The Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB) chaired by Foremost human rights lawyer, Femi Falana said it has commenced mobilization of Nigerians for a total shutdown on September 28 to protest the hike in price of petroleum.
The coalition with over 80 affiliate members spread across the country said this is in solidarity with the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress, (TUC).
“We fully support the position of TUC and NLC. ASACAB will intensify its campaign to ensure mass participation of Nigerians in an affair that affects their livelihood” said Falana.
According to him, ASCAB and all its 80 affiliate members across the country have been asked to prepare their members for a day of protest against anti-people policies of the Government.
“Our members will come out in millions to show their determination to free the fetters of iron and the chains of economic and political repression foisted on them by the Federal and State Governments”, he said in a statement.
The lawyer also asked the Federal Government to ensure police protection for the protesters as dictated by the Nigerian Constitution.
Falana said the hike in fuel from N148 per litre to N162 per litre was anti-poor, noting that many countries have been providing subsidy for the extremely poor through health care services, access to public education, water, good food, housing and public transportation.
He lamented that in Nigeria the leadership concentrates on adding to the burden of the masses thereby fueling ceaseless public outrage, anger, desperation and even providing the breeding ground for the emergence of terrorist groups.
“We have seen a continuous regime of subsidy removal for the past four decades. It is now clear that the subsidy removal and fuel hike have become rituals, slogans, catch phrases that are used continuously to defraud the Nigerian masses,” the statement added.
ASCAB said each regime of fuel increase has further impoverished Nigerians, spurred violent crimes and pushed Nigerians into extremism in their desperate quest to survive the scourge.
The coalition said the reality in Nigeria nullifies the need for fuel and electricity tariff hike given the loss of jobs and downward cut in salaries of many Nigerians due to the economic peril of COVID-19 pandemic.
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