The Peoples Democratic Party has warned that the ongoing fuel crisis may snowball into nationwide protests worse than the October 2020 EndSARS protests.
In a statement signed on Sunday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the main opposition accused the Federal Government of “kneeling on the necks of Nigerians.”
PDP said, “There is a limit to what the people can bear under an administration that remains insensitive to their plights. President Buhari needs to be reminded of his duty to Nigerians, to in the least, show some empathy, competence and concern as our country rapidly drifts towards a looming precipice.
“The frustration in the country is already degenerating into a nationwide restiveness that may result in the breakdown of Law and Order if allowed to fester. With petrol now selling between N400 to N500 per litre, diesel at over N800 per litre, kerosine at over N750 and aviation fuel at N670 per litre, millions of businesses, employment and sources of livelihood have collapsed in both urban and rural areas resulting in acute hardship and widespread social tension across the country.
“Our Party fears that the situation is getting to a boiling point and can trigger a nationwide agitation that might be worse than the October 2020 EndSARS if not addressed immediately.”
The main opposition also accused the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of abdicating his duties and being “aloof” and “absent” at a time the country battles “a collapsed national grid, protracted fuel crisis, distressed aviation sector, plummeting currency, crippled production and commercial activities.”
“It is often said that when a government abdicates its responsibility to the citizens at whose pleasure it should serve, then that government is complicit in the suffering of its people and a beneficiary of their woes.
“If President Buhari could personally communicate on issues that concern his party, the APC, while in England, it is inconceivable that he failed and neglected, as always, to attend to life discounting experiences and pains encountered by Nigerians daily by the thoughtless and inhumane policies of his government,” the PDP argued.
It said the President must take responsibility and stop abdicating his duties by sending his aides to issue claims and apologies on the regime’s behalf.
But in a statement signed last Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari expressed sincere regrets for the inconvenience caused to Nigerians following a prolonged shortage of petroleum products, saying his regime has successfully averted such occurrence since 2015.
This is as he directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and other relevant government establishments to fish out and punish elements among petrol station operators who are deliberately fueling the crisis.
According to the President, the regime “knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way. I specially apologize to all sections of society for this.
“The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed upon earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity. Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, this plan is now bearing fruit. Sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states, with the queues at stations falling. In the coming days, we expect this to be the case across the rest of the country.”
When contacted by our correspondent, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, neither picked calls nor responded to a message sent to him