By Kenneth Atavti
Two groups, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria (COCSON) and the Bloggers and Vloggers, Content Creators Association (BAVCCA) on Thursday blasted plans by some faceless lawyers to mobilize over 1,000 legal practitioners to demand the sacking of the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari.
The faceless lawyers have been threatening to mobilize for the sacking of Kyari over scarcity and the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), across the country.
To register their protest, the lawyers are planning to occupy the NNPCL headquarters on November Thursday 2.
But speaking on the development at a joint media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, Abimbola Ademola, Director of Admin, BAVCCA and Tijani Ali Danjuma, National Secretary, COCSON, described the planned protest as “unfortunate and ill-advised.”
Ademola pointed out that any plan to disrupt the operations of the NNPC Limited will affect the current move by the National Oil Company to guarantee energy security for Nigeria, which would also have negative impact on Nigerians.
Pointing out some of the achievements of Kyari, Ademola said under his guidance, NNPCL has made significant strides in ensuring stability, accountability, and efficiency in the distribution and management of petroleum resources.
While admitting that the recent increase in fuel prices has caused hardship and raised concerns among the Nigerian people, Ademola noted that these measures, adopted by NNPCL and the Federal Government, are necessary to navigate the challenges posed by global economic fluctuations and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Nigerian petroleum sector.
Ademola said, “We have gathered to express their unwavering support for Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), amidst the threatened protest by 1000 lawyers and various ethnic and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) concerning fuel hike and scarcity issues.
“COCSON and BAVCCA firmly believe that Mr. Mele Kyari has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the betterment of Nigeria’s petroleum industry.
“Under his guidance, NNPCL has made significant strides in ensuring stability, accountability, and efficiency in the distribution and management of petroleum resources.
“We understand that the recent increase in fuel prices has caused hardship and raised concerns among the Nigerian people.
“However, we firmly believe that these measures, adopted by NNPCL and the Federal Government, are necessary to navigate the challenges posed by global economic fluctuations and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Nigerian petroleum sector.
“The threatened protest by 1000 lawyers and other ethnic/CSO groups is unfortunate and ill-advised.
“We urge these groups to engage in constructive dialogue with NNPCL and other stakeholders, rather than resorting to disruptive actions that may undermine the progress made by Mr. Mele Kyari and his team.
“We would like to highlight that the Nigerian petroleum industry is a vital pillar of the country’s economy, and any disruption caused by protests or strikes will only worsen the situation and negatively impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians.”
The leadership of BAVCCA and COCSON, also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the efforts of Kyari and NNPCL in ensuring the availability and accessibility of petroleum products across the country.
While warning those fanning the embers of discord and crises, COCSON and BAVCCA said they would not hesitate to proceed to court or employ every legal means, including but not limited to organising a peaceful advocacy march, to ensure that those working against Kyari and the NNPC Limited are contained.
He added, “COCSON and BAVCCA remain committed to promoting transparent governance and accountability in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We believe that dialogue, collaboration, and understanding are the key to addressing the concerns of the people and working towards a prosperous nation.”