An oil monitoring group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disregard the planned protest against the current fuel scarcity by Occupy Nigeria, saying it was a veiled protest by the group to force the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu out of office.
A group, Occupy Nigeria, had said it would mobilise Nigerians for a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday, April 14, 2016 over the failure of the federal government to address the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.
The co-facilitator of the group, Mr. Livingstone Wechie, reportedly added that another protest would be organised against the current supply of poor electricity amid increased tariff and incessant/fraudulent bank charges on poor Nigerians.
But in a swift reaction, NDIMRC in a statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer (PRO), Stanley Mukoro, said the protest against fuel scarcity was targeted at the minister to force him out of office over problems he did not create.
“Dr Kachikwu is busy right now trying to ensure that we overcome the lingering fuel crisis in the country and yet somebody is calling for protest to instigate the President to sack him because of problems he did not cause. We should allow the Minister to remain focused on his national assignment. These unnecessary distractions from some disgruntled politicians and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry are not healthy in our present situation in the country,” the group said.
The group said the recent call for protest was uncalled for and unacceptable, adding that all hands must be on deck to end this fuel crisis.
“Our President is too familiar with the tricks and selfish motivated interests of disgruntled politicians and sponsors of such protests and therefore the call for protest must be ignored,” the group added.
NDIMRC described as tissue of lies, all the allegations against the minister on the fuel crisis and insisted that none of the factors that escalated the crisis was under the control of the minister.
“We are amazed that the minister is even being accused of using a private jet at the expense of the state and using consultants to run the NNPC and had embarked on changes in NNPC without carrying the staff along. It should be noted that the Minister was the Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil before his appointment and now he is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and same time the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. Is it too much for him to use a hired jet for in the critical oil and gas Industry? We are calling on the President to be wary of sponsors of protests against the fuel crisis because they are people who have vested interests in the oil and gas industry and ready to do everything and anything to frustrate change in the status quo,” the group explained.