Fuel: Civil servants, religious bodies others react to new pump price regime

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By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.
Various bodies including opposition parties, religious organisations and residents of Ogun state have reacted to the increase of petroleum price to N145 per litre describing it as obnoxious and uncalled for.
It would be recalled that Federal Government Wednesday announced the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector which has introduced a new retail benchmark of N145 per litre for the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol.
As the opposing political parties and workers’ union in the state rejected the new fuel pump price regime, which they argued will have a ripple effect on prices of other commodities, religious organisation, which included the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) National Council for Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO) commended the efforts of the federal government for taking the bold step which they hoped would end the petrol scarcity in the country.
The state Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Semiu Sodipo said the increase was a way of pauperising Nigerians and therefore unacceptable.
He lamented that the development will result to the increase of other goods and services at a time that many Nigerians were struggling to make ends meet.
“The fuel price increment is arbitrary, anti-people, anti-democratic, retrogressive and it must be condemned by all right thinking persons regardless of party affiliation,” he said.
Acting State Chairman of the Labour Party, Comrade Abayomi Arabambi who spoke with journalists said President Mohammed Buhari ought to have addressed the nation first before going to announce the new fuel pump price.
Arabambi, who maintained that the new fuel pump price regime was not done in good faith however, charged President Buhari to exercise caution in order not fall into the traps of some corrupt political advisers who may want to ill-advice him to make mistake that may negatively affect his 2019 re-election bid.
Ogun LP chairman further charged the President to ensure that he puts in place, a palliative measure that will help Nigerians cushion the effect of the new fuel pump price regime.
He expressed opinion that the government should have acceded to the request of the Labour for an increased salary before announcing a new petrol pump price.
“An increased salary would have gone a long way in alleviating the hardship that will result from the new petrol price”.
The Chairman, Labour Union Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) in Ogun, Abiodun Olakanmi said that he believed the price would still be reversed.
“It is not until we begin to hear from our leaders that we can start reacting appropriately. What I am sure about is that they are not going to stay at that N145, I know they will still bring it down.
The State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Timothy Ajibola who also decried the development however, called for caution among Nigerians.
He urged that any possible protest from Labour on the situation should be peaceful to avoid destruction of lives and property.
The cleric expressed optimism that the government would increase salaries of workers to cushion the effect of the increase in the petrol price.
National President, National Council for Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), Alhaji Kamal-ddin Akintunde expressed belief that the development would pay off in some years later.
“Nigerians should take it as faith and they should take it that the government meant well to have increased the fuel pump price.
“There is no point for the government to continue to deceive Nigerians that petrol will be made available and accessible at the old price.” he said.

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