From Ben Dunno, Warri

The Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has urged President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of urgency commenced the full implementation of those policies and programmes already put in place by the previous administration to cushion the huge burden of fuel subsidy removal on the masses.

CDHR National President (Dr) Kehinde Prince Taiga, who made this appeal in a statement issued in Warri, noted that the new government no longer have any need to keep postponing the implementation of its palliatives programme, especially with yesterday’s inaugural speech pronouncement to put an end to it by the President.

He stated that following President Tinubu’s speech on subsidy removal, the cost per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) had gone up to as much as N450 to N750, depending on locations, adding that this had taken its immediate toll on the living standards of the people, as the cost of transportation, feeding and accommodation had skyrocketed across the country.

According to him; “Just this morning as I was about to leave Asaba where I had gone for the governor’s inauguration yesterday, I bought fuel there at N450 per litre, when I got to Kwale, people are in the queue buying at N750, while it goes for between N500 and N600 in Warri and Ughelli as well as in Udu communities and its environs.

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“I have also put a call across to Lagos, Abuja, Oyo, Rivers and other states of the federation and it was the same issue of scarcity, hoarding, panic buying and exorbitant prices they are getting everywhere and the masses are already getting frustrated and angry over the negative consequences of hike in the pump price of fuel.”

While stating that the President was too hasty in his announcing the outright removal of the fuel subsidy in his inaugural speech, Taiga noted that President Tinubu would have taken time to start the process of implementing some of the palliative measures being considered by the immediate past government before announcing the subsidy removal.

“President Tinubu started on a very wrong footing. Even though I supported the idea of fuel subsidy removal, there ought to be a holistic systemic approach to it. You cannot just start building something on nothing. What is going on is that people have been thrown into further hardship without anything to fall back on,” Taiga stated.

“I’m therefore using this medium to as a matter of urgency, call on President Tinubu to commence the process of implementing the various palliative programmes being proposed by the last administration to cushion the effects of subsidy removal in order to bring succour to Nigerians who are currently in a helpless and hopeless situation due to the abrupt removal announcement made in his inaugural speech.”