Nigeria’s leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has again taken on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, alleging that the administration is irresponsible for inflicting pain on the citizenry, and inventing justification for its failures.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said, ‘’President Buhari must know that the duty of every responsible government is to solve problems and not to inflict pain and invent justification for its own failures.’’
On the unsettling fuel and electricity prices increase, the party once again, charges President Buhari to end the grandstanding of his administration and listen to Nigerians before it is too late, adding, ‘’nothing but immediate downward review of the cost of fuel and electricity can be acceptable under the current economic situation in our country.’’
PDP has also rejected what it described as ‘’highly irrational’’ argument by Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, that fuel price is lower in some West African countries, without presenting the contradictory economic settings in those countries and ours.
‘’Given our natural endowment, it is incontrovertible that Nigeria has always had cheaper fuel than her neighbours, It is, however, disgraceful that this Buhari administration, given its incompetence, extreme cluelessness as well as obnoxious and poverty inducing policies, has reduced Nigeria from the Giant of Africa to a West African ‘struggler’.
‘’Our party stands with Nigerians in insisting that there is no way our compatriots can survive a N162 per liter fuel price and a N66 per kw/h of electricity in a country which, in the last five years, ranked as poverty capital of the world, with a frightening 23 percent unemployment rate; where over 90 million citizens live in abject poverty and many more living on less than N500 a day’’, PDP says.
Insisting, it said, ‘’there is no way our countrymen and women can survive the obnoxious hike in the cost of fuel and electricity, as currently imposed by the Buhari administration, given the level of poverty the administration had already foisted on our nation.’’
The party describes the seeming brazen attempt by the Information minister to justify the excessive hike in the cost of fuel from N87 per liter under the PDP to N162 as well as electricity from N30.23 per kwh to over N66kw/h, as yet another daring and intolerable affront to the Nigerian citizenry, who have summarily rejected the increases.
‘’Indeed, we find it very inconceivable that after the Federal Government, through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, confirmed that 90 million Nigerians are living in poverty, it still went ahead to increase the cost of essential commodities that drive our economy.
‘’Nigerians are already in trepidation that the excruciating price increase is a sudden death sentence on many citizens, particularly those living below poverty line, as they cannot survive under a worsened economic situation.
‘’Moreover, with a N30,000 federal monthly minimum wage, which represents a N1,000 ($2.1) daily wage, there is no way an average Nigerian can survive under the excessive fuel and electricity hike, with attendant increases in transportation and other operational costs, which will leave most citizens with nothing for food, medicines, house rents and other basic necessities of life’’, the opposition said.
Continuing, it reminded President Buhari that the hike will worsen the scary situation in the last five years, where compatriots are resorting to suicide, slavery mission abroad as well as selling of their children as options.
‘’Our party, therefore, finds it extremely cruel and insensitive for anybody, particularly, an official of this failed administration, to attempt to antagonise Nigerians by comparing our nation to other countries where their Presidents are working hard in providing gainful employments, running productive economies and functional infrastructure, and where citizens boast of strong purchasing power’’, it adds.