From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The South-South arm of the People’s Alternative Movement (PAM) has vowed to join the organised labour to protest the planned increase of the price of petroleum products, hike in electricity tariff, imposition of tax on soft drinks and other planned policies of the federal government it termed anti-people.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, the Zonal Coordinator of PAM, Dr Osagie Obayuwana, said it was a big regret that Nigeria has been identified as the poverty capital of the world, pointing that the current administration has not shown any desire to change the narrative.
He announced that the group would soon storm the streets as “part of a campaign to put an end to hardship in Nigeria. We all know that Nigeria has for a long time been designated as the poverty capital of the world. There are more poor people per capita than in any other part of the world. To make matters worse, we have been told that the inflation rate in our country is one of the highest in the world so Nigeria has become a land of hardship, a land of hunger, poor diet, poor housing, low self-esteem, the unemployment level in Nigerian from the last figures is close to 40 per cent
“Fresh policy measures of the proposed increase in the price of petrol, kerosene, diesel, engine oil, brake fluid, grease and cooking gas, even the price of electricity and tax on mineral drinks show clearly that the Buhari Government and his supporters don’t care about the plight of the poor in Nigeria. But we the poor are not helpless; after all, we as human beings do have our right to self-defence.
“Contrary to all the promises they made, they have refused to explain why Nigerian oil cannot be refined in Nigeria as all Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are doing”, Obayuwana added.
The right activity slammed the Nigerian government for refusing to stop gas flaring “only for cooking gas to be imported for Nigerian people to buy at cutthroat prices.”
He, therefore, stressed the group’s preparedness to join hands with organised labour to resist the hikes, adding that it has established cells in all strata of the society to galvanise and mobilise Nigerians.