Worried about the plight of the masses as the price of gas is now beyond the reach of the poor masses, the Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Lokoja, Idris Miliki Abdul has condemned in its entirety the recent ban on charcoal production in Kogi State.

In a statement made avaiable to journalists in Lokoja, Miliki Abdul described the pronouncement as an afterthought and misplacement of priority, adding that the media report in the last few days on the development suggested that those who came up with that reactionary pronouncement are not in tune with the reality of the situation the poor masses are facing now.

He wondered: “In the first instance, is the production of charcoal an illegal deal? Are we in a military regime in Kogi State? Despite the numerous environmental challenges facing the state that are not being attended to by the Ministry of Environment; where was the stakeholders meeting that agreed on that draconian policy? Was it ever discussed at the state executive council meeting and when? How can someone wake up from side of his bed to say nobody can transport charcoal across the 21 local governments in the state?

“We call on the state governor to talk to his appointees to consult widely before making policies that do not have any meaningful impact on the people.”

He pointed out that if people can produce charcoal, there is no need banning them from transporting the charcoal to other parts of the state, adding that the ministry should rescind itself from unpopular policies that are capable of thwarting the peace in the state.

“If the people can produce charcoal, why can’t they buy and bring to the state for their usage? If anyone travels to the Federal Capital Territory, charcoal is everywhere. We call on the commissioner and the Ministry of Environment to reason and rescind this unpopular policy of ban on production, transportation, usage of charcoal in the state, in the interest of people’s peace and economic realities in Nigeria and Kogi State.”

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