Be Decisive on Fuel Crisis, Jerry Gana Tells Buhari

*Scarcity may mar general election, CSOs warn

Fidelis David in Akure

A former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the ongoing fuel shortages and price hikes in the country.

This is coming as a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS), warned that next month’s general election may be negatively impacted by the persistent fuel scarcity in the country.
Gana said the avoidable long queues in the filling stations are unacceptable and no longer tolerable.

He said this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, during the anniversary of the Archbishop Vining College of Theology.
According to him “the unnecessary fuel scarcity has crippled the economy of the country while motorists and commuters are subjected to untold suffering across the country as a result of poor supply of petrol.

“We expect them to perform their duty because the fuel shortage is a serious problem and we know the government of the day should certainly do something decisively about the fuel crisis.
“And so, we request them and urge them on behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do something urgently. It is not an appeal but the people of the nation are calling on the government to do something urgently,” he said.

Also, the former minister frowned at the current unnecessary hardship being faced by the citizenry in accessing the newly redesigned Naira notes in the country.
According to him, a lot of people across the country could not access the newly redesigned Naira notes despite the closeness to the deadline as stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He, however, called for an immediate extension of the due date in order to allow the people to access the newly redesigned naira notes and nib the crisis in the bud.
 “The issue of the new Naira notes, people are going through very serious difficulties, this is not a joke, we are speaking from what we see on the field and therefore they should not ruin this economy

“Ordinary people cannot get access to the new notes and therefore we are very much in support of the extension of the date.
“This is very important, it is not for the elite but for people living in thousands of areas within the country who don’t have access. They are the economy and they should therefore listen to those people.

“People are against the policy, particularly, the limits in terms of withdrawal. There must be some logistics, moving around, it’s not a matter of buying votes or not.”

“They are to move around and in doing this, they need funds and this election must go on. Whoever that is trying to frustrate this election would fail”
He asked President Buhari to take the necessary action to ameliorate the suffering of the citizenry.

Gana, charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to endeavour to conduct free, fair and credible elections in February and March.
“The elections are coming and Nigerians expect a free, fair and credible election. The 2023 elections are scheduled to be one of the most credible and best elections.

“We want to really thank INEC for the hard work and technological innovation they have done. They should make sure nobody convinces them to change the date of this election.

“The election must hold and we want every agency within the security forces to please cooperate with INEC to give us a free, fair and credible election.”
Meanwhile, WADEMOS has warned that next month’s general election may be negatively impacted by the persistent fuel scarcity in the country.
WADEMOS said fuel scarcity might affect the deployment of materials and logistics ahead of the election.

It added that this is a cause for concern due to the postponement of previous elections in the country, partly due to logistical concerns.

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