured that they were working with NNPCL to restore normalcy, warning that if after two weeks, “fuel price does not revert to official price of N165 per litre, there will be a mother of all protest and we will not listen to anybody.”
“What is happening here is a warning protest to NNPC to stop suffocating and punishing Rivers people by allowing petrol marketers to sell fuel above the government approved pump price.
“Since yesterday, security agencies have been on our neck that we shouldn’t carryout this protest. Protest is a part of our democracy and it is the duty of the citizens to freely express themselves by way of protest. What security agencies need to do is to provide security for protesters.
“Therefore we are giving the DSS two weeks to call on NNPCL to resolve the fuel crisis in Rivers State and ensure that fuel is sold at the approved pump price of N165 per liter.
“Failure to do that in two weeks, we are going to carryout out a mass protests because we cannot continue with the job lost, we cannot shut down our businesses due to fuel scarcity, because this is a country without electricity.”
Also, the Public Relations Officer of CSOs in Rivers State, Mr Solomon Lenu, wondered why the Rivers State Governor Wike has been silent, as the people groan in pains of fuel price hike.
“Nigeria is using N4.3trillion to subsidize fuel that we don’t have, in addition to that NNPC said we are consuming 60million litres of fuel per day. This is a product is solely imported into the country by NNPC and the President who is the Minister of Petroleum is not saying anything about the situation.
“The governor who is a very vocal person, who when he speaks the country stands at attention, is not saying anything about it because they don’t feel the same problem which the ordinary people are feeling. So we are saying enough is enough.”
For his part, a lawyer and resident of Rivers State, Barr. Iniayemana Jonahs, said the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Act stipulates that when there is an issue in prices, the people must be adequately informed.
“The government making us to buy fuel at N300 is unacceptable. The arbitrary price increase violates the provisions of the PPPRA Act, because the Act states that where there are issues on petroleum prices, the people must be informed and also sufficient notice must be given.”