Ukpono Anietie, PH.
Former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, has opened up about President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent decision to remove fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
The Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate who was caught off guard by judicial correspondents at the entrance of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, took the opportunity to share his long-standing position on the matter.
Having served as a member of Jonathan’s economic management team in the past, Obi revealed his consistent belief that fuel subsidy should be abolished, referring to it as an “organized crime.”
Addressing the throng of journalists, Obi began by acknowledging his past involvement in economic matters during President Jonathan’s tenure.
He emphasized that throughout his tenure and afterward, he consistently advocated for the removal of fuel subsidy due to his belief that it perpetuated corruption and economic inefficiency.
“If you have followed me very well right from the time I was a member of Jonathan’s economic management team, I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as organized crime.
“People were just stealing the resources of the country and I showed it empirically in my statistical analysis that we were not consuming the amount of fuel they claimed we consumed.
“I also gave them the “tooth pain” removal analogy that if you approach a dentist to remove a painful tooth, he will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain. It’s not the same thing as pulling the tooth forcefully, the pain you feel will be different.
“For me, I will go with the approach of the dentist, while supporting the removal of the tooth because I wouldn’t want to go through the pain of a forceful removal.
“Recall that even when Jonathan’s government wanted to remove it they came up with various relieving policies like Sure-P and others.
“If you read my manifesto you will see clearly how I planned to remove subsidies. I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are going to save, and what we are going to do using the savings to better the suffering masses.
“The problem in Nigeria is that often government tell the masses to suffer and sacrifice, for a better future; but in future things gets worse.”
Atiku Criticizes President Tinubu
The Presidential candidate representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar recently directed his criticism towards President Ahmed Bola Tinubu over the removal of fuel subsidy.
The former Vice President of Nigeria expressed his dissatisfaction with the President’s handling of the situation.
Atiku argued that the President had failed to offer adequate palliatives to cushion the impact of the subsidy removal on the general population.
He also criticized the President for neglecting to engage in meaningful discussions with the sectors of the economy directly affected by this decision before its implementation.
NLC Suspends Strike
After President Tinubu made an announcement regarding the removal of fuel subsidy, it triggered a strong reaction from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
As a result, the two labour unions planned to initiate a nationwide strike, which was initially set to commence on Wednesday, June 7.
However, following a pivotal meeting held between representatives of the Federal Government and the organized Labor at the Presidential Villa on Monday night, the NLC and TUC decided to reverse their decision.