Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has appealed for calm a day after the federal government scrapped fuel subsidy and increased the price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 a litre.
Mr. El-Rufai was a prominent voice against a similar policy in 2012 when the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan announced removal of subsidy and petrol price increase.
Read Also:Fuel price increment, Kachikwu must resign
The announcement, Wednesday, by the minister of state for petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu, has generated controversy.Many Nigerians have condemned the price hike, and have questioned the sincerity of politicians who opposed the policy in the past, but, as members of the present administration, are in support of the latest decision.
In what appeared his first response, through a Kaduna State government statement, Mr. El-Rufai urged calm and praised the orderly response of Kaduna people to the new policy.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to appeal for calm. It commends the people for the orderly response to the fuel price adjustment by the Federal Government, and requests their continued patience for the supply of petroleum products to improve,” the statement said.
The statement also spoke on the arrest of beggars in the state.
Mr. El-Rufai said the prohibition of begging law will not take effect until after 60 days.
The statement added that it is the police that is currently undertaking arrests within Kaduna as part of security operations directed by the Inspector General of Police.
“The Kaduna State Government has not directed the police to enforce the begging law, which is not due to come into force yet. Malam Nasir El-Rufai has repeatedly stated that rehabilitation opportunities would be offered for the disabled. The State Executive Council has just approved a Disability Policy, which is a necessary precursor to the drafting of any bill or other measures to promote the rights of the disabled.
“However, the Kaduna State Government is not in a position to impede security operations that are adjudged necessary by the security agencies.“As part of preparations for the regional security summit, the Police Commands of States within the neighbourhood of Abuja which includes Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa states and the FCT, are undertaking security operations. This includes actions to remove street beggars, hawkers and all abandoned vehicles along the major roads.
“These police actions have nothing to with the Kaduna State Government. The government is engaging with the police on behalf of all residents of the state, including the disabled, for a proper management of the situation,” the statement said.