The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday issued a strongly-worded statement condemning subsidy withdrawal.
The statement titled: “Enforce N65 per litre price,” and signed by NLC acting Genera; Secretary Owei Lakemfa and TUC Secretary General John Kolawole said: “As Nigerians mourn the victims of the bomb blasts in the last few days and grapple with insecurity, the Jonathan Administration decided to utilise this period to impose astronomical fuel price increases on the populace.
“This New Year “gift” by the Presidency is callous, insensitive and is intended to cause anarchy in the country. It is tragic that the Jonathan Government has become the greatest source of insecurity in the country and the spring of danger to the Nigerian nation.
“In the last few days, Jonathan’s administration told Nigerians that it was consulting us on the issue of fuel subsidy removal and that if any was contemplated, it would be with effect from April 1, 2012. The NLC and TUC warned Nigerians that this government thrives on falsehood and can therefore not be trusted.
“The Presidency’s New Year Day action of removing the fuel subsidy and imposing new fuel prices on the populace is a clear demonstration of the fact that the Jonathan administration cannot be trusted. We also have information that it intends to make a litre of PMS N150.00 and then ask the NNPC to reduce the price at its fuel stations by a few Naira. Nigerians must defeat whatever are the schemes of this government.
“The NLC, TUC, the pro-people Civil Society Organisations and patriotic Professional organisations reject these new fuel prices and direct Nigerians to resist their imposition. We direct our state councils and unions to take steps to resist any price above N65 litre of PMS, and await a date for the commencement of general strikes and mass protests across the country.
“Similarly, we alert the populace to begin immediate mobilisation towards the D-day for the commencement of the strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests across the country.
“With the decision of the Jonathan administration to create chaos in the country, we Nigerians have the duty and responsibility to restore the country to normalcy and reclaim our birthright.
“This promises to be a long drawn battle; we know its beginning, but we do not know its end or when it will end. But we are confident that the Nigerian people will triumph over the cabal in Aso Rock.
“We call on the National Assembly and the governors to side with the people and stand by them in this struggle.
“The Labour Movement also calls on the police, armed forces and other security personnel not to accept any order to shoot Nigerians or attack them for publicly resisting these evil hikes in fuel prices. We warn that any officer who does so will be brought to justice, and a claim that he was obeying orders, will not be an excuse for committing such crimes.
“We also put the Jonathan Presidency and its surrogates on notice that we shall ensure that they are prosecuted up to the International Criminal Court if they, by acts of commission or omission spill the blood of any Nigerian over the protests that follow their inhuman acts against the people.
“In the next few days, the leadership of the NLC and TUC will jointly issue directives on the date organised national strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests will commence. We shall neither surrender nor retreat.
Labour insists on N65 per litre