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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sack Petroleum Minister now, Protesters at NNPC headquarters tells Jonathan

Members of the Civil Society Organisations on Thursday gathered at the Headquarters of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Abuja to protest what they have tagged ‘End Impunity Now’.

The spokesperson of End Impunity Now campaign and convener of the protest, Jaiye Gaskia said the group wants the federal government to take necessary steps to end the corruption in the downstream sector.
The protesters claimed that they will continue their protests in different parts of the country and will submit a petition to the EFCC. They also called on Nigerians to be more politically active.
Mr Gaskia said the protest was to demand the removal of the Petroleum Minister by the president or her resignation as alternative, over her perceived involvement in the fuel subsidy fraud. They are also demanding the full implementation of the subsidy probe report.
Furthermore, the protesters are asking the government to address the security situation in the country and the incessant hike in electricity tariff.
The protesters were however faced with resistance from over 30 armed policemen who refused to allow them access to the premises and who asked them to get a permit from the Abuja Police Command before they can hold the protest.
The protesters however argued that there is an existing law which allows Nigerians organise protests without police permit.
As at the time of publishing this report, the protesters have been dispersed.
However, the acting spokesperson of NNPC, Fidel Pepple in a telephone interview said “the NNPC has reinforced its commitment to ensuring the values of transparency and accountability and has nothing to hide. The corporation will be available at all times for public scrutiny of its records.”
Mr Pepple observed that the protesters have exercised their fundamental human rights to peaceful demonstration.

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