The Coalition of Civil Society and other stakeholders in Abuja have vowed to keep up street protests to make the Federal Government revert to N65 per liter of petrol and to make it genuinely fight corruption.

The coalition demanded that the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke vacate her office for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the corruption in oil industry.

It also asked that the leadership of NNPC, PPPRA and DPR either proceed on leave or step aside as their continue stay in office would jeopardize any investigation into what happened to the money meant for subsidy.

Convener of the coalition, Hon. Dino Melaye told newsmen in Abuja that it is improper for the minister to be the one inviting the EFCC to investigate since “The Petroleum Minister is well aware that a probe of the Petroleum Ministry is a probe on her.

He call on the Minister to step aside during the period of probe so as not to influence the exercise knowingly or otherwise. In the same vain we call on the Group Managing Director of NNPC to step aside and also for the Executive Secretary of PPPRA to do the same.

Dino Melaye presenting a petition by a coalition of civil society at
the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja

“Where they fail to heed our advice we implore our President Goodluck Jonathan to order them to proceed on indefinite leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. This is only to assure Nigerians that the exercise will be free of undue interference.” He said.
Melaye also called on government to cut the cost of government by drastically reduce their retinue of aides and assistants.

The coalition, which said mass protest against the increase fuel price and the high cost of government continue, disassociated itself from the decision by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to “call off the protests which they did not initiate.”

“We condemn in strongest terms the drafting of soldiers to the streets of Lagos and Abuja to intimidate unarmed protesters. This is a sad reminder of our past experiences. We also insist that we have a fundamental right to peaceful protests even without the backing of NLC and we question the sincerity of government’s commitment to democracy in the light of the (Inspector General of Police) IG’s threat this morning to arrest any protesters found on the streets henceforth.
“We challenge the leadership of organized labour to tell Nigerians who they consulted with before calling off the strike. Until they do, we believe that this was a well orchestrated charade.” He said.

Meanwhile, the coalition has submitted a petition asking the EFCC to investigate the oil industry in view of a KPMG audit report that exposed corruption in the sector to the commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
An official of the commission received the petition and signed an acknowledgement copy for the group with the assurance that it would be treated.

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