From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group under the auspices of National Consultative Front (NCF) said it is time for all patriotic and progressive Nigerians to come out and rescue the nation from deteriorating into chaos .
A founding member of the Group, Comrade Issa Aremu made the assertion while speaking to the media in kaduna yesterday.
Aremu who addressed the media alongside first Governor of Kaduna State Balarabe Musa and Comrade Yerima Shettima Said things are fast falling apart in Nigeria, saying this is the time to bring new national initiative on national building.
He said the new (NCF) is a new political paradigm to get things done in a new way to deliver the much needed public good to Nigerians.
Aremu therefore advised the facilitating Secretariat of the (NCF) to intensify consultation with all to retain confidence.
“ In the new political normal, we should not take each other for granted just as the Nigerians have been taken for a ride since 1999.
“However compatriots too should jettison the old idea of entitlement to be “consulted” on the task which we all agonize over daily: repositioning our dear Nation on the path of development, deepening democracy, political and electoral reforms and eradication of poverty.
“ I was not “consulted” as such. But I wholeheartedly accept that I was rightly enlisted. Many compatriots have also called to complain why they are not enlisted and that they must be counted.
“” He said I certainly don’t need “consultation”: “on a new political intervention for rescuing our dear country from the exploitative grip of a lacklustre leadership and the manipulation of a bickering, factionalised ruling political elites in Nigeria”.
The Labour leader pleaded with compatriots to stop grumbling but take some concrete actions that will give Let’s give meaning to the first stanza of the national anthem,: “Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey, To serve our Fatherland, With love and strength and faith.”
Aremu who is the Labour Party Candidate in the 2019 Gubernatorial Election frown at new fuel price increase during Coronavirus pandemic, saying it is unacceptably and insensitive.
According to him It will worsen poverty which ironically President Buhari recently accepts has worsened with lockdowns.
“With 10 percent inflation rate, Nigerians are already oppressed by high prices and eroded purchasing power. Fuel price at the time of ease of movement after protracted lock downs means the Federal government is not committed to sustainable livelihoods .
“ We support the demand of NLC that government reverses from the current arbitrary N143 to the old fuel price of N121.50 per litre.
“There should be transparency in pricing governance on the part of the Board of Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) considering the market fundamentals of foreign exchange, bank interest rates by importers of petroleum products.
“Marketers are in business to make profit which they would do through padded fuel price template or blatant products diversions .
“ However the government is there to ensure the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of the citizens.
“ It is wrong for government officials to privilege marketers who are just interested in profit making fundamentals that promote price increase with utter disregard for the real sector of the economy and welfare of all.
“The challenge facing the petroleum downstream sector goes beyond pricing. The fundamental issue is sustainable domestic supply which can only be made possible through reinvention of the existing domestic refineries and building of more.
“Nigerians want to see the President and Vice President commissioning new refineries in line with the promise of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan that Nigeria will refine 80 percent of crude oil by 2018..
“The existing debt servicing of 80 per cent of revenue is not sustainable and unacceptable for national development. Nigeria should urgently demand for debt forgiveness or push for debt cancellation.
“It is commendable that with the context of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) initiative, China had pledged to cancel the debts of some African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020. Nigeria should demand that China’s debt deal includes Nigerian debts too” He said