Also listed as part of their grouse is the alleged unwarranted attack on the President Goodluck Jonathan by opposition groups and political parties in the country.
The ex-militant leaders, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI), said though the protest march to the National Assembly would be peaceful and non-violent, they were calling for an independent investigation into the cases of persistent scarcity of Kerosene products and the sack of the Managing Director, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Haruna Momoh over alleged failure to reverse the trend.
The ex-militant leaders, in a statement issued under the aegis of LPCDI on Wednesday in Yenagoa and signed by the president-general, Pastor Wilson Reuben, General Ezekiel Akpasibewei and General Henry Binidodogha known along the waterway as Egbema 1, said they had entered into collaboration with other civil liberty organisations nation-wide to stage a warning and peaceful protest march against the persistent scarcity of kerosene and the unwarranted and disrespectful verbal attacks on the Office of the President.
According to them, “The scarcity of petroleum products, especially kerosene across the country is a national embarrassment. Preliminary investigations by the ex-militant leaders have shown that the scarcity is man-made and a deliberate act of sabotage to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the oil and gas sector.”
“The pertinent questions to be answered are “Where are the huge Kerosene allocations to the Niger Delta states and the other parts of the country? What happened to the huge importation quota for kerosene? Why is it that only the Northwest region of the country has regular and well circulated kerosene? Why are the South-west and South-south regions deprived of the product? Why is it that kerosene, when available, is sold at exorbitant prices instead of the approved official pump price of N50 per litre? Why is it that Kerosene, when available, is only found in private petrol stations?”
“Our move to peacefully protest to the National Assembly is to call the attention of the members of the National Assembly, particularly the chairmen and members of the committees on petroleum downstream of both chambers of the National Assembly to investigate the management of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), led by its Managing Director, Mr. Haruna Momoh, for its glaring failure to effectively address the issue of kerosene scarcity in the country.”
“Mr. Haruna Momoh, from available evidence, has shown incompetence and complicity in the scarcity of Kerosene. Mr. Haruna Momoh has also been enmeshed severally in fraudulent allocations of kerosene to incompetent and fictitious marketers. He should be sacked with immediate effect for fraud and incompetence.”
“We are particularly worried about the scarcity of kerosene because of its importance to the welfare of the masses. The masses daily experience untold difficulties and agonising moments in their bids to get kerosene for their daily needs. It is, therefore, as a matter of urgency and to save the country from disaster that the former freedom fighters have decided to storm the National Assembly to impress it on its leadership and insist on formal investigation of the man-made scarcity.”
On the open and worrisome disrespect to the office of the President and the person of President Goodluck Jonathan, the ex-militant leaders argued that such actions and utterances by those they described as “perceived agents, sycophants and political jobbers in the various political parties,” should be stopped forthwith.
“It has become an issue of mockery that a failed former governor in the South-west state and caretaker party chairman would openly invite the President to join his baby party. Have you ever seen or heard of such inglorious invitation to President Obama by the Republicans in spite of some difficulties in policy implementation faced by the Democrats led administration? It is a shame that opposition political parties heat up the polity and reduce the status of their country's seat of governance with their unguarded comments.
“We want to use this medium to inform the public that as patriotic, progressive and development-oriented Nigerians, we will no longer take kindly the unwarranted verbal attacks on the person of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,” they said.