Youths Protest Fuel Scarcity, Hike in Price, Demand Suspension of 2023 Polls

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

Nigerian Youth Congress for Peace and Development (NYCPD) on Sunday protested the persistent fuel scarcity across the country and the unbearable hike in price by the few independent marketers that have the product.

Addressing the press in Jos, the Plateau State capital, the group, led by its president, Dennis Ebi, described the scarcity as artificial and the hardship Nigerians are facing as unbearable, calling for the head of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.

Ebi said: “The recent adjustment in the pump price was done without adequate consultation with relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas value chain. 

“To our greatest surprise, His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, like other Nigerians first got to know about the increment of the price from rumour mills. 

“That triggered him to issue a press statement through his Media Adviser, Mr. Horatius Egua, denying the obvious fact of the adjustment and also assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari hasn’t approved the upward review of PMS price. He also assured Nigerians that Mr. President has not seen any reason why the price of the product has to go up.”

He said that the minister described what was happening as the handiwork of mischief makers and those planning to discredit the achievements of President Buhari in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

According to him, “In response to this, our team delegated some of our members to visit NNPCL retail to ascertain the extant price of the product. To our greatest surprise, NNPCL has since adjusted their pump price. The same applies to all stations owned by major marketers. Numerous independent marketers are now selling above N400 per litre, where it is available.

“Does NNPCL no longer report to the Minister of State for Petroleum and Resources, who is the middle man between it and Mr. President, who is the senior minister? 

“Is NNPCL now in the hands of mischief makers and those planning to discredit President Muhammadu Buhari? It is our considered view that the lack of cohesion between the Petroleum Ministry and the NNPCL has thrown Nigerians into this untold but avoidable hardship.

“As we plan towards the 2023 election amidst gross hardship, our members can’t be disenfranchised and stopped from travelling to states where they registered to vote due to artificial fuel scarcity.

“Therefore, we want to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend all election processes and address the suffering of Nigerians and set up the mechanism for the installation of an Interim National Government. 

“We demand immediate overhaul of the leadership of NNPCL and some of its subsidiaries over the role they played in increasing PMS pump prices without adequate consultation, thereby triggering inflation and throwing millions of Nigerians into poverty.

“The president should immediately order NNPCL and oil marketers to reverse the current PMS that was done without due consultation until necessary palliatives to cushion the impact of the adjustment is put in place.

“Where our demands above are not met in two weeks, we shall be forced to mobilize our people to the streets to ensure that our demands are met.

“By this notice, all our states and local government structures are hereby mandated to commence mobilization for the mother of all protests.”

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