The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria (COCSON) and the Bloggers and Vloggers, Content Creators Association (BAVCCA) have cautioned against the planned protest by over 1000 lawyers, who have been calling for the sack of Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroluem Company Limited(NNPCL, Engr. Mele Kyari.
Recall that few days ago, Lawyers under the Coalition of Nigerian Legal Practitioners,had demanded the sack of Kyari, over scarcity and arbitrary hike in price of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), across the country.
Their demand was contained in a petition addressed to President Bola Tinubu, dated October 30,2023, with subject “Petition Against The Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroluem Company Limited(NNPCL) And Call For His Immediate Sack,”and signed by Bernard Adesina, Peter Agbonghan, Igwe Chukwudi, and others.
The lawyers further threatened to mobilise over 1,000 lawyers to occupy NNPCL headquarters on November 2, 2023 to register their displeasure.
Speaking at a joint media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, Abimbola Ademola, Director of Admin, BAVCCA and Tijani Ali Danjuma, National Secretary, COCSON, described the planned protest as “unfortunate and ill-advised.”
Ademola pointed out that any disruption caused by protests or strike will not only worsen the situation but also will negatively impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
According to Ademola: We have gathered to express their unwavering support for Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), amidst the threatened protest by 1000 lawyers and various ethnic and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) concerning fuel hike and scarcity issues.
“COCSON and BAVCCA firmly believe that Mr. Mele Kyari has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the betterment of Nigeria’s petroleum industry.
“Under his guidance, NNPCL has made significant strides in ensuring stability, accountability, and efficiency in the distribution and management of petroleum resources.
“We understand that the recent increase in fuel prices has caused hardship and raised concerns among the Nigerian people.
“However, we firmly believe that these measures, adopted by NNPCL and the Federal Government, are necessary to navigate the challenges posed by global economic fluctuations and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Nigerian petroleum sector.
“The threatened protest by 1000 lawyers and other ethnic/CSO groups is unfortunate and ill-advised.
“We urge these groups to engage in constructive dialogue with NNPCL and other stakeholders, rather than resorting to disruptive actions that may undermine the progress made by Mr. Mele Kyari and his team.
“We would like to highlight that the Nigerian petroleum industry is a vital pillar of the country’s economy, and any disruption caused by protests or strikes will only worsen the situation and negatively impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians.”
The leadership of BAVCCA and COCSON,
therefore, called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the efforts of Kyari and NNPCL in ensuring the availability and accessibility of petroleum products across the country.
While sounding a note of warning to those fanning the embers of discord and crises, COCSON and BAVCCA said they would not hesitate to proceed to court or employ every legal means, including but not limited to organisng a peaceful advocacy march, to ensure that these agents of doom are contained.
“COCSON and BAVCCA remain committed to promoting transparent governance and accountability in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We believe that dialogue, collaboration, and understanding are the key to addressing the concerns of the people and working towards a prosperous nation,” Ademola said.