By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Barely nine months after the nation first witnessed mass protest, which grounded the country to a halt for days following removal of fuel subsidy by Federal Government, the country may soon witness another protest as the Joint Action Front (JAF) warned Federal Government to refrain from its plan to increase fuel price or face mass action.
Following the persistent queues for fuel in filling stations across the country, JAF vowed to mobilise Nigerians against the lingering scarcity of fuel and systematic plan by government to increase price of petroleum products.
In a statement by the Chairperson, Dr. Dipo Fashina and the JAF secretary Comrade Abiodun Aremu, JAF stressed that the ongoing fuel scarcity was a result government and oil marketers “to impose a new price regime for petroleum products, thereby artificially inducing and encouraging scarcity of petroleum products (petrol, kerosene and diesel) and its attendant hike in prices across the country.”
Decrying the gradual increment of the pump price in filling stations, JAF stated that that filling stations across the country, including NNPC branded outlets are selling petrol at N110 to N140 per litre instead of the official price of N97, while kerosene is sold at N120 – N150 a litre instead of N50.
“JAF does not find credible the recent statement credited to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) that it will shut down any filling station selling above the official prices, which is deceptive and aimed at disarming Nigerians from protesting against the current prevalence of fuel scarcity and hike in prices. As at date all the filling stations sell above the official prices and yet none has been shut.
Nigerians should be reminded that the January 3rd – 16th 2012 mass action, in which JAF played a leading role, compelled the Federal Government to retreat to the new so-called 40 per centsubsidized price of N97 for petrol as against its January 1st 2012 wicked hike in the price of petrol from N65 – N141. JAF is in the process of mobilising Nigerians and groups across the country towards resisting the current scarcity in fuel products and hike in prices. JAF therefore urges Nigerians to prepare to join the struggle anywhere they are when such action is declared.”