The Joint Action Force (JAF), the pro labour-civil society component of the Labour and Civil Society Coalition, has called on Nigerians to prepare for a mass action to resist the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
In a media briefing on Wednesday in Lagos, the group announced that a nationwide mass action would commence on January 3rd to counter the planned subsidy removal.
The mass action, according to the group, will be be used to boycott or shut filling stations that sell above the current prices – petrol at N65 per litre; kerosene at N50 per litre; and diesel at N70 per litre.
The group also called on Nigerians to be ready to enforce stay-at-home and industrial actions whenever labour and civil society declare such.
A press statement made available to journalists called on Nigerians to “rise and chase the class of looters and profiteers away.”
“The continuous fraudulent enrichment of the few ruling cabals in federal, state and local governments and their cronies… and the unprecedented mismanagement and looting of public funds through so called fuel subsidy and security votes since 1999 must not be allowed to continue,” read the statement, jointly signed by Dipo Fashina, JAF’s chairperson; and secretary, Abiodun Aremu.
The group noted that as a response to the government’s use of force to impose anti-poor policies and repress the people; the people should resist and demand the exit of such government.
“As far as we are concerned, there is no subsidy on petroleum products,” said Mr. Aremu.
“There must be no increase in the price of petroleum products. The mass action is to send a signal to the government and a message to Nigerians,” he added.
Mr. Aremu called on the government to ensure that all the four refineries are functional as well as make petroleum products affordable to all.
“Government built these refineries, so why can’t the government make it work,” Mr. Aremu said.
In his speech, Chude Achike observed that the mass action is the main strategy of the people.
“The people we are dealing with, (President) Jonathan and others are in the extreme minority,” said Mr. Achike, JAF’s deputy chairman.
“The masses must realize that this is their own struggle. Our message is enough is enough, Nigerians must stand up,” he said.
Segun Sango, the general secretary of the Democratic Socialist Movement, called on Nigerians to wake up to the reality that “we are being governed by anti-people elements.”
“It is a disgrace that a country like Nigeria that is potentially rich , materially and in human resources, cannot boast of anything right on any level,” said Mr. Sango.
“I expect next year for life to be harder for the Nigerian people on all fronts, because we have to go back to the… that governance is all about attending to the welfare and collective benefits of all of us. Until we do that, we’ll be in the woods,” Mr. Sango said.