Groups Vow To Disregard Police Warning In Rivers State - Politics - Nairaland
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|Groups Vow To Disregard Police Warning In Rivers State by koruji(m): 2:53am On Jan 04, 2012 |
January 4, 2012 by Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt Leave a Comment
Civil society groups in Rivers State have said they will mobilise the people of the state for a protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, despite the warning by the State Police Command against such move.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Suleiman Abba, had on Monday, told labour unions to desist from any form of demonstration or procession over the controversial removal of fuel subsidy.
Abba had warned labour leaders to control their members in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
But the civil society groups, comprising the United Action for Democracy, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development and the Ogoni Solidarity Forum, said at a joint news conference on Tuesday that they would not be deterred by the police warning.
The National General Secretary of UAD, Mr. Ken Henshaw, explained that the groups were yet to inform the police about protest that would hold on Monday.
“We have not communicated with the Commissioner of Police in the state, but we have contacted our partners outside the country. The police cannot stop us from marching to the streets and it is left for the police commissioner to carry out his threats,” he said.
According to Henshaw, the groups will not hesitate to ensure the prosecution of any security agent who kills any Nigerian that joins in the protest.
Henshaw said, “We do not need anybody’s consent to air our views on issues that affect us. We are going on with our protest on January 9, 2012, despite the threat by the police.
“There is no place called police market as we all buy from the same market where prices of goods have increased astronomically. So why would police shoot peaceful protesters?
“Our interest is that the Federal Government should revert to the N65 per litre of petrol or less. We will not even accept N66 per litre.’
He pointed out that a situation where government officials use public funds to cover their expenses was unacceptable.
Henshaw described the increase of the price of petrol from N65 to N141 as the height of insensitivity.
He said, “We consider this policy as not only insensitive, ill thought out and absolutely unnecessary, but also provocative and inhumane.
“Given the fact that 70 per cent of Nigerians live below $2 a day; the increase in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 will spell social and economic doom to the vast majority of Nigerians.
“The citizens of this country are already overburdened by unemployment, poor infrastructure, high cost of living, unaffordable basic social services and dwindling livelihoods.”
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