By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Following the hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as Petrol and electricity tariff by the Federal Government, residents in Osogbo on Friday protested the decision describing it as ‘share wickedness’.
The protesters who converged under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Societies Organisation in the state met at the popular Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo from where they marched through Oke-Fia, Alekuwodo and terminated at the busy Ola-Iya junction in the state capital.
The protesters while in the procession were joined by residents who also believed the protest is a duty for every resident in the state.
They bore placards with several inscriptions such as, “PMB, the People are hungry”, “Enough is Enough”, Revert Fuel price”, “Wake up President Buhari, Nigerians are in pain”, We say No to hike in electricity tariff”, among many others.
While marching through the various states routes, they were singing various solidarity songs describing the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the country as deceitful and not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
The group also described President Muhammadu Buhari as a failed leader, whose incompetence in government has led to the introduction of various anti masses policies, therefore, unleashing hardship on Nigerians.
Addressing the gathering at Ola-Iya junction, Comrade Saka Waheed said the protest was necessitated because President Muhammadu Buhari has betrayed the trust of Nigerians and multiplied their suggestions.
He said, “We are here because Buhari has betrayed the majority of Nigerians, we are here because he failed our expectations, we are here because he has put more pressure on the already impoverished citizenry, we are here because we say no to hike in electricity tariff and incessant hike in fuel prices as well as illegal water bill at the National Assembly.
“We didn’t vote for him to give more economic crisis as we have now. We didn’t vote him to increase fuel prices incessantly like this, if the APC-led administration cannot remove our sufferings, they should not hard more to our burden. Today, our people have been reduced to mere beggars and the palliative Buhari has given us is an incessant hike in fuel price and electricity tariff”.
The group demanded that the Federal Government should rescind its decision within five days or the protest would continue regularly after the expiration of the ultimatum.
“We are giving the administration the days to revert back to old price and further negotiate with Nigerians on reducing the old price. They should realise the power of resistance, they should recall that President Goodluck Jonathan was rejected for actions that were not this brutish on Nigerians”, he said.
Also speaking, a Co-Convener, Comrade Tijani Abdulfatai said the masses gathered against obnoxious policies of the government and wondered how a responsible administration can gift its citizenry dual increment in the prices of commodities that are basic to their survival.
“We thought this government would deliver goods governance for the teeming masses but instead of doing that, it keeps introducing policies that further put pressures on the strain means of survival of the people.
“We will keep resisting such policies and we are sending a signal to them that we have once occupied the country and we can do it again. President Buhari promised us refineries but today, they gave us fuel hike. People no longer think of three square meals, yet, a President gives approval to policies to further impoverish them”, he said.
Motorists were also caught up in the protest as the protesters blocked Ola-Iya junction creating gridlock for over thirty minutes the blockade lasted.
Speaking on behalf of Students, the Public Relations Officer of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) South-West Zone D, Olatunji Nurudeen, said the students decided to join the protest register their grievances against the insensitivity of government to Nigerians, especially during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
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