Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Buhari, Please, Reverse This Anti-People Fuel Increase Immediately

By Mike Ozekhome
The recent increase in the price of fuel from N86 to N145 is the most incensate, unsympathetic and anti-people decision the PMB government has yet taken in its flip-flop one year of clueless and directionless govt. At a time Nigerians are already groaning under a grotesque over 500% increase in prices of ordinary consumables with the miserly non living wage of N18,000.00 unaltered, it is inconceivable that the government will add to the pains, anguish, pangs and sufferings of ordinary Nigerians whose only crime is that they “voted” for “change”.
This government has indecently reversed all its promises to the Nigerian people, treating them as inconsequential nonentities in its governance index. It is not about whether there are advantages in the increase. It is simply about honour, dignity and integrity in fulfilling election promises, which constitute a pact, pactum sunt servanda (agreements must be respected) with the Nigerian people.
It is commonsensical that a fall in the international price of crude oil should only lead to a further fall in the prices of PMS in Nigeria. No one needs to be an acclaimed economist to know thus simple truism. But, the Buhari government treats Nigerians with levity and disdain, as if they do not matter in its governance template and index. The already overburdened masses, who are groaning under excruciating economic woes are again told to go to hell.

Who did the government consult with on such a major economic reversal? Shouldn’t the government have first put the refineries back on track with addition of new ones before taking such a major economic decision? Yet the government is driven by the same people, who, only in January 2012, shut down Jonathan’s government with “occupy Nigeria”, when he increased the fuel price minimally. Where are the APC acolytes, who boasted during the presidential campaigns that Buhari would bring down prices of fuel to 40 naira per litre?
They must now bury their heads in shame.
The PPRA has not been reconstituted by PMB in accordance with extant laws. Where did he, therefore, derive his powers to carry out this punitive and contemptuous act against the Nigerian people? I unequivocally condemn this latest act of promises summersault and call for its immediate reversal until some necessary palliatives are put in place.
*Chief Ozekhome is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)

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