The latest outrageous hike in the pump price of fuel has been condemned as toxic, despicable and absolutely intolerable, just as Civil Rights group, Human Rights Writes Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) predicted that Nigerians will start eating grass as edible due to economic hardship if they do not publicly protest peacefully and demand immediate halt to this heartless incessant hike in price of petrol.
The price of Petrol has increased to about N617 per litre, according to the Rights group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) in a statement by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko dated July 18th 2023.
A visit by HURIWA to an NNPC filling station in the Central area of Abuja confirmed that the fuel price has now been adjusted from N539 to N617 per litre even as another Customer who confirmed this development simply said “It is true, I just bought at N617 per liter.”
HURIWA asserted that the immediate reason could not be ascertained but it is not unconnected to the recent projections by oil marketers that fuel price will hit N700 per litre soon.
Besides, the media reports that the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NDMPRA) is yet to officially inform Nigerians about this unwarranted imposition of hardship.
Reacting, HURIWA stated that unless and until Nigerians become active citizens and embrace the constitutional challenge by peacefully protesting on the streets of Nigerian cities and townships against these sets of harsh economic policies which offends a plethora of fundamental rights provisions enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria.
HURIWA is also accusing President Ahmed Bola Tinubu of violatingsection 15 (5) which provides thus: “ The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”. And 16 (2) which states that: “ The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring: (a) the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development;
(b) that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good;
(c) that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group;…”.
HURIWA said: “The silence of Nigerians in the face of cocktails of toxic and elitist economic measures by the newly inaugurated President Ahmed Bola Tinubu will inevitably lead the masses to ‘economic Golgotha’ meaning that the next best meals Nigerians will resort to so as to survive the devastating and excruciating absolute poverty is to eat grass like goats or cows.
HURIWA Condemns the current administration for continuously inflicting economic hardships on Nigerians through many thoughtless and anti-poor policies whereas the salaries of public office holders have been reviewed upwards and the National Assembly has just been allocated N110 Billion as palliatives to cushion the effects of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy whereas over 130 million multidimensionally poor Nigerian households are abandoned to a cruel fate of constant upward reviews of the pump price of fuel which inevitably affects the costs of foodstuffs and leads to spiralling inflationary trends.
HURIWA, quoting official government reports stayed that the rise in inflation comes amid soaring food prices occasioned by the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit commonly known as petrol.
Nigeria’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 22.79% in June from the 22.41% recoded in May 2023. This is according to the latest CPI report released by the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) on Monday. The CPI measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services. “In June 2023, the headline inflation rate rose to 22.79% relative to May 2023 headline inflation rate which was 22.41%. Looking at the movement, the June 2023 Headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.38% points when compared to May 2023 headline inflation rate,” the Bureau stated. The report also showed that food inflation spiked to 25.25% on a year-on-year basis which is higher than the 20.60% recorded in June 2022.
For the month under review, food prices rose to 2.40%, which is 0.21% points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023. The year-on-year basis rate showed a 4.19% higher compared to the 18.60% rate recorded in June 2022. “On a year-on-year basis, the Headline inflation rate was 4.19% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2022, which was 18.60%. This shows that the Headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in June 2023 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., June 2022).”
HURIWA us therefore urging Nigerians to rise up in unison and reject the attempts by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to push them into the evential consumption of grass just like irrational animals in the wild.
HURIWA said the plea by President Tinubu that Nigerians should exercise patient in the face of the avalanches of extremely toxic and painful economic policies of the government does not make any rational and believable sense because the consequences is that hundreds of thousands of Nigerians may die due to these economic problems unleashed on the masses by the current administration.