Protests in Edo Over Hardship Caused by Fuel Subsidy Removal
Members of the Edo State Civil Society Organisations and other civil rights groups in the state came out on Monday to protest the hardship brought upon Nigerians following the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.
The rallies began at Ring Road and went through the major streets in Benin, including Mission Road, Akpakpava Road, Sakponba Road and others.
The protesters brandished placards with inscriptions such as “In less than two months, Tinubu Government is choking Nigerians to death, “Tinubu let us breath”, “Kill corruption, not Nigerians”, “Cost of living in Nigeria is choking us”, “FG allow the poor to breath”, and “Keep your palliatives, fix our refineries”.
The EDOCSO interim president, Comrade Austin Enabulele, while speaking to journalists, said the group appreciated the removal of the petroleum subsidy by the Federal Government, but urged the government to put modalities in place to cushion the pains that the removal had caused the poor masses.
“We appreciate that the President has removed subsidy because they are using it to steal from us. However, palliatives should have been put in place before the removal. The refineries should work, even if it is two, so that we buy fuel at an affordable price in Nigeria,” Enabulele said.
He wondered the rationale behind the N8,000 proposed palliative for 12 million Nigerians, which will eventually amount to N996 billion, while N70 billion will be spent on 469 National Assembly members.
“We have come to tell the President that we don’t need the N8,000 palliatives. He should keep it to himself. It is another way of stealing Nigerians’ money.
“How do you get the statistics of 12 million Nigerians that you want to pay N996 billion to as palliatives? Meanwhile, you want to spend N70 billion on the National Assembly with just 469 members.
“Is that not stealing? Is that not calling Nigerians fools? We want to let President Bola Tinubu know that we are not fools and that enough is enough”, Enabulele added.
Speaking also, the President of Talakawa’s Parliament, Comrade Kola Edokpayi, said, “It is no longer news that the poverty rate has increased under the watch of our president.
“It is sad we are where we are today. We cannot continue like this. Imagine lawmakers proposed N70bn payment when the masses are suffering,” he added.