By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Protests by students over increment in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and electricity tariff rocked Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Tuesday.
The students described the increments as arbitrary and anti – masses.
The students stormed IBB Boulevard leading to Oke – Mosan Governor’s Office, chanting anti-increments slogans, describing the Federal Government action as inhuman.
They expressed disappointment with Governor Dapo Abiodun’s position backing the Federal government “anti-masses” policy.
The students asked the Governor to withdraw his statement supporting the increments.
The students in their hundreds, protested under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun Joint Campus Committee (JCC) and National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS).
Bearing placards, they stormed the secretariat of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Abiola Way to register rejection of the increments.
The inscriptions on some their placards read: “NANS says no to hike in PMS pump price, hike in electricity tariff, hike in stamp duty”; “It is anti-masses and anti-poor”; “Nigerian students demand immediate reversal” and “We say no to anti-masses policies of the government,” among others.
They lamented the increment would further compound woes of the masses and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse the increment.
Chairman of Ogun NANS, Comrade Tomiwa Bamidele accused the government of insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians
He said: “We believe that our students are the end receivers of this anti-masses and anti-poor policies because an increment in the price of petroleum is an increment in the cost of transportation.
“And now that our students are going back to school, they will have issues. The salaries of their parents have not been increased and the government has not put in place some measures to reduce the suffering of our people.
“Having being greeted by COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, for our government to be coming again at this time of the day with this increment in price shows that our leaders are selfish and they don’t have the interest of the people at heart.
Ogun chairman of NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole called on every Nigerian to condemn and reject the increments.
“All of us must rally together, poverty does not know religion, it does not recognise ethnicity or tribalism, poverty is poverty. It is left for you and I to see the times ahead and to know that it calls for everyone’s commitment.
“You (students) have spoken loud for the leaders of this country to know that you know what is happening and never again will you allow your future to be trampled on or for some people to be playing on your future,” he said.
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