A pressure group led by ‘The Natives’ has thrown its weight behind All Progressive Congress presidential candidate Bola Tinubu over his proposed plan to scrap the controversial fuel subsidy if elected president.
In a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, Smart Edwards The Natives of the National Leaders, however, warned that they would hold Tinubu accountable from the time he assumed office until he fulfills his promise.
The APC presidential candidate promised at a Business Luncheon in Lagos on Thursday that his presidency would withdraw the subsidy even in the face of protests by Nigerian workers.
“How can we subsidize the fuel consumption of Cameroon, Niger, Benin Republic? As long as you protest, we will withdraw the subsidy,” he said firmly.
Reacting after an assessment meeting with commissioners in the region known as G-43, Edwards described the former Lagos governor’s resolution as a bold warning to oil cartels.
The group, which has members in 774 local governments in the country, lamented that Nigeria was losing over N5trn annually to a few cartels in the name of subsidy.
The statement read in part: “Take it or leave it, Nigerians need oil subsidies that have been allocated and released to other sectors. Take it away and stop the bleeding. How can we continue to mourn eating our national treasury in the name of subsidy; billions of naira are spent every year on what?” to help
“The humanitarian initiative of the President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has about N500 billion as budget, the Ministry of Youth has about N80 billion for all the youths in the nation and that is why many are not benefiting from the gestures of the government. Critical sectors of the country do not have a trillion Enjoy planning, so what are we doing?
“Our message to the APC presidential candidate Tinubu is that if he wins the coming election and is ready as president, we will support him, that is a bold statement he must keep and if he is elected, we will hold him accountable for it.
“We are citizens and what we want is development, infrastructure, growth in a safe country, not a group of people who take away our resources in the name of subsidies. The truth is that the financial aid has to go.
“Anyway, we call on the Workers’ Unions, Civil Society Organizations and young people to prepare their minds and show understanding, because removing the fuel subsidy is a long-standing policy, because the sector is caged and needs to be divided. We cannot offer cooperation to the saboteurs, to arbitrarily unleash untold hardships as citizens year after year. This evil work of saboteurs must end.’