By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the presidency to avoid pushing Nigerians to the wall with its display of insensitivity and total disregard to the demands by the citizens to effect an immediate downward review in the pump price of fuel.
The PDP said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The party described the attempt by the presidency to justify the “wicked increase” in the pump price of fuel from N87 per liter under the PDP to N160 as provocative, confrontational and totally unacceptable to Nigerians.
According to the statement, “Our party holds that the defence of such a humongous hike, which has worsened the hardship being suffered by Nigerians under the Buhari administration, is in bad taste and should be rescinded immediately.
“It is indeed an unpardonable slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians that after running a heavily corrupt oil trade and subsidy regime, through which over N14 trillion naira had been allegedly frittered by its officials, the Buhari administration seeks to put the burden of high costs on innocent and already impoverished citizens.
“The PDP totally rejects this attempt to hinge the increase in fuel price on presumed removal of oil subsidy when it has failed to account for the proceeds of oil sales in the last five years, even in the face of confession by the Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, in April this year, that the APC administration had been running an over-bloated and sleazy oil subsidy regime.
“Also the Buhari administration had failed to account for the confession by the NNPC that it was engaged in secret siphoning of oil money through a clamed subsidizing of fuel for certain West Africa countries”, it said.
The PDP recalled that prior to his emergence as the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (as he was then known) had declared fuel subsidy a fraud.
The msin opposition party noted with sadness that five years after, the government, which he (Buhari) heads, is watching over a subsidy regime that is brimming with corruption.
The PDP added, “Our party insists that Nigerians should not be made to bear the brunt of the huge corruption in the Buhari administration which has wrecked every aspect of our national economy.
“It is incredulous and shameful for this administration to predicate the reckless increase in the cost of fuel on a faulty comparison with costs in other countries of the world, whereas the daily standard of living, the purchasing power and living wage of the average Nigerian in the last five years cannot be compared with what obtains in those countries.
“Such comparison is therefore not only absurd but also completely illogical.
“Our party had at the wake of this increase cautioned the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to misinterpret the patience and law-abiding nature of Nigerians as a sign of weakness on this issue.
“It is clear that the APC administration is completely anti-people as displayed in its refusal to heed to the cries of suffering Nigerians, who have rejected the fuel price increase, and there is no way history can be kind to any President who subjected Nigerians to the economic anguish and pains they have been suffering in the last five years.
“Again, we caution the Buhari Presidency and the APC not to continue to test the elasticity of the will of the people”, it said.