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End fuel scarcity within 78 hours or face mass protests, group warns Buhari

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations operating under the aegis of ‘Civil Society Coalition for Economic Well-being and Good Governance’ on Thursday issued a 78-hour ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to end fuel scarcity or face mass protest.

 

This was contained in a communique issued by the coalition after a one-day meeting on Wednesday and made available to journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

 

The communique whichh was signed by Mr Garba Danjuma Danzi, Chairman, Dr Ayodele Simon Hughes, Secretary-General and two other executives lamented the difficulty faced by Nigerians over lingering fuel scarcity across the 36 States of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.

 

The groups said, they have appraised the ugly trend of fuel scarcity and noted failures of some Chief Executives of the government-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Limited as responsible for the endless scarcity of fuel and called for the sack of the Group Managing Director GMD, of NNPL, Mele Abba Kyari.

 

The Coalition also called for the sack of the Minister of State for Petroleum within 78 hours, Timipreye Sylva, a failure which they insisted would form part of the reasons for mass protest.

 

Part of the communique read: “The Coalition which comprises 34 organisations have their leaders represented at the meeting. The Coalition noted with sadness the difficulty being faced by the citizens occasioned by endless fuel scarcity despite promises by the president Muhammadu Buhari administration to tackle the ugly situation and resolved as follows:

 

“That the Coalition issues a 78-hour ultimatum for the Federal government to end fuel scarcity by ensuring sufficient Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and gasoline at all retail outlets across the country.

 

“The coalition called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited (NNPL), Mr Mele Abba Kyari within 78 hours.

 

“That the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipreye Sylva be sacked within 78 hours as the Coalition reasonably believed that both officials have failed in their statutory responsibilities, thus, leading to untold hardship on Nigerians.

 

“That failure on part of the Federal government to take prompt action and put measures in place for the availability of fuel and subsequent disappearance of queues, the coalition would mobilise citizens from 36 States of the Federation and FCT to occupy the NNPL towers in the Central Business District, Abuja in protest.”

 

The communique also called on President Buhari to disband the recently constituted Steering Committee which he made himself Chairman, stressing that he was busy with an electioneering campaign to tackle fuel scarcity.

 

The group urged Mele Abba Kyari and Timipreye Sylva to admit their failures and face sack, given that the NNPL under their watch is the sole importer of fuel.

 

It continues: “The Coalition urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately disband the 14-member Steering Committee on the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit which he appointed himself as Chairman and replace it with an independent committee, given his tight schedule amid electioneering campaigns.

 

“The CSOs noted that the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited is the sole importer of fuel into the country and as privileged officials serving in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the duo of Mele Abba Kyari and Timipreye Sylva have not made a deliberate effort to tackle the endless embarrassing fuel scarcity in the country.

 

“Consumers are being exploited by the retailers as most filling stations have adjusted their meters to black market prices. The regulatory body – Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) is called upon to ensure strict observance of the government-approved depot and retail prices.

 

“The CSOs unanimously resolved that the Federal government should quickly resolve the faceoff between Tanker Drivers and security agents and further take proactive measures to ensure that tanker drivers don’t go on strike so as not to affect the supply chain.

 

“That the Federal government should constitute a taskforce made up of security and paramilitary agents to patrol the nation’s borders to stop the smuggling of fuel out of the country, even as the domestic consumption has been badly affected leading to scarcity.”

 

 

(Nigerian Tribune)

 

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