Press Release - May 28th, 2007

The recent pump price increase is provocative and an affront on the sensibilities of Nigerians who have endured pains and agony caused by the eight years of anti-people policies foisted on them by the Gen Olusegun Obasanjo administration, the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth, Nigeria has said.

In a statement released in Lagos yesterday, ERA warned that the increase should be reversed immediately to avert a national upheaval that could plunge the nation into gloom.

"While a new government is being sworn in with shaky legitimacy it is becoming clear that the out-going government is setting booby-traps to make it difficult for its anointed successor to take off. Everything about this increase points to an agenda to plunge Nigerian people into more poverty and distress. It is a reprehensible act", said Nnimmo Bassey, ERA/ FoEN Executive Director.

ERA lamented that the Obasanjo government after conducting the most flawed election ever witnessed anywhere in the world, is deliberately heating up the polity on the eve of its exit. It listed booby- traps already set for the destabilization of the new government to include; the latest increase in pump price, the hurried sale of oil blocks, the sale of Port Harcourt refinery and Egbin Thermal station among several other national assets "sold these past few weeks far below their market prices."

" It is shameful for a man who claimed to be fighting corruption to turn around on the eve of his departure to embark on this hurriedly packaged and embarrassing sale of our heritage and national wealth to a political cabal without due consideration to the best interest of the nation.", Bassey lamented .

To avoid those traps set before the new government, ERA advised President Umaru Yar Adua to immediately reverse the latest increase in pump price, revoke all the oil block licenses as well as government properties, and companies sold by the Obasanjo's administration between January 2007 to May 2007 and return to the people a sense of dignity.


Akinbode Oluwafemi,
Programme Manager


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