It’s the reality of the market says Kyari
Our Reporter, Abuja, with Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former Secretary to Abia State Government, Elder Ralph Egbu, has accused President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of “pushing Nigerians to the precipice.”
But the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has said the recent hike in the price of petrol was as a result of market forces.
Kyari, who spoke to journalists after meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima in his office Tuesday, also insisted that the increase was not based on a short supply of petrol, assuring that pricing will fluctuate from time to time, depending on activities at the international market.
However, Elder Egbu, the former Commissioner for Information in Abia State, who was reacting to the latest hike of petrol pump price from N500 to N627 per litre, cautioned President Tinubu “not to test the patience of Nigerians for too long.”
Egbu who said he had initially supported the removal of fuel subsidy, expressed total regret the way and manner the President is going about it.
He warned the President not to plunge the country into abyss.
“When President Tinubu removed fuel subsidy, we took him to be on a noble cause that would help shape the future of this country. But this subsequent hike in fuel price is what I don’t understand.
“It suggests that Tinubu has a plan to annihilate Nigerians using starvation and deprivation as a weapon.
“What Tinubu has set out to do especially in this second hike in petrol pump price is wicked, undemocratic, and anti progressive.”
Elder Egbu noted with regret that instead of lightening the burdens of Nigerians through good economic policies, the President appeared to be adding to their pains.
“There ought to be discussions and consultations. Waking up suddenly to increase the price of petrol without notice or any plans to cushion the effects on the masses, is wickedness in the highest order. The earlier the President realises this the better.
“I want to warn him not to test the patience of Nigerians for too long. It has limit and can be exhausted.
“Tinubu is pushing this country towards precipice, and the earlier he realises it the better.”
In the same vein, the pioneer Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia State Council, Comrade Ogbonnaya Iheaka, has warned the leaders of the country not to push the citizens into a revolution they (leaders) would regret.
Iheaka warned the President on the grave danger of testing the will of Nigerians with economic hardship.
He said that the way the President was going about the fuel subsidy matter was already taking a toll on the economy of the country.
“They should not drive Nigeria into a revolution they won’t be able to handle.
“Tinubu should pay attention to the cries of the poor masses. Fuel subsidy has brought enough hardship on the people. Making additional increase means they want to totally paralyse the economy.
“They are busy talking about bullet-proof cars at the National Assembly probably because they know they were going to incur the anger of the masses.
“But they should know that when they make the people uncomfortable the people will not be quiet.
“They should be careful not to push Nigeria into a revolution they will regret.”
He called for immediate reversal of the fuel pump price hike and the rolling out of palliative measures to cushion the effects of subsidy removal
Iheaka also advocated an upward review of minimum wage to lessen the woes of workers.