The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has condemned in strong terms the hikes imposed on Value Added Tax, petrol pump price and electricity tariff by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The group demanded the immediate and unconditional reversal of the hikes and the resignation of Buhari as President of Nigeria.
In a statement by its National President, Dr Osagie Obayuwana, the CDHR described the hikes as “needless, insensitive, unconscionable, ruthless, monstrous, anti-people and a calculated tactic to further enrich the ruling class and their cronies.
The statement reads, “The hike in VAT and the just announced hikes in petrol pump price and electricity tariff has led to hikes in prices of goods and services nationwide, bearing in mind that ours is a volatile economy that is already plagued by inflation, currency collapse and stagnated wages/salaries.
“There is an accurate forecast of foreseeable general increase in house rents across the country, as landlords/landladies would certainly seek to pass on the heavy punch of the hikes.”
While demanding the immediate and unconditional reversal of the hikes, CDHR said it will deny the poor and downtrodden Nigerians the right to decent standard of living.
It added, “We strongly condemn these increases and demand their immediate and unconditional reversal, as amongst others, they clearly deny the people of their inalienable human rights to dignity, decency of standard of living and economic wellbeing, as enshrined in the Chapter II of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations’ Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights."
Noting that Buhari was President and Minister of Petroleum, the CDHR expressed rage over the absence of a single functional refinery in Nigeria.
Urging Nigerians to resist the hikes through mass protest, the CDHR called on “organised labour to lead the mobilisations of trade unions for a total shutdown of the country until the anti-people neo-liberal policies of the ruling class are abolished”.