Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has expressed his support for the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
However, he emphasized the importance of executing the subsidy removal in the correct manner. Obi revealed that he has consistently advocated for subsidy removal since his time as a member of the Economic Management Team during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan.
While Obi is in favor of the subsidy removal, he expressed concern regarding the approach taken by President Bola Tinubu in announcing the removal without implementing measures to alleviate the impact on the masses. Obi emphasized the importance of introducing measures that would cushion the effects of subsidy removal, as it could have adverse consequences for the general populace if not handled properly.
On Tuesday, June 6th, Peter Obi expressed his views on this matter through his official Twitter account. He pointed out that it has become a recurring pattern for the government to urge the people to endure and bear the temporary hardships in exchange for a promising future. However, he highlighted the unfortunate tendency for the situation to deteriorate rather than improve, despite these assurances.
He said; “I’ve actually been in support of the removal of subsidies right from the President Goodluck Jonathan era, when I was a member of the Economic Management team.
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.”