The Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed worry over the resurfacing of long queues at filling stations across the country during the Christmas holiday.
The Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evang. Kwamkur Samuel, in a statement on Saturday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restore normalcy immediately.
Samuel said, “CAN is worried about the resurfacing of long queues at filling stations in Nigeria, after several increases in fuel price to ensure the availability of the product to all citizens.
“We are not only concerned that this seeming artificial scarcity happens mostly during Christmas period. We are also disturbed that everything is looking like an attempt to deliberately sabotage the celebration of Christmas by some people. We wonder why queues would suddenly resurface after all assurances and steps have been taken towards constant availability of petroleum product.
“We want to call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministry of Petroleum (Resources), and other relevant stakeholders to take decisive measures towards ensuring that fuel is made available and accessible to all citizens within the shortest possible time at controlled price.”
CAN also asked the President to fish out anyone involved in “this sabotage” and sanction them accordingly.
It added, “Christmas season does not just happen; it is a worldwide annual celebration that is known to everyone. For authorities to behave like the season came suddenly and fail to take necessary measures to control the activities of saboteurs is unacceptable to the Church.
“We deeply view the negligence of relevant authorities to ensure fuel availability to citizens as deliberate and an attempt to exploit the citizens and particularly Christians who travel distances for the celebration.”
According to CAN, the holiday is supposed to be a period when prices of goods and services are reduced to the minimum because of the high level of patronage.
The Christian body commended Nigerians, especially travellers, for accepting to bear the “unnecessary” pain.
The group prayed that the burdens would be lessened and the year would record one of the best Christmas celebrations.
“As we celebrate, let us all be security-conscious and remember the persecuted church in Adamawa, Kaduna, Borno and all other parts of Nigeria in our prayers and gifts.
“May we never forget to celebrate this Christmas with the reason for the season — the birth of the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Merry Christmas to all Nigerians and a prosperous New Year,” it added.