The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has lashed out at All Progressives Congres (APC), president Muhammadu Buhari and the party’s flagbearer in the 2023 presidential election, Bola Tinubu.
This followed Tinubu’s utterance saying that he will remove petrol subsidy even if Nigerians protest.
In his Christmas message issued in Abuja on Saturday, Atiku stated that Tinubu’s promise to remove fuel subsidy if he becomes the President is a big slap on President Muhammadu Buhari‘s face.
He berated Tinubu for promising to remove the petrol subsidy after the APC has retained it for the last seven years and spent billions of dollars subsidising criminality.
Tinubu had in a luncheon with business owners in Lagos promised to take bold decisions that will turn the economy around, including removing fuel subsidy, which has rendered the country vulnerable and broke.
The APC candidate stated that Nigeria will not continue to subsidise fuel consumption in neighbouring countries even in the face of protests by Nigerian workers.
He said: “How can we be subsidising fuel consumption of Cameroon, of Niger, of Benin Republic. No matter how long you protest, we are going to remove the subsidy. We can do it. We are educated enough.”
According to the statement signed by his spokesman, Phrank Shaiubu, Atiku said the statement made by the APC flagbearer is an indictment of Buhari.
He promised Nigerians will not spend 2023 Christmas queuing for petrol at filling stations if they vote for him in February next year.
The former Vice President said electing Tinubu in the forthcoming presidential poll will be a reinforcement of failure which could push Nigeria into an existential crisis.
Atiku asserted that Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum should be blamed for the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, adding that he has failed to bring succour to Nigerians who are suffering from worsening inflation, unemployment and insecurity.
The statement reads: “Atiku Abubakar hereby promises Nigerians that this will be their last Christmas that will be spent at a filling station queuing for petrol. Voting for APC in February will be a reinforcement of failure which could push Nigeria into an existential crisis. To Nigerians, we say the ability to change your destiny lies in your hands. Merry Christmas.
“With the fuel scarcity now continuing till December, the government has run out of excuses even as most Nigerians are now at the mercy of black marketers who sell petrol as high as N500 per litre. The NNPC which is the sole importer of petrol has failed to live up to its duties, clear evidence that its privatisation is merely cosmetic.
“But the biggest culprit in this mess is President Muhammadu Buhari who is the minister of petroleum. It is saddening that he has failed to bring succour to Nigerians who are suffering from worsening inflation, unemployment and insecurity.
“It is disheartening that a country that claims to spend $40m daily on petrol subsidy cannot still make the product available to its people. This is clear evidence that the monies are going into private pockets ahead of elections at the expense of Nigerians.
“The APC which is running for a third term through the person of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is now promising renewed hope after dashing the hopes of millions of Nigerians for the last eight years.
“It is exasperating that Tinubu is promising to remove petrol subsidy when his party has retained it for the last seven years and spent billions of dollars subsidising criminality. It is obvious that Tinubu’s statement is an indictment of Buhari.
“Nigerians have suffered too much in these last seven years. A country which has been unable to meet its OPEC quota at a time of oil boom is now witnessing an unprecedented petrol scarcity that has brought economic activities to its knees across the country.”
Atiku stated that the ruling APC had set a new record for the longest petrol scarcity in the history of Nigeria, following the importation of dirty petrol in January.
He continued, “The regime of the All Progressives Congress had set a new record of the longest petrol scarcity in the history of Nigeria.
“The petrol scarcity started in January 2022 on account of the importation of dirty petrol high in methanol, with the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mele Kyari, explaining at the time that the petrol was brought in from Belgium.
“The House of Representatives led by Femi Gbajabiamila opened a probe into the matter but nothing has been heard about the investigation to date. This is not surprising since it is an APC affair.”