The Coalition of United Political Parties has condemned the hoarding of premium motor spirit known as petrol, noting that the pump price of the product has skyrocketed in the last two days.
The scarcity of petrol, the CUPP said, started when President Bola Tinubu declared that his administration was stopping subsidy payments on petrol during his inauguration on Monday.
The CUPP in a statement signed by its National Co-Spokesperson, Mark Adebayo, and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, stated that “hoarding and price hikes are unnecessary, evil, wicked and inhuman. The 2023 budget still takes care of subsidies up till the end of June 2023.”
The marketers are just taking undue advantage of the ill-advised strategic communication error that occurred at the President’s inauguration where he tactlessly declared that the subsidy was gone.
Speaking further the CUPP added, “This was not only an inauspicious occasion for such an announcement but also a total communication error. This is utterly disappointing because one would have expected that the new president would have communication experts working with him on his inaugural speech to avoid such an avoidable gaffe.
“Since the fuel subsidy regime still subsists till the middle of the year, the president should have been silent on it. To declare matter-of-fact in such a tactless manner that “subsidy is gone” allows unpatriotic oil marketers to cause the harrowing experiences that Nigerians are going through at the moment.
Advising the president, the group stated that he should have known better than making such an announcement over a month before the end of the subsidy period.
“It’s a major strategic communication blunder with undesirable socioeconomic consequences on already overburdened Nigerians.
“He and his handlers should have known well enough that such a declaration would activate a chain reaction of unpleasant sharp practices by oil marketers that would impact negatively on the society and, even, his government.”
It pointed out that “Transportation costs have suddenly gone up by 300 per cent in some places as the pump prices now range from N550 to N600.
This is inexcusable in all ramifications for a government that is just coming in. As for the fuel marketers who have taken undue advantage of this policy gaffe, it is an unethical and obscene business practice to unleash such sudden attacks on Nigerians when you still have subsidy support till the end of June 2023. Your action is inexcusable, reprehensible, unpatriotic, and obnoxious.”
The group further advised that the Federal Government must immediately put in place ameliorating policies that can quickly cushion the ‘multiple harrowing effects of this horrendous and unacceptable development” saying that is what should have been done before any subsidy removal is announced to the public.
“Now it would be significantly herculean to set things right at the earliest possible time but it has to be done to avoid a much worse series of intractable consequences,” the statement read.