ABUJA, Nigeria — A civil society group, the Free Nigeria Movement, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Presidency to revert to the old pump price of premium motor spirit, following a hike sparked by President Bola Tinubu’s pronouncement during his inaugural address.
The group has threatened to mobilize a mass protest if their demand is not met.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, June 1, 2023, the group’s Convener, Moses Paul, voiced the collective concern over the sudden increase in petrol prices.
He revealed that the group was aware of ongoing talks with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and cautioned against any compromises.
“We are aware of ongoing talks with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the many actors lobbying for an acceptance of the new pump price by the NLC leadership,” said Dr. Paul, insisting that the NLC should remain steadfast and not succumb to anything short of a return to the old pump price.
Surrounded by fellow executives and empty containers – symbols of what he described as the “black market boom business at filling stations” – Dr. Paul stressed that ordinary Nigerians should not have to bear the brunt of this price increase.
“This is the only country we have. We will defend it with every stretch of our being standing on the law,” he asserted. “As always, let Nigeria win.”
The group heavily criticized President Tinubu’s pronouncement, deeming it “dictatorial” due to a perceived lack of consultations.
They also cast doubt on the President’s ascension to power, suggesting that it is pending confirmation by the courts.
“The dictatorial pronouncement on the removal of subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu…is a credible specimen in the scholarly hall of politics and governance,” Dr. Paul added.
“The rush by his mouthpieces to ‘explain’ a clear and unambiguous statement to a deeply traumatized citizenry will make poor reference material in damage control.”