9 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt- The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations has appealed to the Federal Government to rescind its decision on the removal of fuel subsidy, citing poor timing and the inability of many state governments to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.
Many Nigerians, the institute said, now live from hand to mouth and to aggravate the hardship through removal of fuel subsidy could elicit the “Arab Spring, which caught many Arab countries and their leaders unawares and has continued to spread uncontrollably”.
In a paper titled “Perception Challenges from 2011 Elections.” Presented by former National President NIPR Mr. Bobo Brown at its October 2011 meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the group said the alleged N107 billion spent during the last general elections was enough to build two viable refineries in the country.
To this end, many Nigerian youths would have been gainfully employed, stating that the nation’s economy took a nose-dive after the elections, part of the reason, it said, had propelled the administration to embark on removal of oil subsidy.
“Many Nigerians are now disenchanted with the actions of government at all levels, as they have disconnected them from the “I had no shoes—” message of President Jonathan, which was what made them to vote massively for him during the election”, the institute said.
“The perception many Nigerians have of their president, the governors and local government chairmen is that of leaders who do not have any road-map to tackle the Boko Haram debacle and other security threats like kidnapping and armed robbery which are literarily holding the nation to ransome”.
The NIPR wants the information handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan, the state governors and local government chairmen to prioritize the actions of these leaders to make them actualize the material needs of Nigerians.
It then decried the politicization of the judiciary, and advised the president and other political office holders not to politicize the institution, which is the last hope for the aggrieved.
The group cautioned that the complacence of Nigerians should not be mistaken for cowardice or gullibility, pointing out that history is replete with agitations of the masses if pushed beyond endurance.