The Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB) has asked Nigerians to participate in the September 23 Day of Action in protest of the recent hike in the price of electricity and fuel.
In a statement signed by its chairman human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, ASCAB said it would mobilise civil society to join the protest tagged “Enough is Enough” in suppport of working people and poor Nigerians who face the daily agony of survival.
The statement was released on Tuesday, the same day ASCAB threw its weight behind the September 23 protest that was set by the Trade Union Congress.
At the last general meeting of ASCAB, the TUC leadership had briefed the coalition on the decision of its NEC that fixed September 23 as a day of action.
Falana on behalf of ASCAB said workers would show national solidarity and speak with one voice against the repressive policies of the federal and state governments.
Falana said the protest would register public outcry against widespread hate killings, banditry, terrorism, illegal arrests and detension in the country which the Nigerian authorities have failed to address.
He said, “We call on all Nigerians, workers, farmers, students, traders, the poor and the defenseless people alike, women, men, young and the aged to come out on September 23 to show their disdain against institutionalised poverty, hunger, deprivation and the the country’s slide into a cesspool of anomie in the face of violence and spineless killings”
Falana in the statement said government policies had further impoverished Nigerians and fuel their desperation to survive even if it means breaking the law and the societal values.
He noted the fuel hike at a period of COVID-19 pandemic when many workers have lost their jobs and millions are placed on half salary was wicked and inhuman.
Falana made reference to the judgment of the Federal High court, in Aturu v. Minister of Petroleum Resources & ors, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/591/2009, judgement indicated that any fuel hike other than that of the President is null and void.
He said the Federal Government had not appealed the judgment and it remains subsisting and binding and as such, the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum sector unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
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“This will be done peacefully in communities, neighbourhoods, public streets. All the 80 affiliates of ASCAB in all areas or locations where they are based, including TUC affiliates nationwide are expected to participate in the protest.
“Last year the price of crude was about $60 a barrel and the dollar was about N360. Now the cost of crude is about $45 and a dollar is worth about N390. So last year the cost of barrel of crude oil was about N22,000 a barrel and now it is only N17,500 a reduction of about 20 per cent.”