Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA on Thursday, slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for promising to consider the request by the Republic of Burundi for premium motor spirit also known as petrol.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement said it is shameful and insensitively wicked for the Nigerian President to promise to mull fuel supply to another African country when the owners of the precious, natural resources are groaning in lack and acute scarcity of petrol.
Buhari gave the assurances on Tuesday when he received the Special Envoy of President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who came with a message to his office.
On request for assistance in the area of energy provision, particularly fuel, by the Burundi leader, Buhari acknowledged the feeling of suffering from energy shortage, promising that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited would be drafted to look into the request.
However, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) lamented the high cost of fuel in the southeast, calling on the federal government to make petroleum products available to the masses.
A litre of fuel presently sells for as high at about N350 in some petrol stations in Anambra State while some still dispense at N300. This is a far cry from the federal government-approved pump price of the product, which is N169 per litre.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “For about three consecutive months now, Nigerians have groaned under the scarcity of fuel supplies. The development has caused unimaginable hardship for commuters and the motoring public who scamper for fuel from the black market.
“Yet, President Buhari promised to consider Burundi’s request for fuel. What a fallacy! A big joke! Cruelly insensitive too!
“To add salt to injury, the regime of the President, who is also the Minister of Petroleum, said fuel subsidy will be removed by June 2023 whereas the bogus amount budgeted for subsidy in the last eight years cannot be accounted for.
“It is unfortunate that despite his campaign promises in 2015 to make the country’s refineries work, Buhari has not done so as the refineries remain moribund while oil theft, the gross graft by oil cartel, illegal price differential and the bogus subsidy regime continue unchecked.
“Yet, no one has been arrested and prosecuted. What a shame! Nigerians will remember Buhari for these many failures and hardships and won’t make the same mistake in the February 25 presidential election. Nigeria needs an empathic leader, not some highfalutin, manifesto-trumpeting leader.”