Protesters under the aegis of Edo State Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) have taken to the streets of Benin City to protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Bola Tinubu-led federal government.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the groups have expressed their displeasure with the government’s decision.
They carried placards with slogans such as “In less than two months, Tinubu Government is choking Nigerians to death,” “Kill corruption not Nigerians,” and “Cost of living in Nigeria is choking us.”
Addressing reporters, the interim president of EDOCSO, Comrade Austin Enabulele, said the group appreciated the removal of the subsidy but that the government should have put in place measures to cushion the effects of the removal on the poor masses.
“We appreciate that he has removed subsidy because they are using it to steal from us, but then, before you do that, you must put palliative in place, you must ensure that the refineries are working even if it is two, they should be working so that they can be able to buy fuel in an affordable price in Nigeria,” Enabulele said.
He queried the rationale behind the N8,000 proposed palliative for 12 million Nigerians, which will eventually amount to N996 billion, while N70 billion will be spent on 469 national assembly members.
“And we have come to tell him that we don’t need the N8000 palliatives. He should keep it to himself. It is another way of stealing Nigerians’ money,” Enabulele said.
“How do you get the statistics of 12 million Nigerians that you want to pay N996 billion to as palliatives? Meanwhile, you want to spend N70 billion for the National House of Assembly, which are just 469 members.
“Is that not stealing? Is that not calling Nigerians fools? We want to let President Bola Tinubu know that we are not fools and that enough is enough,” Enabulele added.
The protest was also attended by the President of Talakawa’s Parliament (TP), Comrade Kola Edokpayi, who said that the poverty rate has increased under the watch of the president.
“It is no longer news that the poverty rate has increased under the watch of our president,” Edokpayi said.
“It is sad we are where we are today. We cannot continue like this. Imagine lawmakers proposed N70bn palliative when the masses are suffering.”
This newspaper learnt that the protesters have submitted a petition to the state government.