Atiku criticised Tinubu’s decision to end the subsidy regime without any provision for palliatives to cushion the effect on the Nigerian masses.
Former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has learnt his voice to the growing criticism trailing President Bola Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy.
While making his inaugural speech on Monday, May 29, 2023, the President went off the written script when he announced that his administration inherited a budget without provision for subsidy payment which effectively means that “fuel subsidy is gone.”
The presidential pronouncement provoked an instant chain reaction as queues resurfaced in filling stations across the country, leading to panic buying and subsequently an inevitable price hike in fuel and transport fares.
Atiku slams Tinubu’s approach to subsidy
As Nigerians, including various labour unions, continue to criticise what appeared like a unilateral approach by Tinubu to remove the resource-draining monster, Atiku has also expressed his disapproval of the move.
Addressing the newly-elected PDP officials at a retreat in Bauchi State on Saturday, June 3, 2023, the former Vice President condemned the decision which some have described as hasty.
The frontline presidential candidates for the 2023 election, Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar (Channels TV)
He said, “Between 1999 and 2007, the PDP government initiated the petroleum subsidy removal and I chaired the committee. We achieved subsidy removal in two phases but only after providing palliatives to those most affected by the subsidy removal.”
“We have the experience as a party in government. That is what we would have done and not just announced subsidy removal without discussion with the affected sectors of the economy. I think Nigerians should appreciate what they have temporarily lost.”
Atiku, Obi, Tinubu back subsidy removal
It’d be recalled that all the frontline candidates in the last presidential election had vowed to get rid of the fuel subsidy if elected into office.
The Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi and his New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso agreed with Tinubu and Atiku that the country could no longer continue to pay a humongous amount as subsidy at the expense of developmental projects.