The People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M), a coalition of individuals and organisations committed to the emergence and building of a Mass Workers Party, and the Socialist Transformation of Nigeria, has rejected the recent hike in the price of gas and the impending hikes in the price of fuel and electricity tariff, among other things.
The coalition stated this in a communique of the public meeting organised by TRAP-M and allies on the impending hikes in fuel and electricity prices.
It said it would organise another Occupy Nigeria Protests on the 10th anniversary of the first one in January 2022.
The first Occupy Nigeria Protests were held between January 2 and 14, 2012 across Nigeria to kick against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The meeting was held on Sunday, December 12, 2021, and it was focused on the deteriorating state of the nation in general, the evolving developments with regards to rising energy costs, and the impending hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff being proposed by the Muhammadu Buhari regime.
The communique came up with resolutions and was signed by Comrade Jaye Gaskia and Comrade Omotoye Olorode of TRAP-M Secretariat.
As part of the resolutions, the coalition said, “We serve notice that we shall organise and mobilise Nigerians from all works of life to resist further hardships in general, and the hikes in gas, fuel and electricity prices in particular.
“Towards this end, the peoples alternative political movement (TPAP-M) shall reach out to other like-minded organisations, and link up with similar-minded individuals to build a mass base for a massive popular resistance beginning in January 2022.
“TPAP-M and her allies will organise a week of mobilisations and awareness-raising at the beginning of January 2022 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Occupy Nigeria – the January Uprising of 2012, and as well to build up momentum towards generalised mass protests across the country to resist the impending hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff, and the unfolding hike if the price of Gas.
“We demand a plan and a timeline to meet our demands.”
According to the communique, the demands include that “past and present managements of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the four moribund refineries should be indicted, prosecuted and brought to book for their crass incompetence that has resulted into the failure since 2012 to have to turn around the fortunes of the refineries and make them work at optimum capacity, thus contributing significantly to Nigeria’s ability to acquire adequate domestic refining capacity”.
It further noted, “That we reject in its totality the hike in the price of gas, and the impending hikes in the price of fuel and electricity tariff;
“We insist that Nigerians cannot and must not be punished for the failures and incompetence of the ruling class and this regime in ensuring access to affordable energy and adequate security and protection.
“We demand that all political office holders who have had responsibility for oversight – in executive or legislative capacity, the petroleum sector should be investigated, indicted and prosecuted.
“We demand the complete reversal of the power sector privatisation, and the renationalisation of the power sector, bringing it under the control and management of key stakeholders, including workers, and electricity consumers.
“We demand the recovery of all looted and misappropriated public funds pumped into the petroleum and power sectors (towards improving domestic refining capacity, increasing domestic production of LPG, or towards improving service delivery in the privatised power firms), etc.
“The recovered funds should be utilised to build new public refineries, improve domestic LPG production, and improve service delivery in the renationalised power sector.
“We insist that any government that is unable to build public refineries and enable adequate domestic refining capacity for refined petroleum products should resign immediately.
“In a similar vein, we call on all Nigerians to ensure that they reject any political party and their candidates who do not have any practical, fundable and believable program to resolve the energy crisis, and ensure adequate domestic refining capacity for refined petroleum products, adequate domestic production capacity for LPG, and improved services and coverage for electricity across the country.
“That in view of the above, an expanded Coordinating Committee to wage the struggle against Hikes in Energy Prices would be established immediately.”
The communique also said, “January 2022, will mark ten years since Occupy Nigeria (The January Uprising) of 2012 that shook the nation and the ruling class to its foundation.
“It is noteworthy that the very same reasons that impelled Occupy Nigeria are once again coming together to impel another January Uprising – incompetent government; ruling class greed and impunity; absence of domestic refining capacity; the rising cost of living; increasing joblessness; and intensifying insecurity.
“This time around, we must as a people meet the challenge more resolutely, but also with greater political determination.
“Our conclusion is that without addressing and resolving the question of political power – that is of who (which class) holds and wields power; in the interest of who (or which class is power being deployed and utilised); without preparing ourselves, and the working peoples and toiling masses for, and to take power; these problems, among others, will never be solved, and will certainly never be resolved in the interest of the toiling masses.
“This is why we urge all longsuffering, exploited, marginalised, impoverished, and frustrated citizens and residents to harken to our call to action, take our destinies into our own hands, and build the Mass Political Movement and Momentum, to not only resist further hardships and hold the government and ruling class accountable; but to also engage politically, and contest political power with the ruling class and all its factions, with a view to taking, and wielding political power in Nigeria.”
The Public Meeting was attended by groups and individuals from across the country, including the affiliates of TPAP-M, the Coalition on NGO Networks in Northern Nigeria, Trade Union Congress, AUPCTRE, Campaign for Transformative Governance (CFTG), Representatives of Informal Sector Workers, Women formations, and youth and young persons, including those who continue to play front line roles in the #EndSARS movement.
“This so-called subsidy exists because of the price differential between the landing cost of imported fuel and the pump price of fuel. This differential exists because we are totally dependent as a country on imported refined petroleum products.
“Nigeria is the only OPEC member country that imports more than 90 to 05%of refined petroleum products for its domestic consumption. For other OPEC member countries, the reverse is the case – virtually every other OPEC member country meet their domestic needs for refined petroleum products through domestic refining. Most other OPEC member countries depend on less than 20% imported refined petroleum products to meet domestic needs,” the statement added.