Emameh Gabriel in Abuja
The Labour Party (LP) has expressed shock over what its described as the untimely removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his inauguration speech on Monday, May 29.
The party lamented that it has been confronted with the stark reality that less than 24 hours after President Tinubu took over the reins of power, Nigerians woke up to see the pump price of petrol shot up to N600 per litre and N750 per litre in the black market, calling on Nigerians to be ready for more anti people policies by the the government of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Obiora Ifoh, the Abure’s led-NWC National Publicity Secretary, stated this Tuesday in a statement in Abuja.
He said though Labour Party had, during its campaign promised to end the subsidy regime, but would not have gone ahead to announce the removal by a presidential fiat without working out modalities to cushion the effects it might have on the people.
He said: “As we speak now, the queues are back again and Nigerians will, as was the case in the previous administration begin to keep vigils in the filling station to get just a few litres of petrol. As expected, commercial transporters have hiked their trip fares across the country in response to the developments. While product hawkers are once more the king of the jungle.
“This scenario easily reminds one of the story of a certain Pharaoh who on assumption of throne empowered his task-masters to triple the daily tasks of the Jews. What a way to announce one’s emergence as the sheriff in town. President Tinubu’s first executive proclamation was such that it is purposed to inflict pains on Nigerians.
“Labour Party while campaigning in the last election also proposed ending the subsidy regime however, on the condition that necessary policies and actions would have to be in-situ. Labour Party also insists that the subsidy removal will be gradual and must be done with stakeholders’ input having in mind that a number of refineries will be recalibrated to near optimal functionality.
“The removal of subsidy by a presidential fiat as witnessed yesterday was not only shocking but practically took every Nigerian by surprise. Reason we advice Nigerians to brace up for more rude shocks and surprises in the days ahead.
“Labour is therefore condemning the unilateral decision by President Tinubu who without any form of consultation with the stakeholders particularly, the labour unions removed the subsidy on petroleum and has instantly pushed Nigerians further into hardship.
“Labour Party has observed with pains that some of the petrol station operators simply shut their filling stations and depot owners also shut their operations. They have also argued that no clarification was given on the execution of the policy. We are therefore calling on the government to quickly reevaluate the policy, and come up with a more practical plans to remove the subsidy in such a way as not to jeopardize the peace of the nation.”
The party however called on the various unions, social activists and Nigerians in general to “be watchful and ensure that democracy is not derailed by whatever means and guise”.