CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS DARE RIVERS CP ON PROTEST
By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT-A coalition of civil society organisations in Rivers State, has vowed to go ahead with their proposed mass protest against the removal of fuel subsidy despite the warning by the state Police Commissioner against any demonstration in Port Harcourt.
In a joint statement by Ken Henshaw of United Action for Democracy; Celestine Akpobari of Ogoni Solidarity group and Patrick Naagbaton of Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, the activists said expression of peaceful discontent against any policy of government was a fundamental right of citizens.
The coalition said it would mobilise for a mass action against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, describing the action of the government as provocative.
It noted that the withdrawal of subsidy had caused an unprecedented hike in transport fares in the state and other parts of the country.
It said: 'As it stands, costs of transport, goods and other services have already tripled in Rivers State and elsewhere. Transport fare from Port Harcourt to Aba, which was N300, is now N2,500. Some families, who travelled out of the state for the festivities are already stranded as their budget can no longer ferry them back home.'