The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the PDP-led Federal Government of acting out a clandestine script to increase fuel prices through the back door, saying the ongoing nation-wide fuel scarcity may have been induced to make higher fuel prices a fait accompli for Nigerians.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the fact that the scarcity has persisted despite the claims and counter-claims by the government and the oil markers, and the measures purportedly taken by the government to ameliorate the situation, is the clearest indication of official deception.
”The more fuel trucks the government claims to have sent to major cities to ease the scarcity, the more difficult it is for Nigerians to obtain the product. This is an old trick and Nigerians should not be hoodwinked into believing there will be no increase in fuel prices.
The only deterrent is to let the government know Nigerians will resist any price hike.
”The truth is that with the elections approaching, the PDP-led FG is desperately seeking all possible avenues to raise funds for its usual electoral shenanigans, and increasing fuel prices has always been an attractive option to the government, not minding what the impact will be on the same people it has impoverished since 1999,” it said.
APC said the lingering scarcity has already forced many Nigerians to pay as much as 120 Naira per litre of fuel, which is exactly as the FG wants it to be.
”The next refrain from the government will be that only higher prices will guarantee the availability of the product, and that many marketers are unwilling to import the product because of low profit margin. We urge Nigerians not to swallow this bait,” the party said.
It commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for its timely warning against any plan to hike fuel prices, saying the Jonathan Administration’s assurances that fuel prices will not be increased are not worth anything because the government is credibility-deficient.
”The big deception of 2012, when the government slammed a massive price hike on Nigerians on New Year’s day despite assurances to the contrary, is still too fresh in the memories of Nigerians. The same people who inflicted that pain on Nigerians are still in charge, so no one should trust them,” APC warned.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Interim National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, March 11th 2014