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New Pump Price: CLO Vows To mobilise Nigerians Against Bad Economic Policies



-Says N35 Billion Palliative Designed To Compromise Judiciary

– Condemns Regrouping Of Former Governors In Aso Rock

The Civil Liberties Organisation( CLO), Tuesday vowed to mobilise Nigerians to resist what it described as the series of bad and anti- people policies of the current administration, insisting that counter action had become necessary in order to save citizens from being further impoverished and driven to extinction.

President of the CLO, Comrade Igho Akeregha gave the warning in Abuja at a news conference to review the state of the nation and the plight of the citizens.

Akeregha, flanked by other leaders of the human rights organisation, expressed dismay that President Bola Tinubu had, since his inauguration barely seven weeks ago, rolled out some harsh economic policies including the removal of subsidy and the imposition of sundry taxes on the people.

Akeregha recalled that whereas the government was aware of the likely consequences of removing the subsidy on fuel, it put nothing in place to insulate the citizens from the hardship triggered by the instant and astronomical increase in the pump price of petrol.

According to him, when the government finally came up with a palliative package, it turned out to be a poorly conceived scheme designed to enhance the comfort of the political class rather than cushioning the pains of the already impoverished citizens. He lamented that just yesterday ( Tuesday), the government again increased the pump price of petrol from N540 to N617 per litre.

“They are doing what they are doing because the rest of us are just quiet. Each time they push the bar, we adjust so they continue to push it because they know we would adjust our position. But if they push and we resist them, they would think twice before they push us again.

“We are in this mess because Nigerians are used to tolerating suffering. The transport fare you paid to get here this morning will be different from what you’re going to pay as you will be going home. In fact it will be double because of another sudden hike in the pump price of petrol. As usual, many of us would go back to our offices and adjust. The quality of food you eat may have to drop but you’ll keep adjusting to accommodate the bad economic policies of the government.

“Now the question is: How long are we going to tolerate this direct assault on our livelihood? This is an existential issue. It is about life and death. Whether you’re a lawyer, medical doctor, journalist or whatever profession you might belong to, if we do not rise up and say enough is enough, I can tell you that things will only get worse.

“Oppressors do not give up. The only language the oppressors understand is a strong force of resistance,” he said.
Akeregha explained that as a human rights organisation, the CLO has a duty to mobilise Nigerians to fight for their rights.

“The right to life is inalienable and given by God. So when government rolls out policies that tend to push people into extinction, we have a right to resist. As citizens of Nigeria, it is within our rights and within the ambit of the law to use every legal means at our disposal to resist bad policies of the government,” he said.

The CLO boss frowned upon the N35 billion allocated to the National Judicial Council ( NJC) in the post-subsidy palliative package, stating that it was meant to compromise the judiciary.

“We, in the CLO, know that this is a well designed conspiracy to compromise the judiciary. Nigerians are no longer fools. We must all now get up and prepare to engage these politicians. We can no longer close our mouths and allows a few individuals to hold our country hostage. The time to rescue our country is now.

“We can take back our country by individually and collectively raising our voices. In a country of 200 million people,if we have 50 million of them talking and telling the government enough is enough, I’m sure they would be very uncomfortable. If we can find 500 Nigerians who will go to the gate of the National Assembly, sit down on the floor and insist that nobody is going in or coming out, even if they shoot and kill, they will be tired at some point,” he said.

The CLO also condemned the recent visit of former state governors ( Class of 99) to the Presidential Villa to meet with Tinubu, their colleague who is now President of the country. Akeregha said that apart from a few of them, these former governors performed poorly during their tenures and have nothing positive to offer the new government and the country.

“Ordinarily, politicians are supposed to be a group of people who have the interest of their people at heart, but what we have by the regrouping of the so called “Class of 99” is a group of heartless men who have no good plans for the masses. After we fought hard and succeeded in sending the military to the barracks in 1999, these people seized the political space and planted themselves in the various political offices in the 36 states of the federation. What did we get in return? So much looting of the resources of their states. Except for a few of them, the legacy they left was nothing to write home about at the end of their tenures.

“It does not matter whether a politician is your father, mother, brother, uncle or friend, if they are not patriotic and do not have the interest of the people at heart, we must organise ourselves against these people now before it is too late. Nigeria cannot go the path of Sudan; it cannot go the path of Ukraine and Russia. We have a country that we call our own, but a small country like Seychelles is refusing us holiday visas because we have lost it,” he said.