A coalition of civil society groups under the umbrella of Nigerians Against Bad Policies ( NABP ) said it would occupy and shutdown the Eagle Sqaure, venue of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary in Abuja slated for 1st October 2020 over the increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.
The group said that it has mobilised its members across the country to join the Nigerian Labour Congress ( NLC ) and Trade Union Congress ( TUC ) in the nationwide mass protest against the Nigerian government.
The coalition disclosed this on friday in Abuja at a press conference jointly addressed by the Publicity Secretary of Movement for the Socialist Alternative (MSA), Oladimeji Macaulay; Gerald O. Katchy of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR); and Juwon Sanyaolu of Take It Back Movement in support of NLC/ TUC general strike.
Macaulay said no amount of intimidation and harassment by the security operatives would stop them from embarking on the mass protest.
He said, “Against this backdrop, the Nigerians Against Bad Policies, has begun mass mobilization of the Nigerian people across board to achieve maximum compliance with the call by NLC/TUC for total strike and protests. NABP in liaison with its affiliates across States of the country, shall be organizing rallies, sensitization Walks, etc as part of the build up and follow-up to Monday 28th September, strike commencement.
We call on NLC/TUC to be resolute in their demand for total reversal of the increases, and not be cajoled by any partial Greek gifts or so-called palliatives.
The Nigerian masses who have become totally traumatized by bad governance, leadership insensitivity, run-away inflammation and economic collapse as well as the glaring corruption and lawlessness in the land, are totally committed and willing to wage this struggle with attendant sacrifices until victory is achieved.”
In his own remark, Katchy condemned the attempt by the government to justify the hike in petrol pump price and electricity tariff and described it as unacceptable .
According to him, “Again, we totally reject these and state for the umpteenth time, that these increases cannot be justified for any reason at this time. We in the Nigerians Against Bad Policies-NABP, see it as nothing but sheer extortion and exploitation of the downtrodden masses of this country. Our demand again is nothing short of immediate and unconditional reversal of the hikes.
In view of the foregoing, therefore, we hereby call on Nigerians to massively come out from the 28th September 2020 to march and protest against these anti-people policies by the Federal Government of Nigeria, to register their grievances and demand immediate and total reversal in the hike in petrol pump price and electricity tariff.”
Speaking on behalf of Take It Back Movement , Juwon Sanyaolu bemoaned President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians by the bandits.
He said, “Government is busy chasing after protesters while bandits are killing and kidnapping people everywhere including Abuja.
Starting from 28th September to October 1st and beyond we will protest and occupy this country.
The fact of the matter is that a government that has failed have no reason to continue in the first place. This government has failed and Buhari should resign.”
Members of the coalition include: Civil Rights Council, Social Action, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL)
Others are Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) , Revolution NOW , Take It Back and others.