President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, have threatened to withdraw their vehicles from the roads as from January 2012 if the federal government goes ahead with its decision to withdraw subsidy from petroleum products.

Disclosing the union’s resolve to newsmen in Lagos after a meeting of the executive council, Chairman of PTD in Lagos, Comrade Mudashiru Ayinde Azeez warned that  tanker drivers  will withdraw their vehicles from roads nationwide should the federal government withdraw subsidy from petroleum products next January as planned.

Comrade Azeez explained that the move will further impoverish the poor masses.

He said the policy was unnecessary, unpopular and uncalled for “because the poor masses are already facing untold hardship and the government is not doing anything to alleviate their sufferings.”

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He said the plan  was aimed at punishing the poor people in the society.

Azeez said the decision to remove the oil subsidy was the desire of a few members of the elite in the society and not a popular one.

He urged the government to rescind the decision because the tanker drivers will join hands with other Nigerians opposed to the removal, to resist its implementation.

He explained further that the removal of subsidy will have a multiplier effect on the country’s economy because the prices of goods and services will go up and the poor masses will suffer more.

The Lagos PTD chairman said his members will join hands with the Nigerian Labour Congress and other Nigerians to resist government’s move.

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He blamed poor leadership for the suffering of Nigerians, adding that bad roads, high cost of living and insecurity, were some of the consequences of bad leadership.

“Instead of looking for ways to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians,  the government is thinking of increasing their suffering through removal of subsidy on petroleum products,” he stated.

On the insecurity in the land, he accused the government of not doing enough to contain the activities of the deadly Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to summon past heads of state and retired generals to find solution to the problem.

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He added that insecurity was scaring away investors and affecting “our economy in a negative way.”

Some of the PTD executives in attendance at the conference included Comrade Adio Ayodele, Vice Chairman; Comrade Musiliu Oladapo, Auditor; Alhaji Dauda Aleshinloye, Financial Secretary and others.

— Cyriacus Izuekwe