Members of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have asked the Federal Government to immediately reverse the hike in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff or risk a prolonged nationwide protest.
According to the group, the unfolding events around the nation’s economy, security and general cost of survival in the past few days have sparked serious concerns over the direction the country was heading.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting in Kaduna, yesterday, the group said, “the recent announcement by the Federal Government to hike the prices of such essentials as petroleum products and electricity has ignited widespread discontent and anger across every segment of the Nigerian society.”
Spokesman of the CNG, Abdulazeez Suleiman, lamented, “the failure of public policies on the key pillars required for building a strong national economy, security, unity and survival, which have resulted in enormous hardship to vast segments of the Nigerian population.”
Suleiman said members of the CNG in all states have been put on alert to mobilise Nigerians for prolonged protests and resistance against harsh economic policies should the government fail to withdraw the hike in fuel price and electricity tariff.
Specifically, the northern group accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, stressing that the nation could no longer accept such situation.
He said: “We call on the Federal Government to announce an immediate and unconditional reversal of the price of fuel to the earlier N145 per litre and electricity tariff to the initial N23 with the assurance of regularity in quality and quantity of supply, assume full control of commodity pricing, jettison all aspects of unwarranted taxation, halt the current multi-sectoral extortions by multinational service providers, banks and other financial institutions.
“The CNG national secretariat is to engage the National Assembly, the Federal Government and all relevant national and international agencies to force a reversal of these imposed harsh realities.
“We hereby put the public on the alert for a possible prolonged nationwide resistance in the likely event of government opting to grandstand.
“For the avoidance of doubt, government and all concerned institutions should note that the excesses and impunity by government have been tolerated for too long and the younger generation of Nigerians is no longer going to be disposed to their collective future destiny being taken for granted.
“We are strongly convinced that the President’s desperation to shift the blame for this hardship on some middlemen only confirms failure to provide leadership. We find it strange that the President would admit failure to learn from lessons of history after having made similar accusations against the same class of people over the same issue 36 years ago.”