The candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 presidential election in Nigeria, Peter Obi has said fuel subsidy is organised crime, just as he backed its removal by the Federal Government.
The former governor of Anambra State, however, subtly faulted the approach by the Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu which announced the removal of fuel subsidy.
According to him, measures should have been put in place before the government removed fuel subsidy.
He said, “As I attended my ongoing petition case at the Court of Appeal today, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, judicial correspondents ambushed me at the entrance of the court and demanded that I should talk to them.
“When I told them I don’t speak on the matter before the court, they insisted that I should comment on the subsidy removal, which the government representatives were touting that I am in support of.
“Reacting, I told them that 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.”